9 Marvel Characters Everyone Forgets Are Related | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The world of Marvel Comics is full of superhero and villainous families but most readers have forgotten that these characters are actually related.
The Marvel Universe is filled with complex characters, and many of these characters are troubled with traumatic hardships from their pasts, humble origins that pushed the trajectory of their lives towards fighting the good fight and devoting their lives to good. However, sometimes their pasts involve extensive family dynamics, and it is not uncommon for many famous characters in the Marvel Universe to have siblings of some sort.
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A common trope often used is to introduce a previously unheard-of sibling of a character into a story, usually to inject an element of surprise and a contentious past between the two. But these characters have all come face to face with their relatives in some capacity, good or bad, and it has become a formative part of their character arcs nevertheless.
Everyone is familiar with Thanos, the Mad Titan. As one of the Avengers’ greatest foes, Thanos’ reputation has only been increased by his recent role in the MCU. But despite Thanos’ character being well-defined in the MCU, the one detail that was left out was Thanos’ brother, Eros.
The son of the Eternals A’Lars and San-Sui, Eros (or Starfox) is the complete opposite to Thanos: while Thanos was scheming, quiet, and determined, Eros was carefree, jubilant, and often took his life as a leisure. A stark contrast to his brother, this usually earned Eros a reputation of being a womanizing space bachelor, while his brother was seen more like a tyrant and a threat to the safety of the entire universe. Eros has often helped the Avengers try to defeat his brother, which surely hasn’t left him in the Mad Titan’s favor over the years.
Many might forget that Hawkeye isn’t the only famous archer in the family. In fact, Clint’s older brother Barney has always been a huge influence on him, and the two have never strayed too far from one another over the years. Barney Barton taught Clint to defend himself from their abusive drunk father when the two were both only young boys and instilled in Clint the never-say-die attitude that he managed to carry with him all the way to Avengers Mansion. However, while Clint managed to turn his rough upbringing into a life of helping others, Barney fell short in the same department.
Barney would pursue a life as an undercover double-agent for the FBI, which would result in him being killed by Egghead, only to be resurrected some years later, and manipulated by Baron Zemo, in order to use him against his brother Hawkeye. Zemo would force the two brothers to fight to the death, and after Hawkeye would defeat him in battle, transferred a large sum of Barney’s money to Clint’s account, creating more tension between the two brothers.
The Grey-Summers family has a very long and complicated family tree, that has literally grown over centuries. This is due in large part to Cable and Rachel Summers, the respective son and daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers, who both happen to be from the future. However, Cable and Rachel are from two alternate futures, and with Cable being the son of Scott and Madelyne Pryor, the clone of Jean Grey, this makes the two only half-siblings, across alternate realities.
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Meanwhile, Rachel Summers is the child of Jean and Scott, but the Jean and Scott from Earth-811, the Days of Future Past timeline. With both Cable and Rachel having grown up in dystopian, bleak alternate futures, them making their way back to the Earth-616 timeline make for an odd family dynamic.
The Incredible Hulk is one of the most recognizable heroes in the Marvel continuity. As a giant green monster, it’s hard not to spot Bruce Banner’s alter ego from a mile away. A simple enough premise, the Hulk has become a much more nuanced character over the decades, especially once he became a father. After being banished to the planet Sakaar by the Illuminati in the Planet Hulk storyline, Hulk found a wife and lover and lived happily, until a bomb was set off that killed his wife and their unborn child.
While his wife was killed, the Hulk’s child actually survived the blast. Named Skaar, he was the quintessential son of Hulk, who made his way to Earth and joined forces with his father. However, Skaar’s twin brother, Hiro-Kala, inherited the powers of his mother and was left on the dying planet. Being found alone and sold into slavery, Hiro-Kala had to struggle before he inherited his mother and father’s power and found his way to Earth, where he was reunited with his family.
