Much of the focus in comics is on the conflicts between adversaries. People often get as excited about the villains in a story as they do about the heroes. Peace gets boring, and nothing generates interest like a little chaos, so no one would ever want to see a permanent end to adversarial relationships, like the one between Batman and the Joker. At the same time, we get too much conflict can desensitize us, so the hero has to triumph and return to normalcy, at least for a while. And that’s where the drama of romantic relationships often occurs.
There have been many iconic romances over the years, but fewer that fans still enjoy seeing. Some couples are fun to watch chase each other, but once things get serious, they get dull. Or else one of the partners does something so unforgivable that it pretty much spoils their romance for good. Today we’re looking at those rare romances where the love is still there– not necessarily between the characters, but between the fans and the couples who were just really good for each other. Get ready to see lots of pictures of people kissing, because we’re about to look at the 20 Best Comic Book Couples Ever.
20. GAMBIT AND ROGUE
With a cast of characters as sprawling as in the X-Men franchise, there have to be a lot of different relationships. There are inevitably going to be some that don’t click with fans, or fade after a while, so it says a lot when one is looked back on fondly. Probably the most prominent X-Men relationship we have not yet seen adapted to the movies would be the love between the two Southerners, Rogue and Gambit.
While the most iconic X-Men couple might be Cyclops and Jean Grey, a lot of fans eventually soured on them together and came to prefer Scott with Emma Frost, or Jean with Wolverine. Gambit and Rogue, on the other hand, are still fresh and exciting because their relationship never even reached its peak. Their time together would always fizzle out right as it began to look serious, and yet they couldn’t stay apart from each other for long. But perhaps with the upcoming Gambit movie, the on again, off again couple will get another chance to make it work.
19. BLACK BOLT AND MEDUSA
It’s impressive that this royal couple has managed to rank on our list. They say one of the most important parts of any relationship is communication. The problem is Black Bolt isn’t very good at that skill. Not because he doesn’t like talking, but because if he does, his voice will bring about destruction all around him. So unless he wants to start destroying the world, he can’t so much as ask someone else’s name. And yet, he and Medusa are very happy together.
The couple have learned their own way to communicate with each other nonverbally, and as such, it’s hard to picture Black Bolt with anyone else. Medusa is literally the only person in life who truly understands him. They have not only built a successful relationship for themselves, but a kingdom. As king and queen of the Inhumans, few other couples in comics wield as much political power as these two.
18. BIGBY WOLF AND SNOW WHITE
A lot of classic fairy tale characters get turned on their heads in the Fables comics, and it creates a lot of interesting situations. With so many different characters from various stories being thrown together, it made a fresh new world out of very familiar faces. Here is a world where the Big Bad Wolf and Snow White could become leaders of their people, overseeing Fabletown and protecting their friends from war. Here is a story where Prince Charming might not be all that great for Snow White, while the wolf everyone fears could be her perfect match.
Bigby Wolf and Snow White were always going to have a tough time making it work, especially in a tumultuous place like Fabletown. And it didn’t get any easier after they fell in love and Snow gave birth to seven children who took on Snow’s human traits, as well as Bigby’s canine traits. But sometimes tough situations make people more resilient, and that was the case for these two, who have wound up being one of the few couples in this list with a love that has never faded.
17. HAWKMAN AND HAWKGIRL
Even though the history of these two characters is muddled and overly complicated, one thing that always remains constant is that they are together. Few characters are as much of a package deal as Hawkman and Hawkgirl are. Whether their history said they were Egyptian gods, or space aliens, or whatever else the years have thrown at them, they have remained made for each other. Really it’d be hard for them to be with anyone else, since they are just reborn to seek out one another again.
The characters have gotten a good amount of live-action exposure lately thanks to the TV shows for Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. As seen there, both of the Hawks have to do some adjusting to the fact that they have lived prior lives, but they always come together and form a capable team. By the very nature of their characters, there’s just no one else that would be right romantically for either of them, and no one we’d rather see them with.
16. KAROLINA AND XAVIN
Relationships among superheroes are always going to have some unusual quirks just because every day people usually don’t have to reveal hidden powers to each other. But this relationship in the Runaways was even more peculiar because it began with Xavin, a Super-Skrull, seeking out Karolina and announcing that the two of them had been promised to be married.
