The good superhero stories are the ones that focus on more than the explosions and colorful tights. When we start to focus on the human side of the hero, we also start to relate to him or her. A lot of times this means including a romantic interest that the audience can cheer and swoon over. However, fans often have a love/hate relationship with superhero romance. Sometimes, the actors’ chemistry makes it feel natural, but other times it feels like the studio is just shoving a couple down the audience’s throats (Black Widow and Hulk, anyone?).
While superheroes’ significant others have certainly changed in time, these ten couples have become iconic in viewers’ eyes. They’ve had some of the most memorable scenes and show that love interests can be more than a cheap way to garner attention.
Here are the 10 Best Superhero Couples in Movies and TV.
10 Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne (Ant-Man)
We haven’t seen Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne’s relationship fully blossom yet, but what we saw in the first film has us excited enough. Scott is a convicted criminal who is just trying to get back on his feet for his daughter’s sake, and Hope Van Dyne helps him achieve that goal. She’s the one who teaches Scott how to fight and use the suit. And, much to her father’s dismay, she even wishes to take part in the fight herself.
Their relationship starts out awkward because they meet when Scott wakes up with her watching him sleep. And then there some snarky comments here and there, but in time, they learned to work with each other. And that kiss at the end of the film signifies something big growing between them.
In 2018, Marvel will be releasing the sequel to Ant-Man, called Ant-Man and The Wasp, which will feature both Scott and Hope as a tag team in their adventures. This is Marvel’s first time having a female superhero in their title, let alone the center of the film. It makes it more obvious how much of a power couple these two will become.
9 Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (Jessica Jones)
Both physically invincible but emotionally vulnerable, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage find solace through sex and alcohol. Jessica and Luke both have a connection with each other through Reva Connors—Luke’s late wife. Through the evil Kilgrave’s mind control, Jessica killed Reva after she was threatening to expose his secret. When Luke and Jessica have their first encounter, it’s purely a one night stand with no feelings involved. But once their friendship progresses, Jessica finds herself opening up more to him, and Luke wants to protect her as much as he can. But it’s not just Luke that’s doing the saving; Jessica has risked her life as well to save Luke, especially when he was forced to attack her by Kilgrave.
If the show is going by the comics, then it will be interesting to see this relationship develop, as Luke and Jessica eventually marry and have a child together, all while fighting crime together.
8 Thor and Jane Foster (Thor)
Thor can have anyone he wants in the universe. He’s a literal god whose muscles, golden hair, and constant victories have caused his ego to become inflated. Because of a fight gone awry, his father—Odin—strips him of his power and sends him to Earth as a mortal. It’s there that he meets the beautiful Jane Foster, a human astrophysicist. She teaches Thor the value of humility and the heroic nature of humanity.
Their relationship is adorable at first because it starts out with Jane introducing Thor to the real world, from normal clothing to properly asking for a cup of coffee. But Thor soon uses those lessons when he sacrifices himself for her—making him worthy to wield his hammer again. With Thor constantly going between Asgard and Earth, he and Jane are the epitome of a long distance relationship. But no matter how long they are apart, Thor will do anything to keep her safe.
7 Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne (Batman Returns)
Batman has had many romances and flings in the comics, but the most fiery romances always seems to be with Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. Even though she has been portrayed differently throughout Batman’s history, she’s always been thought of as Bruce Wayne’s true love. In Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, the relationship is a little more developed.
Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne’s relationship is so great because they just assume the other is an average person. They don’t know that they just happen to be each other’s enemy. However, in their everyday attire, Bruce falls in love with Selina’s shy and innocent character. But deep down, he doesn’t know about her double life as a robber with claws and nine lives. She’s hellbent on revenge against her boss, Max Shreck, who attempts to murder her after she discovers that his business has been breaking the law. But when their identities are revealed to each other, Bruce tries to give Selina an ultimatum. If she lets Shreck live and have a trial, then she and Bruce can live happily ever after at his estate. The relationship is short-lived, as she denies his offer and goes on the run after killing Shreck. To remember her by, Selina sends Bruce her cat Miss Kitty. It may not be the most traditional of gifts, but at least Batman got a pet to keep him company.
6 Sara Lance and Nyssa Al Ghul (Arrow)
While Oliver Queen was stranded on an island for five years, Sara Lance was in different kind of social circle: The League of Assassins. On the brink of starvation, she was saved by Nyssa Al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, to become a member of the league. While Sara trained and became part of the family, she and Nyssa also started an intimate relationship. But it was also very complicated because of Nyssa’s father being a murderous crime king. Even when Sara left the league, Nyssa still loved her and would do anything for her even if it meant betraying her own father. She proved that by letting Sara go after she was instructed to kill her.
