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By Dimitrios Fragiskatos

With Valentine’s Day approaching this weekend, Midtown Comics thought it was the perfect time to put together a list of our favorite couples in comic books! You’ve seen them in movies, TV, and on the pages of your favorite books. Read on for the complete list of the Top 15 Couples in Comic Books!

15- Storm and Black Panther

Storm and Black Panther had a contrived relationship based on a passing comment in an earlier team up in Marvel Team- Up #100 written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne. They had a shared experience fighting smugglers in South Africa. 25 years after that issue came out, Storm and Black Panther married. There was a lot of  back story developed around that time , including Eric Jerome Dikey’s Storm mini- series that helped add more backstory to the relationship, but the fact that Storm’s role in the X-Men was being downplayed  made the whole thing seem a little forced to fans. That’s why when it ended because of politics during Avengers vs. X-Men, people weren’t so much upset at it ending as much as how it was handled overall.

It seemed like even in fiction, people sacrifice aspects of their personalities to be with someone they love. In the original Marvel Team Up story, both of these characters were so strong willed and determined, they could never sacrifice their goals to be with the other. That’s why New Avengers #23, was such an amazing scene. The strength of both these characters emphasizes the tragic romance they share. The love that can never be… and finally makes them the couple you want to see together

14- Wiccan And Hulkling

Ah… young love. Wiccan and Hulkling, probably the coolest teen super-heroes in recent years, had shared some heavy flirtation in Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s Young Avengers and their relationship was a focal point in Gillen and Mckelvie’s run. They’re definitely a couple you want to see together forever, but how many of us are still with the one we loved in high school?

13- Nightwing and Starfire

This is why I love comics. We have our soap operas everywhere in life, but it’s only in this world where we have the sidekick of Batman, hook up with an alien bombshell. Starfire and Nightwing had a mostly on relationship in New Teen Titans, but it was handled very maturely, with real insecurities, real problems, real signs of affection all mixed in with fantastic comic elements. It also helps that New Teen Titans Vol 2 #1, is the first time we ever see two consenting young adults share a bed in comics. Take that Superman and Lois, and Aquaman and Mera!

12- Superman and Lois Lane and Clark Kent

Yea, yea, yea. I know Superman and Wonder Woman are an item right now, and I think we are able to enjoy it because we know where Superman is really supposed to be… in a love triangle with himself and Lois Lane. There’s no messing with that classic formula: strong woman reporter  overlooks her soft spoken, clumsy, yet smart and brave partner in favor of the perfect man with the highest integrity and ideals., not knowing they are one and the same. A lot of people think that elements of that relationship can be found in themselves, that there is someone out there who will see the Superman in us. In actuality, the stand out person here is Lois Lane, whose determination and confidence can even impress a god among men. Before Bella and Edward, and before Christian Grey and that girl from the Marvel Rise of the Mandarin shorts, another powerful man was able to pick out a special girl, except this one actually exposed corruption and was Pulitzer prize winning, and probably wouldn’t allow a man to define who she is.

11- Jessica Jones and Luke Cage

Jessica Jones started her relationship with Luke Cage hating herself and plunged in the world of alcoholism. Luke was kind of just one of her hook-ups, yet they became so much more later on, eventually getting married and having a beautiful baby together. An example of a real relationship that grew over time, which is a rare thing in comics. When you read Alias #1 now, you’d never think that these people would end up marrying, or that the writer of that issue would headline Avengers books years later, a testament to not knowing what tomorrow brings.

10- Nightwing and Oracle

 

What? Nightwing again? What can I say? Dick Grayson is a lovely man, with qualities anyone should want in a partner and anyone should envy. He’s brave, handsome, loyal, smart, athletic, friendly, charismatic, the list goes on. People like to say Batman is the perfect man, but those of us who have read enough know it’s this guy.

