All You Need is Superhero Love1 of 12
Superheroes hook up all the time. Just like real life people with similar social circles and interests, wearing a cape means that it takes someone particularly understanding to enter into a relationship that is likely to be fraught with peril.
These pairings often come and go – sometimes in the span of mere issues. But when two superheroes can make it work, legendary relationships can be forged. Even if those relationships end in disaster (as they often do) they still remain important aspects of superhero history.
This week, two iconic comic book couples are seeing some potential relationship changes, as a surprising person may come between the recently engaged Batman and Catwoman in Batman #39 (more on that here), and Kitty Pryde turns the tables on Colossus by popping the question in X-Men: Gold #20 (read all about it right here).
Given the pair of big moments at hand, we’re looking at the most significant relationships between two superheroes in comic books.
SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN2 of 12
Though you still might hear the contentious groans from readers who fall on the 'thumbs down' side of the heated reaction to this relatively recent pairing, the romantic relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman may be one of the most important developments of the modern DCU - even if "Superman Reborn" wrote it out of continuity.
Almost since they started appearing together in comic books, fans have speculated and argued over the possible pairing of the Man of Steel and the Amazonian princess - with writers and artists teasing it in alternate universes and imaginary sequences for decades.
Mark Waid and Alex Ross went so far as to have the pair raise a child in Kingdom Come, and the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman has long been central to Frank Miller's Batman universe in such works as The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
While the relationship admittedly doesn’t have the longevity or historical significance of others on this list, and it may not have the consensus stamp of approval of fans, there has never been a extended pairing of superhero icons of the magnitude of Wonder Woman and Superman, and for that reason they top our countdown.
This relationship fell apart with the end of "New 52" and was excised completely from continuity with "Rebirth"'s "Superman Reborn."
For those Superman/WW 'shippers out there, we'd recommend against expecting some fireworks between the current Superman and Wonder Woman - as he's happily married to Lois Lane. If Lois Lane was primarily a superhero, that duo would definitely be on this list.
And, Wonder Woman may have found a new superhero hook-up. More on that later...
HANK PYM & WASP3 of 12
Full disclosure - in previous versions of this list Hank & Jan did not appear, partially due to bad way their relationship ultimately ended – along with the infamous slap. But under further consideration, Hank's fictitious awful deed does not change history, and that's what we're recognizing.
Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne could be considered one of Marvel’s first “power couples.” While it took some time for Hank to warm up to the idea of being romantically involved with the daughter of his benefactor, once he came around, sparks flew.
Pym, operating as Ant-Man, quickly took Janet under his wing, granting her similar shrinking abilities as the winsome Wasp. The pair helped found the Avengers – Janet even coined the team’s name – and their relationship quickly became one of the cornerstones of the Avengers.
Sure, their relationship had its ups and downs – some of them far more extreme than most – but for decades (in real time) they stuck together, through it all. You can’t make the case that what they had was one of the best relationships of all time, but the fact is, it’s one of the most significant in Marvel lore, both for what it got right, and what it got wrong.
COLOSSUS & KITTY PRYDE4 of 12
On-again, off-again. That's the story of the X-Men's Kitty Pryde and Colossus. No sooner did we count them out as kaput did those feelings emerge once again in X-Men: Gold.
At first star-crossed because of Piotr's concern over Kitty's youth, even after the pair finally admitted their feelings for each other it seemed like one of them was always off-planet, or mind-wiped, or dead — y'know, typical couple stuff — leaving them always right on the verge of making it work, while only giving supporters of the fan-favorite couple rare glimpses of the pair actually happy and together.
Of course, they always found a way to come back from those seemingly insurmountable obstacles - and their most recent split is no different. This time, the pair got back together when Kitty proposed after saving Colossus' life on an alien world.
