Superheroes are basically gods living amongst the humans, the Injustice video game series pretty much proves that. However, despite all the Superman/Jesus symbolism, there are tons of caped crusaders with bona fide gods and goddesses hanging out in their family trees.
This certainly explains the heavy prevalence of so many real-world mythologies in these comic book franchises.
Some heroes are created and molded by the hands of the gods, while others can claim deities as their actual parents. This often results in these heroes being some of the most prominent and powerful beings in their given universes, often overshadowing even their own impressive parents.
Quite frequently, the origins of these divinities are hotly debated and highly controversial. In some cases, their godly parentage is the result of some convoluted alternate universe or secondary timeline. However these characters came to be, though, they were all the product of a supreme being at some point in their existence.
From Thor and Hela to Mephisto to King Shark, here are the 15 Superheroes You Didn’t Know Had Gods For Parents.
15 Wonder Woman
Diana Prince doesn't just fight evil Gods of War, she's a little bit of a goddess herself. Wonder Woman has more than one origin story, but in most cases, the crimefighter is always linked to the gods in some way.
Diana was molded out of clay and infused with the powers of the goddesses who made her.
It's a little roundabout, as far as parents go, but still a solid connection to the gods.
In more recent storylines, this plot was expanded to reveal a major scandal. Wonder Woman's mother had had a secret affair with Zeus and made up the clay story to hide it. This now means Diana's father is none other than the God of Thunder himself.
14 King Shark
Yes, the goofy, man-shark frequently seen battling it out against The Flash is the offspring of a full-blown god. King Shark's origins have actually been quite controversial in the past.
The origin of King Shark, or Nanaue, as he was known in Hawaii, was dismissed as superstition for a long time.
Nobody actually believed that he had deities in his family tree.
In Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis it was officially confirmed that King Shark was the son of The King of All Sharks, otherwise known as the Shark God. It was later revealed that much of King Shark's evil deeds were due to a promise made to his father.
Everything turned out alright in the end, Aquaman defeated King Shark before the Shark God's plan could come to fruition.
Cable is one of the most powerful beings in all of the Marvel universe. However, that's just what happens when your parents are two of the most iconic X-Men ever: Scott Summers and Jean Grey.
No, Summers and Grey are not gods, but Jean Grey does have the powers of a god-like deity inside her. Jean Grey became bonded with the Phoenix Force, one of the oldest and most feared cosmic beings in the history of the universe.
The Phoenix Force itself is not evil, but due to being manipulated by Mastermind, the Phoenix Force went off the rails, becoming Dark Phoenix. Dark Phoenix was another example of a superhero with the ability to turn evil when human emotions got in the way of their better judgment.
Whether or not the Asgardians are gods or aliens is a little iffy. Technically, Thor and his people are superpowered extraterrestrials, but they are regarded and even worshipped as gods by the people of Earth. That supreme status and their near-immortality pretty much warrant them a spot on this list.
Odin is blessed with super strength, speed, and a mega-extended longevity. His Odinsleep helps to prolong his already supernatural lifespan, setting him apart from even the most seasoned of superheroes.
The fact that Asgardians age at a slower rate than regular humans also helped Odin to reach at least 5,000 years before his death. Thor himself is somewhere around 1,000-years-old. That's quite an age gap between the Asgardian and his beloved human girlfriend Jane Foster.
In the comic books, Peter Quill's father is an interplanetary policeman, but he's not a god. Thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy's inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star-Lord really does have godly origins.
Director James Gunn has confirmed Ego to be an actual god and living planet.
Thisis the reason for Ego's inability to connect to human beings or really care about any other living thing. He's too powerful and unique to identify with others.
Gunn admitted that his inspiration for Ego's other-worldly backstory was his fear of imitating Darth Vader's big Star Wars reveal. Gunn wanted to avoid all the typical Hollywood drama and really focus the story on father/son relationships and how Quill would be able to cope with two less-than-stellar father figures.
Hercules's father is Zeus, but he has no relation to Diana Prince. Being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hercules is essentially the Greek counterpart to Thor's Norse mythology origins ... how fitting that his introduction to Marvel saw him defeating Thor in his first 1960's issue appearance.
Unlike Thor and the Asgardians, Hercules and the Olympians are regarded as actual gods in the Marvel universe.
Things weren't always so tense between Hercules and Thor, the two heroes have teamed up multiple times throughout the decades.
Hercules and Zeus, however, clashed on multiple occasions, causing the Hercules to be banned from Olympus for a time. To be fair, Zeus has come to Hercules's defense every now and then. So, they're just your average dysfunctional family, is all.
9 Marvel Girl
Valeria Meghan Richards, despite her surname, is not the daughter of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic. Valeria is the daughter of Sue Storm and Victor Von Doom.
In an alternate future storyline, Storm and Von Doom marry and have children. Valeria eventually becomes a part of the Fantastic Four after traveling to their headquarters from the future.
In this storyline, Von Doom has essentially proclaimed himself to be an actual god. He rules over his domain with a slew of followers who worship him as an actual deity.
He even went as far as to convince them he was the original creator of their world. In the end, Von Doom realizes this control is a lonely and futile existence and decides to use his powers to help others. That's what you call character growth.
