There are lots of great examples of couples and relationships throughout both Marvel and DC Comics, yet not many seem to stand the test of time. For one reason or another, whether it’s a contract with the devil or kitchen appliances, many couples don’t seem to last very long when a cape and powers are involved. It may just be a part of the never ending soap opera of the superhero genre, but even great loves aren’t likely to last over more than a couple hundred issues.
But there are exceptions to this rule, pairing so powerful that even the most powerful editorial edicts cannot tear them asunder. It’s those couples that even when they’re technically separated, fans know it’s only a matter of time until they come back together. These are the superheroes and spouses that give us the best love stories in superhero comics, and a shining example of romanticism.
1. Mister Miracle and Big Barda
There really wasn’t another contender for the #1 spot on this list. You can’t say “Mister Miracle” without think “and Big Barda” or vice versa. This is a romance conceived by the King of Comics himself, Jack Kirby, and one that has only grown stronger since both characters debuted in 1971. They have gone from Mister Miracle to Justice League International to the current iteration of Justice League as a power couple deeply in love with one another.
The reason Miracle and Barda work so well as a superhero couple is that they represent two great ideas that function even better together. Mister Miracle is the son of Highfather given to Darkseid, but left uncorrupted by his time in Granny Goodness’ “Terror Orphanage”. He shows that goodness cannot be destroyed by evil. Big Barda is the leader of the Female Furies, perhaps the greatest warrior ever produced by Apokolips. Yet she chooses her own path, leaving the evil of Apokolips behind, but retaining her core self and love of battle. It’s their love that freed them both from the destructive planet of Apokolips though, neither able to escape on their own. Neither character needed to change the other; they are simply stronger together. Mister Miracle and Big Barda represent Kirby’s belief that goodness and love would always defeat evil and hatred, making their story the best the genre has to offer.
2. Superman and Lois Lane
If Barda and Miracle were an obvious pick for #1, then there’s no doubt which couple has to take #2. Over more than 75 years, from the pages of Action Comics #1 to today, Lois Lane and Superman have been the power couple of comics. Whether it’s based in their Golden Age romance, their Silver Age shenanigans, or their ideal marriage in the 90s, this pair has always stood out in the minds of comics readers. As two characters both dedicated to the pursuit of truth and justice, using the American press as their tool, they’ve enhanced one another’s strengths even when competing.
DC Comics’ recent efforts to split the pair up and force the concept of a Superman and Wonder Woman romance at readers has only confirmed Superman and Lois Lane to be a truly classic pairing of comics. Despite valiant attempts Superman’s new dating arrangements consistently feel like placeholders, with fans just waiting for Lois to return. All of the best Superman stories, from All-Star Superman to Superman: Birthright feature them both as a heroic pairing. If there are only a few eternal truths in superhero comics, then one of them is surely that Superman will love Lois Lane until the end of time.
3. Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman
Reed Richards and Sue Storm haven’t had the same rocksteady relationship that many of the other couples on this list have, but it’s their ability to consistently overcome the hard times that make them perfect inclusions. Unlike most of their Marvel brethren, Reed and Sue have managed to stay together through even the most trying of times. The most difficult part of their marriage hasn’t been battles with Doctor Doom or Mephisto though, but the simple strains of a longterm relationship.
Reed’s scatterbrained nature and workaholic attitude have put great stress on his family, but Sue represents a rock that keeps him tied to reality and always devoted to helping the people they share their love with. It’s a dynamic that can be compared to that of their creator Jack Kirby’s with his own wife Roz. At the end of the day, there’s no doubt that Reed and Sue will make it through stronger thanks to their mutual devotion. That’s why the Fantastic Four aren’t only Marvel’s first family, but Reed and Sue the universe’s best couple.
4. Apollo and Midnighter
Apollo and Midnighter receive a lot of attention for being an important couple in comics, and they are. As one of the first openly gay couples in a mainstream superhero comic, they broke down a variety of barriers, especially when you consider they are an homage to Superman and Batman, respectively. But their importance shouldn’t overshadow that they are also one of the best, most loving superhero couples ever created.
In spite of Midnighter’s exceedingly difficult personality, the pair has shown nothing but support, affection, and passion toward one another. They are an example of when opposites not only attract, but work perfectly together. When one of them falls, the other is there to pick them up. When one is suffering, the other is prepared to carry them. It’s a symbiotic relationship building on the classic “World’s Finest” dynamic to make the “World’s Finest Couple.” Even as Midnighter has dated in his current (brilliant) series, it has simply been a countdown until Apollo returned to the arms of his one, true love.
5. Sue Dibny and The Elongated Man
There is no comics couple quite as endearing as Ralph and Sue Dibny. They are the platonic ideal of the term “cute couple”. From their earliest Silver Age stories to their tragic (and poorly devised) endings in modern comics, Ralph and Sue have only had eyes for one another. From the quirky mysteries they would solve in backups for The Flash to playing mom and dad to the Justice League in JLI, this couple was the bedrock for all of the heroes who surrounded them.
Everyone circle of friends has one couple that serves as a constant, and that’s the role Ralph and Sue played to the DC Universe. They were deeply in love with one another, and they shared the warmth of their own foundation with the world around them. Honestly, it’s a romance so flawless that it’s almost sickly sweet. But this is a couple just too perfect to hate. Instead, seeing their happiness together makes you feel happy just to be in a world with them in it. Hopefully, that’s something we can see returned to the DC universe in the near future. Superhero comics are a better place with Ralph and Sue in them.
So who are your favorite long lasting superheroic couples that we might have missed? What makes their romance so special? Let us know in the comments below.