Well, blow me down! If ya knows me at all, ya knows a certain squinky-eyed sailor man an' his pickle-nosed sweetie was gonna show up on me list sooner or later:
5. Popeye and Olive Oyl, Thimble Theater
Forget the cartoons. They don't capture a tenth of the sturm und drang generated by this couple. If only Bluto were all Popeye had to worry about! The eternally fickle Olive is always looking to turn the old spinach-eater into her ideal gentleman... when she's not trying to replace him altogether. But he yam what he yam, and eventually his steadfast devotion and affectionate orneriness wins her back. It's a bumpy road but they've been traveling down it for nigh on 90 years so they must be doing something right.
This couple has been mentioned by others. I like that they both had powers and were equals. Aquaman has been one of my favorites for years and I remember reading their wedding and the birth of Arthur, Jr.
Be aware that, for the purposes of this write-up, I am talking about Talia as the was in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s; not the psycho harridan who currently bears the name.
In my mind, this is a relationship that makes sense. Talia is a perfect match for Bruce: on an objective level maybe even better than Selina.
Talia is a woman caught between two worlds, and torn between her loyalty to her father and her love for Bruce. As a result, she often plays peacekeeper. As originally created by Denny O'Neil, Talia was a fairly passive character, but was transformed into an action girl under subsequent writers; notably Len Wein and Marv Wolfman.
Talia works a partner for Bruce: to some extent seeming to complete him. She is his intellectual equal, and is an action girl at least equal to Catwoman. She would show the same devotion to Batman's crusade as she did her father's. She would be a moderating influence on Batman as she was for Ra's; drawing him back to himself whenever he becomes too obsessed. And, unlike most of Batman's love interests, she is equally comfortable with both of his identities: understanding that they are the same man.
The now retconned graphic novel Son of the Demon by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham shows Batman and Talia in circumstances where they are able to live together in committed relationship and, quite frankly, this may be the most contented I've ever seen Bruce.
5. Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Bernie Rosenthal One of my favorite aspects of my favorite run of Captain America issues (i.e., the Stern/Byrne/Rubinstein run) is the introduction of Bernie Rosenthal:
To me, she is the perfect supporting character, nay life-partner, for Cap, one who first got to know him – and fall in love with him – as Steve Rogers, and then only figured out he was Cap subsequently. Bernie was specifically introduced to be more than just an eye-candy love interest; rather, she is an interesting character in her own right and just an all-around delightful person. And she is perfect for Steve who, in her, had found a normal, loving person to finally help him feel more grounded and less alienated from modern times. Both Roger Stern and J.M. DeMatteis did a really good job fleshing out the character and her relationship with Steve, and it’s regrettable that the decision was made to have them break up. I think she should have become the Lois to Steve’s Superman/Clark from that point forward.
Last Edit: Dec 20, 2021 8:56:14 GMT -5 by EdoBosnar
5. Opus and Lola Granola as written by Berke Breathed
As with so many of my favorite things, I was born too late to be reading and appreciating Bloom County in its heyday. Instead, I found it in bound collections at the local bookstore, guiding me through adolescence. If you were awkward, idealistic yet jaded, afraid of an ever-changing world and yearning for simplicty, all while acknowledging your own inner weirdness that was anything but simple, you needed Bloom County in your life. And so, when the lead character got into his first serious relationship (we're not counting Alf Mushpie, here), that was pretty damn important.
Opus and Lola lasted a little over a year, which is a HUGE deal in a daily comic strip. Right from their introduction, it was obvious this was no perfect pairing, and Breathed seemed to enjoy emphasizing their irreconcilable differences more and more as they progressed.
Still, despite all of his efforts to make us laugh at this odd pairing, Breathed couldn't help but give it heart. These two had no future together, but man was there sincere affection between them. Lola had lived a wild life and was desperately in need of some stability and sensitivity. Opus was hopeless in every respect and just needed to be understood and appreciated. For a little while, they were able to give each other exactly that.
That inspired me as an awkward adolescent. I knew that Opus and Lola weren't right for each other, but that sincere affection Lola has for Opus in the final panel, that "this doesn't solve the problem, but boy do I find you adorable" look, really left a mark on me. THAT was what I wanted from a future girlfriend and (eventually) future spouse. More than the looks, or the interests, or even the chemistry, I wanted that comfortable adoration.
When Opus and Lola finally parted ways, it was mutual, and still with that tremendous affection that fell just short of love. Neither went on to find a better relationship after that, but you couldn't blame either of them for trying..
It's funny. Hollywood so often sells us on perfect romance. I didn't really realize until now just how often comics prepared us for the opposite: couples who settle and then raise the question of whether that is enough. Opus and Lola, Dagwood and Blondie. Howard and Beverly, Cerebus and Jakka, -- when is good enough all you need, and when is it a sham? I doubt Opus and Lola were good enough, but they certainly had one major piece of the puzzle that makes for an ideal relationship.
