In comics, whether it is a solo character or a team, it’s all about the relationships. It is only when characters have someone to care about that the stakes get higher. But relationships take many forms. Some of the most fun times can be when we truly see characters bond, be it over a battle with a supervillain, drama with a significant other or just going out for a drink. Sometimes it only comes in a rare one-shot issue and sometimes team dynamics play a huge role.
In terms of the classic “bromance,” two characters may have a lot in common. However, some of the best stories result when opposites come together and hijinks ensue. Superheroes often befriend regular citizens. These people ground them and help them remember their humanity. Oftentimes there are bonds between supervillains as well. Hugging it out or cracking each other up, these characters love being around each other. A few of the entries on this list are still relatively new and already have the makings of something special. Others have stood the test of time and the two characters are thought of in a sense that is nearly synonymous. So chill out, bro, and check out some of the best friends comics have to offer.
15 SINESTRO AND BLACK ADAM
Leaders approach their power in different ways. In the case of Korugar and Kahndaq, they both have men with a similar approach. If it is order based on fear that you want, then these guys will make great leaders for your nation! They both hold strongly that this is the best way to keep people safe.
These two first came together in Forever Evil, in which several supervillains came together to face off with the Crime Syndicate. These two realized just how much they had in common after joining forces to move the moon. This was done to weaken Ultraman. Neither Sinestro nor Black Adam are willing to accept anyone claiming the “world is theirs.” Later, in Sinestro’s solo series, the two came together once again to deal with the threat of the Paling. This duo could do some real damage to heroes, and it would be a blast to read about.
14 CAPTAIN COLD AND HEATWAVE
The Flash’s Rogues in general could be classified as one big bromance. They make fun of each other, but they watch each other’s backs, too. Captain Cold is the leader of this crew and his philosophy is the one that they tend to follow. Heatwave, on the other hand, is a bit more of a wildcard, as well as a pyromaniac. Where this duo truly shined most was on the first season of Legends of Tomorrow.
As a reuniting of the actors from the Prison Break series, the chemistry was already there. And while things don’t necessarily end well, the two have some incredibly fun exchanges and capers together. The intelligence and wit of Leonard Snart combined with the simplistic nature of Mick Rory is television gold.
13 DAMIAN WAYNE AND JONATHAN KENT
Since Rebirth began, something new has been brewing. What happens when the son of Batman, who was raised by Ra’s Al Ghul, comes into contact with the son of Superman who was raised in a rural town? The answer is some of the most fun reading you will find. These two bicker constantly.
Damian’s lack of superpowers and Jonathan’s learning his massive powers is a great contrast. Their difference in approach and their view of their parents lead to all kinds of interesting moments. Jonathan is much more afraid of letting his parents down. Damian is just as sure that he is the heir apparent to Batman. The Super Sons are just getting started and surely these two will have one heck of a shared history when it is all said and done.
12 MILES MORALES AND GANKE
Much of the charm of Spider-Man began in his being “nerdy.” We all feel out of place at times, and this sentiment is a huge inspiration to be able to overcome that feeling. Just as Peter Parker did, Miles takes that role. But it is his best friend Ganke, obsessed with Legos, who helps to bring that idea home.
Ganke was a source of motivation for Miles in his early days as Spider-Man. He is the first to know of Miles’ powers and encourages him to take the mantle after Peter’s death in Ultimate Spider-Man. A superhero has a lot of drama to deal with on a regular basis, so it helps to have someone who can process that drama for you and even be excited about it when it just stresses you out. These two have many great stories to be told together.
11 JAY GARRICK AND ALAN SCOTT
These two are part of the greatest generation. They fought alongside each other in World War II. They are the bearers of two of the most important mantles in all of DC Comics, the Golden Age Flash and Green Lantern. Jay Garrick and his wife were unfortunately unable to have children of their own. That did not stop them from being the grandparents of Bart Allen, and in many ways Jay is the grandfather to an entire new generation of heroes in the JSA.
Alan’s path diverged a bit and he has his own family, but there is no question that a bond between these two as founding members of such an influential DC team makes them an elder version of bromance. It will be fun to see them return in the coming year and be able to mentor the younger generation together again.
10 HAWKMAN AND THE ATOM
Not many friends can’t have a drink with their buddies because when they shrink, the alcohol will have too dramatic of an effect on them. But such is the case when Ray Palmer and Carter Hall go out to dinner. While their identities as superheroes seem to be in great contrast, their friendship is strong.
Hawkman’s warrior-like conservative focus does not hinder him being a man who, having lived many lives, understands relationships. Ray struggled in his relationship with Jean Loring and during their days on the JLA, Carter was a wise listening ear. These are two men who respect each other and both have great intellects. They’ve even shared a comic for periods of time. Here’s to seeing this one come back when Nth Metal and the Microverse lead to their returns.
9 REED RICHARDS AND BEN GRIMM
The Fantastic Four are a study in the dynamics of family and friends. Ben Grimm is the only member of the team that is not direct family. It is his friendship with Reed that began in their college days that is a foundation of the team. Reed was a genius and while Ben was intelligent too, his specialty was the athleticism and expertise in areas that Reed lacked like being a pilot. Ben is a down-to-Earth friend to Reed and, as the Thing, he is in many ways both the literal and figurative rock of the team.
The two have different but equally important goals as well. Reed is looking at solving complex scientific problems while Ben is looking to clean up Yancy St. This is the friendship that started the world’s greatest comic magazine.
