The All-Time Best Superhero Relationships
I’ve always been far too interested and invested in which fictional characters are kissing or otherwise canoodling with each other. The inspiration for this exploration of my all-time favorite superhero romances came from my friend (indeed, everyone’s friend) Travis. Travis is the pinnacle of what we can hope to achieve as a human species. If you know anyone even named Travis, embrace him now. Kiss him upon the lips if you’re so inclined. Yes, embrace a Travis near you.
Anyway, he was talking about it on the interwebs, so here I am, all inspired.
SUPERMAN AND LOIS LANE
BATMAN AND ROBIN
What isn’t great about a perpetual mysterious bachelor driven and determined to pursue a never-ending quest for vengeance adopting a rotating cast of nubile young boys, that he quickly casts out the moment they reach a certain age?
SCARLET WITCH AND THE VISION
HANK PYM AND JANET VAN DYNE
Pym met the teenage Janet and was immediately attracted to her because of her remarking resemblance to his dead ex-wife. I shouldn’t really have to explain any further why this is one of comic’s most twisted of romances. Despite his protestations that he wasn’t interested in her, Pym made Janet his superhero sidekick. After years of continuously trying to make him jealous enough to kiss her, Janet finally seizes her opportunity to marry Hank in the middle of one of his nervous breakdowns, accomplishing something that Lois Lane could only dream of. They had a few years of relative bliss before their dysfunctional dynamic led them both to bad places, like size-changing sexual hijinks. Nobody should ever have to see a tiny man emerging from between a woman’s legs covered head to toe in viscous fluids.
HANK PYM AND TIGRA
This is actually the Pym relationship I prefer more, as it’s traditionally been more stable for both of them. Except for the part where they originally hooked up because Tigra was giving in to her feline nature by trying to sleep with half of the West Coast Avengers, but hey, she’s wearing practically nothing but a bikini all day long (she’s pretty much everything I ever dreamed of seeing when I was fourteen years old). Tigra was just looking for some fun, but he completely fell in love on the rebound from his marriage to Janet. They eventually got to the point where she had his cute little furry babies, via a shape-shifting alien appropriating his DNA, but still.
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND SHARON CARTER
NIGHTWING AND STARFIRE
I know almost everyone wants to put Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon together, because Robin and Batgirl, but for my money the real love of his life was the orange-skinned alien from Tamaran. I love that Koriand’r picked Dick to kiss (so that she could absorb the English language) because she thought he was cute. I love that they used to wake up naked in the same bed anytime that Trigon was causing trouble, because what boy hasn’t at one time wished they had a big orange supermodel girlfriend that slept naked? I also love the grade school awkwardness of their relationships in the animated Teen Titans series, both versions. This is the real couple destined to be, so of course DC erases all existence of it in service of the New 52.
SPIDER-MAN AND BLACK CAT
I’ve covered this relationship extensively before, but suffice to say, masked sex is the apex of what we can hope to achieve as a human race.
HAWKEYE AND ANYONE
BLACK WIDOW AND ANYONE
As much as Hawkeye and Stark might think they’re working their way through the lovely ladies of the Marvel universe, they can’t hold a candle to the ravishing Natasha Romanoff. Hawkeye, Stark, Daredevil, and Bucky are some of her more famous conquests, not to mention that her and Captain America always seem to wind up together in any project outside the realm of comics. Of the available options, I do love the idea of her with Steve in any animated series or the movies, but in the comics her best relationship was with Bucky as the Winter Soldier. Comics tend to get a little simplistic with their romances sometimes (Storm and Black Panther both lived in Africa, so of course they should marry) but this is one case where ‘both abused by Russians’ works for them as a couple. It’s just too bad that Brubaker had to break my heart by breaking them up, before breaking it again by dropping the mic and leaving the Marvel universe forever to make excellent comics with his life partner Sean Phillips. I’ve always appreciated Black Widow as a character, after all, she wears a tight leather catsuit, but I never considered her to be a favorite until the Marvel movies, and especially after Avengers. She’s a favorite now, which I’m sure has absolutely nothing to do with Scarlett Johansson.
Backtracking a bit . . .
Dishonorable Mention – GREEN ARROW AND BLACK CANARY
I like Mockingbird well enough, but not as much as I love her DC counterpart Black Canary. In my favorite stories of Dinah Lance, she’s strong, tough, capable, and independent. So, of course, she’s unfortunately forever linked to one of the single most annoying superhero characters in comic book history, Oliver Queen. Arrow fans, I’m not talking about the cool character you watch every season on that sorta dumb but also very entertaining show. No, this is the comic book version, rocking the Robin Hood look and standing self-righteously on a soapbox of opinions and judgement. What an awful burden of a character. Black Canary deserves much, much better.
KYLE RAYNER AND SORANIK NATU
KYLE RAYNER AND CAROL FERRIS
Why do I wholeheartedly approve of this? Because Hal Jordan both sucks and blows, that’s why.
THOR AND SIF
Within the very same issue that Stan and Jack decided they had told every story they could tell with Midgard’s Jane Foster, they introduced Sif, an Asgardian and a capable warrior in her own right. Now, instead of the damsel in distress Jane, and the standard stories of star-crossed lovers always kept apart by Donald Blake’s duties as Thor, you had two warriors fighting battles side-by-side (yet Sif did play the damsel in distress a few times herself, times being what they were). Sif is a love interest that works much better in the comics, where Thor spending months or even years in publication time off of Earth is no big deal. She’s also interesting enough to support her own adventures, as proven by the underrated Immonen and Schiti run. I remember Dan Slott once saying about the (at the time) potential Carol Danvers and Peter Parker coupling, that (paraphrasing) Peter dating a superhero would kind of eliminate any need to ever spend time not as Spider-Man, narratively. That’s not as big a problem for Thor, because I’ve always found any secret identity for Thor to be a bigger burden than it is a positive for good storytelling. However . . .
THOR AND JANE FOSTER
POWER MAN AND IRON FIST
I enjoy a heterosexual bromance as much as the next person, and this is arguably the best one in superhero comics (Blue Beetle and Booster Gold might protest, but who would really be around to listen, nobody). The streetwise ex-con from the streets of Harlem, and the blond-haired kung-fu master from a magical city in the Himalayas, are not exactly an obvious formula for besties for life, but it works. Luke Cage is not my beloved Colleen Wing (who I really would be trying to spend all my time with if I were Danny) but he’s been a loyal partner and friend through many entertaining adventures. Luke even named his daughter Danielle, which makes you want to tilt your head and say “aw.”
WOLVERINE AND NOBODY
KITTY PRYDE AND STAR-LORD
Creepy sexual fantasies is a good a place to end as any, just ask anyone I’ve ever taken out on a date. If you’re like me and are way to embroiled in the romantic shenanigans of fictional characters, hopefully you enjoyed the public embarrassment I provided to all of you today. If you have any favorite couples of your own that I missed, please keep that to yourself, I don’t want to read about your weird obsessions. Send them to Duy, he loves that stuff. (I’m only kidding, I love comments. At least I think I do, I rarely get any. Sob.)
That’s it, I’m off to cyber-stalk Travis in the hopes of more ideas and inspiration. Next time, something interesting Travis said.