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©The Variant 2015

10 of the Most Iconic Comic Book Romances

February 5, 2016

Throughout the history of comic books, there have been great romances.  This list was created to review the most iconic couples in comics.  These aren’t always the most time-stopping, earth-shaking, and often death-defying romances we’ve encountered in comics, but these very well may be the most recognizable—even to those who aren’t die-hard fans of the medium.  

 

10. Peter Parker & Gwen Stacey

 

Peter Parker aka Spider-Man and his brilliant blond girlfriend Gwen Stacy met when both were attending Empire State University.  Though Gwen Stacy is recognized as Peter’s first true love, the star-crossed lovers were doomed from the start.  Due to various family crises, perceived wrongs, and of course, Peter’s secret alter ego as Spider-Man (who Gwen hated), the relationship was perpetually on the rocks.  

However, Peter’s activities as Spider-Man brought the relationship to a tragic end at the hands of the Green Goblin.  Regardless, Gwen, Peter’s first true love, will always hold a special place in his, and comic readers’ hearts.   


 

 

 

9. Janet Van Dyne & Hank Pym

 

Janet “Wasp” Van Dyne and Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man aka Giant-Man aka Wasp aka Yellowjacket [I know—confusing, right?]) joined forces after Janet’s father was killed and she enlisted Pym’s help.  He provided her with his famous Pym particle technology and together they defeated the creature that murdered her father.  From that point forward, they teamed up to do battle, and eventually became founding members of the Avengers (the name was Janet’s idea).  The relationship for the most part remained professional until an unusual set of circumstances led to their marriage.  However, after a string of incidents involving Hank’s declining mental health, the couple divorced and Hank was removed from the team.  However, the two have since reconciled and remain friends.  


 

8. Rogue & Gambit

 

It was only a matter of time before a couple from the X-Men showed up!

Gambit’s ability allows him to transform potential energy within objects into kinetic energy, causing them to explode; Rogue’s mutation allows her to absorb memories, powers, and personality traits of other people through direct dermal contact.  However, Rogue’s ability can also cause the people she touches to fall into a coma—like the first boy she ever kissed.  Obviously, this last bit could cause some problems when pursuing romantic relationships.  However, Rogue and Gambit persevered.  For a brief period of time, the couple lost the use of their powers and, without hesitation, took advantage of their opportunity for contact.  After regaining their powers, the two underwent psychic therapy with Emma Frost in an attempt to overcome the physical barrier caused by Rogue’s abilities, but to no avail.  The relationship continued until Gambit was transformed into Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death...and the whole attempted murder by your boyfriend tends to wear on a relationship.  Since their breakup, we haven’t seen a whole lot of Gambit, but Rogue has been with the Uncanny Avengers and based on some recently released cover art for an upcoming issue of the aforementioned title, we may very well see a rekindling of this old flame.   
 

 

7. Batman & Catwoman

 

Batman and Catwoman have always had a special chemistry that probably got awkward with the whole Hero/Villain dynamic.  Depending on the continuity you choose, the relationship varied from light flirtation as their costumed personas, recurring dates between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, or even a marriage that later yielded a daughter, Helena Wayne aka Huntress.  However, most continuities don’t draw clear lines for the nature of the relationship, but they’re still a personal favorite.  




 

6. Green Arrow & Black Canary

 

Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow and Dinah Laurel Lance aka Black Canary are both long time members of the Justice League.  Canary enjoyed the romance and the fact that they both retained their independence, and as a result rejected marriage proposals from Oliver.  After a long relationship, many, many battles, a florist’s shop, breaking up, more battles, reuniting, and several proposals, Dinah finally agreed to tie the knot with Oliver.  




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Joker & Harley Quinn

Perhaps one of the most controversial couples in comics is this match made in madness.  Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatrist interning at Arkham Asylum, attending to the Clown King of Crime, the Joker.  During their sessions, Quinzel fell madly in love with her patient and aided in his escapes from the Asylum on multiple occasions.  Harleen eventually went mad herself and joined Joker as his side-kick Harley Quinn.  The relationship is notoriously abusive, but has endured.  




 

 

 

 

 

4. Reed Richard & Sue Storm

 

Both founding members of the Fantastic Four, Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman have been together for what seems like an eternity.  The two were romantically involved for a time before they obtained their superpowers, and have been together since 1961 (ok, there was at least one brief hiatus).  The couple also happened to spawn perhaps the most powerful child of the Marvel U: Franklin Richards.  




 

 

 

 

3. Superman & Lois Lane

 

No comic book couple list would be complete without the famous Lois and Clark—heck, there was even a television show called Lois and Clark.  The two met while working at the Daily Planet (formerly Daily Star) newspaper back in 1940 when Lois and Clark Kent were working as journalists.  Lois, ever the clever investigative reporter, eventually began to suspect that Superman and Clark were one and the same.  Superman went about his business, rescuing his career-focused damsel in distress, and the two fell for each other.  During the New 52, Superman and Wonder Woman had a relationship, and depending on which continuity you prefer to follow, they actually have a child.  However, there is currently a Superman: Lois and Clark book on the racks to carry on the story of this iconic romance.  This relationship has been a cultural fixture for decades, and it doesn’t seem to be losing popularity any time soon.  

 

 

2. Scott Summers & Jean Grey

 

Two of the founding members of the X-Men, Scott (aka Cyclops) and Jean (aka Phoenix) have been psychically connected (albeit somewhat unconsciously) since they were young children, though they didn’t meet until they both became students of Prof. Charles Xavier.  Their friendship eventually blossomed into a romantic relationship, and they later married.  The couple helped raise their alternate-dimension son, died, came back, died, came back...then she died, and he dated Emma Frost, and Jean made sure they stayed together and created yet another reality...and...well...they’ve had a complicated relationship.  




 

 

1. Spiderman & Mary Jane Watson

 

Every person who said “Peter and MJ” when I asked to list the most iconic couples in comics followed it up with “Sorry Gwen.”  True, for a while MJ and Gwen were a sort of a Betty and Veronica to Peter’s Archie, but when it came down to it, MJ got her guy.  Mary Jane was literally the girl next door, the niece of Aunt May’s friend who figured out Peter’s secret identity long before most everyone else.  It was an ongoing joke for a while that Peter needed to meet the “Watson girl,” but he consistently resisted—until he saw her.  They dated for a short time before he was in the relationship with Gwen, and they eventually got back together after Gwen’s death.  The two got hitched later, and despite all the complications that come with a model/actress and super-hero being in a relationship, they overcame their problems and stuck together. Sadly, in order to save the life of Aunt May, and make everyone forget the unmasking of Spider-Man in the Civil War story arc, MJ and Peter made a deal with the demon Mephisto creating an alteration in their personal timelines that ensured that the couple had never married, though they did have a past relationship. Since this event, however, the two have made contact again on several occasions.  MJ is currently a part of the Bendis run of Invincible Iron Man, but no mention of her relationship with Peter has been made.  




 

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