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Houston

houston1Contributed by Ronald Byrd

The son of Oren and Deborah Weinberg, high school student Joel (middle name Aaron) is an ordinary fifteen-year-old boy with unusual relatives and friends; his eleven-year-old sister Aviva has electrical powers, his adopted brother sixteen-year-old Tyler Gilford can become invisible, Aviva’s sixteen-year-old baby-sitter Damara Sinclaire can project mystic pheremones which influence others, [etc.]…

When Oren and Deborah die in an automobile accident, Joel represses his grief by deciding that he and the others should become super-heroes, and he convinces them to join him on a trip from their home in Berkley, CA to Metropolis to meet Superman; Aviva, Tyler, Damara, and Cameron use the code-names Temper, Blindside, Allure, and Omni, respectively, while Joel calls himself Houston, apparently as a reference to the phrase, “Houston, we have a problem.” Among their adventures along the way, the group stops at a diner in Bludhaven (formerly the home territory of Nightwing), where a mysterious teenage boy named Rive flirts with Houston. Rive apparently follows the Weinbergs to Metropolis and is present when Allure mesmerizes several bystanders into helping the group enter a government base to rescue Omni from the aliens who have come to claim him and Chloe; Rive is immune to Allure’s power since he is gay, but he assists as part of the crowd, anyway. During a confrontation with Omni’s alien race, Houston’s grief about his parents finally breaks through his reserve, and he, Omni, and the other Weinbergs abandon the super-team concept and return to California. Following his parents’ funeral, there are rumors of Joel and Rive dating, but nothing else is known of their relationship.

Houston is a reasonably skilled leader and, as owner of a large comic book collection, possesses a great deal of knowledge about super-heroes; according to his own self-analysis, his skills include “computers, basic stealth, automotive, swimming and politics.”

Joel first appears in Relative Heroes #1 and is confirmed gay in issues #4 and 6. Thanks to Knickalen for a clarification about Rive.

Relative Heroes created by Devin Grayson and Yvel Guichet. Art by Guichet, Mark Propst, and Rob Schwager.

All rights reserved Devin Grayson and Yvel Guichet

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