Being a superhero is no longer an adult-only profession. Ever since the likes of Robin and Bucky Barnes appeared, numerous kid heroes have risen up to defend the world that they are currently growing up in. Whether they started off as sidekicks like the two aforementioned young heroes, or they went straight down the hero path like everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, kid superheroes have certainly become less of a rare thing in the world of pop culture.
But just like we do, our favorite kid heroes have to face their biggest challenge ever: growing up. Sure, it may take them a couple decades, and some have just stayed young forever, but we’ve all imagined what it would be like if our favorite young superheroes faced the challenges of adulthood just like we had to. After all, the idea of young heroes like Peter Parker or Dick Grayson came from the thought that superheroes, incredible as they are, still had to deal with every day certainties; growing up being the most certain thing of them all. Luckily, we don’t have to imagine too hard, thanks to wonders of the internet. Here are 15 truly epic pieces of art that showcase some of the best kid superheroes all grown up.
. ROBIN (DAMIAN WAYNE)
Starting off this list is one of the most famous kid superheroes of all; Robin. Specifically, the Damian Wayne version of the iconic Bat-sidekick. It’s true that there technically already is an adult version of Robin in the form of Nightwing, but this is more of a new identity created by former Robin and now-adult Dick Grayson.
This fan art piece by MabyMin displays an adult Damian Wayne still using the Robin moniker that his famous father granted him. Damian’s suit has also been upgraded slightly, but still keeps in line with the iconic Robin colors. Damian is the only Robin to actually be related by blood to Bruce Wayne, so it would make sense for him to continue being Robin well into adulthood. If the comics ever did decide to age up Damian, a design like this should definitely be taken into consideration.
. DASH, VIOLET, AND JACK-JACK (THE INCREDIBLES)
Fans young and old are excited for 2018, because with that year comes the newest chapter in the lives of everyone’s favorite animated superhero family: The Incredibles. The Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first film left off, and while we’re excited to see them again, fans have expressed their desire to see the family all grown up.
Unfortunately, the Incredibles and their kids will be the same age in the sequel, but this art by MabyMin shows us what they might have looked like if Disney/Pixar decided to age them up. The image shows Dash in a very Flash-inspired super suit, Violet ignoring the “no capes” rule, and Jack-jack in a suit that perfectly resembles his tricky and devilish set of powers. Here’s hoping Incredibles 3 features a time skip.
. ASTRO BOY (MAN?)
When we talk about child superheroes, we often overlook one of the most classic examples of them: Astro Boy. Premiering in 1951 in his own manga series, Japan’s adolescent savior is a pop culture favorite amongst many fans. Technically speaking, Astro Boy can never really grow up. His “Peter Pan-esque” immortality comes from the fact that he’s a robot.
However, his robotic anatomy hasn’t stopped some talented fans from wondering what the character would like as an adult. This art by Tohad features Astro Boy (er…Man) hovering in the air, looking ready to absolutely destroy anyone who dares to threaten his beloved country. This newer, grown up Astro model is even fit with abs, presumably to make him look even more threatening and anime-like in nature.
. BLOSSOM, BUBBLES, AND BUTTERCUP (THE POWERPUFF GIRLS)
Sugar, spice, and everything nice. These were the ingredients used to create the three protagonists of one of the best Cartoon Network shows ever: The Powerpuff Girls. Who can remember all the times the crime-fighting, butt-kicking adventures of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup entertained us during our adolescent years? It’s unclear on whether or not the young heroes can even actually age, considering they came from a botched science experiment and were seemingly born at the age of five.
But if they were able to grow up, they would be 22 this year, and this art by IsaiahStephens shows us exactly how they would look as full-fledged adult superheroes. Not much has changed in their design, aside from the fact that they actually have noses and, more importantly, fingers to curl up into a fist; making their punches much harder than they were when they were young and digit-less.