Captain Marvel, a classic Marvel character, was sorely missed in the Marvel Universe after he died of cancer after fighting the villain Nitro. However, he was survived by not just one, but 3 children, Genis-Vell, Phyla-Vell, and Teddy Altman. With Genis and Phyla-Vell both gaining access to the Nega-Bands, the special Kree technology that allowed its users to harness energies of the Negative Zone, as well as grant superhuman strength and other abilities. However, Teddy Altman’s lineage became slightly more complicated.
Teddy Altman (or Dorek-Vell), is the child of both Captain Marvel and the Skrull Princess Anelle, making him part Kree and part Skrull. After Anelle sent her child away from the Skrull Empire for safety as the Kree-Skrull war was fully unfolding, she sent the child to Earth to be raised by his father, Captain Marvel, only for Captain Marvel to already have passed away. This made Teddy the actual heir to the Skrull Empire, a responsibility he would avoid for years but finally take upon himself, bringing a new era of peace and reconciliation to not just the Skrull Empire, but the Kree as well, in an unprecedented alliance.
Wonder Man is seen as one of the more complicated members of the Avengers, and his history becomes more and more trying when you consider his family history. After being sent to jail for embezzlement, Simon Williams was bailed out by the Masters of Evil and agreed in exchange for his release to partake in Baron Zemo’s ionic ray experiments, giving him extremely powerful but unstable control over ionic energy. It was the unstable nature of these powers that caused Simon to become poisoned, and he would later pass away after saving the Avengers.
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Blaming the Avengers for his brother’s death, Simon’s brother Eric enlisted the help of the Tinkerer in order to obtain a scythe weapon and rebranded as the Grim Reaper, in order to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. With Wonder Man eventually being resurrected and returning to the Avengers, both brothers would stay on either side of the law for many years, often coming to blows.
Another extended family tree is the Maximoff family. It should be expected that a mutant who has been so central to the X-Men universe like Magneto has would have a very branched family, and the “House of Magnus” surely delivers just that. Even the origins of Magneto’s family have been retconned on multiple occasions, in order to change the lineage of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. Technically, Wanda isn’t the biological son of Magneto, and Magneto’s only biological daughter is Lorna Dane, also known as Polaris.
However, Wanda doesn’t technically have any biological children of her own but instead has Billy Kaplan and Tommy Shepherd, the heroes known better as Wiccan and Speed respectively. The two are the reincarnated spirits of Wanda’s children that were created due to her reality-altering powers that never actually existed. But through all these technicalities, Lorna Dane has still considered a kind of aunt to Billy and Tommy, and the three of them do make do to get along, as a family often does.
The X-Men’s Nightcrawler is another character whose family tree is very convoluted. Between his mother Mystique, a shapeshifter who has long been a sworn enemy of the X-Men, to his father Azazel, a legitimate devil from a limbo dimension, to his sister Rogue, the mutant doomed to be unable to be able to touch anyone, Nightcrawler’s family reunions are a complicated affair.
On top of all this is the inclusion of Talia Josephine Wagner, the hero known as Nocturne from a different reality. The child of Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) and the Scarlet Witch of her reality, Nocturne possesses all the physical attributes and powers of her father (including the blue fur and tail) but also possesses low-level telepathy, energy bolts, and can possess other people’s bodies for upwards of 12 hours at a time.
Piotr Rasputin is one of the X-Men’s most iconic members. The gentle Russian giant has been a member of the team since its early days, and while his sister Illyana is also a fast-growing staple of the X-Men team, the third Rasputin sibling, Mikhail Rasputin, is far more unknown. Introduced in 1992, Mikhail was pulled into a dimensional rift after a Soviet cosmonaut mission when awry, until he was discovered by the X-Men.
Unfortunately, Mikhail’s sanity began to dissipate, and he fled into the Morlock tunnels, believed to have drowned. However, in reality, Mikhail escaped to a different world, where he trained the next generation of Morlocks into kind of terrorists and even manipulated his sister Illyana into undergoing a process that doomed her with the fatal Legacy Virus, basically sentencing his own sister to death.
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RaguVarman Raguparan is a writer for Comic Book Resources based in Montreal. A huge fan of comics, movies, and all forms of pop culture, he is finishing a degree at Concordia University in History and South Asian Studies.

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