The former Robin and the former Batgirl never had a relationship prior to Batman: The Animated Series , which is funny considering they were both good looking young people with a lot in common.   We never actually see a relationship, though we see flirtation and mentions of a past, until Nightwing Annual #2 written by Marc Andreyko and penciled by Joe Bennett. This book was exploring what happened with Dick and Babs’s engagement and why it fell apart. We also explored, really in depth, that past they kept mentioning. It’s a beautiful story that really highlights the youthful optimism as well, as establishing why this computer wizard, confined to a wheelchair is the perfect mate for the Joseph Gordon Levitt of the DCU. If only things had been different…

9- Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers

Look, contrary to how it may seem, this is not an attempt to pander to the indie crowd. The reality is there is no other character in comics who has worked as hard as Scott Pilgrim to be with the woman of their dreams. Even Superman only ever fights one of Lois’s evil ex-boyfriends (Lex Luthor), while Scott has had to fight 8! A straight forward, hilarious love story that will make us all wish if only we can punch our significant other’s Ex’s to collect gold coins.

8- Cyclops and Emma Frost

Sorry, but Jean Grey is not on this list. For 30 years, Scott Summers, the leader of the X-Men had a safe relationship with the hottest girl in school. She wanted him to be the best he can be and to not change for her. One day Scott did change and despite everything, he pulled away from Jean, and fell into the arms of a seductress. Emma Frost has been there for the Cyclops that we see today. The unbridled lust she unleashed in him was part of what’s driven him to be a more assertive and ruthless leader. On the other hand, the Hellfire Club’s White Queen never expected to be fighting on the side of the X-men for this long. This relationship has rejuvenated not just these two characters but the X-Books in general. Poor Jean…

7- Cliff Steele and Crazy Jane

Capture

Two Grant Morrison stories in a row. Guess this guy understands relationships.

One aspect of the underrated Vertigo Doom Patrol, was the relationship between Cliff Steele (aka Robotman) and Kay Challis (aka Crazy Jane). In the wake, of an alien invasion, with most of his teammates dead, Cliff had checked into a mental institution. See, he was a human brain in a robot body, and being in a robot body deprived him of his sense of touch and his ability to cry for his  friends. Much like his Marvel counterpart, Ben Grimm, Cliff spent a lot of time feeling sorry for himself until he met Kay. Kay was sexually abused as a child and manifested 64 separate personalities to help her cope with the trauma. Add to that, the fact that each personality has its own power and you have a very dangerous crazy person.  What’s great about these characters is that they are more handicapped than they are super heroes. What’s great about these characters’ relationship is that through their damage, you see they love each other. It’s so downplayed; never the focus of the title, yet the few moments they share speak volumes. Have you ever been with someone you had a hard time understanding? Have you ever been with someone who had a hard time telling you how they feel? That’s Cliff and Jane.

6- Wolverine and Mariko

Sorry. No Jean Grey. The clawed mutant known as Wolverine spent some time in Japan, where he befriended and fell in love with the daughter of a Yakuza crime boss, Mariko Yashida. The reason this relationship is his best one, is because the women that Wolverine has been with (and for a short hairy guy, it’s a lot) unbridle their animalistic urges around him. He represents raw manhood; bestial nature and sex. But Mariko tamed the wolverine. Do you know how hard it is to follow the Bushido Code? You have to display righteousness, respect, benevolence, courage, sincerity, etc.  It’s hard for regular people, so you have to imagine a guy who’s been treated like an animal his entire life is going to have an entirely more difficult time. Logan followed it, and did so much more in order to be found worthy of being with her.

