10 Enduring Comic Book Couples6
By Chris Simmons
Ask the typical comic book reader the primary reason he reads comics, and overwhelmingly, the answer has nothing to do with romance. But more than that geek guy will ever admit, he is drawn to characters that are coupled up. (Hey, reading about comic book couples just might be the closest thing to real romance some comic readers may ever experience). This is because relationships in comic books are complicated and epic – not dissimilar to the relationship between Frank the Assassin and the crime boss’s girlfriend in the action series No Clean Break. Comic book love involves secrets, death and, sometimes, inter-galactic racial issues. Yet, regardless of how dysfunctional it may be, some love endures it all.
No Clean Break – Episode 1
1. SUPERMAN & LOIS LANE
Seventy-plus years and going strong, this is the Holy Grail of comic book romances. When Lois met Clark, it was the typical “opposites attract” scenario. Indeed, DC Comics milked this would they/won’t they relationship for all they could (and even gave Lois her own long-running comic in order to indulge in the Supes-Lois fantasy hookup via “imaginary” tales). But they came to realize that by actually marrying them, they were moving their relationship in the right direction after all.
2. BATMAN & SELINA KYLE (CATWOMAN)
Chicks dig the Dark Knight, which is why Batman writers have paired him off with several hotties over the years, like Vicki Vale, Talia and some others. But there’s something about Selina Kyle – the slinky, kinky and dangerous Catwoman – that has always made Bruce Wayne hot under the cowl. Though their comic book romance is currently cooled for storyline reasons, no Batman fan in their right mind believes that Batman and Catwoman won’t find their way back in each other’s hearts, one way or another.
3. PETER PARKER & MARY JANE WATSON
Every Spider-Man fan knows exactly when Peter and Mary Jane first laid eyes on each other: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #42. She had him (and us) with just one famous phrase: “Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!” Their marriage was heavily publicized in the media, which did not deter Marvel from doing an excellent job of showing the difficulties of their union. To this day, Peter and Mary Jane are still meant for each other. Time and shifting storylines will never change that.
4. MR. FANTASTIC & SUSAN RICHARDS
Fantastic Four fans know that there’s hardly been a time when Reed and Susan Richards haven’t been hitched (the stretchable Reed and the Invisible Woman got married early in their run). Theirs has been an eventful union with unique challenges: older Reed is often preoccupied with his scientific pursuits, Susan has been tempted from time to time by that hottie in swim trunks, Namor, etc. Currently, they must endure the tragic death of Susan’s brother Johnny, the Human Torch. But endure it, they shall. Another Marvel marriage, built to last.
5. DICK GRAYSON & BARBARA GORDON
So much for the “Batman & Robin are Gay” accusations made decades ago by a so-called historian. As Nightwing fans surely know, Dick Grayson has cut a wide swath through the ladies, but he never forgot his boyhood crush on the slightly older Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. As adults, Dick and Barbara (famously crippled by the Joker, and now the cyber-heroine named Oracle) consummated their relationship and forged a bond that proves so strong that their reunion just feels inevitable.
6. IRON FIST & MISTY KNIGHT
Theirs is a somewhat unusual affair. Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, is a martial artist supreme, and Misty Knight is a former cop turned bodyguard with a bionic arm. Danny is soft-spoken, socially naïve and Caucasian. Misty is fiery, brash, and African-American. Something about this couple just clicked, probably even more than the original Iron Fist writers intended them to. As of this writing, their almost 40 year-old romance flourishes as they prepare to start a family.
7. VISION & THE SCARLET WITCH
While the Vision and Wanda Maximoff (The Scarlet Witch) haven’t been a couple for some time, no comic fan who remembers the two of them together can deny the devotion they had for each other. The Vision, an android constructed to be devoid of emotion, and Wanda, the sheltered mutant daughter of Magneto, forged a most unlikely love that truly had tragic circumstances for Wanda, who was driven insane over time. But when times were good between them, their romance captured the imagination of fans unlike any other, before or since.
8. BLACK PANTHER & STORM
This is perhaps the most regal relationship in comics today. T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and sometime superhero Black Panther, and Storm, core X-Men member, had a fling as teenagers in Africa and reconnected as adults and got married in a grand ceremony. Although some consider their marriage as a diplomatic arrangement, the two are passionate about each other and seem destined for the long term.
9. GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
Oliver Queen, the dashing, somewhat vain archer with an eye for all the ladies, has an extra gleam for Dinah Lance, a true hottie with an independent streak. Theirs is the most volatile, lustful relationship in comics, undoubtedly in part because they’re too much alike in one key respect: they wear their passions on their sleeves. When they have a falling out, all of the DC Universe knows about it. If any couple on this list seems meant for each other, it is Green Arrow and Black Canary.
10. ARCHIE & BETTY (& VERONICA)
You can’t have a list of enduring couples without name-checking this eternal love triangle. Oh Archie… who to choose? Betty is sweet, blonde, and as comfortable as an old sock. Veronica is haughty, brunette, sultry and mysterious. You know that if you were Archie, you’d put off choosing between them as long as you could, too! And truth be told, as much as they think they want Archie to make up his damn mind, each hottie having the other as competition keeps the relationship hot and exciting. So Archie, all I’ve got to say is play on, Playa!
No Clean Break – Episode 2
No Clean Break – Episode 3
Chris Simmons is a scriptwriter, blogger and professional Story Analyst for motion pictures. He’s written dozens of animated scripts for TV including co-developing the award-winning series STATIC SHOCK! for Warner Bros. Animation. He’s currently in the early stages of development on a situation comedy for BET. He also watches TV, a lot. Chris is married with two children and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
TAGS: Superman, Lois Lane, Batman, Catwoman, Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Mr. Fantastic, Susan Richards, The Invisible Woman, Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Oracle, Batgirl, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Vision, The Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Storm, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Archie, Betty, Veronica