The idea of fantasy literature wherein humans mate with other, mysterious creatures far predates the comic book medium. From the litany of myths about Greek and Roman gods who lay with mortals, the idea of breeding beyond one’s species has always captivated mankind. As the age of exploration dawned, stories of men finding and making love to sub- or super-human species was the subject of much “serious” fiction and super-sized satire, most evident in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and much later, Star Trek.
Are these depictions of inter-species conquest a symptom of an underlying white male imperialist instinct in our culture? Or rather, are they remnants of early progressive authors trying to work around a culture who would shun love between, say, black and white, but not white and green? And do you really care, or are you just trying to get a peek at some superheroes getting freaky while hoping it’s not blocked by your work’s wifi? Oh, ok, then. Never mind, we’ll just get to the shaking of the inter-species sheets, then.
The Forager traditionally hails from a race of humanoid bugs who inhabited New Genesis during the time of the war with Apokolips. Looked down upon by the New Gods, the once- male and later female Forager will stop at nothing to defeat Darkseid and protect her people. Jimmy Olsen is a bumbling photographer who’s pals with Superman and once got turned into a giant reptile monster because the writers ran out of ideas.
Nevertheless, Forager sought Jimmy Olsen’s help to prevent the death of the New Gods in Countdown to Final Crisis. Forager finds herself attracted to Jimmy, who she calls “Olsenbug,” and they begin an intimate relationship. How intimate? Whelp, we literally can’t show you some panels from the book. Needless to say, nobody was asking for a topless Forager, but we got it.
Hey, you know how 2017 has been all about finding out your heroes, who you thought were upstanding citizens, have actually done some creepy, pervy stuff? And you’ve started weeding out your “friends” based on who tries to justify grown men getting weird with minors? Hope you’re not a Hal Jordan…
No, we’re not talking about that time he disguised himself as a martian and had a whole martian family in the “Matrix sequels” of comics, The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Weird as that is, it isn’t quite as “oh god no” as Arisia. Who’s that? Why, that’s the spiritedly young 14 year old alien who nursed a schoolgirl crush on Hal, who he repeatedly referred to as a “little sister.” Of course, her “willpower” made her body subconsciously mature into that of a woman, and the subsequent issues of Tales of the Green Lantern Corps bent themselves into more pretzels than a Roy Moore pundit as to why it was now totally ok for Hal Jordan to hook up with his 14 year old “little sister.”
Thanks to his recent film appearances, everyone is familiar with the story of Stephen Strange, the arrogant, snarky surgeon who suffered an accident and became the Sorcerer Supreme. While the films allow Strange to maintain his pre-accident persona, albeit with a newfound maturity, over the years the comics had drained Strange of any personality beyond stuffy mysticism.
Thankfully, Jason Aaron came aboard to bring his signature style to the Sorcerer Supreme in late 2015. In the first issue, we meet a roguish Strange, equal parts James Bond and Jack Burton as he travels dimensions, fighting back evil, and eventually running into a shapely Free Rover of the Nethersphere. Strange, always a man with his Eye of Agamotto on the prize, casts a spell of Romantic Divination to determine that, yes, she was into him. And Strange showed her “where the magic happens.”
She’s a princess from the planet Tamaran who was enslaved and subjected to horrendous experiments which imbued her with super powers. He’s an orphaned acrobat trained by a vigilante millionaire to fight crime. Tale as old as time, right?
If you followed any incarnation of the Teen Titans from the Wolfman/Perez books to the popular first animated series (as for the second…nobody’s really clear on what happens there or why), you know the forever fluctuating romance of Starfire and Nightwing. While there had of course been love stories in DC comics before, theirs was the first that felt downright passionate and very physical. Sure, Beast Boy could change into a lot of animals, but it was Nightwing and Starfire that made the beast with two backs.
