Later this year, “Thor: Ragnarok” will be partnering up Thor and The Hulk, while “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will team up Spider-Man and Iron Man. Next year, from Fox, we’ll be seeing Deadpool team-up with Cable for “Deadpool 2,” making it look like the future of superhero movies might be in buddy films. It would make sense, as focusing on two characters allows a movie to explore character development and interaction, while drawing in audiences from fans of both heroes, and it doesn’t have the budget-busting issue that movies like “The Avengers” have with six or more A-listers teaming up at a time.
In the comics, team-ups have become kind of a tradition, with the pairings sometimes being so popular with fans that team-up series routinely outsell the individual characters’ solo titles. With superhero buddy films on the rise, here are the 15 team-ups we want to see next!
15. HAWKEYES (CLINT BARTON AND KATE BISHOP)
MCU fans have been wondering when Hawkeye was going to get his own movie pretty much since his brief cameo appearance in 2011’s “Thor.” The number one story people talk about being adapted for the character is Matt Fraction’s 2012-2015 run, because it’s simply the best Hawkeye story we’ve ever gotten. Clint Barton’s co-star in that series is young Kate Bishop, a member of the Young Avengers and fellow archer.
Not only would a “Hawkeyes” movie be a great way to bring an incredible story to the screen, but also it has the added advantage of bringing a new young character into the MCU to fill the role when Jeremy Renner eventually bows down from the part. On one hand, fans hope his departure is still a long way off, but on the other hand, Kate Bishop quickly became a fan favorite character for her quick snarky wit and competence in combat.
14. HUNTRESS AND POWER GIRL
Though the characters have had various origin stories throughout the years, in the New 52, Huntress and Power Girl start off as Earth-2’s Supergirl and Robin. Power Girl is Kara Zor-El, the Earth-2 cousin of Superman, and Huntress is the Earth-2 daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Wayne (Catwoman). They became best friends in the New 52 series, “World’s Finest” written by Paul Levitz and originally illustrated by George Perez, after Huntress sees her mother die and Kara swoops in to help her fight the high-tech thugs who attacked their world.
When they were transported over to Earth-1, finding that this world already had a Supergirl and Robin, they took on the identities of Huntress and Power Girl. The DCEU still has a long way to go before they start going into alternate universe territory, but with no Supergirl or Huntress yet to have been established in the films, they could easily bring both characters in and slightly alter the origin stories to give us a female-led team-up film with two of the best female heroes in the DC universe.
13. BEAST AND WONDER MAN
For decades now, Beast and Wonder Man have had one of the best bromances in Marvel comics. Especially with Hugh Jackman leaving the role of Wolverine, Fox’s flagship X-Men character, after “Logan,” Fox is going to be looking for new ways to endear their franchise to fans. One way to do that would be to put the focus on characters who play well off of each other and have an intriguing relationship that audiences can relate to.
Beast and Wonder Man first became friends shortly after Beast joined the Avengers, when it was discovered that Wonder Man, long thought dead, was still alive in “Avengers” #152 by writers Gery Conway and Steve Englehart and penciler John Buscema. They even headlined their own comic series “Avengers Two: Beast and Wonderman” by writer Roger Stern and artist Mark Bagley, that could be easily adapted to the screen as long as they didn’t use the words “Avengers.”
12. HAWKMAN AND ATOM
Sometimes, the only reason two characters initially get paired up is because their individual ongoing titles start to drop in sales. It famously revived the nearly dead superhero careers of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and the same thing happened over at DC with two of their characters in 1968. “The Atom and Hawkman” from writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Murphy Anderson took over the numbering from “The Atom” and ran for another seven issues. In 2010, DC revived the title for a single issue written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ryan Sook as part of the “Blackest Night” crossover storyline.
In “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” the writers had opted to substitute this relationship for an Atom and Hawkgirl romance, but long-time DC fans have been hoping to see the characters’ relationship handled faithfully to the source material in some way. The DCEU hasn’t even hinted at Hawkman or The Atom joining the cinematic universe, so it could still be a long way off, but why not introduce both characters at the same time in their own buddy flick?
11. IRON MAN AND THE HULK
Tony Stark and Bruce Banner have, by far, the most interesting friendship of any of the Avengers. They’re both genius men of science, which draws them together, but their personalities are so different that if they weren’t both scientists, they probably wouldn’t get along at all. Bruce Banner is quiet, timid and reserved (for good reason), while Tony Stark is brash, arrogant and outgoing. Even their combat styles mesh well together, with Hulk being the big bruiser and Iron Man making more precise tactical strikes.
