In honor of Phoenix Comic Con: Comic Book Romance

by Mimi Sebastian

This weekend is the Phoenix Comic Con. Sadly, my day job and other responsibilities, including finishing the third book in my necromancer series, prevent me from attending. And that’s saying a lot being a comic book, sci-fi, fantasy geek. Heck, I’d go just for the cosplay. And if I were daring enough to brave spandex, I’d even don my own costume 🙂 (Jean Grey of the X-Men or Scarlett from G.I. Joe, if I had my very own Snake Eyes with me!) I must have dressed up as Wonder Woman for at least five Halloweens.

Some of my favorite couples and story lines are found in comics. In fact, I’d say reading comic romances are partly to blame for my love of the genre. Some of my favorites comic couples include: Peter Parker and Mary Jane, Bigby Wolf and Snow White from Fables, Sue and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four), Superman and Lois Lane and now Wonder Woman, and Henry Pym (Ant Man) and Janet Van Dyne (Wasp). Take a look at this lovely one shot comic about Pym and Van Dyne.

The whole Superman and Wonder Woman pairing has generated much controversy. In the new 52, Superman never had a relationship with Lois Lane. I’m actually enjoying the pairing, partly just to see the drawings of these two beautiful characters, but the Superman and Wonder Woman comic is exploring their relationship in a very adult way, touching upon the vulnerabilities of the two super powered beings. Interestingly enough, Wonder Woman has also been paired with Batman in some comic book and cartoon incarnations.

However, my absolute favorites: Cyclops and Jean Grey of the X-Men and Scarlett and Snake Eyes of G.I. Joe. I’ll even confess to have written some Scarlett and Snake Eyes fan fiction. Larry Hama developed an amazing story to bring those two together. Snake Eyes saved Scarlett from a crashed, burning helicopter and becomes disfigured and loses his voice in the process. OMG. And no one else will do for Scarlett. Despite the fact that he can’t talk, she understands him and often communicates for him to the other team members. Frankly, they are the reason I read G.I. Joe. As for Cyclops and Jean Grey? Sigh. Definitely do not go by the movies. Bryan Singer, the director, destroyed Cyclop’s character. He’s so noble and bad ass and he completely fell head over heels for Jean Grey the moment he laid eyes on her. And Jean is so passionate and beautiful. Their love ends tragically. Damn Marvel comics.

All these romances had incredible gut wrenching angst from tortured heroes/heroines who are kept apart by secret identities, duty, or complications arising from their super power. Speaking of, I have to mention Gambit and Rogue of the X-Men. Their relationship is especially heart breaking due to her power.

Rogue basically absorbs the power and life force of anyone she touches. So for anyone, like Gambit, who just so happens to fall for her, well, sucks for him. If they even so much as kiss, bye, bye Gambit. Yet, he stayed with her. The comics artfully displayed the passion between them, generated by the unrequited love. And when they are able to be intimate, through some comic spun, seemingly impossible scenario, well, the release is palpable. The lovely twist is how Gambit and Rogue’s relationship has never been a question of “will they or won’t they” but “can they or can’t they” and for fans like me, the question was always more important than the answer.

So if you want some heart-wrenching romance with your ka pows and kawabungas, look no farther than the comics!


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