NOVA (RICHARD RIDER)
Y’know, 1975 was a hell of a year for Marvel. That year saw the introduction of many strong, iconic women of color. March saw the first appearance of Misty Knight in Marvel Premiere #21. Two months later, Storm graced the pages of Giant Size X-Men #1. And in June of 1975, Jim Starlin used Strange Tales #180 to introduce the world to Gamora (green is also a color, right?).
While Gamora had previously been involved with Adam Warlock during Starlin’s cosmic conflicts, and to movie-goers she’s undoubtedly linked to Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, comic fans likely best remember Gamora’s romantic entanglement with Richard Rider’s Nova that began during the Annihilation War. Rider’s love for Gamora went much deeper than her initial lustful urges, ultimately nursing her back to health when she was in the grips of the transcode virus.
Colossal Boy got his powers to grow from a radioactive meteorite, just as he got the birth name “Gim Allon” because comic writers in the ‘60s falsely predicted we’d all intentionally misspell out kids names in the future, when in reality, we’re just gonna name them all with hashtags. Joining the Legion of Super-Heroes, he developed an unrequited crush on Shrinking Violet, whose power to shrink suggests a Colossal Boy kink we don’t even wanna touch on.
Eventually, Violet seemed to reciprocate his feelings, and the two were married. However, their disproportionately sized spousal bliss was disrupted when it was revealed that Gim’s bride was, in fact, a shapeshifting alien named Yera from the planet Durla. After the deception was exposed, Gim briefly wrestled with his emotions, having shared his bed with a completely different person than he’d thought, before deciding “Nobody’s perfect,” Some Like It Hot-style, and staying in the marriage.
Remember the role of trainer/companion to The Hulk that Valkyrie played in Thor: Ragnarok? Well, in the original Planet Hulk story arc upon which that film is based, that role is actually filled by Caiera. Caiera was one of the Shadow People on Sakaar, who served as bodyguard to The Red King.
When Hulk arrived on the planet, she trained and later fought Hulk, before falling in love with him. When Hulk ascended to the throne of Sakaar, the people wanted Caiera to serve as the new king’s bodyguard, but Hulk instead took her as his wife, and they even had children together. Tragically, Caiera was killed when the warp core on The Hulk’s ship exploded, and Hulk returned heartbroken and furious to get his revenge on Earth.
You probably know Karolina Dean from the stellar Hulu adaptation of Runaways. You might also know Julie Power from the garbage fire TV pilot adaptation of Power Pack. But did you know the two were an item?
Sure, Karolina’s identity issues, wrestling with both discovering she isn’t human and also coming to terms with her sexuality, have been a centerpiece of the Runaways books since the beginning. After Karolina resolved a tumultuous arranged marriage with the Skrull Prince Xavin, Julie crossed paths with Karolina to help her search for Old Lace. Julie put the moves on her superpowered counterpart, and their flirtation developed into a lasting romantic relationship. Whether or not this will show up in the Hulu series has yet to be seen, as we don’t know who exactly has the rights to Power Pack (or really, who would want them).
One could pull a Senator Kelly here and argue whether or not mutants would count as humans. Then again, is Scarlet Witch even a mutant anymore? Is she still Magneto’s kid, or is she some kind of experiment now? Did they retcon it and make her an Inhuman to appease Perlmutter? Is she even a “witch” witch, or does she manipulate probability? Nothing about Scarlet Witch’s powers or origins are at all clear anymore.
The only thing that is clear is that she is a hardcore technophile. She has a long and storied romance with The Vision, one that was evidently very physical. In fact, Scarlet Witch took so many broomstick rides with Vision that they produced two children, or so they thought. Those kids actually turned out to be psychic constructs that nearly shattered reality. Thankfully, Vision later started his own family in Tom King’s The Vision, and that worked out totally fine…
If there’s one thing that’s clear from covering the cosmic side of DC Comics, it’s that Green Lanterns get around. Hell, between Hal Jordan and John Stewart alone, Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern Corps. movie might as well be co-produced by Vivid.
