The Purple Children were all fathered by The Purple Man during his many affairs with women he had under mind control. He intended for them to love him unconditionally, a love he had never felt before. He had only ever felt the hollow declarations that he forced their mothers to say.
The Purple Children debuted in Daredevil (2014) #8 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. The cover features 7 children, but only 5 are revealed in the actual story. Their names are Joe, Connor, Shallah, Jamie, and a fifth still unnamed child.
Major Story Arcs
The Purple Man had been going around collecting his various children, all of whom developed his gift and unnatural skin color when in the vicinity of each other. He forced the mother of one of his sons in San Francisco to commit suicide after she caught him trying to take her son. Unfortunately, his children had no love for their father. By uniting their will, they are able to overpower The Purple Man and force him to walk into traffic, leaving them to their own devices.
They were joy-riding around in a stolen police car, and this got the attention of Daredevil, who had moved to San Francisco after having his identity go public in New York City. They were able to mind control the public into overpowering Daredevil. Daredevil sensed that the kids didn’t quite know what they were doing. That they weren’t trying to be bad. They were just sick of all the sadness and anger.
After an initial defeat, Daredevil tracked them to an arcade. So did a very injured Purple Man looking for vengeance. Daredevil worked with the police to rescue the children and capture Purple Man. The Purple Children were put into the child protective services, where they were kept separate (and thus powerless).
Running With The Devil
When the Purple Man escaped jail, he sent mobs to chase his kids down. Two of them were able to track down Daredevil for help. They believed their siblings were already captured, and they needed DD's help to find them. Together, they tracked Purple Man to a power company building, where he had created a machine to strap his kids into to increase the range of his own powers.
Sensing they had arrived, Purple Man was able to control Daredevil to bring his last two kids to him. With all five kids locked in the machine, Purple Man had fun playing with Daredevil for a while, which only gave him time to collect his thoughts and break Purple Man’s hold on him. He freed the children but rushed off to check on his girlfriend, Kirsten McDuffie.
The Purple Children wanted to do something for Daredevil as thanks for rescuing them. They strapped their father into the machine to increase their own abilities. Knowing Daredevil will be blamed for his behavior under Purple Man’s control, made worse by the fact everyone knows Daredevil is Matt Murdock, they decided to erase that from everyone’s mind. Not only that, but they also programmed a blindspot that anyone who read, listened, or otherwise tried to learn Daredevil’s real identity would see nothing unless Matt Murdock wanted them to. They did this without Matt’s consent, and when Kirsten no longer recognized him in his Daredevil suit, Daredevil saw the opportunity to save her from the danger of being one of his loved ones and broke up with her.
The Purple Children met Benjamin Killgrave, a much older son of The Purple Man. He was born without Purple Man’s powers and was abandoned for it. The children believed he hated The Purple Man as much as them, and they agreed to help him capture and de-power the Purple Man. However, Benjamin ended up developing a serum from Purple Man’s blood to simulate Purple Man’s powers for himself.
From his comatose state, Purple Man reached out to Jessica Jones and forced her and Luke Cage to see their daughter, Danielle, as purple. This caused Jessica to spiral due to her past trauma and start looking for Purple Man, whom she thought was dead. The Purple Children tried to stop her from investigating knowing she would only find their creepy older brother. Unfortunately, she was too stubborn to listen and ended up in Benjamin’s weird family fantasy.
When the Purple Children caught Ben forcing Jess and Luke to play his idyllic mother and father, they reached out to their other adult half-sibling Persuasion. When they returned to Ben’s house, Jess had fought through the mind control, and all the Purple Children (including Persuasion) were using their abilities to keep Ben in a coma until he could be secured.
The Purple Children ended up in New York during Mayor Fisk’s crackdown on superheroes in the city. They could sense their father’s presence, but they didn’t know he was being unwilfully used by the Kingpin to shift the political discourse in his favor. Nor did they know that the Thunderbolts were looking for them so Fisk could increase his powers.
After accepting the kindness of a stranger, the Purple Children were tracked down by the Thunderbolts. The Avengers tried to rescue them, but they only managed to save Joseph before Abomination entered the fight and over-powered the heroes. With 4 of the 5 children, Doctor Octopus was able to drain their power into Purple Man so Kingpin could win the election. Instead, Kingpin used Killgrave's own powers to send him into the streets and start a huge riot.
While the Avengers fought the Thunderbolts, Joe, the free Purple Child, took on his father with the help of Luke Cage. He was able to overwhelm Killgrave and release everyone from their trance. Despite being told his siblings were killed, they turned up alive (but permanently powerless) when the fight was over.
According to the district attorney, the de-powered ones were placed into foster care, but Joe, the last remaining purple child, remains problematic. Jessica Jones didn't like the sound of that and decided to take Joe in herself.
Similar to their father, they are able to use special pheromones to control people’s minds. They also have his uniquely purple pigmented skin. These powers are only active when they are in the vicinity of each other. The more of them that are together, the stronger they are.
They have also shown an empathic ability. In their first fight with Daredevil, they were able to overwhelm him with all of their negative emotions.