When people who aren’t familiar with comic books ask people who read them what they’re all about, most fans have a stock answer to give. “They’re like soap operas for boys,” or “They’re what the latest blockbuster movie is based on”. Both are true, especially the soap opera analogy, though it should be noted that in this day and time, boys and girls can be fans of comic books (or soap operas, for that matter). While the best comics follow the adventures of our favorite heroes, their stories almost always include a complicated love-life.
No comic book family is more soap opera-like in regards to matters of the heart than the X-Men, with it’s decades of deaths, resurrections, clones, love triangles, long-lost family members and, ever so rarely, happily ever afters. It started with the relationship between Cyclops and Jean Grey in the early years that become one of the most classic relationships in comic book history, and ever since there’s been an “It” X-Men couple. Some of our favorite X-couples have included Gambit and Rogue, Kitty and Colossus, and Storm and Forge. However, not all mutant couples are created equally. CBR takes a look at some of the more risque couplings that have shocked, frustrated, and outraged fans.
15. HUSK AND ANGEL
In an effort to merge (literally) older X-Men with younger mutant heroes, Chuck Austen revamped the team to include old mainstays like Cyclops, Angel and Wolverine with fresh faces like Husk and Jubilee. It’s unclear whether the ill-advised relationship between Angel and Husk was used as a shock factor, given their decades-apart age difference, or if Austen simply wanted to shake things up a little.
There’s a particular scene in which Husk and Angel hook up while flying above her family’s house and the rest of the team. We’d like to chalk this relationship up to temporary insanity, as the Husk we knew from Generation X would never do such a thing. Especially in front of her family. Especially in front of the X-Men. Ultimately, no one was a fan of this couple, nor the team, and it was rebooted shortly after.
14. CYCLOPS AND PSYLOCKE
Cyclops sure has a thing for telepaths, doesn’t he? First, there was his decades-long love story with Jean Grey, whom he would eventually marry. However, the two would be separated when the X-Men created two different strike teams, each being on the opposite of the other. This would later put a strain on the relationship and create complications for years to come.
Cyclops was on the Blue Team with Psylocke, who was going through some issues herself, let’s be honest. Though she hadn’t year figured it out, Psylocke was coming to terms with her psyche being spliced together with Kwannon, a member of The Hand she encountered after emerging from the Siege Perilous. Her conflicting personality would flirt with Cyclops to get his attention, even going as far as to kiss him. Once Psylocke’s and Kwannon’s minds were realigned, Psylocke never made another move on Cyclops.
13. ROGUE AND MAGNETO
The unusual pairing of the Southern belle who can’t be touched along with the Master of Magnetism came together while both mutants were in the Savage Land way back in Uncanny X-Men #274. While they shared a few brief romantic moments, the two were never really in a formal relationship. However, these interactions would be referenced for years and years to come with the two on opposite sides of the fight for humanity.
We did get a more in-depth glimpse of them as a couple in the “Age of Apocalypse” event, with both members of the X-Men and Rogue bearing Magneto’s child. This proves that there could have been something more for the two mutants in the original timeline, had they had the opportunity. To be honest though, the age difference alone was enough to turn readers off, let alone the conflicting beliefs between the two.
12. MULTIPLE MAN AND SIRYN
One of the X-Men’s most underappreciated on again/off again couples, Jamie Madrox and Siryn’s relationship began while they were part of the Muir Island X-Men, following the apparent deaths of the “real” X-Men. The no-nonsense daughter of Banshee and the sarcastic wise-ass were the definition of opposites attract, briefly separating once the X-Men returned and each went on to other teams (Siryn to X-Force and Madrox to X-Factor).
The two would rekindle their relationship once Siryn joined Madrox’s X-Factor Investigations team, eventually leading to her becoming pregnant with his son. Following the baby’s birth, Siryn named him Sean, a tribute to her deceased father. Unfortunately, as Madrox took the baby into his arms, his body involuntarily absorbed it as one of his duplicate selves, much to the horror of Siryn and readers. It is yet to be seen if she will ever forgive him for this tragic accident.