8 MATT MURDOCK AND FOGGY NELSON
These two are thought of as inseparable. As two young lawyers looking for some level of social justice in the corrupt Hell’s Kitchen, they had to start at the bottom and work their way up together. Matt’s blindness mixed with his powers make him somebody that is both sympathetic and sometimes endlessly frustrating. Foggy is an underdog in many ways. He can’t get the ladies like Matt does. He just doesn’t get the attention in general that Matt’s presence commands. This doesn’t stop them from seeing the core values in each other that make them who they are.
Their friendship feels very authentic for people who are just getting started in the working world, and while a lot has happened over the years, their time together will always keep them in each other’s lives.
7 SUPERMAN AND JIMMY OLSEN
For some superheroes, it is their civilian identity that is the true mask. For others, who they really are lies in their everyday regular life. Clark Kent is the kid who was raised in a small town and came to the big city. He was wide-eyed and had to learn the ways of the people in Metropolis. Jimmy Olsen was a young photographer starting at the Daily Planet when Clark was starting as a reporter. The two clicked due to their youthful innocence. Both looked and hoped for the best in people. They could mutually benefit each other in their early careers due to Clark’s ability to give Jimmy the best Superman photos around without giving his identity away. Superman gave him the famous watch to signal Superman when he was needed. It was Superman’s endorsement of trust and Clark maintains the friendship with Jimmy to this day.
6 TIM DRAKE AND CONNER KENT
As far as friendships of the 2000s go, this one may have been the one that was developed best. Superboy had a problem, and that was that he knew half of his DNA was from a human donor. The other half was from Superman. This story in the early issues of the 2003 Teen Titans volume began the road to many things in that run, including Infinite Crisis.
Tim was the brilliant detective to Conner’s more carefree attitude. They helped support each other in a time where mentors were being challenging, and their bond became so strong that when Superboy died, Robin spent time trying to clone him. Not too many issues were more touching that Superman/Batman #26 which honored Jeph Loeb’s young son who died, while celebrating this friendship was well.
5 SPIDER-MAN AND HUMAN TORCH
Opposites often attract and everybody likes to have fun. These two adages apply to multiple relationships on this list, but when it comes to Johnny Storm and Peter Parker, it couldn’t ring more true. Johnny is a fun-loving guy, maybe to a fault at times. Peter is a joker who takes responsibility very seriously. Both have extraordinary abilities, live in New York City and are of a similar age.
This makes for some fantastic team-ups at times. Some are by accident, others involve double dates. Spider-Man even joined the Future Foundation for a period of time in Johnny’s place after he died and was gone for a period. When these two are together, the reader will laugh, Peter may be uncomfortable and all involved will be enjoying every second of it.
4 DICK GRAYSON AND WALLY WEST
Adolescents need time away from their mentors and with friends. It is often during that period of the characters’ lives that they take a step forward in terms of legacy. Dick Grayson and Wally West are DC Comic’s greatest example of this. Both of their mentors are detectives without children of their own when both served as their sidekicks. While their relationships with Batman and Flash respectively are very different, both deal with the pressure to escape from their mentors' shadows.
Their paths take different routes, largely in “The Judas Contract.” Wally leaves the team and is later forced to become the Flash when Barry dies. Meanwhile, Dick takes on a new identity as Nightwing to escape the Robin name. While the New 52 took this away temporarily, Wally’s return in Rebirth brought it back. These two are the heart and soul of the DC Universe.
3 BEAST AND WONDER MAN
Many friendships are forged over the fire of common insecurities. For these two classic Avengers, that is most certainly the case. At the core of both characters lies a great deal of doubt. For Beast, his blue fur makes him look more like a monster than a man, despite his scientific brilliance. For Wonder Man, he always wants to overcompensate in terms of his powers.
When the two were members of the Avengers together, this became a magnetic force for the two. Beast’s encouragement of Wonder Man leads him to an acting career during a stint away from the Avengers. Though Beast eventually spent time mocking Wonder Man’s roles, there continued to be an incredible friendship present that would pop up throughout various issues and is still a part of comic lore today.
2 POWER MAN AND IRON FIST
In some cases, great friendships start with a conflict; superheroes fighting each other and then teaming up is a popular trope, after all. For Luke Cage and Danny Rand, this is how it began. When Luke Cage was blackmailed into kidnapping Misty Knight, he obviously came into contact with her boyfriend, Danny Rand. Once the truth was learned between them, their time as friends began.
While fighting a common enemy helps, there is also tension as well. Danny’s family brings him into a great deal of wealth while Luke is much more familiar with the life of those without. This gives them something to learn from each other about socio-economic perspectives. This was an organically formed relationship in comics that was ahead of its time and is still at the forefront of Marvel’s television and comics universes.
1 BLUE BEETLE AND BOOSTER GOLD
The JLI period is something that DC fans either love or hate. Many love it for its great character work and use of humor. Whether it is Batman punching Guy Gardner, or the classic “bwahhaha” laughs, this friendship is the one that stands out most. Blue Beetle was a guy with some hard luck who needed some money.
Booster Gold was a guy from the future with plenty of schemes to make money. While it may stand to reason that Booster was more selfish, the two developed into an iconic example of superheroes who can be self-deprecating. Rebirth has given us a chance to revisit this friendship since Ted Kord is now alive and well, mentoring a new Blue Beetle. The return of Booster Gold to the DC Universe could be a big deal, but so would seeing these two together again.
Who are the greatest bromances in comics in you opinion? Let us know in the comments.