One of the coolest things to come out of the film Kick-Ass, besides the movie’s self-reflecting title, is the character of Hit-Girl. While not exactly the most creative of superhero names, it was very descriptive and to the point, as Mindy Macready’s alter-ego packed quite a mean punch. Hit-Girl was allegedly supposed to have been the subject of a solo film after Kick-Ass 2, but with that film not doing so well, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing the character again anytime soon.
However, if a solo movie featuring the character were to get greenlit, aging up the character would definitely be an interesting way to go, and this art by Artissimo proves it. Seeing an adult Hit-Girl return to her crime-fighting ways, carrying her iconic and extremely sharp spear and bringing it down on the thugs of New York would be an epic, and pretty violent superhero adventure.
. SORA (KINGDOM HEARTS)
Sora, the keeper of the Keyblade, the chosen one, the hero destined to save hundreds of worlds. Sora is the main protagonist for the Kingdom Hearts series, Square Enix and Disney’s joint project that mixes the magical worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy characters, with some original characters thrown in as well.
The Kingdom Hearts series has millions of fans, all of them patiently waiting for the return of the series next year with Kingdom Hearts 3. While it seems that Sora won’t be much older than he was after the last Kingdom Hearts, fans are hoping that the game features some glance at the future life of Sora and his pals Donald and Goofy. Luckily. this art piece by Pauldng gives us that look. Featuring a young adult Sora with his Disney companions, this art is a design that Disney and Square Enix should definitely take inspiration from.
. MILES MORALES (SPIDER-MAN)
Peter Parker is the original Spider-Man, and arguably the most popular. However, one Marvel character is coming to steal that title right out of Parker’s hands; Miles Morales. The Spider-Man of the Ultimate Marvel Universe (a universe separate from the mainstream Marvel Universe), Miles has quickly become a fan favorite. So much so that he actually became part of the main Marvel universe after awhile.
Miles, like Peter, started his Spidey career as a teenager, but like his fellow webhead, there will eventually come a time when he has to grow up. This impressive piece of fan art by BossLogic serves as a double whammy; showing us Miles as an adult and modeled after actor Donald Glover, who fans petitioned to have portray Miles in a live-action movie.
. HIRO HAMADA (BIG HERO 6)
Big Hero 6 was a collaboration between Disney and Marvel that introduced a new team of animated superheroes. Led by Hiro Hamada and his robotic friend and caretaker Baymax, BH6 protects the fictional hybrid city of San Fransokyo from countless threats; including supervillains, monsters, aliens, and just about anything you can imagine.
The Big Hero 6 team consists of mainly teenage prodigies, with Hiro himself being the youngest on the team. MabyMin imagines what Hiro would look like as a “Big Hiro” himself, showing the character flying around in his power armor with Baymax by his side. It’s unlikely that Big Hero 6 2 (Big Hero 7?) would feature a jump in time if the movie was made, but if it did, it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea for Disney to look to this incredible piece of fan art as inspiration for a grown up take on Hiro.
. THE KIDS NEXT DOOR
Some heroes save the world from monsters, some save it from extraterrestrial threats or planet-destroying cosmic beings, and some protect us from the biggest threat to our way of life; mean adults. Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but back when we were kids, tuning into our favorite early morning cartoons, The Kids Next Door convinced us that they were the only thing stopping us from having to consume brussel sprouts and wake up for school.
However, as anti-adult as they were, even the KND had to grow up some day. While we never really saw the main cast of super-kids reach adulthood in the show, this fan art by IsaiahStephens gives us a look at the team all grown up. Despite their adulthood, the KND still look ready to save the world from any mean adult that dares to tell their child to brush their teeth.
. KIM POSSIBLE
Call her, beep her, no matter how you try to reach her, Kim Possible was always there to save the world from total destruction. Average high-school student by day and teenage super spy by night, Kim Possible tackled the double life of a superhero with ease, never ceasing to save the day no matter what the “sitch” was.