Nelvana of the Northern Lights was one of the first Canadian superheroes and one of the first female superheroes as well. Nelvana was honored for these impressive feats by being featured on a Canadian postage stamp in a series that included more well-known heroes like Superman... and some lesser-known like Johnny Canuck. (Yes, that was a thing.)
She is half-goddess, being the daughter of a human woman and the King of the Northern Lights. The King, also known as Koliak, was shunned by his fellow gods because of his unorthodox marriage.
Nelvana's own powers, which include super speed and flight, just a few in a long list of impressive abilities, can be heightened as she calls on her own father's powers to assist her in her fight.
Hela is Odin's daughter. She's also Loki's daughter. It's this whole weird thing, there are multiverses and multiple storylines and timelines, just roll with it. Anyway, no matter how you look at it, Hela's father is a god.
In the 1960's Journey Into Mystery arc, it is revealed that Hela was created by Trickster God Loki.
Odin is warned against Hela, being told that she is dangerous to him and the other Asgardians, so he removes her from his presence by making her the overseer of the souls of the dead (except for the Asgardians themselves, who he oversaw directly).
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe Hela is the daughter of Odin himself, but the rest of her story is quite similar to the comic books.
Preacher's Jessie Custer is a human being. However, he holds the power of an actual angel inside of him. So, he's sort of a god and the source of his powers, Genesis, is most definitely a supreme being.
Even God himself and the rest of the angels feared Genesis' existence and attempted to keep it caged up but ultimately failed. Genesis escaped and hid inside Jessie Custer's head.
Having Genesis in his head eventually led Custer to realize the true, selfish nature of God, which ultimately led to God's destruction.
Thankfully, Custer is no longer possessed by this wayward deity.
However, that doesn't mean all is well. Without God around to keep it in check, the current whereabouts of the dangerous Genesis are completely unknown.
Raven, the gothy, floating superhero with the powers of dark magic who fights side-by-side with the Teen Titans isn't just a misguided teen-- she's actually half demon.
Not only was Raven the offspring of an evil demon, but her father, Trigon, actually tried to enslave the entire planet. It's this genetic darkness that causes Raven to numb her emotions out of fear of releasing her own inner demons.
Before joining her crimefighting friends, Raven grew up in an alternate dimension with little contact with her parents. It was in this peaceful location that she learned to control her emotions.
Raven struggled with her demonic father's influence for years before she finally faced off against him, once and for all. Raven died in her fight against her father, but was resurrected and finally free of him for good.
Mephisto is essentially a fallen angel, born out of the tragic death of a full-blown god. Mephisto is the creator of Ghost Rider, an anti-hero who rides the line between good and evil, which makes a lot of sense if you believe his claims that he was created when a supreme being tried to end its own life.
Despite being responsible for the creation of a hero, Mephisto has ties to many horrifying, real-world villains. Attila the Hun and even Adolph Hitler have been seen in Mephisto's realm.
Mephisto has been known to trap the souls of superheroes, but he has no guilt over his dastardly deeds. Mephisto claims to be pure evil and was made that way, saying the being that created him had no concept of good or evil.
Blackheart rides the line between good and evil and makes sure to surround himself with people who do the same. Mephisto made his creation out of the accumulation of a bunch of murder energy and imbued it with telekinetic and transportation powers.
Blackheart attempted to lure Daredevil and Spider-Man to the dark side to no avail.
Blackheart had a change of, well, heart, and was banished from Hell by his father.
The anti-hero became embroiled in a bitter war against his father and attempted to team up with others who shared similar personalities to his own. Ghost Rider, Punisher, and Wolverine first refuse to aid Blackheart in his fight but eventually give in after he kidnaps a girl and holds her hostage against the group.
Nightcrawler is a kind and gentle soul who suffered for most of his life. Born Kurt Wagner, Nightcrawler was abandoned by his true mother, Mystique, as an infant after a riotous crowd discovered her inhuman infant.
Wagner's father, the warlord Azazel, saved his son's life and gave him to a fortuneteller.
Wagner was raised in the circus and later forced to participate in the freak show, a fact that humiliated him.
Wagner's struggles didn't end there. He was present at the accidental death of his brother following his brother's murderous rampage and was nearly forced to endure punishment when it was believed he had murdered him.
Nightcrawler finally found peace and acceptance when Charles Xavier offered him a role in the X-Men and a home in his mansion.
Galactus could very well be the single most feared being in all of the Marvel universe. The planet eater has been responsible for the destruction of entire worlds, killing countless living creatures in the process.
Naturally, Galactus didn't have very many friends (people who eat people usually don't) and decided to create a companion to cure his soul-crushing loneliness.
Galactus created Tyrant in his own image, but Tyrant became power hungry, causing him to become caught up in an epic battle with his godly creator. Galactus was victorious in the end, ultimately destroying the being he himself had created.
Galactus learned his lesson and switched to mindless slaves... which is much worse in a way. He eventually employed the Silver Surfer as his interplanetary scout.
Can you think of any other superheroes who have gods for parents? Join the conversation in the comment section!
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