Reed Richards and Sue Storm. Superman and Lois Lane. Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson. These are but a few of the classic romances that have sweetened the pages of superhero comics. Sure, the focus of these stories is the outrageous villains and bombastic fistfights, but would any of these battles be half as satisfying if the hero went home to an empty apartment at the end of the day? Of course not! A little romance makes their victories all the more meaningful. And when it comes to romance, there are plenty of truly timeless relationships that make readers melt a little. They are so perfect together that, even when reboots or crises break them apart, we know that they just have to be reunited someday.
But love, on the page as well as in real life, often works in strange, unpredictable ways. For every superhero couple that was so obviously meant to be together, there are the weird, seemingly mismatched couples who leave fans scratching their heads. What do they see in each other, readers wonder? How can they even stand to be in the same room without starting a fight? Who, aside from a sleep-deprived fan-fiction writer, would ever have even thought to put these two together? Some of these oddball couples defy the odds and stay together. Many don’t. But they are all fascinating to watch in their own ways, and we list twenty of the most fascinating here. They may be inexplicable, but they sure aren’t boring!
20. RAVEN/BEAST BOY
This couple is definite proof of the concept that opposite attract. Beast Boy, also occasionally known as Changeling, is the Teen Titans’ comedy relief. He deals with personal problems by ignoring them and keeping his teammates’ spirits up with his antics.
Raven’s problems are too big for that sort of thing. She is half-demon and repeatedly comes under her father’s evil influence. Still, many fans noted that their opposing personalities complemented each other nicely. Raven and Beast Boy apparently noticed too. They gave a relationship a shot, but Raven, fearful of her father’s looming plans for world domination, hit the brakes.
19. PROFESSOR X/LILANDRA
Charles Xavier is a powerful man in his own right. He is one of the most gifted telepaths in the Marvel Universe and founded an eponymous school in upstate New York, which serves as both a haven and a training facility for the X-Men. But all that is peanuts compared to the power wielded by his one-time sweetheart, Lilandra Neramani.
Lilandra is the majestrix of the Shi’ar Empire and frequently requires the X-Men’s assistance to ward off invasions and attempted coups and the like. Xavier served as her consort for a time, before his responsibilities with the X-Men forced him back to Earth.
Dick Grayson, although raised by a billionaire, grew up in Gotham City, one of the most crime-ridden communities in the country. As both Robin and Nightwing, he relies on his wit and gadgets to fight crime. He and the Batman Family are as close to ordinary people as can be found among DC’s heroes.
So it’s more than a little surprising that one of his most serious relationships was with Koriand’r, a loving but fierce Tamaranean princess who joined Nightwing’s superhero team, the Teen Titans, as Starfire. They almost married, but their wedding was interrupted by a demon-possessed teammate — they haven’t tried marriage again.
17. BETA RAY BILL/SIF
In order to protect his people from an arduous cross-galaxy journey, Beta Ray Bill undergoes an experimental treatment designed to make him an unstoppable warrior. It works, but it also transforms him into a large, horse-like creature. While Bill sees himself as a hideous freak, the goddess Sif sees something else.
Sif is attracted by his selfless bravery and staunch devotion to doing the right thing, no matter what. Given that Beta Ray Bill is one of the few worthy enough to lift Thor’s hammer and was even granted a hammer of his own by Odin, we’d say he’s actually a pretty good match for a Norse goddess, no matter what he may think of himself.
For someone who spends so much time fighting against the X-Men and their allies, Magneto sure doesn’t seem to mind stepping out with them. When he finds Rogue powerless in the Savage Land, a dinosaur-ridden jungle beneath Antarctica, he takes it upon himself to rescue her.
Grateful for the save, Rogue begins to think that maybe this Magneto fellow isn’t so bad after all. Maybe they could even be good together? But then Magneto ruins his shot with Rogue by killing someone. Rogue goes running back to the X-Men with her tail between her legs, and that’s the end of that.
15. JIMMY OLSEN/FORAGER
In Countdown to Final Crisis, Jimmy Olsen gets tired of watching superheroics from the sidelines and decides to become a hero himself. Calling himself Mr. Action, he tries out for the Justice League and the Teen Titans. Neither group wants him, but the mysterious Forager sure does!
