Superheroes are special. They have powers and super strength, flight, or inhuman speed are a great box to tick on dating profiles. For most people, dating a superhero seems like a dream. Superman could fly you to a romantic date, or you could spend hours discussing the universe and all its wonders with Starfire. There are endless possibilities, but what comes into question is the down side to superhero romance. What happens when things go super wrong? There are so many iconic couples in comics. Superman and Lois Lane were meant for each other, Batman and Catwoman are finally going to get married, and the X-Men have more romantic team-ups than we can count.
What fans don’t remember, though, and what comic companies hope we will forget, is the times when those relationships were actually terrible. Unfortunately for our favorite superheroes, sometimes they were super-bad at relationships. Superheroes might be great at saving the world, but when it comes to their own relationships, they can be completely and utterly hopeless. Even with superpowers, heroes do incredible things to ruin their own relationships. Here are 15 superheroes who ruined their own relationships, proving even the perfect specimens can be awful partners.
15. BLACK PANTHER
Black Panther has quite a few choices for wives. He is constantly surrounded by the women of the Dora Milaje, the group of trained bodyguards who are traditionally betrothed to the Wakandan monarch and responsible for his protection. Undoubtedly, T’Challa could have married anyone he wanted to. What many fans don’t remember, though, is that T’Challa did marry the perfect woman for him — he was married to Ororo Munroe, more famously known as Storm.
Storm was leading the X-Men at the time, and her powerful personality complemented Black Panther’s leadership role. All that went out the window, though, when T’Challa decided to annul their marriage…after six years of romance. Storm was too dedicated to her team, and after Namor attacked Wakanda, all the X-Men were declared enemies of the state. Storm and Black Panther are still friends, but sometimes differences are too great for love to overcome.
14. BRUCE BANNER
One might assume that being married to The Hulk would be a real nightmare, but…well, actually, that’s pretty true. Being married to shy scientist Bruce Banner is fine, but his Hulk counterpart is not a good partner. He had a wonderful wife, once, though; a perfectly normal, beautiful wife named Betty Ross. She even stood by him when he was only the Hulk, up until her death after being poisoned by radiation as a plot to frame the Hulk for her death.
When she came back as the Red Hulk, though, Bruce ruined everything. Betty was happy to be a Hulk — it lowered her inhibitions and made her feel strong. She couldn’t come to terms with Banner, who hated half of himself and was constantly caught between two personalities. She may have changed, but his inability to accept himself, and by proxy, Betty’s new self, drove the couple apart.
13. GWEN STACY
Most fans are familiar with one Gwen Stacy storyline, and in that timeline it’s not her fault that her relationship with Spider-Man, and her life, are cut devastatingly short. In a different sequence of events, Gwen is the one who ruins her life with Peter. In the controversial “Sins Past” storyline, it’s revealed that Gwen was not the perfect girlfriend she appeared to be.
Seven months before her death, she had an affair with one of Peter’s biggest enemies, Norman Osborn. This affair resulted in a set of secret twins, who were born before she died. Their Goblin blood made them age at an accelerated rate, and Norman raised them to kill Spider-Man. It’s not often that a woman can posthumously ruin a relationship, but Gwen’s character was ruined, and the fond memories of her and Peter’s relationship were scarred with lies and deception.
12. HANK PYM
If you have only seen the Ant-Man movie, then you probably have no idea why he was such a terrible husband. Comic fans, though, have known for years that Hank Pym is one of the worst pieces of crap in the entire Marvel Universe. He was not only angry and usually jealous of his wife’s heroic successes, he also regularly verbally and physically abused her. His wife wasn’t just any normal woman, either.
She was Wasp, a founding member of the Avengers, and one of the bravest superheroes of her time. Jim Shooter, the writer of the events in question, eventually clarified that he meant the assault to be accidental; a product of Hank not thinking clearly, and being overwhelmed by other things. Those excuses, though, can never erase the reputation of Hank Pym as a wife beater who destroyed his marriage.
