There’s a lot of carnal energy flying around in superhero comics. Supermodels dressed in body-hugging spandex performing incredible feats of athleticism, fighting with or in close proximity to other supermodels dressed in body-hugging spandex can lead to a lot of steamy situations. Some heroes (and villains) take it to a whole new level, however, oftentimes solving conflicts with their feminine/masculine wiles rather than their fists. Some are serial monogamists, others just really like doing the horizontal tango. Of course, for a lot of them, their promiscuity can lead to a whole lot of pain and suffering.
Since this is a list for men and women, you might notice a discrepancy in the numbers. Male superheroes are more likely to have a long-running solo series, so in turn they’re more likely to have more love interests. On top of that, there seems to be a bit of a prudish aversion to showing promiscuous women, so even female superheroes who are known to be promiscuous in fact have surprisingly few on-panel romantic relationships. Meanwhile, male superheroes, even those who aren’t known as being particularly promiscuous, might have dozens of romantic relationships. Some minor spoilers are ahead, as well as some unpleasant or disturbing content.
20. EMMA FROST
Okay, let’s start with the ladies; specifically an easy one… wait, we didn’t mean that. Anyway. Emma Frost, former White Queen of the Hellfire Club, current slightly-crazed leader of mutant-kind, uses her sexuality full force to manipulate those around her, hence her often-scandalous costumes. But surprisingly, she has relatively few on-panel romantic relationships, especially for a character known for her scandalous look.
There is the obvious Cyclops, of course, along with flings she had with Namor and Iron Man, Sebastian Shaw and Doug, the man she first bedded. That’s right, despite what you might think, one of the most famously sensual superheroes in the Marvel universe has only had five confirmed on-panel physical relationships. You might notice this as a bit of a theme with other entries, as well as unexpected inversion later on.
19. POISON IVY
Since Emma didn’t work out quite like we hoped, let’s do another easy one (again, not what we mean): Poison Ivy. An ecoterrorist often finding herself at odds with Batman, her poison kiss is her most famous tactic. However, as with Emma Frost, despite being known as a character very familiar with using her sensuality as a weapon, she actually has very few on-panel romantic relationships.
While it is well-established that she is in love/lust with Batman, her only “official” relationship is with Harley Quinn. This is perhaps indicative of most of the other superheroes and villains on this list; that is, they are largely supporting characters for male heroes, and thus their romantic lives end up being solely related to the male hero whose book they appear in.
18. BLACK CAT
Black Cat is yet another morally-flexible super-lady who is in full control of her sexuality and unafraid to use it to get what she wants or needs to. And, as is hopefully unsurprising at this point, she doesn’t have that many on-panel relationships, as yet another female character who primarily fills a supporting romance role for a male hero in his solo series.
As previously mentioned, she has had relations with Spider-man, Daredevil (specifically written to cause conflict between Spidey and Daredevil), and Wolverine, along with minor Spider-Man foe Puma. Interestingly, she begins to date Flash Thompson as revenge for Spidey going exclusive with Mary Jane, but develops true feelings for him and even proposed, but was rejected. Five seems to be the magic number with these “hot and thought to be promiscuous but not actually” superheroines.
17. HARLEY QUINN
Let’s flip the script a bit, and go to a character literally created to be a male character’s girlfriend: Harley Quinn! Originally created for Batman: The Animated Series as the Joker’s girlfriend, she’s since made the jump to comics and become wildly popular, even making her live action debut in Suicide Squad recently. Her costume was also updated somewhat recently from her standard tights and harlequin cap to a more skin-baring costume.
As mentioned earlier, she also became involved with Poison Ivy, and if recent developments in the DC Universe are any indication, she’s been in a relationship with three Jokers this entire time. None of that quite measures up to a questionably canonical story where she visits San Diego Comic-Con, and decides to check if every Joker cosplayer there (hundreds, if you’ve never been) is the real Joker. She does this by locking them all in a room and telling the reader to “use your imagination” before emerging on the next page with some serious bedhead. Draw your own conclusions, as instructed.