Forager is a bug-like humanoid tasked with locating the lost souls of the recently deceased New Gods. She kidnaps the luckless Jimmy in hopes that he can help her figure out the ultimate fate of the New Gods. But just because they’re on an urgent world-saving quest doesn’t mean there’s no time for romance, apparently.
Biron was originally a centaur just minding his own business in ancient Greece. But then the sorceress Circe accidentally turns him into a regular horse, albeit an immortal one capable of intelligent thought. It is in this form that Biron meets Supergirl and joins her on her many adventures as Comet the Super-Horse. So far, so Silver Age.
But one day, Biron encounters another magician, who obligingly arranges for him to turn into a human every once in a while. As the human “Bronco Bill,” Biron happily courts Supergirl, all while conveniently failing to mention that he is also her horse.
13. HAL JORDAN/ARISIA RRAB
Not only is this pair unlikely, on Earth it is also illegal. Both Hal Jordan and Arisia Rrab are members of the Green Lantern Corps, who are the strongest-willed superheroes in the universe. So when the much younger Arisia develops a major crush on the very grown-up Hal, she’s willing and able to do just about anything to get his attention.
“Anything,” in this case, involves aging herself up so that Hal will notice her more. Somehow, this works. Hal starts a relationship with Arisia, despite the fact that she is still mentally not the same age as the elder Green Lantern. And it’s not as if he didn’t know what Arisia had done — he’d met her before her artificial aging, after all. He’s just a creep, pure and simple.
Mantis was taken from her mercenary father when she was a baby. The Priests of Pama, a group of Kree pacifists who’d settled on Earth years earlier, trained her in all sorts of martial arts. Then they wiped her memory and turned her loose to make her own way in the world. She meets the Swordsman in a bar, where he was trying to drink away the knowledge of his many failures, and helps him get sober.
But their relationship slides from blissful to toxic real quick. Mantis falls in love with the Vision and tell the Swordsman point-black that she doesn’t love him anymore. After the Swordsman dies, Mantis marries a telepathic alien tree and heads off into space.
11. MISTER MIRACLE/BIG BARDA
Scott Free and Big Barda should have been natural enemies. Scott was the son of the Highfather, ruler of the planet Genesis and sworn enemy of Apokolips’ tyrannical leader, Darkseid. Barda was raised by Darkseid’s sadistic servant Granny Goodness, who trained her to be one of the Female Furies.
And yet for all that, they have turned out to be one of the most loving and longest-lasting couples in the DC universe. Scott, a peerless escape artist, found a way off Apokolips and convinced Barda to run away with him. They settled on Earth, which they pledged to protect as a team.
10. BLACK WIDOW/HAWKEYE
When Black Widow comes to America to steal Stark Industries secrets, she recruits hapless ex-circus performer Hawkeye to help her out. Poor Hawkeye, meanwhile, just wants to be a hero. But after being mistaken for a thief, his high ambitions turn sour. Once he catches a glimpse of the beautiful Black Widow, it’s all over for him, and he turns to a life of crime.
Even after Hawkeye goes straight and joins the Avengers, he continues to harbor feelings for the ruthless Russian spy. He is delighted when she reforms, and he pushes his fellow Avengers to accept her into their ranks. The Black Widow does hang out with the Avengers for a while, but then she ditches them — and Hawkeye — for Daredevil.
9. VISION/SCARLET WITCH
One is a synthezoid designed to destroy the Avengers. The other is one of the most powerful mutants in the world. Together, they are long-term Avengers and long-term lovers, having found in each other a safe harbor from a world that shuns them both for different reasons. And indeed, more than one ignorant human has tried to tear them apart.
Even Vision himself tried to forestall their relationship. He often professed to have no feelings whatsoever, meaning he couldn’t possibly care for Wanda the way she cared for him. But eventually, he can no longer deny the inevitable. He may be an artificial life form, but his love is very real. They get married in Giant Size Avengers #4.
Dawnstar and Wildfire are both members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. While Dawnstar is humanoid, Wildfire was caught in a lab accident that destroyed his body. He is now a formless energy cloud in a human-shaped suit. This has made their relationship all but impossible, since there can never be anything physical between them.
But Wildfire’s condition does have some perks. It’s almost impossible to kill him, for one thing. Villains can disperse the energy cloud that constitutes his consciousness, but he will just reform himself given enough time. On the downside, this all but guarantees he will spend eternity pining for a woman he can never have the way he wants to.
