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

Joshua and the Family

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


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 Age  of comics.

While they’re sidenotes, Joshua and his Family are obvious expies  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.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Sister (name unrevealed).
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of the Family.
  • Base of Operations: A commune near Mount Rainier.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Eyes: Amber. Hair: Brown.

Powers & Abilities

Joshua is 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 be 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.



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.


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

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

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 was 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 racist and rabidly 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 may be only linked by timing.)


See illustration.


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 !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Cult leader
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 04 Wealth: 003
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.

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].

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

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories.

Writeup completed on the 15th of October, 2019.