WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Justice League #26
If you've ever wondered what the children of Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, or Aquaman would look like, the time for wondering is over. Thanks to DC Comics, every fan gets to see the parentage and superpowers of the sons and daughters of the Justice League. The good news is that they're every bit the heroes that their parents were, making up the Justice League of the future... the bad news is that they've traveled back in time to seek their parents' help. Because as heroic as their superhero parents taught them to be, the future may be too lost for them to ever save.
The solution, as is usually the case in comic books, is to head back to a time before the world went so wrong. Before Aquaman was corrupted and claimed Cyborg's body to keep himself alive. Before Mount Olympus was returned to Earth in the middle of New York City. And before the Gods of Olympus saw their powers stolen by the maniacal villain called 'Sovereign.' That's the villain this 'next generation' of the Justice League battles in Justice League #26 - and it may be a villain their own parents helped to create.
Writer Bryan Hitch and artists Oclair Albert and Fernando Pasarin will get to that showdown soon enough. But first, let's get to the good stuff: it's time to meet the many children of the Justice League. Most notably, the son that would be born from the union of Kal-El of Krypton... and Princess Diana of Themyscira.
Superman & Wonder Woman's Son
The hero that claims the spotlight - for obvious reasons - is referred to in the issue as simply 'Hunter,' but fans won't need to see DC's concept sketches to prove that his full name is Hunter Prince, son of the heroine Wonder Woman. In the bleak, battle-hardened future from which Hunter and his League hail, he demonstrates the leadership and strength you would expect from the son of an Amazon. And judging by the vambraces on his arms, the golden lasso on his hip, and even Wonder Woman's tiara worn as a cuff around his arm, the message is clear: Hunter is his mother's boy.
Paternal resemblance is tricky to judge in comic books, but the daggers Hunter shoots at Superman when finally confronting him (seen in the artwork at the top of the page) leaves little doubt that he is, in fact, the son of Superman as well. If his build weren't proof enough, then his cape/cloak layers on the symbolism of a child of two heroes. He wears a golden eagle reminiscent of his mother's costume as a broach... keeping Superman's tattered cape hung around his shoulders. Hunter's arrival is good news for the New 52 fans who hoped to see Superman and Wonder Woman's romance continue - but had their hopes dashed when the classic Superman replaced the New 52 version.
Why Superman evidently ends up fathering a child with Diana, instead of Lois Lane, is the real question. But it's not the only one these Justice League kids will raise... and it's not even the biggest.
The Flash & Green Lantern's Daughter
The suggestion that any woman other than Iris West could catch Barry Allen's eye will be blasphemy to some fans, but not those who've been reading Hitch's Justice League series since Rebirth. Yes, Barry has pursued a romantic relationship with Iris in his own Flash comic. But as this new League has formed around the classic heroes and two new Green Lanterns, Barry's chemistry with Jessica Cruz has been slowly building. Apparently, that momentum will only keep building, judging by the arrival of his speedster daughter - going by the surprisingly apt and clever superhero moniker 'Cruise.' She may have her father's gifts, but it seems she has taken her mother's name into her superhero career.
At least, that's how it seems. The concept sketches actually referred to Cruise as 'Nora Allen,' confirming she is the daughter of Barry Allen, possessing his Speed Force connection and his mother's given name. And while Cruise has yet to explicitly state that Green Lantern Jessica Cruz is her biological mother, pointing a finger in Jessica's face while explaining that the group is "your children" is convincing. Barry Allen's future children have changed over the years, and it seems the 'Tornado Twins' of the past have been replaced by a single daughter.
The Speed Force being passed genetically isn't anything new, either. But the real twist of Barry's offspring comes in the pair's other children... which we'll get to soon.
Aquaman & Mera's Daughter
The least shocking member of the future Justice League is unquestionably 'Serenity,' born with the Atlantean name of Eldoris Curry. The daughter of Arthur Curry and his longtime lover Mera, Serenity seems to possess her father's Atlantean strength and some undefined, potentially magical abilities in traversal and teleportation. Visually, she's almost a perfect combination of her parents' most iconic features: the appearance of Mera with her father's blond hair, and a costume built out of component pieces conjuring images of both.
The exceptionally good news is that while Aquaman's had his throne stolen in the current comics, things worked out well enough in the future that created Eldoris 'Don't Call Me Dory' Curry. She's not only a member of the Justice League, but the reigning Queen of Atlantis. We can only hope that means Arthur takes back the throne, and takes Mera as his queen (as fans always expect). The fact that Aquaman loses his love and becomes a force his own daughter must battle is the twist of the story still to be revealed, but it's not the only one.
When joining her friends for their trip back in time, Eldoris notes that her departure has left Atlantis vulnerable to "Tempest's forces." She's not the only young member of the Aquaman family to rise to greatness in the future, it would seem.
Green Lantern & Flash's Twins?
The biggest secret of the issue relates to the Green Lanterns of the future Justice League. Well, the Lanterns anyway, also a mixed gender pair combining their powers to make a formidable force for their teammates. The twist is that the two Lanterns - named Jenny and Jason in the actual issue - don't use a Green Lantern ring at all. Jenny wears the Lantern symbol on her front, and Jason on his jacket... but it's the Red and Yellow light of the spectrum they use, respectively.
Even more explosive is the fact that their names are revealed to by Jenny and Jason Allen in sketches. And with the pair seeming to stare down Barry and Jessica as Cruise points her finger, it would appear that the three young heroes have come to visit their speedster and Lantern parents. If Jenny and Jason are twins, then it's a clever way for Hitch to keep tradition alive under new circumstances. But the question of their power is the real head scratcher. Rings are the source of a Lantern's power, so how it could be passed genetically is a mystery. And even if the pair's mastery of the Red and Yellow light is a loving nod to their father's famous color scheme... the fact that they wield it with their hands demands some inspection.
But hey, at least they seem to know who their parents actually are, and how it's possible for them to procreate. Which is more than we can say for the final Justice League member.
The Son of Cyborg
No readers need to actually be told which member of the League is related to 'Cube,' since the glowing circuitry, the projected holographic maps during their mission, and his ability to both open and prevent Boom Tubes makes it obvious. Yet even if fans accept that Vic Stone remains human enough to father a son, then the mother is completely unknown. Then again, it's possible that if Cyborg's method of actually 'being alive' is inseparable from his partly-organic, partly-cybernetic existence, his offspring is a similar case. Was Cube born as a flesh and blood child of Vic and a mystery woman... or was he created in the same way that Cyborg was 'created' from Vic Stone?
It's Cube who's awarded the fewest clues to his parentage in the issue, but the cover art for Justice League #27 shows him going toe-to-toe with Cyborg (and the knowing glare they're locked in on the final page shows they have some issues to work out, same as everyone else). But if you've got an idea about which hero, villain, or digital program will help bring Cube into the world, your guess is as good as ours.
We'll have to wait and see about the strange, apocalyptic metahuman war that sent the DC's Earth down the path to the future of this second generation Justice League. Not to mention our hopes for an explanation of why and how Earth's greatest heroes left behind their children to keep up the fight. But if Hunter and Cruise keep up the flirting shown in the first issue, DC fans may just have a chance to see the powers and parentage of Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash in a single body.
Good luck beating that, cyborg Aquaman.
Justice League #26 is available now.