7. CAPTAIN AMERICA/DIAMONDBACK
Who doesn’t love it when a villain has a change of heart? That was probably Captain America’s thinking when he decided to try dating Rachel Leighton. Rachel, also known as Diamondback, was a member of the Serpent Society. She showed more scruples than her villainous teammates, if only because she’d fallen in love with Cap and didn’t want to see him come to harm.
Captain America and Diamondback gave romance a shot, only for her past to come back to bite her. She clashed with the Serpent Society and other villains on multiple occasions. And in the meantime, her relationship with Cap fizzled. Diamondback has zigzagged between heroism and villainy ever since.
6. SQUIRREL GIRL/WOLVERINE
Squirrel Girl was introduced as a joke character back in 1991 and has gradually evolved into the Marvel Universe’s most adorable and improbable butt-kicker. So what was she doing dating a guy like Wolverine? No one knows. We only know of their relationship thanks to a brief scene in New Avengers #7, wherein the two promise to be professional around one another despite earlier agreeing to never speak to each other again.
But just because whatever they had didn’t work out doesn’t mean the spark has faded entirely. In Wolverine #8, a quick journey into Wolverine’s head reveals that he still finds the upbeat Ms. Green very attractive.
5. GUY GARDNER/ICE
He is the grouchiest Green Lantern to ever patrol Sector 2814. She is the perpetually cheerful ice princess of a remote Norwegian kingdom. And yet Guy Gardner and Tora Olafsdotter were unquestionably devoted to one other. Both served with Justice League International, where Guy frequently fought with his teammates and Ice made friends with just about everyone she met.
As polar opposite as they were personality-wise, Guy and Tora were by all accounts very happy together. But no matter how happy they were together, they were still superheroes, and therefore still in constant danger. In the “Judgment Day'” storyline, the villain Overmaster mind-controls Ice and then disposes of her, leaving Guy devastated.
In the original Secret Wars, many of Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains are transported to Battleworld, a planet created by the Beyonder for his own amusement. In 2015, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars alleged to tell the truth behind that classic storyline. Turns out Deadpool was one of the characters unwillingly taken to Battleworld, where he helped — if that’s the appropriate word — to defeat the Beyonder and get everyone home.
During their time together on Battleworld, Deadpool and the Wasp embarked on a short-lived affair. Wasp regretted this almost immediately. She was so creeped out by Deadpool’s appearance that she willed herself, and everyone else, to forget their relationship as soon as they left Battleworld.
Ever since selling his and Mary Jane’s marriage to Mephisto in One More Day, Peter Parker has shown interest in several women and some of them have even shown interest back. The most recent of these affairs has been with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, former Avenger and all-around no-nonsense heroine Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird.
When Spider-Man once again finds himself down on his luck, his friend Mockingbird offers a sympathetic ear and a spot on her couch until he gets back on his feet. Friendly assistance leads to a date, which in turn leads to a passionate kiss. Wonder what the Daily Bugle gossip column had to say about that?
2. BLACK CANARY/HAWKEYE
Black Canary’s most famous romantic partner is Green Arrow, DC’s best bowman. But for a very, very brief time, she was in love with a different archer entirely. In JLA/Avengers, the Marvel and DC Universes are haphazardly smashed together by the villain Kronos. Reality shifts and reshapes itself around our heroes, never staying the same for long.
In one of these reality shifts, we see Black Canary give Hawkeye a big ol’ kiss and proclaim how happy she is that Hawkeye ditched his universe for hers. Hawkeye expresses his agreement. Green Arrow is far less pleased, but reality changes again soon enough.
1. SUPERMAN/LUMA LYNAI
Supergirl, distressed over the fact that her cousin Kal is still unmarried, searches the multiverse in search of his perfect match. She finds it in the form of Luma Lynai, a super-powered blonde from the planet Staryl. Undisturbed by the fact that Luma looks exactly like her, Supergirl arranges for Luma and Superman to meet up.
Even more disturbingly, the pair hits it off right away. Superman even plans to marry Luma and bring her to Earth to live with him in extremely creepy marital bliss. Fortunately for our sanity, Luma can’t survive in the light of Earth’s yellow sun and returns, alone, to Staryl.
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