MIDNIGHTER & APOLLO5 of 12
A company buy-out and two line-wide reboots can’t seem to keep the Midnighter and Apollo apart. Described as the “World’s Finest Couple” by long-time scribe Steve Orlando, Lucas Trent and Andrew Pulaski have gone from being considered Batman & Superman analogues to becoming the preeminent same-sex couple of superhero comic books.
Debuting in 1998’s Stormwatch #4 by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, the Midnighter/Apollo duo became a key part of the game-changing The Authority, eventually marrying. The couple ended up outlasting their team and virtually all of their Wildstorm colleagues after DC’s buyout and eventual annexing of that universe’s characters.
In the first blush of “New 52,” the Authority alums were just ensemble characters on a new Stormwatch but through Midnighter’s later usage in Grayson he was promoted in 2015 for his first actual DC solo title. As Trent’s life got a spotlight once again, it revealed the on-again off-again nature of he and Pulaski’s relationship – but that didn’t stop Midnighter from descending into the demon Neron’s realm to rescue Apollo in the recent Midnighter & Apollo series.
BLACK CANARY & GREEN ARROW6 of 12
Green Arrow and Black Canary have always had an interesting dynamic. Green Arrow is raw and ill-tempered, while Black Canary is determined and measured. As seen in so many famous couples, it's their opposites that attracted them to each other in the first place.
Like many of the long-term couples on this list, Ollie and Dinah have had their share of ups and downs, not the least of which are the various retcons that have undone, rewritten, and eliminated their relationship time and again, but the duo have had just as many starring opportunities both in their cohabitated stints on the Justice League, and even in a co-starring ongoing series.
Perhaps their most defining moment as a couple was also their last (to this point), as a high-profile event led to the wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary, only to see their marriage spur a series of events that eventually lead to their final goodbye, after Ollie murdered the supervillain Prometheus — who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of citizens of GA's hometown, Star City.
The pair didn't hook up in the "New 52," but their relationship is yet another aspect of the old DC Universe that has been revived in "Rebirth."
Additionally, on the CW TV show Arrow, Canary has shown up - albeit with an even more complicated history, including with Ollie - than ever seen before in the comic books, though she's currently dead.
CYCLOPS & EMMA FROST7 of 12
Scott Summers has had a few iconic and important romantic relationships, but his most significant is with Emma Frost, his one time enemy turned ally turned paramour.
X-Men purists may argue that Scott’s one true love was Jean Grey, and that may be so, but his bond with Emma actually broke his relationship with Jean, finally cutting the last of his ties to his adolescence and setting him on the path to adulthood that led to him becoming the arbiter of Xavier’s dream, for better or worse.
The older Cyclops was the first casualty of the M-Pox, leading Emma Frost to psychically impersonate him and declare war on the Inhumans. The older Cyclops remains dead, and Emma Frost has seemingly returned to villainy in the wake of Death of X - though some of her actions as shadow leader of the mutant state New Tian in Secret Empire called some of that into question.
GAMBIT & ROGUE8 of 12
And here we have one of the most beloved X-Men relationships ever, responsible for bringing an entire generation of readers, 'shippers, fanfic enthusiasts, and soap opera junkies into X-Men comic books. While, much to many fans' dismay, Gambit and Rogue have been mostly on the outs since Gambit was revealed to be the long-rumored "X-Traitor," their continued appearances together constantly stoke rumors of reunion and reconciliation.
The most compelling aspect of the relationship between the Cajun ne'er-do-well, and the untouchable Southern bombshell is that it has almost always existed at arm's length - literally. It's that whole aforementioned untouchable thing, you see. Rogue's power has traditionally been uncontrollable, in the sense that there's a risk for anyone who makes skin-to-skin contact with her of losing not just their super-powers, but their memories, their identity, and possibly their life.
With that kind of obstacle in their way, the passion that undoubtedly exists between the two usually just smolders, unrequited, yet undeniable, so in the moments when Rogue and Gambit have been able to, for one reason or another, actually become intimate, the release of anticipation is palpable.