This is one of my favorite Legion romances. Bouncing Boy (Chuck Taine), a whacky comical character at face value, yet over the course of time in the Legion shows considerable heart and merit as a hero. And not quite as "useless" at times as one might think when it comes to making the most of his powers.
But my favorite role for BB? Being their for Duo Damsel (Luornu Durgo), formerly Triplicate Girl. Legion fans know this story well, but Luornu suffered a massively traumatic event when one of her 3 selves she could split into was killed in action. She continued on as "Duo Damsel" now reduced to splitting into 2 bodies, but it was stated that each of her original 3 bodies were their own people. When one died, literally a part of her was lost forever.
Couple that with insecurity of how useful her powers ever were, plus an unrequited crush on Superboy during the early days of the Legion, Chuck is there for her as a kind and understanding friend per below. This grows into romance and eventually marriage, and I absolutely love them as a couple.
Today's Song- "Aniron (theme of Aragon & Arwen)"- by Howard Shore & Enya
#5- Cutter and Leetah
Double dipping into the world of the Pinis, my number 5 spot belongs to the main characters of Elfquest. What makes them so compelling, is that these are elves that are worlds apart. Unlike Redlance and Nightfall that I mentioned prior, Cutter and Leetah are from two different tribes of elves. From that first look, it was destined. Is it truly possible that love can be recognized in an instant for two be lifemates? It's something that Richard Pini first shows us in the original run of ElfQuest of destined pairing. You have a brutish and outdoor survivor warrior and leader of his tribe in Cutter and a sun drenched healer of her people in Leetah. The romance that continues throughout the entirety of the the Pinis comic is one for the ages. Children; grandchildren and the bonds of love between the two. It makes for wonderful reading.
Post by Roquefort Raider on Dec 20, 2021 8:44:34 GMT -5
#5 : Aleta and Valiant
I've read in a comics encyclopedia that the love story between those two was just too soppy, but I beg to differ! Aleta and Valiant are adorable together. While both are strong, caring and self-assured, they also differ in fundamental ways; he is quite a stickler to protocol and all that's proper while she's a wildcat at heart, and loves to flaunt rules. She's sunny when he's taciturn, but also more responsible. Dare I say it? She's like an adult in love with an eternal adolescent. That's probably why there was always such a feeling of playfulness about their marriage.
I always enioyed the fact that Aleta outranks her husband, for all that she seems to enjoy the role of the dutiful wife when it suits her. Make no mistake: she's absolutely the top authority in that family! Year after year and decade after decade, and if we make allowance for the fanciful way such adventures are presented, we saw Aleta almost allow her husband to rescue her from bad guys... not because she wasn't able to fend for herself but because she knew it would make him happy to feel useful. (On several occasions, we saw the queen show her captor what's what, and the first of these was Valiant himself!!!)
I love the way it was love at first sight between the two, even if for a while Valiant thought he had been bewitched by her dark arts. That is, until she showed him what true magic was about! It's an idealized version of love, to be sure, but if we can't have true, pure and eternal love in a tale of the Round Table, I don't know where we'll find it.
John Carter, Warlord of Mars and Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium
A southern Civil War officer near death sees the Red planet Mars in th sky while he feels it beckoning to him. Reaching his hands to the stars he awakens upon the dying planet, becomes a slave to giant four armed Thark's, adapts, learns the language and then leaps into the fray saving a red skinned woman from the savage Warhoon tribe and finds love at 1st sight. Setting upon his destiny for love and adventure to become the planets greatest warrior, he and his princess Dejah Thoris marry, working as equals in the struggle to unite and save their dying world.
Between sword fights their romance grows and marriage comes even as they face monsters, death, political intrigues, sexcapades and more. Carter is presumed lost or dead when sent back to Earth/Jasoom yet Dejah raises their son in the tradition of her warrior race and the st screams stories of his famous father.
Now there is a love! Across the moon and stars, facing death side by side swords in hand creating a better world.
Gimme a home on the ol' prairie where I can sit in my rockin' chair reading my favorite old comic books of yesteryear!
I like “chalk and cheese” couples. There are many of them who might appear to be an unlikely match in real life, e.g. you might see an extroverted guy dating an introverted woman (or vice versa). It proves that love is possible even when people are different.
Mister Miracle and Big Barda seem like “chalk and cheese” in many, many ways. Yet their relationship is a convincing one. And what also makes it convincing is that they bicker. Nothing would be more off-putting to me than a fictional couple who got on all the time. Some bickering is cool. But you sense the love these two have for each other.
