From the beginning, the X-Men have been as much a soap opera as a comic book property. The conflict of these mutants fighting for a world that hated and feared them led to a lot of drama -- and it also sparked quite a few romances. A disturbing one was the idea Professor X loved Jean Grey, which even in 1963 was a bit off for readers. Thankfully, that was dropped with Jean bantering with Angel before moving on with Cyclops. Since then, romances have abounded in X-Men lore, both in the main titles and the numerous spin-offs. It makes sense to show mutants, like anyone else, can be prone to hooking up with friends, and we have to admit most of these romances are great for the books.
Sadly, several ... didn't turn out so well for the comics. Too often, the X-Men have been put through some rather volatile romances. Some are just too offbeat with characters who don’t belong together at all. Others are downright toxic and do huge damage. For every relationship that has sparked up an X-Men book there is another that has been horrible for fans to watch, and brings the book down. Some are downright infamous for how terrible they are while others are just poor. From lower-tier characters to the big names, every X-Man character has had both good and bad romances. Here are 10 couples that hurt the X-Men comics and 10 that saved them to show how true love never runs smooth for the mutants.
20 SAVED: DAZZLER AND LONGSHOT
Alison Blaire first met up the X-Men when she was living her life as a pop star, however it wasn't until she was outed as a mutant that she joined the X-Men as Dazzler. She connected with Longshot, the athlete from another dimension with amazing luck powers. The two had a very fun connection that sparked up the X-books.
They later reunited to get married and even have a child: Shatterstar. Unfortunately, they had a bad split that caused Dazzler to believe Longshot and his world had been wiped out by Mojo. While they split, the dynamic between these two was just the pure fun a comic book romance should be.
19 HURT: BISHOP AND DEATHBIRD
The X-Men end up doing a lot of space missions. That includes interactions with the Shi’ar Empire. Several times, they’ve tangled with Deathbird, an alien who wants the throne for herself. One adventure had a few of the X-Men actually joining with Deathbird against a greater threat. While most of them returned home, Bishop stuck with Deathbird.
Bishop actually seemed to come around to her and they had a regular romance, which somehow endured for a bit despite their arguing and bickering -- which, yes, even persisted when they'd make out. There was even an alternate future where they had a daughter. Fortunately for readers, any chance of that happening was ended when Deathbird betrayed Bishop. They’ve been enemies ever since, which seems much more fitting for these two.
18 SAVED: WOLVERINE AND STORM
Sometimes, the right person's been right in front of you all along. Storm and Wolverine had joined the X-Men together and quickly became friends. The weather-controlling mutant was one of the few people who could put Wolverine in his place. When Storm became the team leader of the X-Men, Wolverine put a lot of faith in her, showing a real willingness to follow her lead.
Each had a variety of romantic partners, but finally, in 2014, Storm and Wolverine opened up about their feelings for the other to start a real romantic relationship. It ended with Wolverine’s apparent demise. However, Logan is back and might be able to spark up another romantic bond with the iconic X-Woman.
17 HURT: MADROX AND SIRYN
Writer Peter David mixed drama and comedy together for his X-Factor revival with Jamie Madrox turning the team into a detective agency. In one issue, Jamie wakes up after a night of partying to realize that he’d been with Teresa Cassidy, the sonic-screaming Siryn with a feisty Irish temper. Well, Teresa became pregnant, and along with that turn of events had the mutants commit to raising their own son.
But in a horrifying moment, when Jamie holds his newborn son, the infant is absorbed into his body. It turns out that the child was nothing more than another dupe created by accident. This was a traumatic event for both of them and it took a long time for Siryn to forgive Jamie for what he put her through.
16 SAVED: BOOM BOOM AND CANNONBALL
Sam Guthrie was a founding member of the New Mutants with his power to rocket himself up into the atmosphere. Tabitha Smith was a sardonic runaway who could create explosive balls of energy. At first, they clashed, with Tabitha’s L.A. style jarring with Sam’s humble Kentucky upbringing. But they soon found common ground with a growing romance.
It was a great way to get fans into the X-Force book as Tabitha’s sharp mouth led to fun dialogue, while Sam was a memorable leader. However, their romantic relationship fell apart when Sam was promoted to the X-Men. Despite drifting apart, the two remain good friends and still work together on the X-Men proving that, sometimes, you never get over your teenage fling.
15 HURT: FANTOMEX AND PSYLOCKE
Betsy Braddock has had a pretty rough life. For a telepath, her own mind can often be a mess, and she’s made a lot of questionable choices. One of the worst had to be Fantomex. A hyper-genius and French thief, Fantomex dressed like a refugee from The Matrix and gloated of his greatness. Somehow, Psylocke saw that as a reason to be attracted to the mutant.
