5 Awkward DC Family Gatherings

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Nov. 28, 2019


The holiday season is here, and with it comes the most sacred tradition of all – awkward family gatherings! We all love our families, but sometimes those holiday dinners can get a bit tense. The good news is you’re not alone. Most of your favorite DC characters have had their fair share of uncomfortable family get togethers, so keep these 5 examples in mind when you’re sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner and your drunk uncle begins the passive aggressive comments. 







Dropping bombshells is a major theme of awkward family gatherings. Sometimes a relative comes to the dinner table to share news that they’re having a baby, getting a divorce, moving to Europe, coming out of the closet, or sometimes a combination of all of those things (looking at you Aunt Traci). Sometimes the news is well received, other times the family erupts in hysterics. Linda Danvers kept all this in mind in 1997’s Supergirl #14 (written by Peter David and penciled by Leonard Kirk) when she chose to reveal to her parents that she had recently merged with Supergirl. The revelation itself was awkward, but it was made more difficult by her parents as they wouldn’t even let her finish the reveal. They kept interrupting to assume she  was either gay or pregnant, and blamed Ellen DeGeneres (it was the 1990’s). When Linda finally was able to spill the tea, her parents overreacted as parents are known to do. All was eventually forgiven, but that family gathering was mad awkward.  







There’s no place like home for the holidays, unless you’re Harley Quinn. In Gotham City Sirens #7 (written by Paul Dini and penciled by David Lopez) Harley journeyed to her childhood home in Brooklyn hoping she could spend a nice holiday with her family. She was in the door for 5 seconds before she regretted her decision. Her mother wanted to know why she couldn’t be more like Stargirl, her deadbeat brother spent all her money, and her jailbird father tried to get some favors from her. All this time we thought that Harley was the crazy one in her family, but after seeing the rest of the Quinzel household it might be time to rethink that.







Even the Kent household isn’t immune to family drama. Things actually got so bad during a Christmas dinner in Action Comics #823 (written by Chuck Austen and penciled by Ivan Reis) that Martha Kent was forced to put everyone in their place. Lois and Lana were fighting over Clark, and at the time Lois and Clark had been married for years and the catty Lois and Lana rivalry from the Silver Age had been over for decades. The passive aggressive comments caused Ma Kent to turn into a mama bear and give the girls a piece of her mind. As if the moment couldn’t have gotten weirder, Superboy took the opportunity to hit on Lana. We appreciate the confidence Conner, but this was not the appropriate time! 






Blended families can be tough, and it’s not always easy for a stepparent and stepchild to get along, but Firestorm took things to a whole new level when his stepmom sued him! In The Fury of Firestorm #45 (written by Gerry Conway and penciled by George Tuska) Ronnie Raymond (one half of the Firestorm matrix) had a surprise visit from his father. Ed Raymond had another surprise for his son, his new fiancée Felicity Smoak. That’s right readers, decades before Arrow Felicity was cuddling up with Firestorm’s dad. The family went out to dinner, where Felicity made it clear she wasn’t a big Firestorm fan. In fact, she bragged about how she was going to sue the superhero for inadvertently wrecking her company months earlier. She spoke of Firestorm with such disdain, unaware that he was sitting across the table from her. We’ve all had issues with our stepparents at one time or another, but getting sued by them is a level of family drama only the Nuclear Man himself can achieve. 







We told you blended families are hard, and we weren’t kidding. Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl) and Steve Dayton (Mento) had only been married for a few months before they adopted the teenage shapeshifter Gar Logan (Beast Boy). Imagine the difficulties of raising a teenager, trying to make a new marriage work, and being a part of the strangest super team. Something has to give, and tensions erupted during a family meal in Doom Patrol #113 (written by Arnold Drake and penciled by Bruno Premiani). Rita was late to dinner, so Steve and Gar began dining without her when Steve casually told his stepson that maybe he can get an operation to turn his skin “normal” again. Rita overheard that bit and everything hit the fan. She lectured her new husband on how Gar should take pride in his green skin, and Steve responded by calling their son a stringbean – with Gar sitting right there. Steve, please read the room. The comic didn’t reveal where Steve slept that night, but it doesn’t take an oracle to conclude he had a lumpy slumber on the sofa. 



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