11. WONDER WOMAN
The relationship we get to see between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor in the new Wonder Woman movie isn’t the whole story. In the comics, their relationship went very differently. Though Diana and Steve spent many years together, there isn’t much of a place for their outdated relationship in modern comics, when Wonder Woman has come into her own as an independent hero.
Trevor and Wonder Woman were introduced in comics together, and he is an integral part of her origin story. For years, she lived undercover as Steve’s assistant, and saved lives on the side. Steve was constantly battling his own masculinity, and didn’t want to wait around for Diana to be a hero. Wonder Woman isn’t with Steve Trevor because she needed to be herself, by herself. The new, modern interpretation of Wonder Woman has no place for Steve’s fragile masculinity.
10. SCOTT SUMMERS
It’s no secret that Scott Summers is a huge jerk, but some things he does are decidedly worse than others. Scott Summers is probably the worst boyfriend possible, but he and Jean Gray have always been an X-Men power couple. He ruined all that, though, when his bad decision making broke her heart and ruined their relationship. What could he possibly have done to finally burn bridges with Phoenix? He cheated on her.
Not just cheated on her, but with his friend-turned creepy therapist, Emma Frost. Emma was jealous of Jean and her love with Cyclops, so she enticed Scott with romantic moves, like dressing up in Jean’s clothes and messing with his emotions. Scott Summers is a huge jerk — a huge, cheating, jerk who cost himself a mind-bindingly great girlfriend.
Everyone loves Star-Lord, right? He’s a charmer, a King, and a sun-loving space adventurer. Well, that’s not completely true. Star-Lord can be a huge jerk, which he demonstrates thoroughly in recent comic appearances. He entered into a seemingly cute relationship with Kitty Pryde, and fans loved the characters together, but not for long. Kitty was in space, helping the Guardians defend the Galaxy, while Star-Lord was called back to rule Spartax, and things quickly began to change.
Instead of embracing Kitty Pryde as a powerful hero in her own right, he was rude and demanding. Kitty decided to break their engagement and go back to the Guardians, assuming the role of Star-Lord in Peter’s absence. They tried to rekindle things a few times, but it didn’t work out. Peter had already ruined everything by forgetting who he was, and not respecting Kitty Pryde as an equal.
Daredevil could probably fill his own “ruined relationship” list with all his gifted girlfriends. The worst relationship he ruined though wasn’t a girlfriend at all — Milla Donovan was his wife. Milla was born blind and worked with impoverished people in Hell’s Kitchen, which meant her and Daredevil had a lot in common when they finally met.
Milla was already upset because Matt was hung up on his ex-girlfriend, Karen. That’s not the end of it, though. Daredevil put Milla in harm’s way, and his adversary, Mister Fear, takes advantage of her. He poses as her therapist, exposing her to mind-altering fear gas until she is completely insane. She accidentally murders Daredevil’s mistress. Matt knows he can’t save her, and she lives out the rest of her days in an institution. Some breakups are bad, but Daredevil is especially terrible.
Aquaman has been through some strange romantic periods. He hooked up with a girl named Dolphin, spent some time with Wonder Woman, and accidentally had a kid. In all this mess, though, there was a shining light: Mera. Aquaman and Mera are one of the strongest, most iconic relationships DC has ever orchestrated. There was a time, though, when Aquaman ruined everything.
He and Mera had a child, lovingly known as Aquababy. Aquaman ran off to fight his sidekick, and left the baby to be abducted and murdered by his enemies. Mera was devastated, and instead of supporting his wife, Aquaman ignored the issue and encouraged her to just move on, which pushed her away. In Rebirth, everything is fine again, but Aquaman needs to keep it together because Mera isn’t someone he should risk losing.
6. SCARLET WITCH
Comic fans knew bad news was coming when Vision and Scarlet Witch started making eyes at each other in Age of Ultron,. These two have a rocky past together, and their relationship is one of the strangest romances in comics history. They wanted to be normal, like the other Avengers, and they wanted to seem more human. What that culminated in, of course, is a desire to start a family.