The characters did appear as a duo in 2013’s animated movie, “Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United,” but neither character was portrayed very well, the dialogue was bland and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner don’t even appear to be friends in this version. Their MCU counterparts, on the other hand, have an entire internet subculture devoted to celebrating the friendship of the two characters, referring to them as “Science Bros” after their collaboration on Ultron and Tony’s therapy session in the post-credits scene of “Iron Man 3.”
10. GREEN ARROW AND GREEN LANTERN
“Green Arrow/Green Lantern” by writer Dennis O’Neal and illustrator Neal Adams was one of the most popular team-up books of the early ’70s. It was a hilarious pairing of Oliver Queen, who was one of the DC universe’s funniest characters, and Hal Jordan, who was more straight-laced and serious at the time, and readers couldn’t get enough. Green Arrow joined Green Lantern’s solo book in issue vol. 2 #76, and continued as part of the book until issue #123 when it reverted back to just “Green Lantern.”
Neither of the “Hard Travelling Heroes” has appeared yet in the DC cinematic universe, and the CW’s take on Oliver Queen is much more stark and serious version, so the bromance from the comics isn’t likely to show up on-screen anytime soon, but as the DCEU continues to grow, WB is going to need to have fun friendships from the comics like this to explore to give audiences something new and fun to enjoy.
9. HAWK AND DOVE
Hawk and Dove have gone through several incarnations since they debuted in 1968 in “Showcase” #75, but the most well-known versions are the original Hawk and Dove, brothers Hank and Don Hall, and the current teaming of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, who joined the team in “Hawk and Dove” vol. 2 #1 by writers Karl and Barbara Kesel and penciler Rob Liefeld, after Don was killed in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez.
Hawk and Dove have to physically be in danger and speak the words “Hawk” and “Dove” respectively in order to transform into their superhuman personas and gain their powers of strength, speed and durability. Hawk and Dove following the modern version would make an interesting buddy film because the main characters never form a romantic relationship despite having a male and female lead. This isn’t a dynamic often explored in film or television.
8. IRON MAN AND DOCTOR STRANGE
Iron Man and Doctor Strange are very different characters. Tony Stark is a man of science and technology, while Stephen Strange is a practitioner of magic and the mystical arts. However, they also have a lot in common, especially in the MCU. They both have genius-level intellect, they both have a tendency toward arrogance, they’ve both gone through traumatic changes in their lives that changed them as human beings and they both have the most stylish facial hair of anyone in the Marvel universe.
Putting them together for a buddy film would almost certainly be a slam dunk for Marvel Studios for several reasons. Both are portrayed by actors who are highly respected as great performers, both characters have been tremendously well-received by the fans and the blending of science and technology to take down a foe would be incredible to see. Also, if they ever high-five over being awesome facial hair bros, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be able to top it.
7. HARLEY QUINN AND POISON IVY
Though 2016’s “Suicide Squad” got mixed reactions from critics and audiences, most people can agree that Margot Robbie’s take on Harley Quinn was one of the highlights of the film, and people are excited to see more of DC’s femme fatales show up on-screen. A “solo” movie for Harley Quinn has already been announced, but some rumors are suggesting that the film will be an adaptation of the “Gotham City Sirens” series created by writer Paul Dini and artist Guillem March.
The book wasn’t so much a Harley Quinn solo series as it was a team-up of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman wreaking havoc on Gotham City. It marked Harley Quinn’s step away from her abusive relationship with the Joker, which definitely remains abusive and unhealthy in “Suicide Squad,” but also elevates Quinn and Ivy’s relationship from friendship to something distinctly romantic. The DCEU needs its incarnation of Harley Quinn to get herself out of her unhealthy relationship with Leto’s Joker, if for no other reason than to not glamorize the mental and emotional abuse of the on-screen couple’s romance.
6. SUPERMAN AND WONDER WOMAN
Superman and Wonder Woman have a long history in the comics together as allies, adversaries and even romantic interests. They headlined a series together as part of the New 52, but they’ve been working together as part of the Justice League since 1960 as founding members. In the DCEU, they shared a brief amount of screentime in the final battle of “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but they didn’t have any interaction other than Superman’s “Is she with you?” comment to Batman.
Superman isn’t likely to have a big role in “Justice League,” but he is returning, so audiences might have to wait until 2019’s “Justice League Part 2” for any substantial interaction between the characters. Some fans don’t like the shipping of the characters together, but they’re two of the most powerful beings in the DC universe, so giving them a film together would promise for a truly epic adventure.
