By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, love is complicated. Despite having adamantium bones, power rings and absurd abs, superheroes can get super-lonely, too. Dating becomes a legitimate hassle when your nemesis is just lying in wait to strap your significant other to a gigantic piano. Likewise, given the constant threat of seasonal crossover specials, universe reboots, time-traveling versions of your younger self who come to the present to change your sexual orientation and literal embodiments of death chasing after you, there’s no time for love in the superhero world. Sometimes, you just gotta strike while the Iron Man armor is hot and sentient. Sometimes, you just gotta have a hookup! Superheroes and supervillains are no different. For every Lois Lane, there’s a Nasthalthia Luthor – or “Nasty,” if you’re nasty.
Now, “hooking up” is an intentionally abstract term, describing everything from making out to full-blown sassy times. So, let’s just all agree that at the very least, hooking up is more than just a simple smooch. Therefore, that one episode of Batman Beyond where Batman made out with Raysch al Ghul while Raysch was inside of his daughter’s body doesn’t qualify. Dream sequences also do not count, but we will accept some alternate Earths, depending on how and/or obscure they are.
15. THE ATOM AND GIGANTA
The Atom Ryan Choi’s illicit relationship with his boss Professor Zuel reaches its sizeable climax when Zuel reveals that she’s actually Giganta, hired by the God of Cancer to seduce Choi in 2016’s All-New Atom #3. If their names didn’t give it away, The Atom shrinks, while Giganta embiggens. That’s like, dating a charming mote of dust or a fleshy continent, depending on your perspective. The ensuing fight is pure vorarephilia, as Giganta effortlessly strips Ryan before devouring him.
It’s as if the gigantic woman fetishists and the shrinking fetishists got together and realized, “We’re not so different, you and I.” Furthermore, Giganta is Ryan’s aggressive boss/teacher, so there are like three kinks being thrown around simultaneously. Seriously, Choi discovers that Giganta has a tongue ring when she swallows him whole, which is the hottest part of Macrophilia… or so we’ve been told.
14. BATMAN AND BATGIRL
During the 2016 animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke, Batgirl narrowly escapes being drugged by lecherous lowlife Paris Franz. Claiming that he needs a sidekick who is more terrifying than titillating, Batman victim-blames Batgirl before benching her. A bat-karate fight ensues, culminating with Batgirl mounting her mentor. Things get weird, so Batgirl quits. Fans considered this an out-of-character moment for both heroes, yet this relationship had been alluded to since 1999’s Batman Beyond.
We get the juicy details during 2014’s Batman Beyond 2.0 #28, wherein Barbara tells Bruce that she is seven weeks pregnant, yet she had only been seeing Nightwing for three. After delivering a solid Dick Grayson double entendre, Batman tells Barbara he would let her handle it. Batman immediately informs Dick, specifically on the night Dick was going to propose with an engagement ring batarang. Holy crimefighter cuckoldry, Batman.
13. THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES AND NORTHSTAR
True to the legend, Marvel’s Hercules is a Pantheonic philanderer. Whether it’s with the Goddess of spiders or a lady-Hulk, Hercules enjoys giving the “gift of battle” in bed. In fact, a large portion of Hercules’ funeral in 2010’s Hercules: Fall of an Avenger is devoted to reminiscing on Hercule’s hotness.
Speaking for the Herc Harem, Namora asks for others to share their stories of laying with the Lion of Olympus: “Each of us stood with Hercules and lay with him. Now come, I know there are others in the crowd who should join us…don’t be shy.” Curiously, the scene “smash-cuts” to Northstar, the openly gay member of Alpha Flight. Northstar uses his super-speed to leave, punctuating his departure with “Is that the time? Gotta go!” Namor may not understand, but despite lacking an editorial issue annotation, Northstar totally hooked up with Hercules.
12. ANT MAN AND THE BEETLE
During 2015’s Last Days of Ant-Man, Scott Lang celebrates the end of the universe by slipping a mickey to a drug lord before going to an EDM party. Buying the supervillain Beetle a drink, Scott recalls Captain America’s cardinal rule: “One rule that can never be broken, no matter what — and no matter how many times Tony Stark may tell you otherwise — If you want to be an Avenger — You do not sleep with the supervillains.” The next morning, Beetle equates sleeping with a divorced dad to the first step towards necrophilia. Then the world ends.
The irony is that Captain America himself dated the villain Diamondback, a grown woman rocking a snake motif despite clearly having arms. Granted, Diamondback renounces The Serpent Society when she starts dating Captain America, which is the supervillain equivalent of quitting your job at Dairy Queen to get with Captain America.
