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Joshua is an obscure DC Comics character. He appeared but once, in 1970.

This story is mostly notable for being part of the “Hard Travelling Heroes” story arc. Which was one of the main heralds of the Bronze AgeSuper-hero comics from (roughly) the mid-1970s to the early 1990s of comics.

While they’re sidenotes, Joshua and his Family are obvious expiesFictional character heavily based on another character for Charles Manson and the 1969 murders.

Given the enduring fascination the Manson case exerted on far too many people, his DCU equivalent might be useful in stories.



  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Sister (name unrevealed).
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of the Family.
  • Base of Operations: A commune near Mount Rainier.
  • Height: 5’11” (1.80m). Weight: 155 lbs. (70 Kg.).
  • Eyes: Amber. Hair: Brown.

Powers & Abilities

Joshua was an adept cult leader, who exerted total influence over his flock.

He also was a proficient handgun operator.

Joshua had the handyman skills needed to run a rural commune. He may also have had farming knowledge, and likely had medical training.

His brainwashing ability may have been superhuman. This is difficult to assess, as Black Canary was badly wounded when he brainwashed her. However, the art and captions imply an abnormal, near-hypnotic power of persuasion.

Joshua and the Family (DC Comics) (Green Lantern/Green Arrow)


During the 1960s, Joshua established a wilderness commune near Mount Rainier  . It was presumably South-East of Tacoma.

There seemed to be 12 to 15 members, who mostly farmed to make the commune sustainable.

Helter skelter

Joshua asserted that his community was “enlightened” and “brought truth”. His actual belief was that the historical destiny of White Americans was to kill all other ethnicities.

He trained his Family in firearms handling. His first target would be a nearby Native reservation (presumably Nisqually  ).

For two weeks, Black Canary (Dinah Drake-Lance) joined this community. During a brawl with outlaw bikers, she had been struck from behind and left to die on the roadside.

The nearby Family found her and nursed her back to health, with Joshua brainwashing her while she was still vulnerable.

Sister Joshua and Black Canary (DC Comics) (Green Lantern/Green Arrow)

Sister Joshua.


Her friends Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) eventually found her, but she refused to leave.

Convinced that foul play was involved, Green Arrow espied on the Family, discovering their true agenda. Though Green Arrow was taken down, Green Lantern routed the Family.

As he fled with Black Canary, Joshua found Green Arrow. He ordered Lance to shoot Queen dead, but she shook his brainwashing.

Joshua took her gun to do it himself. But when Green Lantern punched him, Joshua accidentally shot himself dead.

Purge the xenos, kill the heretics

In 1972, Black Canary stumbled upon Joshua’s sister in Star City. Since they recognized each other, this woman likely had been with the Family. Or had visited whilst Black Canary was there.

Going by “Sister Joshua”, she seemingly had abilities akin to her brother’s, though not quite as strong. She had started a political underground movement, one with rabidly racist and xenophobic beliefs.

They spotted the espying Black Canary during a meeting, and one guy managed to knock her out from behind. However, she was saved just in time by Hal Jordan.

(It is *possible* that Sister Joshua’s underground cell is the one that Green Arrow was fighting when he accidentally killed a sniper. This prompted his retreat to an ashram to expiate. But this is never stated, and the two encounters might only be linked by timing.)


Intense fanatic and guru, filled with hatred. Joshua cast himself as the Father of his “family”.

He was wary enough to hide his beliefs from outsiders.


“Now is the time ! We strike our first blow for peace… we descend upon the Indian village like avenging gods — and leave nothing… alive !”

DC Heroes RPG


Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 04
Init: 013 HP: 010


Medicine (Brainwashing): 07, Medicine (First Aid): 03, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

Medicine (Brainwashing) seemed to be a Powered Skill.


Familiarity (Farming life), Sharp Eye.


The Family (High).


None demonstrated.




Cult leader.




Joshua had an older Colt revolver. Perhaps a Colt Commando in .38 with the 4″ barrel [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 06, R#03, Drawback: Long Reload]. His sister seemed to have a similar weapon — perhaps the exact same one — on her hip.

The Family was ordinary schmoes with R#4 medium-calibre semi-auto handguns.

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories.

Writeup completed on the 15th of October, 2019.