5. CAPTAIN MARVEL AND MS. MARVEL
Brie Larson will be bringing Captain Marvel to life next year in “Avengers: Infinity War,” with a solo outing scheduled for the year after. Recently in the comics though, a new character bearing the name of “Marvel” became an instant hit with fans and critics alike: Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan. Captain Marvel was Ms. Marvel’s own personal hero, and Carol actually gave Kamala her blessing to use the name.
The two characters haven’t spent that much time fighting side by side, or even interacting in the comics, but giving the two characters a team-up film, with Kamala as Carol’s protege, would be a good way to introduce Ms. Marvel to the universe, get her fighting crime right away and explain the name without resorting to a short, wasted cameo toward the end of the film where Carol swoops in, says it’s cool if she uses the name and leaves. Since the MCU’s version of Carol Danvers will be called “Captain Marvel” from the beginning, it would be far less confusing for fans to just make “Ms. Marvel” the protege’s name.
4. THE FLASH AND GREEN LANTERN
Neither the Flash nor Green Lantern has been formally introduced to the DCEU yet, so there’s no telling how the characters will be interpreted for the big screen just yet, but with the Flash debuting in “Justice League” this year and “Green Lantern Corps” set for 2020, it’s a good bet that at some point, we’ll get to see both characters on screen together. It’s not clear how their personalities will mesh in the film universe, but in the comics, they have one of the most interesting friendships within the Justice League.
Both Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are kind of the wisecrackers of the group with Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman all being more grim and serious characters, which of course means that Hal and Barry are constantly trolling each other. Early previews of “Justice League” suggest that Barry Allen will be the most lighthearted character of the group so far, but at this point, there’s no telling where they’ll go with Green Lantern. Still, they’d be missing out on a golden opportunity to not give these characters the kind of friendship they have in the comics.
3. ROCKET AND GROOT
Rocket Racoon and Groot are very rarely seen without each other in the comics, and in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” they quickly became fan favorites. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies will always be ensemble films, but with each character being so beloved by the fans, it would be a huge disservice by Marvel Studios not to give any of the Guardians solo (or duo) features. The Guardians are kind of like the cosmic version of the Avengers, so while fans love seeing the whole team together, they might start to wonder what hijinks Rocket and Groot get up to when Peter Quill’s not around.
While the Guardians are all morally questionable outlaws to an extent, it’s hard to picture the team agreeing to rob a place just for the fortune and glory, but if a film were to just follow Rocket and Groot, there’s almost nothing that would be off the table, especially with Rocket calling the shots.
2. BOOSTER GOLD AND BLUE BEETLE
Booster Gold and Blue Beetle each have a separate history from each other in the comics, but like many characters, they didn’t really hit their stride until the writers decided to team them up. Booster Gold was a disgraced football star from the future who steals a super suit and goes back in time to become a hero. He revels in his celebrity status, and he’s well-known for his arrogant demeanor. Blue Beetle has gone through several incarnations, but the version that was Booster’s best friend was Ted Kord, a genius-level inventor seeking his fortune.
The characters became a fan-favorite duo because Booster was in the superhero business for fame, and Blue Beetle was in it for fortune, so they had a lot of adventures that were somewhat morally ambiguous because both characters were ultimately driven by selfish reasons. While other members of the Justice League saw them as kind of outcasts for this, fans loved having a break from the selfless altruism that drives characters like Superman. Firefly stars Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk have expressed an interest in taking the characters to the big screen, which might just be the best casting of all time.
1. BLACK WIDOW AND HAWKEYE
Black Widow and Hawkeye have been the non-powered duo of the Avengers since they first started out. We got references to their black ops history together in 2012’s “The Avengers” and then in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” we learn that they’re friends outside of work as Natalie is the only Avenger who knows about Clint’s family. Their close friendship has been established as a key relationship in the MCU, and more importantly, they’re the only two members of the original Avengers who have yet to get their own solo films.
One reason that we have yet to see them in their own solo outing is because Marvel Studios is still hesitant to devote an entire film to characters without superpowers (or at least a super-powered suit of iron). It’s a fair concern as the characters wouldn’t be able to take on any world-ending evil by themselves, but Kevin Feige has promised that the future of the MCU after “Avengers: Infinity War” and its sequel would focus on smaller, more character-driven films, which might be the perfect time to focus on two non-powered heroes, and teaming them up would be a great way to overcome the lack of superpowers.
What superhero team-ups are you hoping to see in a buddy film? Let us know in the comments!