Understandably, Karolina was taken aback by this, and initially rejected the idea. Even beyond the whole surprise marriage thing was the issue that Karolina was a lesbian, and Xavin was an alien who took the appearance of a man. But then Xavin reminded her that Super-Skrulls are able to change their gender and appearance quite easily, leading to Xavin simply transforming into a woman. That’s a lot for any couple to deal with when starting out, but it was a testament to their connection that they learned to not only accept being arranged to marry each other, but actually care about each other too.
15. AQUAMAN AND MERA
They certainly have not always been the happiest couple under the sea (or anywhere, really) but Aquaman and Mera have endured a lot and managed to stay together. The monarchs of the water have had to deal with a lot of the troubles many long-running romances in comics suffer from, like each member of the couple winding up dead at different points. But their most infamous difficulty was when their child, Arthur Jr., was killed by Black Manta, something that Mera wound up blaming Aquaman for. It’s hard to come back from a moment like that.
Still, it’s not as if Aquaman and Mera are just staying together and despising each other. Mera actually first met Aquaman with the intention of assassinating him, but couldn’t do it because she had grown to love him. Their devotion to each other has been a foundation to get them through the hard times, and they’ll be bringing their romance to the big screen in the first Aquaman movie.
14. COLOSSUS AND SHADOWCAT
It’s sad to say that a lot of the best couples in comics are also the ones that did not wind up lasting for the long term. Colossus and Shadowcat are one such couple who outgrew each other on the pages despite being really popular among the fans. Part of the problem was that certain writers for X-Men apparently weren’t that fond of the age difference between the two characters, but with how often details like that are retconned, it doesn’t seem like an insurmountable problem.
Colossus showed his devotion to Kitty by even being willing to sacrifice his life for her. But that display of love actually wound up being what led to her calling it quits on the relationship. Seeing how willing Colossus was to lay down his life for those he cared about, Kitty told him that while she appreciated such concern, she’d rather have someone who was willing to live for her rather than die. Kitty’s fear of growing attached to someone who might sacrifice himself is understandable, but at the same time, that kind of goes with the territory of dating any superhero. Hopefully Kitty realizes that at some point and remembers the good thing the two of them had together.
13. APOLLO AND MIDNIGHTER
As iconic as Superman and Batman are, they have obviously influenced a lot of other characters in every medium. Comic book writers especially look for ways to reinvent the archetypes that these mascots of DC have become. And so came their more modern parallels, Apollo and Midnighter. While being super strong or super fast was old ground, Apollo still broke into new territory by being one of the first openly gay characters in comics.
While not every relationship has to aspire to marriage (divorce does still exist in comic books after all), Apollo and Midnighter having a wedding is a pretty big deal since it’s the metaphorical equivalent of Superman and Batman getting married and adopting a kid. It’s not that they’re meant to be some comic book fan fiction, but rather a subversion of the usual tropes surrounding such powerful characters, similar to what we’ve seen in stories like Alan Moore’s Watchmen. And as founding members of the Authority, Apollo and Midnighter have received similar acclaim from critics.
12. ROBIN/NIGHTWING AND BATGIRL/ORACLE
Batman might be the star in the Bat Family, but that doesn’t mean he is the only one capable of finding love. In fact, one reason Batman’s relationship with Batgirl was so criticized in the recent animated adaption of The Killing Joke was because people did not think they were right for each other at all. There was the age difference for sure, but there was also the fact that Barbara already had a well-known and popular history in comics with Nightwing.
Dick Grayson has long-held feelings for Barbara, going all the way back to when he was still Robin and when she was Batgirl for the first time. Initially, it could have been dismissed as a crush from a young kid. But as they grew older and Dick became Nightwing and Barbara became Oracle, their love only deepened and they even planned to get married for a while. Barbara eventually called it off due to the strain of Dick still being a superhero and her feeling like he was living in the past, but they’ve never stopped contemplating giving it another chance.
11. NORTHSTAR AND KYLE JINADU
While not the most high profile characters in the X-Men storylines, Northstar and Kyle Jinadu nonetheless had a big real life impact for readers everywhere. We can talk about which couples are popular among fans, or which are the most fun together, but few have the opportunity to be as significant together as these two. After all, when Northstar and Kyle finally got married, it was the first gay wedding depicted by any of the major comic companies.
Couples and marriages frequently fall apart, especially in comics. But this is one couple that would just be too heartbreaking to see split up. With what they represent to readers in real life, seeing Northstar and Kyle become another unhappy couple would be a real kick in the gut. We enjoy drama as much as the next person, but this is an area where we’ve seen enough drama in real life, and would like to see this couple just remain happy together.