It was a terrible romance and made worse by the fact Fantomex was a pathological liar He was a ridiculous choice for Betsy to move on with. That was before he turned on the team to save himself and then come back like nothing happened. Thankfully, Betsy finally kicked Fantomex to the curb to end this toxic relationship.
14 SAVED: CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MEGGAN
Meggan Puceanu’s origins are, to be charitable, complex. An empath from another dimension, Meggan has the power to alter her appearance to match what other people might want her to be. That includes flight and super-strength. She came to Earth and an attraction grew between her and Captain Britain, the man who saved her, and they soon formed the team Excalibur.
There were a few issues here and there; Brian could be rather boastful and Meggan felt a crush on Nightcrawler while also handling a world so different than her own. Having one or both of them lost in the time stream or another crazy adventure didn’t help. Yet the bond between them was the backbone of the entire series.
13 HURT: CYCLOPS AND MADELYNE PRYOR
For a brief time, this relationship worked. When Scott Summers met pilot Madelyne Pryor, he was struck by her uncanny resemblance to Jean Grey. Scott even briefly thought Madelyne was Jean reborn. However, finally accepting that she had no connection to Jean (or so he thought) Scott saw this as a way to finally put Jean’s memory behind him. However, when Jean was revealed to be alive, Scott went right back to her and helped form the super-team X-Factor.
Naturally, Madelyne did not take this very well. Madelyne was revealed to be a Minister Sinister-concocted clone of Jean all along, and quickly became a foe for X-Factor. She ended up paying for that to end what has to be the worst rebound relationship imaginable.
12 SAVED: ARCHANGEL AND PSYLOCKE
It’s an offbeat pairing, yet it works. Warren Worthington III had been one of the original X-Men as the high-flying Angel. He was later transformed by Apocalypse into the metal-winged Archangel. Betsy Braddock had been a telepath whose mind was transferred into the body of an Asian ninja. Given the bond of transformations to a darker side, these two broken souls found common ground.
They worked together for a time in X-Force with Archangel once more turned into a monstrous figure. Again, Psylocke was there to help to the point that only she could communicate with Warren. It was an amazing relationship, for the characters romantically, and as teammates. They perfectly understood what the other is going through. Despite being pulled into darkness, Archangel and Psylocke shone in their relationship.
11 HURT: ANGEL AND HUSK
If you ever want to see an X-Men fan grit their teeth in rage, just say two words: “Chuck Austen.” The writer's run on Uncanny X-Men is considered one of the worst of any writer in X-books history. In one instance, Husk, long a smart and capable character, was now written as a moody teen going on horrible “woe is me” rants that make look subtle.
One of her missteps was connecting with Angel who was being presented as a literal healer. The two talk it out at Husk’s home which leads to one of the most infamous Austen moments ever. They start to make out as Angel flies up in the air with Husk peeling off her skin. Like almost everything from Austen’s period, fans prefer to imagine this romance never existed.
10 SAVED: KITTY PRYDE AND COLOSSUS
From the moment she met the X-Men in Chris Claremont and John Byrne's landmark comics run, Kitty Pryde felt an attraction to Piotr Rasputin, the mutant better known as Colossus. The fact he was a tall and handsome man certainly didn’t hurt. However, the fact that they first flirted when Kitty was barely sixteen ... was weird.
However, the two reunited as part of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men years later when Kitty is the first to find Colossus alive again. Thus, a real romance was born They were to tie the knot years later, yet decided marriage just didn’t suit them. Yet, this unlikely romance of mutants was one of the better romances in X-Men lore.
9 HURT: MAGNETO AND ROGUE
For reasons that baffle fans, writers keep imagining Rogue and the X-Men’s oldest enemy as a romantic couple. When she was powerless in the Savage Land, Rogue was rescued by Magneto and it was heavily implied they had been together. The most famous case is the Age of Apocalypse epic where an alternate timeline Rogue and Magneto are not only married but have a son.
Writers push the idea that Rogue is drawn to Magneto’s dark side and tries to see the noble man within. Magneto, of course, is drawn to Rogue’s beauty and spirit. But given Magneto is responsible for numerous atrocities and still has a habit of falling into “wipe out humans” rants, it seems more than a bit disturbing for Rogue to want him.
8 SAVED: RICTOR AND SHATTERSTAR
In X-Force, Rictor was a mutant who could unleash powerful waves of earthquake-like force. Shatterstar was a warrior from another dimension notable for his long ponytail and twin swords. They were always shown as just teammates and friends. Later, Rictor joined X-Factor when the team became a detective agency. Shatterstar also hooked up with them for some wild adventures.
In a scene historic for 2009, X-Factor had the two locking lips. It was quite a moment and the series did a great job of handling both men's complex relationship. There were even bits like Rictor’s former girlfriend Wolfsbane wondering how he “changed” and he defended himself on always being this way. The relationship sadly didn’t last long but still sparked up the book and was quite groundbreaking.