Naturally, the most obvious case of John, well, groping for trout in a particular river is, of course, his wife Katma Tui, who initially antagonized him into becoming the new Lantern of Earth after Hal Jordan left. It was a whole thing. Later, Katma trained him and they fell in love and married. But that’s not his only extraterrestrial affair. Indeed, John had a brief dalliance with a former Darkstar named Merayn Dethalis, and even involved her in the construction of the new JSA HQ.
Forget about the odd, chaotic late ‘90s movie of the same name. If you’re unfamiliar with the edgy, angsty and undeniably British comic series Tank Girl, co-created by Gorillaz founder Jamie Hewlett, change that immediately. The artfully anarchic story of the title character’s post-apocalyptic mayhem is riddled with adult content, the bulk of which also involves her marsupial boyfriend.
Booga is a mutant Kangaroo who used to design toys. One night, after sneaking into Tank Girl’s tank to steal a pair of her underwear (it’s a British thing, just roll with it), she caught him and he became her devoted confidant and lover. One could describe their relationship as “ethically non-monogamous,” but that would imply that “ethics” factors into much of Tank Girl’s Id inspired actions.
Surely, you can’t be surprised that the Merc With a Mouth, the Hero of Unbridled Hedonism has a spot on this list, can you? Wade Wilson’s libido has more triggers than the rest of his arsenal combined, so it stands to reason he’s got a long list of not-so-human partners.
We honestly don’t have the space to list them all, but the highlight reel has to include Orksa, whose bounty hunter husband was killed by Deadpool. Deadpool, desperate to curb Orksa’s anger, promptly married her; Satana, the daughter of Satan, whom Wade also married to help her avoid having to marry the likes of Mephisto or Dormammu; Shiklah the Succubus, and even the embodiment of Death itself, the last of which caused great distress to her constant admirer Thanos.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a superhero wanting to sow their wild oats throughout the cosmos, but how Johnny came to become entangled with Lyja the Skrull just doesn’t feel right. You see, Johnny didn’t think he was spending his nights with a Skrull operative. Instead, he believed he was bedding the longtime love of his teammate and friend Ben Grimm while Ben was away on Battleworld.
Originally intended to trick Ben, Lyja was sent to Earth disguised as his longtime girlfriend Alicia Masters. However, when Ben remained on Battleworld, Lyja set her sights on Johnny, developing genuine feelings for him, which Johnny reciprocated. Later, it was revealed that Lyja was in fact a Skrull agent, but Storm has stayed in a torrid on-again, off-again love affair with her ever since.
You certainly know Quicksilver if you’ve watched either the X-Men films, wherein he’s played by Evan Peters, or in the MCU where he’s played by Aaron-Taylor Johnson. You may also be familiar with Crystal, a member of the Inhuman royal family, as played by Isabelle Cornish if you watched ABC’s TV series Inhumans. No? Nobody? No one at all, huh? Alright, moving on…
In the comics, Crystal met and fell in love with Quicksilver, functioning as a secondary couple alongside Scarlet Witch and Vision. The two married and even successfully had a child named Luna, the first Inhuman/Mutant hybrid. Unfortunately, their marriage fell apart when Maximus orchestrated an affair between Crystal and a human named Norm Webster, which honestly is a much less confusing plan than whatever Maximus was trying to do on Inhumans.
Arguably the most famously kinky couple in mainstream comics, the bedroom life of Silk Spectre and her man, the once human but now indefinably cosmic Dr. Manhattan, is a centerpiece of the legendary Watchmen story. It reflects both Manhattan’s inability to connect on an intimate level, his perpetual detachment, and the broader implications of how contemporary humanity uses carnal impulses to self-medicate against the fracturing emotional elements of their relationships.
Sure, witnessing the stark naked superhero split into multiple entities to enact a big blue bacchanalia is super awkward, unless you’re into that kind of thing (and we’re not here to judge). But, for whatever it’s worth, it’s not nearly was weird as watching Silk Spectre have some same-species naughty time with Nite Owl set to the late, great Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
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