Let’s face it: A foundational aspect of comic books is a budding, blossoming bromance. From the X-Men to the Avengers to the Justice League and beyond, every superhero team boasts at least a few. Mostly they serve as comedic relief, but a close platonic bond between two dudes—or ladies, bromances aren’t dude-exclusive—underscores the human relationships beneath the costumes.
It’s why when stories feature heroes fight amongst each other (Batman v. Superman; Civil War), it carries such dramatic weight. You know these two dudes—or ladies—really just love each other and want to bro out.
In honor of that spirit, we’re presenting the five bromances in comics you absolutely need to know.
Not everyone can make this short list of quality bromances, but here are several still worth checking out and could’ve very easily made the list, depending on my mood.
– Hercules and Amadeus Cho
– Barry Allen and Hal Jordan
– Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen (Hal Jordan is rich with Bros)
– Superman and Batman
– Luke Cage and Iron Fist
– Tony Stark and Dr. Strange (Facial Hair Bros!)
5) Spider-Man and Deadpool
Deadpool, in many ways, is the ultimate bromance target. He loves pop culture like Hello Kitty, always delivers a sarcastic quip, and more interested in bro-ing down than saving the world. So it’s no surprise Deadpool has loads of bros—including the iconic “Cable and Deadpool” pairing. But with Spider-Man and Deadpool, Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness have broken the mold with this one.
Initially Deadpool receives a contract to kill Peter Parker, which leads him to investigate Peter’s “bodyguard” Spider-Man. But in true Deadpool fashion, he develops a huge bro-crush on Spidey, causing complications since Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
It leads to wacky adventures, disastrous double dates, and Deadpool killing Peter and bringing him back to life… twice. The bromance really stand out as it forces the usually wise-cracking Spidey into the straight man of the duo. That unique reversal and relationship explains why this bromance gets my pick over others.
4) Swamp Thing and John Constantine
Swamp Thing may disagree, but he and The Hellblazer John Constantine are total bros. When they first meet, Constantine teaches Swamp Thing the ropes of dealing with mystical and occult problems. This was training to prepare him for a fight against the Brujería and primordial “Great Darkness.”
Later when Swamp Thing returns from space, Constantine lets Swamp Thing possess his body so that he could get his wife Abby Arcane pregnant with their “daughter” Tefé. From the outside looking in, they might appear to have an almost antagonistic relationship, but in reality, these two are bros to the end. At one point Swamps even grows some “elemental” grade green for Constantine.
3) Hyperion and Thor
One of the standout threads of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers run was watching a bromance birthed from two of the team’s heaviest hitters. Hyperion coming from another universe that was destroyed by an incursion sought friendship from what he saw as possibly his only peer, a literal god. Thor and Hyperion went on to experience many great adventures which were followed by many barrels of ale—that’s barrels, not pints. Finally, in the coldness of deep space, they even faced death together.
2) Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) are BFF. They’ve fought dinosaurs, aliens and even experienced pregnancy together. That’s right, when Jessica was pregnant, Carol invited her to stay in Alpha Flight’s maternity ward, nestled safely in a black hole where no one could do them harm.
That is until Skrulls attacked. But this is just one example of many, proving these two are bros, and would do anything for each other. I think what separates these two from the rest on this list is how they absolutely frustrate each other, but still adore one another at the same time. That’s what gets me excited when one is in the other’s book—oh what are they going to fight or fight about next?
1) Blue Beetle and Booster Gold
Although the bromances on this list aren’t really in any kind of order, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) and Booster Gold (Michael Jon Carter) definitely rank No. 1. This is like the original superhero bromance. Meeting as members of the Justice League International, the pair of C-List superheroes become instant best friends. Their misadventures include becoming superhero repo men, opening a casino/resort called Club JLI on the living island of Kooey Kooey Kooey, and stealing Martian Manhunter’s cookies.
This wisecracking duo is always game for get-rich quick schemes and practical jokes and that’s why they’re my favorite. Things just haven’t been the same since Ted Kord’s death, but his reappearance in DC’s Rebirth has me hoping for the return of “Blue and Gold!”