Unfortunately for Viz and Wanda, robots and witches don’t make the best mates. With some paranormal interference, a lot of wishing and some of Scarlet Witch’s probability-altering powers, they managed to produce a pair of seemingly normal twin boys. The truth was, though, that the twins never existed — they were products of Wanda’s reality-altering imagination. The truth tore the couple apart, and ruined their perfect, false family for good.
Atom had a lovely wife, Jean Loring. Jean and Ray met before Ray became the Atom, and Jean was working as a lawyer. She fell in love with Ray, but could never come to terms with his superhero antics. She was constantly put in danger. They went through a lot together, though. The both had affairs, Ray was believed to be dead, and in the end they both moved on. They separated amicably and started new lives.
However, Jean could not leave well enough alone. She suffered a complete mental breakdown and went on a killing spree, targeting the wives of Atom’s fellow heroes. She was incarcerated in Arkham Asylum, where she became the villainess Eclipso. Atom and Jean almost had one of the few civilized relationship endings in comics, but Jean ruined not only their relationship and their friendship, but also their lives.
OK, so we all know Mystique is not exactly the pinnacle of ethical behavior. When she destroys her marriage, though, she makes relationship-ruining history with a double whammy breakup fiasco. Mystique, though it is not often discussed, was married to a regular man named Christian Wagner. She meets a new guy — well not a “guy”, but more of a demon.
Azazel is an ancient demonic mutant, and apparently also quite the charmer. Mystique cheats on her husband, is impregnated by Azazel and that pregnancy results in Nightcrawler. She might have been able to salvage some sort of relationship, but Azazel leaves her and she murders Christian when he begins to suspect her infidelity. Mystique ruined the two relationships she entertained, and screwed over her mutant child in the process. She didn’t learn her lesson, either, and went on to make even more terrible relationship mistakes.
3. PEPPER POTTS
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pepper and Iron Man have a romantic relationship, which was almost ruined thanks to Tony’s unwillingness to give up the Iron Man suit. This isn’t a new scenario for the Pepper Potts of Marvel Comics, and she ends up putting her infatuation for Tony on the back burner and marrying his bodyguard, Happy. Happy and Pepper (what a pair of names) are happy together, and consider adopting children.
However, Pepper can’t abide Happy always helping Tony, standing in as Iron Man, and getting himself into dangerous situations. They divorce because Happy couldn’t stay away from Tony. They try to reconcile, but Happy still hasn’t changed, and his heroics get him killed. So, was it really Tony who ruined their relationship? Sort of. Happy just couldn’t give up the glory of being close to Iron Man and she couldn’t shake that Iron suit.
Namor, the Sub-Mariner, met and fell in love with Marrina, an amphibious humanoid member of an alien race. She was found as an egg and raised by humans, and her relationship with Namor was mostly normal. She was a member of Alpha Flight when they met, and she soon became an associate member of the Avengers so she could work with Namor. They had children together and overall had a happy marriage — until something went terribly wrong.
Marrina turned into an evil leviathan monster, and Namor was forced to slay her. However, she was saved in a stasis state, until she was revived by Norman Osborn. Osborn spliced her DNA so she was after Atlantean blood, and Namor’s wounds were reopened as she hunted him. This was a tragic end to a great relationship, but falling in love with a sea monster is risky business.
1. PETER PARKER
Peter Parker has been through his fair share of relationships. We all know how his life Gwen Stacy met its tragic end, and he has romanced quite a few spider-girlfriends. No Spidey relationship is more iconic than his with Mary Jane Watson. MJ and Peter were meant to be together, or so we all thought. Sadly, Peter destroys his own marriage, slowly and painfully.
We can’t fault him too much for it, though, and neither can Mary Jane. He ruined their marriage by doing what he did best: being a hero. Peter struck a deal with the devil, literally. He traded his happiness for Aunt May’s life, and lost his connection to his wife in the process. MJ understood, of course, but that had to sting a little, and their relationship never recovered from the slow, internal destruction.
Are there any other superheroes who just can’t keep a relationship? Let us know in the comments!
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