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Comic books are amazing vehicles for storytelling, and offer up just about every element of a good story imaginable. There's adventure, action-packed fighting scenes, humor, and really fun characters around every corner.
All things considered, it's not that shocking that movie producers are now extolling comic books and trying to find Marvel comics characters that could use more screen time. Comic books make great movies, and that's a fact!
One of the most common plot elements you'll see in comics is love interests and relationships. Some comic book relationships are seriously wonderful. Others are horrible, cringe-worthy, or just plain wrong.
Sometimes, you have to love looking at pairings so bad because they're interesting in their own messed-up way. Today, we're going to take a look at the worst comic book couples in the history of Marvel, DC, and all the other comic book publishers in the world.
Prepare to wince, because this bad comic book romance list is going to get uglier than an episode of Jerry Springer.
The Joker and Harley Quinn
Though a lot of cosplayers and fans might think of them as a cute couple, the reality is that Harley Quinn and the Joker remain one of the worst comic book couples of all time. Their relationship remains one of the most abusive in comic book history.
The Joker is incredibly abusive to Harley. He's downright psychopathic about the amount of abuse he puts her through, which makes sense since she met him at Arkham Asylum where he was committed for being criminally insane.
He's beat her, tried to kill her, locked her in a rocket about to launch, and threw her to hyenas. More heartbreakingly, Harley was pregnant with their child—and he ignored her, left her to send the child off to a relatives' house, and wouldn't speak to her until she came back alone.
It's hard to figure out why Harley stayed with the Joker for so long. With Harley Quinn, it's complicated. Doubly so when you try to figure out whether she's good or evil.
While a lot of people think they look good together, the truth is that Harley's relationship to the Joker is nothing but ugly. (Thank goodness she dumped him, right?)
Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon
When it aired on Cartoon Network, Batman: The Animated Series was one of the most uniquely adult superhero television shows ever made. It also had its fair share of controversy—including what may have been one of the worst comic book couples to exist.
In this universe, Bruce Wayne wasn't just getting it on with Catwoman. He was also getting it on with Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl. Batgirl, by the way, was also seeing Dick Grayson. The couple persisted and even ended up in the Alan Moore storyline, "The Killing Joke."
When producers brought up Batman Beyond, they added salt in the wound of this relationship. It was then that writers explained that Dick Grayson's disappearance was due to Barbara Gordon getting knocked up by Batman.
Needless to say, fans detest this pairing for good reason.
Ant-Man and The Wasp
Two diminutive superheroes, one big problem—that's the relationship between Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne in a nutshell. These two remain one of the worst comic book couples in the Avengers because they went about as well together as orange juice and milk.
Domestic violence was what defined their relationship, and while they were both heroes, they really didn't act like it. After seeing Hank Pym hit his partner, it's really hard to want to cheer on Ant-Man ever again.
Unsurprisingly, Hank Pym's popularity plummeted after plotlines showed him to be an unstable abuser. Though comic book writers tried to rehabilitate Pym's reputation, the damage caused by this relationship was done.
The ugly side of Pym's character was so heavily displayed in his love life, comic book sales lagged. This might be one of the only comic book relationships to verifiably end a comic book character's real-life career.
Eventually, Scott Lang became the next Ant-Man, and the ailing superhero franchise was saved.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are two of the most popular characters in the Marvel Comics Universe. In the world of Ultimate Marvel, the two also dated each other at one point.
It seems so natural that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch would date. They're good looking and seem to be really close. Oh wait, that's right.
They are really close because they are siblings. Gross.
We need not explain why they are one of the worst comic book couples in the MCU, right? Creators actually cited this as one of the reasons why the Ultimate Marvel Universe had to be ditched.
Scott Summers and Emma Frost
Emma Frost is one of those characters that you kind of just want to love to hate, especially if you were cheated on by past partners. Scott Summers? Well, he's kind of a wishy-washy, spineless coward of a man when you really think about it.
Together, they're just really unlikable together.
This is doubly true when you realize that Scott started his relationship with Emma while he was married to Jean Grey. She seduced him by acting like a therapist and crying shoulder to Scott while he lamented about his relationship... and it only gets worse from there.
The two actually got it on wearing the Dark Phoenix's clothing. When Jean Grey died, Scott immediately married Emma. Did we mention Jean and Emma are worst enemies?
When you really look at their train wreck of a relationship, it's hard to deny that Jean Grey really, truly deserved better than what she got with Scott Summers.
Ms. Marvel and Marcus
At one point or another, we're assuming the writers at Marvel just wanted to mess with our collective heads. Maybe they drank too much Jack Daniels, dropped too much acid, or just watched one too many episodes of Ricki Lake.
Whatever the case, this abortion ended up on the comic book pages of Avengers #200:
- Ms. Marvel gets raped by her own son so that he can be born.
- She falls in love with her son.
- The Avengers happily congratulate her on giving birth to her incest baby.
- Ms. Marvel decides to spend life in limbo with her adult-version son, because of course she does.
Hal Jordan and Arisia Rrab
Arisia Rrab is an adorable young alien girl who has the hots for Hal Jordan. Hal rebuffs her, since she's 13 years old and he's like 30. You're probably wondering what part would cause these two to end up on a list of the worst comic book coupes of all time, right?