This fan art by IsaiahStephens shows Kim all grown up, side-by-side with her partner Ron Stoppable and their bitter rivals Draken and Shego. It would make sense for Kim to continue her heroic ways well into adulthood, and this fan art just makes a Kim Possible continuation something we want even more. While it’s not on Disney’s slate currently, it’s definitely something that they should consider, seeing as how the original show’s fanbase is still as present as it was before.
. BEN TENNYSON (BEN 10)
The kid with an endless amount of forms, Ben Tennyson is the keeper of the Omnitrix, a powerful device that allows him to take the shape and powers of any alien inside its vast library. At first, Ben slacks off and neglects his responsibilities. But as time goes on, the young hero realizes what he’s capable of, and uses his gift to protect the world from extraterrestrial threats using his limitless alien forms.
We’ve seen Ben as child, a teenager, and a middle-aged many throughout the many Ben 10 series that aired on Cartoon Network, but this art by Strib shows Ben in an interesting and different light. The image shows Ben ins his early 20s, just recently entering adulthood and becoming more and more connected with the alien watch that bonded itself with him when he was just a child.
. RED ROBIN (TIM DRAKE)
Several people have taken the name “Robin” throughout Bruce Wayne’s career as Batman, from Dick Grayson, to Jason Todd, to the most recent Damian Wayne. One of the most prominent Robins was Tim Drake, who served as Batman’s sidekick and the leader of the New 52 incarnation of the Teen Titans.
After retiring from his role as Batman’s sidekick, Drake slightly altered his superhero identity, becoming the Red Robin. This art by MabyMin features Red Robin in his adult state, fit with a redesigned costume and a smirk that could cause his opponents to mistakenly underestimate him. But make no mistake, Tim Drake is very much a student of Batman, and dealing with him as a teenager was already a challenge for many worthy adversaries, let alone taking him on when he’s a full-fledged and fully trained adult.
. DANNY PHANTOM
Most superheroes only have to worry about protecting one world from total destruction, but young Danny Fenton has to keep his eye on two. The half-ghost/half-human hero has his hands full protecting Earth from ghostly threats and keeping order in the ghost world; all this and he still has to worry about math tests and high-school bullies.
Danny’s life may be an age-old cliche, but when he’s older and leaves his teenage woes behind, the one thing he’ll definitely carry with him to adulthood are his superhero duties. A fact proven by one of Danny Phantom’s biggest superfans; the creator of the show himself, Butch Hartman. Hartman loves his characters as much as we do, and if his recent drawing of Danny Phantom is any indication, we may see the ghostly crime fighter make a return to our television screens in the foreseeable future.
. IZUKU MIDORIYA (MY HERO ACADEMIA)
Imagine a world where having superpowers is about as common as having the ability to breathe. Everyone, from neighbors, to office workers, to students are all super-powered beings with the decision to use their powers for good or for evil. Now imagine being a normal person with absolutely no special skills whatsoever.
That was the story of Izuku Midoriya, the protagonist of My Hero Academia, before he was granted the power of super strength by his idol hero All Might. Fans have speculated what Izuku would be like fully grown and in full control of his powers, and one creative superfan named Miyorida Izuku that brings that thought to life. Izuku gets stronger the longer he has his powers, and the more people he shares it with, so one can only imagine how destructive his strength is in his adulthood.
. STATIC SHOCK
After a science experiment gone wrong (as most comic book experiments do), young Virgil Hawkins was given the ability to manipulate electricity. Realizing that he can make a difference in his small town of Dakota, Virgil uses his powers to fight crime as the “electrifying” hero Static Shock.
As one of DC’s more underrated superheroes, Static doesn’t really get all the credit he deserves, but that’s not to say he hasn’t garnered a rather large fanbase throughout his career. He’s even had the chance to fight alongside famous DC heroes, like Batman, Superman, and the Teen Titans. Thanks to stories like Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited, we’ve seen a little of Static’s future life, and this fan art by JLComix gives us another much needed glimpse at an adult version of the shocking superhero.
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