Editorials

Androids, Clones, and Time-Traveling Babies: The Weird Origins of Comic Book Kids

The Vision Vol 1

With Logan releasing in theaters and introducing X-23 to the cinematic world, the next generation of on-screen superheroes is upon us. We are all familiar with where babies come from (if you’re not, please call your parents). Unfortunately, we are only familiar with where human babies come from. Comic book babies and are a completely different story. Superhero kids have stories of their own, and some of them are definitely not normal. From clones to time travel, androids to scientific experiments gone wrong, I bring you a list of some of the best, worst, and most confusing Super-Children Origin Stories.

X-23
X-23

X-23, Laura Kinney, All-New Wolverine

Parents: Wolverine (sort of) and Scientist Sarah Kinney

What do you do when you’re a lonely scientist experimenting with clone technology? You steal a corrupted sample of DNA from Wolverine and create a Wolver-daughter! Scientist Laura Kinney set out to prove you don’t need a Y chromosome to create a Weapon- and she was forced into being a surrogate mother for her experiment as a punishment for her experimentation. This didn’t turn out well for her, as her partner tricked X-23 into killing her mother after her extensive assassin training in captivity. X-23 took to the streets and was taken into prostitution as she struggled with adapting to the outside world despite her captive upbringing. Though she was designed to kill Wolverine and was equipped to do so with Adamantium-coated claws in her hands and feet, a healing factor that rivaled her father’s, and extensive assassin training, she instead becomes protective of Wolverine and attends the Xavier Academy. She is the current representative of the Wolverine name in comics (pops is a little busy being dead and/or a statue), and you can read more of her current adventures in All-New Wolverine from Marvel Comics.

Daken
Daken

Daken/Akihiro

Parents: Wolverine, Itzu 

X-23 was possibly the luckiest of the Wolverine pups. Daken had a pretty hard time, but we can’t blame Wolverine too much because he didn’t know Daken existed, at least until Daken tried to kill him. Daken was cut out of his dying mother by Romulus in the worst emergency C-Section in history, and raised on a healthy diet of assassin training and lies about his parents. Wolverine’s enemy, Cyber, took advantage of Daken’s hereditary claws and healing factor to train him into a Wolverine-killing machine. Daken has some tough rebellious years and makes some mistakes, like killing a couple girlfriends and his adoptive family, fusing a wolverine-killing sword onto his claws, joining Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers, and donning a version of his Dad’s very unfashionable brown Wolverine outfit. Overall, Wolverine is not Dad of the Year and he needs to learn to have normal kids in normal ways.

Franklin and Valeria Richards
Franklin and Valeria Richards

Franklin and Valeria Richards

Parents: Reed and Sue Richards

Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman could have had a perfectly normal family, but no. Their kids have some of the most complicated origins and lives in comic book history, and also the longest! Little Frankie Richards has been around since 1968. It’s hard to keep track of his age when he keeps traveling through time and reality, but that cute little boy is almost 50. Franklin, due to the origin of his parents’ powers and some ‘weird energy’ Sue probably should have brought up to her doctor, was born an Omega Level Mutant with reality-bending powers that started going off way before puberty. Over the course of his life, he created his own universe that he carried around in a ball, aged himself, re-kidded himself, joined a different family, and brought his sister back to life. Oh yeah, Valeria. Let’s talk about her.

Valeria wouldn’t have existed without the insanely strong reality-bending powers of her older brother. She was stillborn, but Franklin didn’t like that. He transported her into a different universe, where she was born to an alternate Sue Storm and a nicer version of Dr. Doom. When they met, later on, they attended Haven, a school for Mutants, and he decided his alternate reality wasn’t cutting it anymore. Franklin turned Valeria back into a fetus, implanted her into the regular Sue Storm, and waited around for his new-to-him little sister. Valeria is a super genius and a hero in her own right, but being removed from reality and then re-born by your older brother isn’t exactly a pleasant birth story.

Now, the Richards twins are off building the Multiverse after the events of Secret Wars. Those kids never stop pushing boundaries- maybe things will settle down when they hit puberty (again?).

Skaar
Skaar

Skaar

Parents: Hulk, Caiera, Queen of Sakaar

Skaar is another comic book baby assumed dead. When he was born, his planet and family were attacked. Skaar and his mother were lost in the explosion, but Skaar was wrapped in some sort of mysterious protection and dropped into a space-lake made of fire. The fire caused him to age rapidly and skip all the smashing and thrashing of a normal Hulk baby childhood. All he knew was rage and survival, and he wanted to kill his father for abandoning him on a savage planet and causing his mother’s death. However, Skaar learns that he can turn himself into a child and allows Bruce Banner to raise him and negate his Hulk tendencies. Banner and Skaar spend most of their time happily together, and Skaar continues to Hulk out and then turn himself back into a child. Overall, not the saddest comic book kid, but he definitely had a rough start.