11. HARLEY QUINN AND BATMAN
During Harley Quinn’s Valentine’s Day Special, Harley wins a date with Bruce Wayne, who was auctioning himself off for charity. As with every nice night in Gotham City, the event is interrupted by fish-themed supervillains who drug Bruce with blowfish toxin before abducting him.
Unfortunately, Bruce’s pufferfish hallucinations of being married to a Harley Quinn in Robin short-shorts doesn’t qualify as hooking up. By the end of their actual date, however, Harley plants a goodnight kiss on Bruce. While Harley reflects on her date later that night, Batman drops by to thank her for saving his “playboy billionaire friend.” Harley manages to steal a kiss from The Bat as well. Unimpressed, Harley tells Batman to get some kissing tips from Bruce Wayne. Batman flies away, smirking, most likely because he made out with his nemesis’ ex-girlfriend.
10. WOLVERINE AND SQUIRREL GIRL
In addition to being “Ant-Man, but with squirrels,” Squirrel Girl has the ability to best characters way out of her league, like Dr. Doom and Thanos. This OP ability extends beyond the battlefield apparently, as Doreen awkwardly runs into Logan, or “James…” as she sternly calls him in 2010’s New Avengers #7. Wolverine, the mutant who has been freakin’ since the 1900’s, freaks out: “What are you doing here? I thought we agreed never to see each other again.” Yeah, Squirrel-Girl totally won that break-up.
Once the animal-themed mutants realize they will be both working in the same Avengers Mansion, they agree to act professional before immediately flirting with each other. Incidentally, this is the last we’ll ever hear about this relationship, because in addition to Logan being just recently returned from the dead, modern Squirrel Girl has been aged down… probably because of this storyline.
9. DAKEN AND THE HUMAN TORCH
Outfitted with pheromone production powers and sociopathic levels of seduction, Daken’s sexuality is as much a weapon as his claws or tactical Mohawk. Whether he’s enraging opponents or cultivating awkward situations with curious comrades, Wolverine’s son Daken basically hits on anything that moves. Beyond a psychosexual relationship with Bullseye, however, we seldom see Daken make other significant hookups.
Daken’s friendship with Johnny Storm during Dark Wolverine is particularly intriguing, though, as there is a palpable sense of closeness between the two of them. Inquisitive fans asked Dark Wolverine‘s Marjorie Liu whether the two were hooking up, to which she replied: “They better have been, given all the hard work we put into creating sexual tension between their characters.” Though we may never witness any action firsthand, Liu’s word is all the evidence we need to confirm that Daken made Johnny “flame on.”
8. SUPERMAN AND SUPERGIRL
Superman is infatuated with the fourth-dimensional Mighty Maid in 1960’s Action Comics #260. Lois is super-jelly, probably because Superman invited Lois out to witness his proposal to Mighty Maid, punctuated with making out before eloping to the fourth dimension. This is all a ruse however, as Mighty Maid is actually Supergirl. See, Superman needed to convince some aliens that he had left Earth. Superman returns, telling Lois that he couldn’t marry MM because she was only 15. This is technically correct, as an eager Superman confirms: “That’s true! Supergirl is 15 years old!”
So, why did Superman’s plan require hooking up with his cousin? Well, after making out with Cosmic Boy’s wife in Action Comics #289, Superman reveals that he would totally marry Supergirl. The only problem (from Superman’s perspective) is that marrying your cousin is illegal on Krypton. Yeah. Superman is super-grody. Speaking of which…
7. SUPERMAN AND CATWOMAN
Demons (or whatever) have stripped away Batman and Superman’s memories in 2014’s Batman/Superman #14. While Bruce frolics on rooftops with the mayor’s wife, a shirtless Superman in the Kryptonian equivalent of a Chippendales’ uniform now “works” with Catwoman. Perched atop Superman’s shoulders, Selina elaborates to Lois: “He’s not your Superman anymore.” Superman gets upset, but Selina claims that he wanted it.
Granted, Catwoman was totally taking advantage of Big Blue, but do you understand how many people Superman has hooked up with as a result of quote unquote super amnesia? At least seven by our count. One time, Superman had enough foresight to bury his wallet and costume before the amnesia kicked in too, instead of calling a Super-friend or giving himself a Memento-style heat-vision tattoo. Either Superman is the worst, or Earth’s strongest hero is severely brain-damaged. Hey! That reminds us….
6. SUPERMAN AND THE FEMALE FURIES
Returning triumphant from battle, a brainwashed/amnesiac Superman follows his daddy Darkseid’s command to “enjoy the fruits of his labor,” by which we mean a furious four-way with the Female Furies. Trained by Granny Goodness in “The Snake Pit,” which actually houses zero snakes in retrospect, there’s a Fury for every fetish: Lashina is down for domination and/or mummy-stuff. Stompa has super thicc feet, while Mad Harriet is just straight-up crazy.