Well, Arisia wasn't taking Hal's no for an answer, so she artificially aged herself in Green Lantern Corps #6. This made Arisia a 13-year-old girl in a 20-year-old woman's body.
Despite the fact that Hal just lost the "love of his life" and was supposed to be morally incorruptible as part of his Green Lantern oath, Hal starts dating her.
She. Was. Still. 13.
So, this older dude is dating a preteen alien. The Green Lanterns' reaction is totally underwhelming. Rather than being freaked out by his actions, they celebrate it. Why? Because comics, that's why.
Archie and Betty/Veronica
Can we please talk about the ever-wholesome Archie comics? Riverdale's most eligible redheaded popular guy was the star of the show. He was the epitome of what American guys were like back in the day, and was designed to be relatable.
That being said, he's kind of a cad.
Archie's relationships with both blonde sweetheart Betty and wealthy brat Veronica really aren't that good. Betty literally has a boyfriend who's also interested in her best friend. The same can be said for Veronica.
If you've ever had someone cheat on you with your best friend, you could probably see how that could end up causing some issues on an emotional level. It's really surprising that Betty and Veronica still talk to one another without coming to blows.
There's a lot of manipulation at play here, and while they're not the worst of the worst comic book couples, it's enough to make you wonder why they don't just get into polyamory.
The Comedian and Sally Jupiter
If you've read The Watchmen, then you might recognize this couple from hell. The Comedian was a "hero" that ran with the Watchmen crew, but he was anything but heroic or funny. He was really more of a psychopath that wanted a good guy veneer.
When he linked up with Sally Jupiter, it spelled a special type of hell for her. The Comedian rapes Jupiter multiple times, and due to her low self-esteem, she does nothing to stop it or stand up to it.
Stockholm Syndrome hits, and she falls in love with the Comedian. She never stops loving him, which only goes to prove how insanely bad a low self-esteem can be for you.
Scarlet Witch and The Vision
Scarlet Witch is a very troubled character, especially when it comes to her dating life. You kind of have to be in order to date your brother, after all.
With all the very obvious attachment issues she's gotten over the years, it's not surprising that she's half of not just one, but two, of the worst comic book couples in Marvel history.
This time around, Scarlet Witch finds herself married to The Vision. The Vision isn't related to her, thankfully. However, there is an issue with him that made many readers get the heebie jeebies. The Vision was a robot.
Obviously, her ex (and brother) Quicksilver wasn't cool with her dating a hunk of metal. Hawkeye, who had a thing for her, wasn't happy either. Everyone else seemed okay with it.
The two even had kids, somehow. And by somehow, we mean that Scarlet Witch used shards of a demon's soul to create two babies to take care of. When word got out, the Avengers had to kill the babies and Scarlet Witch's mind was wiped to prevent her from being traumatized.
Of course, the mind wipe was temporary, so she ended up snapping and killing The Vision, Hawkeye, and a bunch of others. (We really can't blame her.)
Aviax and The Dinosaur
Some of the worst comic book couples are awful because they are so darn dysfunctional. Others are just really unrealistic or just have something about them that is just plain wrong. Very few comic book couples will elicit an out-loud "WTF?!" from people reading the stories.
Then, there's Aviax and The Dinosaur.
Hopefully, we won't have to explain why seeing Aviax, a superhero that can shapeshift into birds, getting it on with a LITERAL DINOSAUR is wrong. That's right. That dinosaur wasn't even a superhero; it was a legit giant lizard.
According to the storyline in The Wanderers, Aviax had to have sex with dinosaurs to save the dying dino species from radioactive fog. Since Aviax was immune to radiation, his plan was to have sex with dinosaurs so they can pass on genes to their offspring.
The plan was supposed to save the entire species of dinosaurs that The Wanderers tried to save. In reality, he just banged one dino and flew away before they even got to see if the weird plan worked.
Lady Shiva and David Cain
It's arguable whether or not this counts as a cartoon couple, but there's no denying that this is one hell of a messed up relationship. David Cain is the guy who trained Bruce Wayne to become Batman.
Unsatisfied with the legacy of being the guy who made the Dark Knight, Cain decides that he needs to have a child who manages to outdo Batman's training. To do this, he needed to find a woman in peak physical condition...
So, he meets a woman named Sandra and takes a liking to her. She introduces him to her sister, who he promptly kills. Then, he tells her that she'll suffer the same fate unless she carries his child. Shockingly, she actually goes through with it.
David, being a total sociopath, takes the child the moment it's born for training. Sandra goes nuts and becomes Lady Shiva, an assassin, who tries to kill them.
The sheer amount of rape and abuse here makes them one of the worst comic book couples to ever exist. Despite everything that goes on between the two, it's still a better story than Twilight.
Magneto and Rogue
Ugh, of all the worst comic book couples, this one feels the grimiest. Marvel's Age of Apocalypse plotline involved a huge amount of WTF moments, but the most bizarre of all would have to be when Rogue got it on with Magneto.
Rogue is in her 20s here. Magneto is in his 60s. He's three times her age, which is incredibly messed up. To make things even worse, the person who set the two up together was Scarlet Witch.
If you don't remember, Scarlet Witch is Magneto's daughter. Yep.