7 HURT: SHE-HULK AND JUGGERNAUT
Here’s another gem from Chuck Austen’s Uncanny X-Men run -- Austen's attempt to redeem the Juggernaut. After a long criminal career, Cain Marko was trying to atone for his past as a criminal. However, he still had all those criminal charges to deal with. So the X-Men called in Jennifer Walters to help Cain with the courts. Jen made it clear she hated the guy personally and was just doing this as a favor to the team. Cain just shrugged that he didn’t like She-Hulk that much either.
Cut to the two in bed together. Yep, Jen Walters willingly slept with a known criminal who’s enjoyed beating up her cousin. It became worse when it turned out Juggernaut’s “reforming” was all a plot to sucker the X-Men into a trap.
6 SAVED: POLARIS AND HAVOK
For a long time, the X-Men were simply five mutants. They finally got some new blood in the form of Cyclops’ brother, Alex. A mission had the team rescuing Lorna Dane, a beautiful green-haired woman with magnetic powers. She and Alex were drawn together and soon embarked on a romantic relationship. They left the X-Men for a time but later returned and kept their romance up while fighting evil. They also worked together as part of X-Factor.
True, there have been roadblocks. Each has succumbed to mind control that put the other in danger. Havok once dumped Lorna at the altar to send her over the edge. Yet they still stick together in the X-Men and show how they have an almost magnetic attraction to one another that’s created an enduring off-and-on romance.
5 HURT: ALEX SUMMERS AND ANNIE
It’s as if Chuck Austen specialized in putting out stories designed to drive X-Men fans nuts. The worst of his romances would have be Alex Summers and Annie Ghazikhanian. The nurse had been hired to look over Havok when he was in a coma and soon fell in love with him. When Alex awoke, Annie continued on as his nurse and soon won him over. Austen made it sound as if the duo were soulmates and meant to be together.
Annie was presented as a near saint who could do no wrong. They were soon to be married which caused Polaris to go on a mad rampage. When Austen was fired from the book, Annie was quickly written out. She’s barely been mentioned since as fans much prefer to ignore this ugly romance.
4 SAVED: ROGUE AND GAMBIT
Their first encounter had the semi-reformed Cajun thief fighting Rogue when she was under the control of the Shadow King. Despite that offbeat “Meet Cute,” the two have gone on to have a pretty interesting relationship. There’s naturally been the issue of how Rogue can’t physically touch anyone without absorbing their memories and energy. Yet somehow, Gambit is one of the few she can contact without ill effects.
The two Southern-bred mutants gel so well together. Each has a dark side and yet want to fight to make the world a better place. They’ve had a lot of ups and downs with break-ups, betrayals and other issues. But recently, the duo finally tied the knot to prove a romance was always in the cards for them.
3 HURT: BEAST AND JEAN GREY
X-Men Forever was a series where classic writer Chris Claremont worked the characters in a new history. Here, Cyclops and Jean have cooled off their relationship although they still work together on the team. Jean soon moves on to Hank McCoy. For fans, it came out of left field as the duo had been presented as nothing more than good friends. While the Beast is a fun guy, he and Jean just didn’t seem to click as a couple.
As it happens, when the original X-Men were brought into the present, Jean and Cyclops likewise turned against their “destined” romance. Jean also found herself going out with Hank for a romantic relationship. It’s not terrible yet these two just seem far better off as friends than as romantic partners.
2 SAVED: CYCLOPS AND JEAN GREY
From day one, this was the romance that formed the backbone of the X-Men. The telepathic redhead and the straight-laced leading man clicked from the get-go. Their love grew over the years to the point they were planning to be married. Jean's transformation into Dark Phoenix and her apparent passing put an end to that. When Jean was restored to life, the two were unsure of continuing a relationship, but of course. the two were drawn together again.
Their wedding was a huge event with them wanting to embark on a “normal” life. However, Scott and Jean were drawn back to the X-Men. They had more ups and downs (and affairs), but still did their best to work it all out. However, Scott is currently deceased, which ... complicates things.
1 HURT: CYCLOPS AND EMMA FROST
Emma Frost had been a long-time enemy of the X-Men as the White Queen. When Jean Grey seemingly died, Cyclops actually kissed Emma, now reformed as a "hero," while at Jean's grave. That set the tone for a rather rough relationship. The duo were pushed as a romantic couple who understood each other. Yet fans had loved Scott and Jean together and didn’t take well to him moving on so fast.
Things got worse as Emma pushed Scott into some rather dark moves. That included taking on the power of the Phoenix to try and “save” mutants, which of course, ended up with the demise of Scott Summers. Now, Emma is back to being a pure villain.