WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Justice League #27
Fans were shocked to meet the son of Wonder Woman and Superman, but the truth about Hunter Prince is even more unexpected - and tragic. Hunter is just one of several of the Justice League's future children to have traveled back to the modern DCU, seeking their parents' help in preventing their dark reality from coming true. For other heroes, it's a glimpse into the happiness that's coming to them and their family. But for Wonder Woman and Superman, Hunter is a sign of the mistakes and regrets they're apparently headed for.
That's actually more applicable to Diana than Clark Kent, now that Justice League #27 has exposed the truth of how Hunter came to call Wonder Woman and Superman his parents. Those who assumed that Superman and Wonder Woman were Hunter's biological parents (as was heavily implied) are in for some good, or bad news. If the superhero romance was a match made in Heaven, the truth of Hunter's childhood is a disappointment. But if fans disliked the idea... well, the truth isn't going to be any better.
Needless to say, if you wish to avoid SPOILERS about the son of Superman and Wonder Woman, stop reading now.
There's no point in skirting the issue: Hunter is the biological son of Wonder Woman. The bad news is that not long after giving birth to one of the only Amazonian males (aside from Wonder Woman's twin brother, at least), Diana apparently decided she wasn't the right person to raise Hunter at all. It's still a sore issue for him, considering the clear discomfort and aggression he shows being stuck in the same room with the mother he hasn't seen in years. Making it all the more complicated is the fact that, even if Diana had a reason for giving Hunter up, she's still more than two decades away from knowing what they are herself.
It's an intriguing twist regardless of the character in question, leaving fans to wonder just how bad things would have to get for Diana to leave even her own child in the arms of another person. Hunter believes it's his sex to blame, assuming that Diana would have embraced a daughter with as much love and affection as her own mother did for her. While a sound theory - given the assumptions and myths surrounding the all-female warriors - there's clearly more to the story than that. Even if Diana was forced to deliver and raise Hunter off of Themyscira, the children reveal that they were left there when their parents went off to wage war against a future menace.
Left there by their parents for safety, but never to be retrieved. Well, the other heroes were deposited on Themyscira by their biological parents. Hunter didn't have a mother to speak of... but he did have a father.
It should come as no surprise to DC fans that with Diana seemingly giving Hunter up, it would be Superman who stepped in to fill the role of a supportive parent. We have to give the creative team of Bryan Hitch, Fernando Pasarin, and Oclair Albert credit for the misdirection in the previous issue - grouping Clark and Diana together opposite Hunter to let his appearance suggest shared parentage. In the end, he truly is the son of Wonder Woman and Superman, born of the first, and raised as the adopted son of the other. The idea that Hunter grew up with the currently-still-a-pre-teen Jon Kent as his 'big brother' should warm the heart of the Superman Family fans, but it's the new meaning in Hunter's clothing that seems most touching.
As was visible in the previous issue, Hunter sports a few visual signs of his mother's legacy. There's the golden eagle broach on his chest, her famous 'tiara' wrapped around his arm (she is the source of his strength), and a pair of Amazonian bracers. Which, depending on the version of DC mythology behind those signature cuffs, can speak volumes from a symbolic perspective (godly gifts, memory of past trauma, or controlled fury). When and why Hunter came into possession of those artifacts, or why he would choose to wear the symbols of his absent mother are questions we hope get answered.
But for our money, it's the fact that Hunter chooses to wear Superman's cape around his shoulders that shows Clark Kent left just as much of a mark. Diana's bracers and Lasso of Truth serve a purpose... but to wrap himself in his father's symbol is a choice, not necessity.
By issue's end, it's revealed that Hunter may have more than just unresolved mother issues putting him in a sour mood. As one of the leaders of this second-generation Justice League, Hunter reminds the children of happier parents that they've come on a mission, not a family reunion. Since it's comic book we're talking about here, and with the children describing a coming superhero/supervillain war, it's a safe bet that this mission won't be accomplished with just words. But if these children force their parents' hand, they may be putting the future in jeopardy... which would include their own existence.
There may be more heartbreak on the way, especially given Hunter's reminiscing about a childhood shared with Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne. Reminiscing cut short, as he remembers that those days all took place "before..." - without revealing before what, exactly. Since Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne are apparently absent from the future the children hail from, too many tragic theories are possible. Since Superman is also the Justice Leaguer with a non-superpowered wife, Lois Lane's future and possible death is also up for grabs.
Hitch has left the door wide open for a coming twist, hopefully explaining the truth of Wonder Woman's maternal enigma. Until we get the details from someone who wasn't a baby at the time it took place, we're giving her the benefit of the doubt.
Justice League #27 is available now.