11. PSYLOCKE AND FANTOMEX
When Psylocke joined Fantomex, Archangel, Deadpool and Wolverine as part of a new iteration of X-Force, she probably never imagined she would fall in love with two versions of the same person. Following a fight with the Brotherhood, Fantomex died, only to be resurrected with three different bodies for each of his brains. Reeling from her most recent breakup with Archangel, Psylocke gave into her carnal feelings for Fantomex.
While the couple spent time in Paris causing all sorts of mayhem, Psylocke and Fantomex would eventually grow apart, while she and Cluster (Fantomex’s female self) grew closer and more devoted to one another leading to their relationship. Feeling jealous over this new coupling, Fantomex sets Psylocke up, only to have Cluster side with him and cause Psylocke to walk out on both of them.
10. STORM AND FORGE
Storm has had a rather dysfunctional relationship with many of the men in her life. Her relationship with fellow X-Men member Forge began in the early ’80s but was quickly cut short following the revelation that he had created the machine that inadvertently took her powers away. Storm would look past her feelings and help Forge fight the Dire Wraiths and eventually rekindled their relationship.
Following the creation of two separate X-Men teams in the ’90s, Storm and Forge continuously struggled to be on the same page of their relationship. While Storm seemed to want to devote her life to being an X-Man, Forge yearned for a life far away from the chaos that came with being a superhero. He had planned a last ditch effort to get Storm to marry him, unfortunately their relationship had already deteriorated too much and Forge walked out on a heartbroken Storm.
9. KARMA AND KITTY PRYDE
A founding member of the New Mutants, Karma has since become a full-fledged member of the X-Men, even taking on leadership roles around the school. She is one of the few X-Men characters who identify as gay, though she has never been portrayed as having a relationship with anyone. On one of her sabbaticals away from the team, Karma became a librarian at the University of Chicago where she met and fell in love with Kitty Pryde.
The two have been close friends, but Karma believes that Kitty would never be able to reciprocate her feelings and so has not pursued a relationship with her. Since she came out and confessed her feelings for Kitty in 2003, Karma was one of the first lesbian characters in a mainstream comic and we’re still waiting on her to get a love interest.
8. DAZZLER AND NIGHTCRAWLER
In Ultimate X-Men, Dazzler is introduced as a punk rocker who joins the team after they rescue her from a Sentinel attack. She initially expresses an attraction to fellow team member Angel, but it mortally wounded in battle shortly after their first date. Her injuries leave her in a coma for weeks while she is visited multiple times by Nightcrawler, who has an unrequited crush on her.
A variety of factors have caused Nightcrawler’s mind to become unhinged and as soon as Dazzler is able to be moved, he tricks her into thinking they are being held captive and that they need to escape. She initially trusts him and plays along until the rest of the X-Men show up to rescue her. The team recognizes that Nightcrawler is mentally ill and should be rehabilitated, but Dazzler rejects their plan and quits the team.
7. RICTOR AND SHATTERSTAR
Rictor and Shatterstar have a long, storied relationship in the X-Men Universe. Although seeds of a romantic relationship were planted early on in their friendship over the course of X-Force’s first run, nothing was explicitly stated, although many fans speculated that the two were destined to be a couple. Unfortunately, with the frequent creative change-up behind the scenes, fans would have to wait almost a decade to finally see these two together.
It wasn’t until X-Factor #45, when their relationship became official. After a sudden breakup, Rictor was feeling a little vulnerable. Shortly after, his long, lost friend Shatterstar reappears, and the two share a passionate kiss in front of their teammates, and the world. The scandal surrounding their friendship was finally put to bed once readers found out that there really was something more going on between these two mutant men.
6. HAVOK AND ANNIE GHAZIKHANIAN
This is an example of when something incredibly icky is spawn from something intended to be sweet and endearing. During his time in a coma (see the darkly ludicrous Mutant X series), Havok met and fell in love with a nurse who was tending to him while he slept. Basically, this had all the makings of a bad Lifetime movie.
Essentially, Havok and Annie dated telepathically while he was a coma and when he woke up, he didn’t remember anything but she did. He leaves his longtime love Polaris at the alter due to being confused about his real feelings for both of these women. Ultimately, he ended up madly in love with Annie and they made a go at a real relationship, but following an attack on the school by the Brotherhood, Annie left the X-Men and Havok behind never to be heard from again.