10. BLACK CANARY AND GREEN ARROW
Another couple with several decades of history here is Black Canary and Green Arrow, who met back in the ’60s shortly before they both became part of the Justice League. But as fans of the couple know, they have had far from a smooth relationship, initially fighting each other, then transitioning into being attracted to each other, but always splitting before they were married. But eventually Black Canary finally accepted Green Arrow’s proposal, and it was a big event in the DC universe. It was also short-lived, though.
For so much of the New 52, this couple had no interaction. Canary had wound up returning Arrow’s ring before the reboot due to her feeling that he was putting distance between them. That distance was reflected in the reboot where their origins were changed, and their adventures became separate for a long time. But fans obviously missed the couple, because when their relationship was brought up again recently in DC’s Rebirth, it became one of the most talked about aspects of the story so far.
9. REED RICHARDS AND SUE STORM
The classic couples in comic books always have a tough road to walk in balancing how they are perceived by fans. If their relationship is too easy, it runs the risk of the couple feeling stale and predictable. But on the other hand, some classic couples have stood the test of time for so long because they work together so well, and fans wouldn’t want them with anyone else. Reed Richards and Sue Storm fortunately fall into the latter category.
The Fantastic Four are one of the pioneers of superhero groups, and have been one of the most enduring in their members. Part of that is definitely that they all knew each other before they became heroes, and they all share the bond of going through the same experience to gain their abilities. That has been especially beneficial for Reed and Sue, who were a couple even before they became superhumans. That has helped them withstand a lot worse over the years and celebrate their love in one of the most famous weddings in comic history.
8. THE FLASH (BARRY ALLEN) AND IRIS WEST
Another couple with a long history is the Flash and Iris, who have been around since the ‘50s. Ironically, despite their extensive time together and the Flash’s penchant for being quick, this was actually a rare case where the relationship progressed into marriage before Iris realized Barry Allen’s other identity. That’s a pretty big bombshell for a couple, especially considering the common trope in comics is that the hero tells their partner about their super identity to explain why they can’t be together. But apparently Barry had no problem with Iris being suspicious of his absences all the time.
Regardless, the couple obviously endured since they are still the biggest couple associated with all the Flashes through comics history. Like Black Canary and Green Arrow, the New 52 basically scrapped them as a couple beyond allusions here and there. But also just like Canary and Arrow, it looks like the events of Rebirth are bringing this couple back to the forefront. Though with the Flash TV show, the upcoming Justice League movie, and the Flash movie, maybe they never really left.
7. HARLEY QUINN AND POISON IVY
Just for fair warning, this is the only Harley Quinn relationship we’re including. Meaning no Joker. A lot of you may be disappointed about that because of how iconic Harley and Joker are, but we can’t in good conscience call the Joker’s abusive behavior one of the best relationships in comics. In fact, part of what makes Harley and Ivy one of the best is it’s so nice to finally see Harley be in a healthy romance with someone who is kind to her.
The seeds for Harley and Ivy were planted as far back as Batman: The Animated Series with them committing crimes together, and Ivy questioning why Harley put up with the Joker’s treatment. Ivy became the friend Harley needed, and once Ms. Quinzel took her revenge on the Joker, the two doctors realized the potential for a healthy romance lay in each other. The fan theories pairing the two women up became canon when they finally shared their first kiss together.
6. BATMAN AND CATWOMAN
Catwoman loves to play the tease as part of her routine to get people to drop their guard, and Batman has had a lot of romances (really, he’s been with so many women), but the two masked night owls looked like they found their best match in each other. There’s always been a flirty undertone to their interactions, made all the more amusing by the fact that Bruce and Selina would even date while unaware of each other’s alter egos. But they have also had their share of battles, leaving fans to wonder whether the two could ever be happy together.
Fans of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy got a definitive answer to that question, but comic readers have had to be more patient. There are timelines where Batman and Catwoman have been married and even had children, but in the main continuity, Bruce Wayne has a tough time letting anyone into his life. The two shared a famous kiss during the events of Hush, and fans thought the chase might finally be over, but just like his battles with the Joker, Batman couldn’t resist letting this relationship continue to tease out.
5. BLACK PANTHER AND STORM
Even though they are no longer together, Black Panther and Storm have a lot of history together that should have spelled out a “happily ever after scenario” for the couple. Their romantic history togetherdates back to stories from the ’80s, and it culminated in their marriage in 2006, with a very high profile wedding for the world of Marvel. They had the years of being in love, the equal footing in both being superheroes, ridiculous amounts of money, and they were king and queen together. It all looked perfect.
