This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
As The Gifted brings the super-powered Strucker siblings to the screen alongside their (currently) unpowered parents, we got thinking: what other super-powered families are out there? Here’s what we came up with…
Created in the early ’80s by Louise Simonson and June Brigman, the Power Pack were four super-powered siblings (with the surname Power, natch) who used to sneak out to operate as a team while keeping their identities secret from their parents. Throughout their run the swapped powers and codenames, but the siblings were Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie, and the powers were energy manipulation, mass manipulation, gravity manipulation, and light manipulation.
The Powells of No Ordinary Family
This short-lived TV show made it through 20 episodes in 2010-2011, despite a fairly geek-friendly pedigree – it was co-created by Greg Berlanti and starred Michael Chiklis (The Thing!) as the super-strong James Powell Sr. and Angel’s Julie Benz as his wife, super-fast doctor, Stephanie Powell. They were the parents of two teenagers – Daphne, a telepath, and the super-intelligent James. Unfortunately it never quite worked – perhaps because it lacked a connection to any existing superhero universes – and is now a fairly obscure piece of TV history.
This alternate universe version of Spider-Man takes place in a world where Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, dons the webs alongside his super-powered daughter, Annie, and his wife, Mary-Jane Parker, who uses a special exosuit (and later the Venom symbiote) to duplicate Peter’s powers as Spinneret. In many ways it only exists as a salve for people who remain sore about the reversal of Peter and MJ’s marriage in mainstream Marvel continuity, but that doesn’t stop the series being great fun as well.
The Fantastic Four
The original superhero family, the Fantastic Four were created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and changed the way Marvel Comics did business. The team comprises the “parents”, Mr. Fantastic (stretching) and the Invisible Woman (invisibility) and their two “squabbling kids”, the Human Torch (Flame manipulation) and The Thing (rock flesh). Although three of the member are related, the dynamic was largely subtext and provided a formula that kept the team relevant and made their formula – superheroes with problems – the engine that continues to power the Marvel universe on screen even today.
Pixar’s 2004 superhero family proved popular enough that, 14 years later, a sequel is due for release. The team takes more than its fair share from the Fantastic Four dynamic, but it also made it more or less literal: the team consists of Mr Incredible (super-strength), Elastigirl (stretching), Violet (invisibility), Dash (super speed) and Jack-Jack (er, everything.) They’re a strong creation and certainly the first superhero family most people will think of. Proof if it’s needed that superheroes don’t have to be in their 20s to be engaging.
Will the Strucker family join this (admittedly quite short) list? Time will tell, but we’d be very surprised if it doesn’t go the distance, thanks to its ties to the X-Men universe and its winning formula of family + superpowers.
Read the full Den of Geek NYCC Special Edition Magazine right here!