With Valentine’s Day still lingering in the air, my thoughts turn to romance — particularly of the cape and cowl variety. Every hero needs his beloved heroine, and the best comic book movies are filled with great romantic moments and memorable couples. But while some superhero lovebirds possess the mutant power to melt hearts, others are as frigid as Mr. Freeze. Let’s take a look at the couples who are hot, and those that are just not.
Superman and Lois Lane, Superman
The chemistry between Superman (Christopher Reeve) and Lois (Margot Kidder) in Richard Donner’s 1978 classic is so palpable, it should be bottled and sold as a super love tonic. From their flirtatious banter around the Daily Planet office to the infamous night flight, Superman and Lois set the template for how to do superhero romance without lapsing into cheese. One drawback: Lois’ narration during the flying scene, which was originally intended to be the lyrics for the scrapped theme song “Can You Read My Mind?,” is pretty sappy.
Hot or Not: Hot
Howard the Duck and Beverly, Howard the Duck
Putting aside the whole creepy inter-species romance thing, wise-cracking Howard and punk rocker Beverly are kind of sweet in Steve Gerber’s subversive comics. But no amount of montages set to terrible ’80s pop songs can convince us that Marty McFly’s mom (Lea Thompson) would ever fall for a talking duck. And the scene where Howard saves Beverly from some street toughs with his Quack-Fu isn’t exactly Batman swooping in to rescue Rachel Dawes. To crib from the movie, this couple isn’t all it’s quacked up to be. (Sorry.)
Hot or Not: Not. Very Not
Wolverine and Jean Grey, X2: X-Men United
Logan and Jean have long been fan favorites for their will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic (let’s face it: Cyclops is a stiff), and the fact that Hugh Jackman and Famke Jannsen both possess the mutant power to melt steel with their smoldering stares doesn’t hurt. X2 is where the tension between the duo is at its best (particularly the scene where Wolvie gets seduced by Mystique in disguise), and sets the stage for Jean going all Dark Phoenix in The Last Stand, where she freaks Logan out with her creepy glowing eyes. Tragic, unrequited love is always the most romantic.
Hot or Not: Hot
Daredevil and Elektra, Daredevil
Shockingly, the now happily wed Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner generated zero heat as Daredevil and his high-kicking love interest Elektra. Is there a more painful scene in comic book movies than Daredevil and Elektra holding a flirtatious training session on a playground? I mean, get a room — there are children present. Hopefully we’ll be spared an Affleck/Garner rematch in the upcoming Daredevil reboot.
Hot or Not: Not
Batman and Catwoman, Batman Returns
Why do Bruce and Selina go together like kitties and string? Because they’re both crazier than a crazy cat lady. By night, they’re tussling on rooftops while exchanging pun-heavy banter. By day, they’re hiding their bruises from each other during make out sessions in stately Wayne Manor. Bruce and Selina’s offbeat chemistry is on full display during the great scene where they discover each others’ identities at Max Shreck’s costume ball. (Ironically they’re the only guests not in costume.)
Hot or Not: Hot
And five more hot and cold couples:
Hot: Hellboy and Liz, Hellboy II: The Golden Army – Loving, insecure, often bickering… kind of like a real couple.
Not: Robin and Poison Ivy, Batman & Robin – Robin and Batman fighting over Ivy is easily the Dynamic Duo’s lowest moment in a movie brimming with low moments.
Hot: Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, Iron Man – The sparks generated by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper was just one of the movie’s wonderful surprises. Now let’s see what happens when Black Widow gets in the mix.
Not: Peter Parker and Mary Jane, Spider-Man 3 – By the third movie I was rooting for Peter to hook up with Gwen Stacy. (Or Betty Brant, or his landlord’s daughter Ursula…)Read More