16. MARY JANE WATSON
We know what you’re thinking: “Wait… Mary Jane? What’s she doing on this list? Surely Spider-Man’s girlfriend/wife/one true love can’t be that promiscuous? Come on, they were together for nearly 30 years! Surely she doesn’t belong on the same list as Poison Ivy and Emma Frost! Oh right, they’ve had next to no on-panel romantic relationships. Alright, lay it on me.” Okay, we will!
Besides the obvious, Mary Jane also dated Peter’s long-time friend and occasional nemesis Harry Osborn, as well as movie star Bobby Carr and firefighter Pedro Olivera. A brief romance with Johnny Storm brings her up to five, which you may remember is the apparent magic number for promiscuous superheroines. So there you have it, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man’s long-time girlfriend, is exactly as promiscuous as characters like Emma Frost and Black Cat.
15. AMERICA CHAVEZ
Ms. America Chavez, a relatively young character both in-universe and out compared to others on the list, hasn’t had as much chance to find love as pretty much every other character on this list. However, in the course of her brief time in the Marvel Universe, she has somehow managed to be involved with more people than Poison Ivy.
In Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers, it is revealed she shared a few kisses with a young lad named Ultimate Nullifier (although it seems that this was more of a childhood flirtation given her later-revealed sexuality), and she flirts with Hawkeye Kate Bishop before sealing the deal on Battleworld in Siege. She eventually gets a long-term girlfriend, but dumps her (for reasons that are still unclear) and immediately takes up with a new woman who promptly betrays her. America sticks with this one, though. Basically America is a hormonal teenager who doesn’t really know what she wants out of a relationship, and we all hope she makes better decisions in the future.
X-23, real name Laura Kinney, current Wolverine, is actually Logan’s clone-daughter. You might think we’re going to make a “like-father-like-daughter” joke and run down her long list of romances. However, for serious romances, she’s really only been with time-displaced Angel. She also almost started something with time-displaced Cyclops, but he ran away to space, disappointing Scott/Logan shippers everywhere. What actually lands Laura on this list is her pre-superhero career.
Initially created for the X-Men Evolution cartoon, she made the jump to comics in NYX #3 by Joe Quesada… as a prostitute? Yup, she served clients with a penchant for sadomasochism. Fortunately, she’s rescued by another mutant, and she eventually kills her pimp. So, good job, Joey Q, making a strong female character into a prostitute. Real progressive.
Alright, that last entry was a bit grim. Actually, most of these entries are a pretty big tonal shift from the forthcoming guys. Let’s try and get back there with Raven Darkholme, better known as Mystique. Famous for Rebecca Romijn’s body paint-and-makeup portrayal in the first three X-Men movies, and being portrayed by an actual plank of wood in the later three, she’s also extremely (and unabashedly) promiscuous in the comics.
She had a long romance with Irene Adler, better known as Destiny, who she adopted and raised the mutant Rogue with. She mothered children with Sabretooth and Azazel, and carried on an affair with Wolverine. Leading up to her relationship with Azazel, she used her powers to have sex with dozens of men in an attempt to have a child. She also carried on a romance with the X-Man Forge.
Tigra, real name Greer Grant, is one of those Avengers who is known for being “that one Avenger with fur and a bikini.” Despite never really holding down a solo series, she’s managed to wrack up a lover count rivaling some of the male heroes on this list. Originally married to an NYPD officer who was tragically killed, she gained cat powers and gradually grew more and more cat-like, and apparently to the Avengers writers, that meant getting more and more promiscuous.
Getting into relationships with Wonder Man, Hank Pym, a Skrull impersonating Hank Pym, Real Hank Pym again, Moon Knight, Luke Cage, Iron Man, and at one point making explicit advances on Jarvis, the Avengers butler, Tigra has really gone down the list of Avengers-that-are-only-known-for-being-on-the-Avengers, and for someone who may be looking for love in all the wrong places.
Here she is. The Wolverine of girls (not the actual Wolverine of girls, we already covered her, but you know what we mean). Normally timid Jennifer Walters becomes the carnally confident glamazonian hero She-Hulk with the help of some Hulk blood. The only superhero on this list to maintain a long-running solo series, she has an appropriately long list of lovers to match.