5- Chromedome and Rewind

Transformers More than Meets the Eye is one of the best ensemble books out there. With a cast of over 200 Autobots and Decepticons, it’s no small feat to balance the individual motivations and personalities against the whole war, which is why the cartoon ends up falling into Optimus, Megatron, and everyone else. In MTME, one of the subplots is the companionship between Chromedome and Rewind. Chromedome is a mnemosurgeon, someone who can access the memory banks of other Transformers and a valuable asset to the Autobot cause. Rewind films everything, and likes to offer commentary on what he records. The two met at a clinic where Chromedome was suffering from depression due to the amount of loss he has seen in the war and the burden of  reviewing those memories. Rewind’s carefree, joking nature brought something he needed and the two became inseparable, until Rewind sacrificed himself to save his crewmates. What followed was a heartbreaking scene where sealed behind a soundproof door, Chromedome struggled to tell Rewind what he meant to him. It’s a cliche, but a well executed scene nonetheless. Look past the fact that they are robots, you heartless crones, and you will see that Transformers are truly, more than meets the eye…

4- Harley Quinn and Joker

The relationship between these two Batman rogues is one sided. Harley is in love and obsessed with the Joker, who in turn uses and abuses her. Obsession isn’t a virtue. It’s certainly not a trait that is seen favorably and neither is abuse. The reason fans love this relationship so much is because Harley OWNS her obsession. She may occasionally delude herself into thinking Joker has feelings that aren’t there, but she knows who she is and she knows what she wants, and doesn’t care about anything else. On the one hand, she may be defined by her man, but she is in no way helpless . Deadshot and Ivy were all trysts. Everyone knows where this will end…with one of them dead at the hands of the other.

3-Hawkman and Hawkgirl

Immortal love. Towards the top of this list is Prince Khufu and Chay-Ara. In Ancient Egypt they were lovers, until their untimely murder at the hands of Hath-Set. The two were reincarnated over and over again, the souls drawn to each other in every life and violently ripped away each time, until their recent resurrection as  the heroes known as Hawkman and Hawkgirl. In many ways, love can be a romanticized ideal that can’t ever be achieved except in fiction. With that, Carter and Shiera Saunders achieve something that is unachievable to other fiction characters: a love so powerful, even nature can’t prevent it from happening. If there are people that believe love conquers death, you might want to look into James Robinson and Geoff John’s work on this character.

2-Francine and Katchoo

You may not have read it, but you must have heard of Strangers in Paradise. The story of two best friends, Katchoo, a mysterious bombshell of a woman, and Francine, a conservative girl with body issues who aspires to be a mom. There is a thriller element to the story as we learn that Katina Choovanski “Katchoo” was a secret spy, but at the heart of the story is the relationship of these two women who are happier together than apart. Throw in supporting characters with romantic entanglements like David Qin into the equation, and we have the most complicated obstacle in finding true love… life!

1- Spider-Man and Mary Jane (Newspaper Strip version)

A lot of people wanted to put their two cents and say, you can’t have a best couples list and not include Mary Jane and Peter Parker. To them I say “Ha! You’ve got selective memory when it comes to this relationship!”  In the comics, after having broken up and going back to dating, Peter and MJ find themselves suddenly rushing back into each other’s lives, deciding that it was time to stop kidding themselves and grow up for  a change. Suddenly, hard- luck Peter has the most beautiful dame on his arms and this moped riding, adventure seeking gal, who used to walk into rooms declaring men hit the jackpot, was suddenly tamed and began worrying and waiting for Peter to come back home. In reality, in the syndicated newspaper strip written by Stan Lee and drawn by his brother Larry Lieber, Peter and Mary Jane’s love naturally grew and the courting was uninterrupted. The marriage was inevitable. The bigwigs at Marvel Entertainment wanted to coordinate the book with the strip and create an event which included a real life Spider-Man wedding in Shea stadium. Plots in the comic had to be rewritten to accommodate this. Despite all the politics involved, their marriage lasted very long and had enough memorable moments for fans to remember it fondly. Whether it be in movies, television or books, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson deserve each other. Far away from interference from editors and Mephisto, in the world of the comic strip, Peter and MJ are still very happily married.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer, and not Midtown Comics. Additionally, Midtown Comics makes no representations as to the accuracy of any of the information expressed herein.

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