Cyborg
Cyborg

Victor Stone, Cyborg

Parents: Irresponsible Scientists, Silas and Elinor Stone

Victor was alright through most of his childhood, except for a lack of attention from his scientist parents. He was a star athlete and pretty smart- but not smart enough for his parents, who expressed their familial love by experimenting on him to raise his IQ. Victor was severely injured and near death, so his father conducted an insane experiment, rebuilding his son. He fused Victor with Cybernetic parts and his son was reborn, but not the same. living as more of an enhanced robot than a human teenager is not easy, but Cyborg fought through his own conflicted feelings about his new self and became a hero. Currently, you can catch up on his adventures in his standalone DC Comics title.

Superboy-Conner Kent
Superboy

Kon-El/Connor Kent/Superboy

Parents: Superman and Lex Luthor (2 Dads? Sort of)

When the real Superman dies, Project Cadmus set out to replace him with a worthy heir. They created Superboy, a Superman clone created with Kryptonian and Human DNA, the latter of which turned out to be a sample from Lex Luthor. Superboy comes to Earth and decides he wants to be SuperMAN and won’t change his mind until the real Superman returns and reclaims the name. Surprisingly, Superman does return, and Superboy begrudgingly leaves the glory of being Superman behind. He has a few rough years running with the wrong crowd and hanging out in Hawaii before returning to help Superman. His genetic father figure shows him a virtual Krypton, calls him family, and offers him the name Kon-El, and they have a confusing emotional reunion as father and Super-Son. Superboy goes on to start the Young Justice team with Robin and decides Conner is a little easier to pronounce. Though he had a tough time starting out in his mid-teens, the most awkward of Superhero years, Conner ended up doing fairly well for himself.

Twin Sets of Vision Twins

Parents: Vision & Scarlet Witch/ Vision & Android Wife

Vision has, more than once, become a father to some of the strangest kids in comic book history. This is not surprising, considering Vision should in no way be able to procreate, especially not with a Mutant human like Scarlet Witch. He makes it happen, but whether he should have and it happen is questionable indeed.

The first set of Vision kids were male twins, conceived by weird comic book magic, a convenient spell book, and Scarlet Witch’s probability-enhancing psychic powers. Vish, Wanda, and the boys had a great life in the suburbs. They were a happy family and their only real worries centered around dealing with neighbors who didn’t agree with their unnatural family and saving the world. Unfortunately for the little group, the kids never really existed. They were projections of Scarlet Witch’s hopes and dreams, but all the wishing and power in the world can’t build real kids.

Vin and Viv
Vin and Viv

In the most recent iteration of the Vision kids, Scarlet Witch is much less involved. Vision is alone, and he wants a family. It’s understandable to look around at all the happy Avengers and dream of having children. Vision and his cute Android wife have two cute Android kids. They share a house in the suburbs, the kids start school, and everything seems great. It seems that Vision truly has everything he could ever want. The problem, though, is that once again, the Vision kids aren’t kids at all. Vision built his wife and family. He borrowed brain patterns from an unknown woman for his wife, Virginia, and combined her pattern with his own in order to create the underdeveloped consciousness shared by his twins, Vin and Viv. Vision is a busy father, serving as the Avengers liaison to the Whitehouse. While he is off saving the world, he leaves his family at home to follow their programs and adjust to human life. However, his wife takes being a protective mother too far. She accidentally murders a villain who comes to attack her family, and instead of telling Vision, she forces her children to keep her secret. She digs herself deeper into her own lies when she is blackmailed by a man who filmed her crime, and she solves that problem by murdering her blackmailer and his son. The Vision twins try to adjust to life in high school, but their synthezoid consciousness isn’t enough to help them fit in. No one is sure what is in store for the Vision family quite yet, but they have the capability, and perhaps the motive, to bring a new meaning to “nuclear” family.

This list encompasses only a few of the insane comic book origins of children throughout history. With many years of superheroes and villains to come, who knows what will happen next. When your kids ask you, “where do babies come from?” make sure they leave the conversation very thankful that they were not built on the model of a stolen human consciousness, or cloned from your archenemy to kill you, or raised by assassins, or dropped into a pit of fire. As humans, our answers are much easier.

In comics, anything is possible, even if sometimes, for the sake of these poor kids, we wish it wasn’t.


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About the author

Megan Rae

Megan is a pint-sized nerd in a big comics world. She loves Aquaman (not just AquaMomoa), ice cream, zines, and her idiot cat, Durin. She works for a rad comic shop in Sunny California. Her Super Powers include changing her hair color too often, awarding herself imaginary Lumberjanes badges, and always having snacks. In her spare time, she reads books without pictures and googles slang to seem cooler. How Lit!

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