On the Eighth Day of Christmas, True Love brought to me Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont
We've seen this couple before. We might see it again. It's my last big 2 couple and my only big 2 super-hero couple. Most good long-term romantic relationships are built on trust. Such relationships without trust a the foundation are like a house of cards. Keeping a secret identity form a partner would reveal any such trust to be an illusion and the revelation of it would destroy any trust the relationship was built on realistically. A few might manage to survive, but it would be essentially starting over and rebuilding the relationship from the ground up. Most would be shattered beyond repair no matter what the intention behind keeping such a secret might be. It's why a lot of big 2 super-hero romances ring false to me, not all, but a lot, despite me liking he characters and liking reading about them. The depiction of Wesley and Dian's relationship deals with this. The keeping of the secret early and how it created issues in their relationship. The revelation of the identity and the damage it did, and the process of rebuilding the relationship into something new and different, and better because now trust was at the heart of this new relationship. It is also a relationship that is mostly a partnership of equals choosing to be together. There are still balance issues that challenge their relationship, but they work through their issues and make their relationship work, though there are rough spots and close calls that almost drive them apart a time or two. They are a couple you can root for, bit also one you can relate to. Their struggles make you cheer for them, but also empathize with them, and that is why they are my favorite super-hero couple. (Full disclosure, I still have the last quarter or so of the SMT run to get through but they've already won that distinction).
People don't want the Truth. They want only information that supports what they think they already know. -Vess from Invisible Kingdom
I see a comics culture that preserves and appreciates its past, but doesn't wallow in witless nostalgia. -Scott McCloud
Humans beings always do the most intelligent thing…after they’ve tried every stupid alternative and none of them have worked -Buckminster Fuller
Post by Slam_Bradley on Dec 20, 2021 14:10:36 GMT -5
Finally beginning to catch up
5. Tommy Monaghan & Deborah Tiegel (Hitman)
This is probably the most toxic relationship on my list and it's one that didn't stick. And it didn't stick because Tommy Monaghan was a dumbass and blew it up on a couple of occasions. Deborah was way too good for Tommy and certainly deserved a guy who wouldn't cheat on her and, frankly, wasn't a professional killer. But they were certainly fun while they were together.
Post by Mister Spaceman on Dec 20, 2021 15:55:30 GMT -5
#5. Tom and Dhalua Strong
In his tales of science hero Tom Strong, his West Indian wife Dhalua, and their daughter Tesla, Alan Moore in part deconstructs tropes of classic “jungle lord” heroes, such as The Phantom. Most pointedly, Moore subverts the racial and gender politics of Lee Falk’s colonial fantasy about white, male legacy heroes. Patriarchal power is reconfigured by Tom and Dhalua as they unreservedly love and respect each other as intellectual and moral equals. Together they raise Tesla to fully realize the physical and intellectual gifts that she has inherited from them. The lesson of Moore’s work is that true heroes embrace the heroic possibilities in others, free from culturally-imposed blinders. This is a love story rooted in family and together Tom, Dhalua, and Tesla offer that legacies shouldn’t be determined by closed minds but rather by open hearts.
Post by M. W. Gallaher on Dec 20, 2021 16:46:13 GMT -5
5. Rex Mason (Metamorpho the Element Man) and Sapphire Stagg
I can't think of another couple in American mainstream adventure comic books who epitomized the swingin' sixties like Rex and Sapph! Sapphire, the daddy's girl defying her father's preferences while still keeping papa Simon Stagg, lover Rex Mason, and obsessed creep Java the resurrected cave man wrapped around her little finger! Rex, the suave adventurer permanently tied to this dysfunctional family thanks to Simon being responsible for his disfiguring condition and his only hope for an eventual cure! Together, these two always seemed like they were having fun, breezing around and enjoying life despite the hardships and travails they faced, even when Sapphire was responsible for getting herself into messes only Rex could resolve. Sapphire gave off the vibe of a lightweight debutante, but there was never any question that she retained sincere love for Rex, even after his body was mutated by the Orb of Ra into a supernatural patchwork of elements. The moments of angst and woe never lasted, and you could tell that Sapphire Stagg loved being a superhero's girlfriend, even an "ugly" one (and let's face it, Rex was "ugly" in that ruggedly appealing way that some girls go for).
Ramona Fradon's art on the early installments set the tone that made this couple's love affair seem so joyous and rambunctious, but Jim Aparo did a fine job too when I met this couple in BRAVE & BOLD #101:
Post by thwhtguardian on Dec 20, 2021 17:10:55 GMT -5
On the Eighth Day of Classic Comics Christmas I give you...
The Love Triangle of Tang Shen, Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki
I wasn't initially sure I was making the right call on placing this pairing so high on my list but after reading a few of the write ups of Jor El and Lara I started to understand part of why I felt so strongly about these guys and why it was worthy of being so high up on my list: with out this initial relationship the driving plot of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is non-existent. And while it's true that the love of Tang and Yoshi is foundational to the original run it's even more so in the IDW reboot by Eastman and Tom Waltz; in this later run it's not just Splinter seeking revenge against the man who killed his master and wife, Splinter IS Hamato Yoshi and he and his sons have been reincarnated in the present day to seek justice against Oroku Saki for their own deaths at his hands as well as the death of their wife and mother.
Tang might not be the most developed woman on my list, but her love and compassion had a huge impact on the fate of her husband and sons...and although it was a story published after the cut off even Oruko Saki which makes her a truly important figure.