Besides the aforementioned Hercules, Hawkeye and Iron Man, as well as a rejected advance on Wolverine, she’s also had relations with Benjamin J. Grimm, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing; astronaut/son of J. Jonah Jameson John Jameson; Eros of Titan, brother to Thanos; Luke Cage; and of course, longtime friend and ally/occasional lover, Wyatt Wingfoot. She also count S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clay Quatermain, and her first boyfriend (and later savior) Dan “Zapper” Ridge, along with countless supermodels and ordinary lovers.
One of Marvel’s first superheroes/villains, Namor has been around the block more than a few times. With costumes ranging from “naked” to “V-neck down to his bellybutton,” he certainly puts it all out there and lets everyone know what he’s about. His most famous flirtation is with Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, but he has carried on a number of on-panel relationships with others.
Ranging from created-for-him love interests like Sandy Pierce, to his two wives, Marrina and Dorma (also his cousin), to more famous characters like Emma Frost and Satana, Namor has found love both in the sea and out of it. Also notable is his sexual relationship with a fish monster during Kieron Gillen’s Uncanny X-men, saying, “Namor is nothing if not cosmopolitan in his tastes,” truly fitting the catchphrase of IMPERIUS SEX.
9. IRON MAN
There’s no two ways about it, Iron Man is a pretty promiscuous guy (not the biggest, though). There is, of course, his long-time and MCU-canon love interest Pepper Potts, who married Happy Hogan in the comics to allow to Tony to continue his billionaire playboy ways, as well as literally dozens of non-super love interests.
Of his super-loves, there’s Emma Frost, who he tried to exploit their relationship into getting the mutants on his side in Civil War (the first one); Madame Masque, who ended up as one of his arch-villains; Gamora, who he couldn’t keep up with; She-Hulk (she’ll be coming up a lot); he’s also slept with the Wasp, Black Widow, Maria Hill and Madame Menace, since apparently Tony has a thing for villainesses with Madame in their names.
Batman is the world’s most famous hero, and like Namor, he’s been around for a really long time. So of course, he’s had more than his fair share of romances and flings. Bats has had a number of high-profile super-person relationships like Catwoman (who he recently proposed to), Talia Al-Ghul (the mother of his child) and Wonder Woman (usually just flirtation, popularized by the Justice League animated series).
He also got with Bekka of the New Gods (as a result of her powers as the Goddess of Love), and has had a number of relationships with Gotham socialites and Lois Lane knockoffs, like Silver St. Cloud, over whom he recently had a lover’s quarrel with Elmer Fudd. His list also includes folks like Jezebel Jet and Vicki Vale, most famous for making the hop to Tim Burton’s Batman.
7. ZEUS (DC)
Zeus seems like a gimme, given his well-chronicled exploits in Greek mythology, but DC Comics added even further to his tally of romantic relationships. The overarching story in Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman run, kicking off the character for the New 52, involved a conflict between his First Born and his many modern demigod children, including Wonder Woman herself, in a shocking twist.
While only Hippolyta and Zola are the only confirmed women Zeus fathered children with, we do see further evidence of his lechery in his five surviving modern children, who join with Wonder Woman to face the First Born. In yet another twist worthy of Greek myths, one of the children turns out to be Zeus himself, reborn, meaning that yes, Zeus did in fact father himself.
While Spider-man has two of the most famous comic book love interests ever in Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, he has also carried out a number of long and short-term sexual and flirtatious relationships, especially after selling his marriage to the devil. Pete has enjoyed superpowered relationships with Black Cat and Silk, as well as more normal relationships with Carlie Cooper, Betty Brant and Debra Whitman. Despite lamenting the ol’ Parker Luck, he’s had a number of serious and healthy relationships, along with several good relationships in alternate universes, including Kitty Pryde in the now-defunct Ultimate universe and the mutant Chat in Marvel Adventures.