5. COLOSSUS AND MEGGAN
While Captain Britain is strongly regarded as Meggan’s true love, the elemental mutant had her fair share of admirers. First, there was a brief crush on her fellow Excalibur teammate, Nightcrawler (which was reciprocated), much to Captain Britain’s chagrin. Following Captain Britain being lost to the time stream for a period of time, Meggan’s world collapsed and she stayed in an almost comatose state for weeks. It took the combined efforts of her teammates to snap her out of it and bring her back to ultimately lead the team.
While Captain Britain was gone, Meggan started developing feelings for new teammate Colossus. After working through issues of guilt, Meggan and Colossus would eventually fall for each other, but wouldn’t stay happy for long as ‘ol Cap made his way back to the present and Excalibur. This effectively ended Meggan and Colossus’ relationship and she went on to marry Captain Britain.
4. SUNSPOT AND MELTDOWN
For part of the first run of The New Mutants and most of the first X-Force, Cannonball and Boom-Boom/Boomer/Meltdown had a “will they, won’t they” relationship. Meltdown had a hard time trusting people in general and Cannonball has always been shy around women he likes, so fans were ecstatic when these two finally got together. However, we all know that couples can’t stay happy for too long, especially in comic books.
Eventually, Cannonball would “graduate” and become a full-fledged member of the X-Men, leaving X-Force and Meltdown behind. Heartbroken, she took solace in the arms of Cannonball’s best friend, Sunspot, a classic soap opera move. Cannonball would temporarily reappear in the pages of X-Force, just long enough to find out the truth. While they still keep in touch, things have never been the same between the three friends.
3. HUSK AND TOAD
Our girl Paige can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to men. First, she falls for her Generation X teammate Chamber, but is unable to have much a physical relationship with him, given his mutation. Then, she has a grossly inappropriate relationship with the much older Angel. Last, but not least, she somehow wound up with Toad.
Following the events of “Regenesis”, Husk begins to experience problems with her powers, as her skin starts uncontrollably flaking off to the point of her shedding literal husks of herself, which Toad would collect as tokens of affection. Husk engages in a relationship with him, thanks in part to her mind deteriorating right along with her powers. Ironically, he would also be the one to reset Paige back to her original self by ripping layer after layer of her skin off until she was herself again.
2. HAVOK AND WOLFSBANE
During the “X-Tinction Agenda” storyline, Wolfsbane was mentally bonded to Havok against her will by the scientists who engineered mutant slaves on the island of Genosha. She is manipulated by the Shadow King to join Havok’s government-sponsored X-Factor team while the bond causes her act irrationally, causing her to sometimes threaten her teammates, especially Havok’s lover, Polaris.
She remains in her half-wolf form in the meantime for fear of reverting back to her human slave self and searches for ways to undo the bonding, with varying results and putting her relationship with the rest of the team through the wringer. Her mental instability also causes vivid, hallucinatory dreams that involve pop culture figures. Thankfully, the Genoshan damage is undone by Haven, and Wolfsbane is free to be herself again.
1. CYCLOPS AND EMMA FROST
Following a nasty psychic run-in with Apocalypse, Cyclops turns to Emma Frost as sort of his telepathic therapist. Once his mind was pieced back together, Emma took their relationship one step further by psychically disguising herself as Jean Grey in an effort to get Cyke’s attention. Jean interrupts one of their “sessions” and is furious, but Cyclops didn’t feel bad for too long, as he soon started a real relationship with Emma following Jean’s death.
One of the most polarizing couples in modern comics history, this unlikely union divided X-Men fans. On one hand, this was an unforgivable betrayal to the memory of the now-deceased Jean Grey, but some fans were happy to see Cyclops with someone who didn’t have the shelf life of milk. No matter which side you’re on, it’s clear that Emma’s effect on Cyclops has been apparent through recent displays of chaotic and reckless behaviors.
Which of these mutant hook ups is the most scandalous? Let us know in the comments!
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