With Gambit and Rogue it's never been as much a matter of "will they/won't they," as "can they/can't they," and for many fans, the question will always be more important than the answer.
And of course, the classic X-couple is currently starring in a limited series aptly titled Gambit & Rogue.
SCARLET WITCH & THE VISION9 of 12
The relationship between a mutant occultist and a life-like android may seem unlikely, but for years, Vision and Scarlet Witch were central characters in the Avengers, even starring in their own miniseries in the '80's. Though it's surprising that an artificial intelligence and a somewhat naive young mutant could fall in love, it was Wanda's ability to look past the Vision's cold exterior and see the emotional, caring man hidden in his robotic shell that lead to their coupling.
Eventually, the pair settled down away from the Avengers, even parenting a pair of twin boys who were manifested by Wanda's mystical powers. Sadly, their relationship ended in tragedy, as the Vision was mindwiped, and lost his personality, and it was revealed that their children were actually shards of the essence of the demon Mephisto.
An attempt to revive her children lead to Wanda's later mental breakdown, wherein she lost control of her powers, and inadvertently killed numerous Avengers — including the Vision — and saw the dissolution of the team. Most recently, with Wanda having returned from exile, and discovered that the souls of her children were alive in two of the Young Avengers, a reconstructed and restored Vision has spurned his former wife for her actions during her breakdown.
Time will tell if either of them will ever warm to each other again, but it seems unlikely, at this point. However, there may be hope for fans of the Avengers power couple yet, as there was definitely a some kind of relationship brewing onscreen in Captain America: Civil War with more teased to come in Avengers: Infinity War.
BATMAN & CATWOMAN10 of 12
Another fan favorite romantic entanglement, the mutual attraction between Batman and Catwoman has been brewing for decades, with the justice-obsessed Batman constantly attempting to reform Catwoman, and the devil-may-care cat burglar doing her best to get Batman to take a walk on the wild side. Though both have often found themselves in the arms of others, and have both parented children with others over the years, the passion that exists between them is the stuff of comic book legend.
Technically, they've never been "official," except in alternate realities like Earth-2, where their daughter grew up to become the Huntress, but they've consummated their feelings enough times that even Batman's enemies know that to strike at the heart of the Dark Knight, you strike at Catwoman, with Hush going so far as to literally remove Selina's heart, and place her on life-support to draw Bruce into his clutches.
Back in June, Batman attempted to 'put a ring on it' by proposing to Catwoman on a moonlight rooftop - a proposal which Selena eventually accepted. However, that engagement may be in danger with Batman and Wonder Woman forming an intimate bond while on a recent mission in an alternate dimension.
INVISIBLE WOMAN & MR. FANTASTIC11 of 12
Since the title first started, Marvel's Fantastic Four has always been about family, and at the heart of that family are Reed & Sue Richards, better known as Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Right from the start, their relationship was rocky, mostly thanks to Sue's attraction to just about anybody that hates Reed Richards and Reed's attraction to science, but the Richardses have one thing going for them that few other comic book couples have - they've made it work. They've stayed together through thick and thin, even when they've found themselves on opposite sides of the superhero Civil War, have raised a family, and flourished as a couple.
It's easy to wonder how they've made their love last - Reed can be an emotionally absent jerk, and Sue is often depicted as flighty and given to infatuations with Reed's enemies. But the truth is as simple as love can often be in real life; they just do. They love each other, and just like real love, their relationship is built on an emotional trust that has survived the some of the worst crises any world can offer. They rely on each other to be what the other cannot. Sue is Reed's emotional core, and Reed is Sue's logical center.
Never as strong apart as they are together, Marvel's premiere "power couple" are one of the best examples of love gone right in comic books.
Reed, Sue, and the rest of their family are currently in an extra-dimensional space rebuilding the multiverse in the wake of Secret Wars - but their two children just popped up at the end of Marvel Legacy #1, possibly setting the stage for a comeback.
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