One of the only LGBT superhero relationships on television, it was refreshing to explore a key character’s sexuality on the show. Even though Sara’s death put an end to it, the audience got a chance to see Nyssa grieve by vowing to find her killer. The fact that it was not just a single episode ordeal brought some optimism for future superhero relationships.
5 Scott Summers and Jean Grey (X-Men: the Animated Series)
While people seem to fawn over Wolverine and Jean Grey more, one of the classic X-Men couples was Jean Grey and Scott Summers (Cyclops). Scott may have been the safe choice while Wolverine was the bad boy, but Scott-Jean relationship was a big part of the series.
The live action films never really emphasized much on the romance (or Cyclops at all for that matter) but the animated series thrived on it. Whenever one was in trouble, the other would be there to save them, like when Cyclops desperately tried to free her from the Dark Phoenix. Hopefully, Bryan Singer actually includes a fulfilling relationship between those two in X-Men: Apocalypse, because it’s about time that they get a proper retelling.
4 Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson (Spiderman 1-3)
When thinking of the “girl next door” trope, Mary Jane Watson usually comes to mind (probably because she literally lives next door to Peter Parker). Their love story is a typical high school romance where Peter is an awkward boy vying for the love of the popular and beautiful Mary Jane. He has to go through a lot of obstacles first, including John Jameson and even his best friend, Harry Osborn. But because she is so often saved by Spiderman, Mary Jane starts falling for the hero —not knowing that Peter is the one behind the mask at first. But when she does find out, she leaves John at the altar for him regardless of how dangerous Parker's life is.
Even though their relationship is rocky through all three films, they always seem to find their way back to each other. Although Mary Jane was involved with a few different men in the series, Peter was always her true love. Their iconic upside-down kiss proved that.
3 Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter (Captain America: The First Avenger)
The relationship between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter is a tragic one. After being one of the agents in charge of a super soldier experiment, Peggy finds herself falling in love with the key subject—skinny little Steve Rogers. At first, they bonded over their struggles of gaining respect in the army. Despite Steve’s awkwardness around women, Peggy was charmed by his sincerity and selflessness.
But she isn’t just a generic love interest. In fact, she’s very much Steve’s equal. She knows her way around a gun and has no problem punching a man if needed. But as tough of a woman as she is, Peggy wasn’t afraid to break down when Steve sacrificed himself for the Allies. Hearing her saying, “We have time. We can work this out” is reminiscent of Rose and Jack after the Titanic sank. We know where it’s heading, but we don’t want to believe it. And 70 years later, when Steve finally wakes up, Peggy is old with Alzheimer’s. While other heroes have chances to get their true love back, Steve and Peggy will always be a romantic tragedy.
2 Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (Iron Man 1-3)
Tony Stark is considered the country’s playboy. He sits on a pile of money and can attract any woman with his charm and good looks. He leaves his life in the hands of Pepper Potts, his secretary who handles all of the PR of his company, Stark Industries. At first, Tony simply thinks of her as his closest friend but by the end of the second film, he realizes that she was perfect for him all along.
Tony and Pepper are perfect for each other because they’re complete opposites. While Tony may be a handful for most people, Pepper calms him down and brings him back to reality. She’s the only one who sees past his money and status (probably because she has to deal with it constantly). And in the third film, Tony seems to actually care about her when he says, “Things are different now, I have to protect the one thing that I can't live without. That's you." That shows that Tony finally found something worth more than money: someone who loves him.
1 Clark Kent and Lois Lane (Superman 1-3)
From Smallville to Man of Steel, Clark Kent and Lois Lane have been redone in many different ways. But one of the most classic versions is in the 1978 film, Superman. Margot Kidder is immediately thought of when Lois Lane is discussed because of how perfectly she played her. She is snarky and sarcastic, a perfect match for Clark Kent’s shy personality. From the moment Superman saved Lois from the helicopter, they started having feelings for each other.
One of the most memorable scenes is when Superman takes Lois in his arms and flies over Metropolis (with a beautiful John Williams score in the background). It became an instant classic and inspired other films to pay homage to it. In future films, the love between them escalates when Clark gives up his powers to be with Lois, and even goes back in time to save her from dying. Christopher Reeves and Kidder’s were so perfect that none of the other versions could live up to their chemistry.
Can you think of any other superhero romances that we should have mentioned? Let us know in the comments!