We’re totally not even reading into this love polygon. In addition to being Superman’s clear favorite “Lover,” Lashina was originally going to become pregnant with Superman’s baby, had Superman: The Animated Series been renewed for another season. Oh, right, we forgot to mention that all of this took place during “Legacy,” the series finale of Superman: The Animated Series, premiering on Kids WB! right before Pokémon.
5. THE PARASITE AND LEX LUTHOR
Though he can literally fix the Sun with his hands, Superman finds himself unable to mend his marriage to Lois Lane in “Superman: ‘Til Death Do Us Part” by Joe Kelly. Drifting apart from Clark, Lois decides to take up Lex Luthor’s longstanding offer to hook up. Clark confronts Lois, only for her to reveal that she’s actually the purple people-energy eater known as The Parasite! This was all a roundabout revenge scheme for The Parasite, entailing sharing a home with Superman before banging Superman’s nemesis. You sure showed him, Rudy.
The analogy that the person you married can become an alien is totally overshadowed by The Parasite banging Lex Luthor. Sure, Clark had no idea where the real Lois was, but tricking Lex into getting intimate with a shapeshifting dude monster in a one-piece swimsuit isn’t exactly a “win” for The Parasite.
4. ROGUE AND DEADPOOL
After Captain America fires them for breaking the law in order to cure a disease that was eradicating the mutant race – the sort of anti-genocidal act you’d think Cap would commend, but whatever – Rogue and Deadpool commiserate over their ex-Avenger statuses, exchanging lingering glances and pop culture references. As most of us can relate to, battling psychokinetic Nazis causes the romance to bloom, culminating in the former X-Villains making out in Uncanny Avengers #22.
Honestly, this is a hook-up that makes sense; a match made between two superhuman social outcasts. Rogue, the mutant that can’t touch anyone, kissing Deadpool, the mercenary non-mutant who nobody wants to touch. In fact, Deadpool’s healing factor cancels out Rogue’s power-draining touch, causing Wade to get hotter the more they mack. Likewise, borrowing Wade’s regeneration frees Wonder Man from Rogue’s mind, technically making this a three-way make-out.
What separates fan fiction from canon? The answer is 2010’s X-Women by Chris Claremont. While on vacation, Rachel Grey, Storm, Kitty and Rogue all temporarily lose their powers, and all resemblance of sensible clothing. Seriously, Rachel wears a version of her uniform with a skirt that covers nothing. Everybody wears a bamboo gag when they’re captured by a Cargo Cult, prompting Storm to become the Cult’s queen, outfitted in a minimalist version of the Slave Leia bikini.
Ultimately, Rogue is bummed out, so everybody just sorta hooks up: “We can’t just let her mope. Being X-Men, we find a solution. And in a whole lot of surprising ways… this turns out to be a whole lot more fun! But we’ll never tell. For now and forever, this particular caper will remain our little secret.”
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA AND IRON MAN
We make a pitstop on Earth-3490 during 2009’s Fantastic Four Dark Reign #2 to witness the wedding of Captain America and Natasha “Iron Woman” Stark. Sure, we’re on an alternate Earth, but apparently the only thing separating Captain America and Iron Man from matrimony is a single X-chromosome, or possibly Cap’s 1940’s mentality on homosexuality. Incidentally, Earth-3490 never had a Civil War because the two Avengers set aside their differences to bang one out.
The implications from this one panel has us re-reading every major Marvel event under a rainbow lens, or rather just confirming our suspicions. Nextwave’s Monica Rambeau elaborates: “The only [Avenger] who didn’t hit on me? Captain America. I don’t think he likes girls.” Elsa Bloodstone concurs: “That’d be cool, actually. It’d explain why there’s always someone dressed up as [Cap] at gay pride marches, too.”
1. IRON MAN AND TONY STARK
That’s not a typo. The Iron Man armor once gained sentience and became obsessed with getting Tony Stark inside of him to “become one with me again.” The suit equates being worn as physical intimacy, which makes sense considering that the suit cradles Tony’s “undercarriage.” The suit goes ballistic when Tony wears another set of harlot armor, stripping Tony while screaming “I turn my back for a second and look at you! You and that thing!”
Furthermore, the armor is only “born” after Tony gets into a fight with his bae Rumiko at a club named “Fluids,” followed up by a passionate fight in the rain with Whiplash, whose uniform is a literal gimp mask, leather harness and trademark whip. Whiplash throws out relationship-based innuendo while Tony tries beating him with “one good tug” in 2000’s Iron Man #26, or “A Boy and His Toys.” Seriously.
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