Sadly, just six years later, Black Panther and Storm would wind up splitting apart and ending their marriage. There was some speculation among fans that the reason for the separation was actually because the two characters’ movie rights were owned by two different companies. So if the MCU winds up with a big hit in the Black Panther solo movie, it’d be pretty awkward if they couldn’t have his well-known wife in the film, since X-Men‘s cinematic rights belong to Fox. Regardless, it was a sudden end to a pairing fans enjoyed, and it’s a shame they can’t at least be happy together in the comics.
4. HULKLING AND WICCAN
Just as the Teen Titans are something of a superhero in training group in the DC universe, Marvel has its Young Avengers standing at the ready to become the next generation of world saviors. As is typical of the trope, the young generation models itself after the originators to an extent, such as Hulkling being an obvious homage to the Hulk. And then there is Wiccan, who is like a young Scarlet Witch. But while the new generation is inspired by their predecessors, they are also very much their own characters with their own powers and relationships. The most significant relationship from the Young Avengers is actually the couple of Hulkling and Wiccan.
Fans suspected for quite some time that the two heroes were together, and although the confirmation wasn’t long in coming, readers had to wait years for the two to even kiss. After the disastrous fall out of his family conflict in Children’s Crusade, Wiccan was in a dark place and was only pulled out of it by Hulkling’s proposal. At first many thought the couple would be Marvel’s first gay couple to get married, but that distinction ultimately went to Northstar and Kyle. It’s not a race though, and LGBT comic fans are simply enjoying seeing more characters like themselves on the page.
3. SPIDER-MAN AND MARY JANE WATSON
While Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are an iconic couple for being Peter’s first major romance, there is a reason Mary Jane has become synonymous as his love interest. They are the comics universe epitome of the guy and girl next door who fall in love. And before it became a cliché for comic relationships, Peter and Mary Jane still had the interesting dynamic of Pete trying to balance his his work as Spider-Man with his normal life with the woman he loves. Now it’s gotten to the point that every superhero has to deal with the struggle of whether or not to tell their ordinary partner about their other life.
Peter and Mary Jane have had to endure many criticized storylines, like any long running characters do. They’ve been divorced, time-traveled their relationship out of existence, and Peter has even given MJ cancer because of his powers. Despite the bad moments, the good has endured and Peter will once more be finding love with the famous red head in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
2. SUPERMAN AND LOIS LANE
What Mary Jane is to Marvel and Spider-Man, Lois Lane is to DC and Superman. Lois has more years of history with Clark Kent than any other romance we’ll be talking about here. She debuted in 1938, and is currently married to the iconic superhero. Sure, they have each dated other people in the past, but at this point, the thought of either of them with other people just wouldn’t feel right.
It’s not just their iconic history that these two have going for them, either. While it is one of Superman’s less talked about aspects, Clark Kent is in fact a reporter like Lois. And yes, Clark uses his normal persona to divert attention from his incredible alter ego, but he easily could have blended into any other profession. He chose reporting the news though, meaning he cares about standing up for the truth, just like Lois. And if there’s one thing Lois and all comic fans know, it’s that Superman is one of the most honest and upstanding heroes out there. So if Lois wanted someone who would stand up for the truth, she really couldn’t have found anyone better.
1. LUKE CAGE AND JESSICA JONES
Perhaps the best couple in comics is also one of the more recent ones. Sure, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage don’t have the decades of history that classic couples like Superman and Lois or Spider-Man and Mary Jane do, but you couldn’t argue that they are any less devoted to each other. In fact, Luke and Jessica actually have had a lot more stability in their relationship than either of those couples. There’s something about this pairing that feels so… real.
The two are currently married and have a daughter together, but neither one has stayed away from their lives as superheroes. It makes for an interesting and humorous perspective to see parents argue about who to leave the baby with when both of them have villains to stop. And now a whole new group of fans gets to watch the couple come together thanks to Netflix’s interconnected Marvel TV shows, where these two heroes have already begun building their bond.
With a topic as subjective as this, fans will inevitably see some of their favorites missing. So share which couples you think deserve a mention, and who you think is the best couple in comics!
Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives July 7, 2017, Justice League is in theaters November 17, 2017, The Flash is scheduled for March 16, 2018, Black Panther comes out July 6, 2018, and Aquaman will be here July 27, 2018.