Valentine’s Day is this weekend and, to celebrate, I’m counting down my 14 Favorite Marvel and DC Comic Book Couples. This was a really hard list to make and ultimately I went with a synthesis of both iconic and personal favorite comic book relationships. 14 is not a large number so I had to cut some great relationships and, believe me, it was not easy. Without further ado, let’s walk down the aisle and revisit some truly wonderful comic relationships.
My 14 Favorite Comic Book Couples
14. Rictor/Shatterstar (Marvel)
Julio Richter (aka Rictor) and Gaveedra Seven (aka Shatterstar) first met as X-Factor teammates. The former is a mutant, the latter is from Mojoverse. It wasn’t the most conventional of relationships but the close bond they developed as teammates eventually became a secret romance.
Their kiss was the first on-panel kiss between two mainstream male superheroes in mainstream Marvel comic book history and they’re openly dating now.
13. Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn/The Joker (DC)
Harley Quinn and the Joker really embody the term iconic. That being said, they’re actually not all that satisfying of a relationship. Unhealthy, twisted, and usually one-sided, I can’t really enjoy their relationship.
On the other hand, Harley’s relationship with Poison Ivy, which borders on romantic a lot of the time, is based in support and teamwork. They’re fun to watch and have such scintillating interactions. They’ve had a friendship since Harley was first introduced in the animated series and the comics have lately been focusing a lot on their relationship. I’m excited to see what’s potentially in store for them.
12. Batman/Catwoman (DC)
I’m fully aware that this is lower on the list than most people would put them but they’re lucky to make my list at all! The Dark Knight and his feline companion are a lot more fun than Harley/Joker but they also have traits that make them a rather unhealthy relationship. Frankly, Bruce Wayne should never be a character in a long-term, committed relationship. The flirtation and coy games that these two play with each are wonderful but sometimes it feels like it doesn’t go much further than that. I’ll always be grateful for Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton, though.
11. Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker/Mary-Jane Watson (Marvel)
Peter and MJ are undoubtedly more famous than Peter and Gwen but both relationships are so important to comic history that I couldn’t possibly pick between them. Gwen was the first serious relationship for Peter and her death really impacted his character. (Alternatively, in the Earth-65 Universe where Gwen has the powers, Peter died.) She’s becoming an increasingly important character in the comics as well.
Later, Peter and MJ became one of the most famous comic book couples of all time and ended up marrying. It’s hard to think about Peter Parker without MJ, frankly. Face it, tiger, you hit the jackpot two times!
10. Kate Kane/Renee Montoya (DC)
I love Kate and Maggie. I love that they’re engaged and happy and all of that. But Kate and Renee’s relationship is arguably better-known and definitely still gets to me. With Kate as Batwoman and Renee as a detective for the Gotham City Police Department, they had a relationship with ups and downs but it was still so enjoyable. They were similar in their stubborn, independent natures but still very sweet as a couple. Can I dream that Kate might pop up in Gotham one day?
9. Reed Richards/Sue Storm (Marvel)
Another one of Marvel’s most famous couples, Reed and Sue really became that iconic family-based couple. The Fantastic Four as a team is already a family affair but Reed and Sue solidified that with their marriage and children. They are not a perfect couple – Reed often can be become tunnel-visioned and neglect Sue which causes rifts between them as we saw in Civil War. But the deep, everlasting love they have for one another can never be doubted. They’re one of the most devoted and long-lasting couples in Marvel.
8. Hawkman/Hawkgirl (DC)
The relationship between Hawkman and Hawkgirl literally centers around them continually dying, being reincarnated, finding each other, and falling in love again. They are the definition of an eternal, everlasting love and they could not have been left off this list. They make excellent foils to one another, with Hawkgirl usually being able to ground Hawkman’s aggression. They might not be quite as iconic as some others on here, but they’re one for the ages.
7. Hulkling/Wiccan (Marvel)
Teddy Altman (aka Hulkling) and Billy Kaplan (aka Wiccan) have become a popular and exciting relationship in recent years. They first officially got together in Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade and we’ve also seen their relationship grow in the most recent Young Avengers run. They’re believable and refreshing. They have an absolute love and support for each other which is so wonderful to read, especially as one of the younger couples. I hope they last and continue to shape themselves as one of the best comic book relationships in years to come.
6. Colossus/Shadowcat (Marvel)
Kitty (Shadowcat) might currently be with Peter Quill (aka StarLord) but her best and the most famous relationship is with fellow X-Man Colossus. It started as a teenage crush on Kitty’s side but ended up developing into a truly touching relationship, even through its several ups and downs. (Honestly, what comic couple doesn’t have tons of those?) It’s unlikely that they get back together anytime soon but I fondly remember their relationship.
5. Luke Cage/Jessica Jones (Marvel)
Luke and Jessica have one of the most mature relationships in the Marvel universe. They’re married now, with a daughter, and very much a “team” when it comes to their relationship. The love they have for one another runs deep. Each character has been through some very rough times but they’ve come out stronger, and the way they’re able to be independent while also leaning on each other in inspiring. They might not be very well known but we’re going to see them soon on Netflix so hopefully more people will start to know what I’m talking about.
4. Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon (DC)
Whether as Robin and Batgirl or Nightwing and Oracle, the relationship between Dick and Barbara is a very special one within the DC universe. Once engaged, they still very much love each other and the possibility of rekindling their engagement is still high. The relationship he once had with Starfire was important, certainly, but feels young compared to the love he has for Barbara which often seems to me as deeper and more steadfast. Here’s hoping they get that ultimate happiness one day.
They aren’t the only Robin and Batgirl to fall in love, of course. The relationship between Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown was important to both of them and their growth as heroes as well.
3. Barry Allen and Iris West (DC)
If anyone can hold on to the Fastest Man Alive, it’s Iris West-Allen. A couple who has since married, Barry and Iris are one of the most fun and loving relationships in comics. They’re constantly there for each other, saving each other, and showing their love for one another again and again in the comics. One of the great things about them is how positive they are and they never get boring or tiring in any way.
They’ve been great on The CW’s series The Flash as well. It’s impossible to imagine Barry without Iris. They’re such staples for another and have been for years, and I imagine will be for years to come as well.
2. Scott Summers/Jean Grey and Scott Summers/Emma Frost (Marvel)
Scott and Jean will go down as one of the forever relationships in Marvel history. They’re legendary. But their love for another, which is very real and runs deep, comes across as youthful and maybe even a bit naive. That being said, not even I can deny the importance of their relationship in comics history.
Scott’s later relationship with Emma Frost is one of my all-time favorites and feels like a much more mature relationship. As two very complicated people, they end up bringing out a lot of good in one another and understanding each other in a way Scott and Jean never did. Where one relationship is sweet, the other is more grown-up and deeper, but both are equally important.
1. Clark Kent/Lois Lane
It’s hard to think that any other relationship could ever surpass these two so it’s a good thing that no one probably will. One of the best aspects of the lore of Superman is his very deep tie to humanity. This is shown very well in his ever-constant relationship with Lois Lane. They’re sweet, devoted, supportive, and probably the healthiest and happiest relationship in comics history.
Whether it’s in the comics, movies, television series, I know I’ll certainly never be over them. They’ve always been able to get my heart a-flutter and whenever I think of comic couples, they’re always the first one that pops into my head. It will always be Clark and Lois.