Indeed, Spider-man and Mary Jane was one of the most consistently well-written and popular relationships in comics, even spawning its own spinoff series for young readers, aptly titled Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. One wonders why Marvel thought it would be a good idea to have a superhero sell their happy marriage to the devil, but that’s another story.
Former Robin Dick Grayson learned well from his mentor, and as Nightwing flaunts his vaunted “best butt in comics” to sleep his way across the DC Universe. His tangled relationships with Barbara Gordon and Starfire are his most well-known (infamously sleeping with Barbara before giving her the invitation to his wedding to Starfire the next morning).
He is also currently carrying on a relationship with Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress, jumping straight into bed with her after a row with his now ex-girlfriend Shawn Tsang, the Defacer. He also slept with several instructors during his time with Spyral, as well as old flame Raya Vestri from his circus days. He even had a brief fling with metahuman Cheyenne Flores, who would eventually, briefly, become a female Nightwing.
Unlike other entries on this list, Daredevil is basically built for suffering, and as such, most of his romances end in tragedy. In fact, most of his entire life seems to deal with tragedy. That’s just DD for you. First, of course, there is Elektra, who was stabbed by Bullseye. Then there’s Karen Page, who fell into heroin addiction, making “mature films” to fuel her addiction, and eventually sold Daredevil’s secret identity for the next hit.
Thankfully, Karen eventually beat all that and recovered (let’s hope the Netflix series goes in a different direction); and yet, Daredevil’s love interests remain infamous for essentially being vehicles to increase Matt’s heartache. Also notable are brief flings with Black Cat and Black Widow, as well as the now-largely forgotten Echo, and Typhoid Mary, hired by Kingpin to seduce Matt then break his heart.
Marvel’s archer-supreme, Hawkeye spent much of his recent critically acclaimed solo series (by Matt Fraction and David Aja) dealing with the trials and travails of his many crumbling romantic relationships caused by sleeping with Darlene Wright, wife of the tracksuit mafia boss. Prior to this, he carried on a romantic relationship with Black Widow while they were both villains, before reforming and joining the Avengers.
There, he met his future ex-wife Mockingbird, as well as several other love interests, including the Wasp, Echo and Spider-Woman. He also became involved with Moonstone during his time with the Thunderbolts team. While not necessarily a physical relationship, he carries on a long-standing flirtation with She-Hulk throughout their mutual time on the Avengers; although, given how he has upset his other lovers, he may want to stay well away from Shulkie. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.
2. HERCULES (MARVEL)
Like alternate-universe father, like alternate-universe son: Hercules has amassed a vast array of lovers. His on-panel relationships, mostly spring from his solo series The Incredible Hercules, which you should definitely read as soon as possible, and include the ever-popular She-Hulk, Namor’s creatively named cousin Namora, Inuit goddess Snowbird, queen of the Amazons Hippolyta (a commonality with his DC counterpart), his Greek goddess wife Hebe, queen of the Norse Dark Elves Alfyse, and an implied relationship with X-man Northstar.
Additionally, upon his death, there is shown a vast array of mortal lovers, heartbroken over his death, and a large number of children who he supports and cares for, implying, as is appropriate for an immortal demigod living on and off Earth, a huge number of sexual relationships. Compounded with implied bisexuality, this arguably makes Hercules the most promiscuous character on this list. However, since much of this is implied and not shown on-panel, it’s all a matter of guesswork, unlike the next entry.
This is it. The Big One. The character with the most on-panel romantic and sexual relationships. One might wonder how a stumpy ball of hair and anger could attract so many women willing to sleep with him, but here we are. That’s right, it’s Wolverine. A list unto himself, we’ll just hit on some notable ones.
Most recently, he kicked off a relationship with Storm as they attempted to run a successor to Professor X’s academy. He’s also been involved with Snowbird during his time in Alpha Flight, fellow X-Men Domino and Dazzler, Spider-Woman, Carol Danvers, Black Cat, Typhoid Mary, Mystique, uncountable “normal” women, and Squirrel Girl. None of them measure up to alternate-universe James Howlett and his deep and abiding love for alternate-universe Hercules, though.
Can you think of any other promiscuous superheroes? Let us know in the comments!
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