Superheroes are rarely granted happy romances in comics. For the longest time, the likes of Superman and Batman were bachelors who could never get with the people they loved, and even after heroes were allowed to settle down and get married, their relationships never remained stable for long (Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson being the most notorious example).
While many unpopular comic couples such as Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker have since become beloved by readers, others continue to be loathed. Many of them aren’t even worth mentioning, but there are other canon comic relationships that Redditors just refuse to get over.
Superman & Wonder Woman
Though there’s always been debate about whether Lois Lane is Superman’s true soulmate or if Lana Lang is a better match for the Son of Krypton, almost everyone can agree that Superman and Wonder Woman are a couple that just doesn’t work. Nowhere is this better evidenced than in Geoff John’s run on Justice League, which Redditors such as htdub14 complained about for making the “Superman and Wonder Woman” relationship canon.
While the DC power couple wasn’t portrayed grossly as the out-of-continuity Dark Knight Strikes Again, the two heroes getting together in the New 52 felt forced. It should have been an easy task to establish why these two godlike beings would get together, yet Johns priorities as a writer were focused on grand events, leaving the two core members of the DC pantheon lacking chemistry.
Storm & T’Challa
Many unpopular comic relationships fail because the pairing feels out of the blue. Then there are others, such as Storm and T’Challa which Redditors have pointed out “would’ve made sense if they built it over time. Sadly, they rushed it and can’t ever go back.”
In many respects, the initial impetus for the pairing of Storm and T’Challa stems from the fact that they’re two of Marvel’s most popular black heroes. While this may not have been the starting point for the marriage between the two, the lack of effort in showing their courtship ultimately makes the relationship seem like a cynical advertising strategy rather than a natural narrative choice.
Wolverine & Squirrel Girl
Redditor shilfee writes that the worst comic relationship is “Squirrel girl and wolverine when I’m not pretending it doesn’t exist.” The out-of-left-field pairing was one of many colorful creative choices from writer Brian Michael Bendis during his decade-long run on Avengers, but one that fans detested from the get-go.
The idea of a Wolverine and Squirrel Girl romance was so uncomfortable that subsequent writers at Marvel have attempted to retcon the suggested relationship from New Avengers #7. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl writer Ryan North explained in a letters page that the awkwardness between the two stemmed from an encounter on the streets, though it’s pretty clear that Bendis intended for there to be a romance.
Barbara Gordon & Jason Bard
According to systolic_helix, one of the worst “recent pairing[s] that comes to mind was Babs dating a domestic terrorist.” The terrorist in question was the modern incarnation of Jason Bard, and the creative choice came after Bard had attempted to frame Jim Gordon for murder and dismantle the vigilante operation in Gotham City.
Though a romance between Bard and Babs could’ve been forgivable had the two not known about each other’s actions, this was sadly not the case in Cecil Castellucci’s run on Batgirl. She chose to put the two characters together despite Barbara’s awareness of Bard’s actions, and the result was a shocking comic that fans hated.
Carol Danvers & Rhodey
Carol Danvers has never had a strong history of compelling romances in comics, but her relationship with James “Rhodey” Rhodes is among the most infamous. As Redditor ProudPeopleofRobonia put it “was pretty poorly planned out” and came from nowhere.
What makes the Carol Danvers and Rhodey relationship frustrating is the fact that it had potential. The idea that these two former military personnel turned superheroes getting together makes sense, but unfortunately, they barely spent any time interacting with one another when the relationship took place.
Kyle Rayner and Carol Ferris
For the longest time, the character of Carol Ferris was Hal Jordan’s love interest in DC Comics. Their relationship wasn’t the deepest or most nuanced of affairs, but it was cute. By comparison, IndonesianJunk felt that putting “putting Kyle and Carol together was the worst.”
While splitting up Hal and Carol may have been exhilarating at first, especially for the former character as he was forced to reassess his life choices, the sustained relationship between Carol and Kyle Rayner felt forced. Efforts were taken to make the development of the romance feel believable, but fans simply couldn’t get over the choice to break up one of DC’s best couples.
Star Lord & Kitty Pryde
“Star-Lord and Kitty is such a bizarre relationship” according to Redditor centipededamascus. The two were brought together during Brian Michael Bendis’s run on Guardians of the Galaxy, and the couple seemed to be set on a path toward self-destruction from the very start.
While the two characters were shown to develop feelings for one another in Star Lord’s solo series, the couple’s relationship was rushed toward a senseless marriage that made no sense. The two were still working out their differences as individuals when Bendis took over the book, yet the writer
Peter Parker & Carlie Cooper
Spider-Man has had a long list of unpopular love interests – to the shock of many, Gwen Stacy was unpopular with readers in the late 1960s – yet none are quite as notorious as Carlie Cooper. The New York forensics expert was paired with Parker a couple of years after One More Day, and many redditors critiqued the pairing because it felt like Dan “Slott [was just] desperately inserting throw away women into Pete’s life.”
While Peter and Carlie did give off more chemistry than some of the other love interests Spider-Man had at the time, fans would have much preferred if Peter had gotten back together with Mary Jane following one of the worst mistakes in Marvel Comics.
Cyclops & Emma Frost
The Cyclops and Jean Gray relationship is one of the best X-Men romances in Marvel Comics, so much so that the writers brought the latter character back to life after she’d been dead for a decade. Yet Cyclops hasn’t always been faithful to Jean, and in the 2000s, famously cheated on her with Emma Frost.
While the pairing of Cyclops and Emma Frost has some fans, Redditors such as DMPunk “hated how it began.” Cyclops tarnished his reputation as a do-gooder to have a psychic affair with the White Queen, though the latter’s affection for the leader of the X-Men helped paint her in a more positive light.
Donna Troy & Terry Long
Many Redditors, such as Water-Chestnut, have argued that “Donna and Terry” is the worst couple in comics history. The romance between Donna Troy and Terry Long is one that few comic readers gave much consideration back in the 1980s, yet the stark age difference between the two has since been seen as a red flag.
Donna Troy was just nineteen when she fell in love with the 29-year-old divorced college professor Terry Long. Even though the relationship was portrayed as healthy for much of its existence, it’s clear to modern readers that Terry was something of a sleazy individual, someone who most people wish could be struck from canon.
Next: 10 Best Comic Book Romances, According To Reddit