UPDATE: I finally wrote the followup DC Version.
Bromance – Describes the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males. (Urbandictionary)
Or if you prefer:
Now that we’ve defined bromance, know that when I’m talking about bromances, I’ll be trying to avoid relationships that are more hero-sidekick than bromances. For example, relationships like the Captain America/Falcon relationship are more hero-sidekick than two heroes bromancing. So we’re going to be more on the track of heroes who have solo books that have brought others into their book, or really prominent friendships within a larger team. The bromances will be judged on a number of factors, effectiveness as a team, fan reception, longevity, how many times you got the feels, and impact on the Marvel Universe. Let’s get into these Marvel bromances.
What isn’t there to like about this group? Wolverine who is for all intents and purposes basically the face of the X-men. Nightcrawler, who let’s be honest, has one of the most creative and badass powers. And Colossus, the lovable Russian metal beast of a man. While they X-Men in general have found a family in each other throughout the years, these three especially had a backgrounds of being a loner, outsider or keeping a very small circle. And that created an interesting bond between the three of them, to me in regards to X-Men they were the most like family. We saw plenty of moments between the three of them separately that pushed the boundaries and reinforced their friendship. Nightcrawler finds an intellectual soul who is just trying to do the right thing in Wolverine. Wolverine wins a bet with Nightcrawler and makes him go out without his image inducer for the first time, and finds that the reaction isn’t as scared and hateful as he expected. Wolverine and Colossus? Two words, fastball special.
On top of all of that, they’ve even been in prank wars with each other, and have gone on road trips together. As for having an impact on the Marvel Universe? How about having fought heavy hitters such as Magneto and Omega Red. Just look at this badass cover they shared together.
Now you’re saying they’ve done all that? Why aren’t they rated higher? Well, it has to do with where this bromance is at currently. Following the events of Second Coming, and Schism. This relationship has been put through some strain and may or may not work out. During Second Coming Nightcrawler sacrificed himself to save Hope Summers, the possible mutant messiah, and he is currently dead. During Schism the X-Men parted ways and some took the side of Cyclops and some went with Wolverine. Colossus had become the Juggernaut before this event and had felt something sinister change inside him, because of this he said he didn’t feel like he should be around children. Which is what Wolverine intended to do, to teach a new generation. So Colossus stayed with Cyclops. All that being said, due to a dedicated fan base, Nightcrawler will be back in some way, shape, or form. From there I guess we’ll have to see where this bromance goes.
Separate book chronicling the adventure? Check. Complete opposites that became allies in an odd manner? Check. Fan reception? They have a dedicated Tumblr. And while some of that stuff is more on the fanfic relationship side of things, there is plenty of panels showing them being buddies. With all that said the reason they aren’t higher on this list is because their effect on the Marvel Universe is not as big as some of the other heavy hitters on this list. Yes, Deadpool and Cable eventually got their own solo books because of this series, but as an impact on the most important events was minor. All that being said, they are still a fantastic bromance. They were on opposite sides during Civil War, but eventually made up.
What makes them so great is their unlikely friendship dynamic. Cable is as serious as a character as it gets when you’re talking Marvel. Whether it’s internal problems or completing his mission at hand, the mutant time traveler has always been stone faced and really as serious as can be. And Deadpool… Well, he’s Deadpool.
And yet, these two characters found a real friendship in each other that had it’s fair share of heart warming moments.
3. Spider-Man/Human Torch
Everyone’s favorite quippy web slinger and the hilarious playboy of the Fantastic Four? That’s a recipe for bromanticism. Or was it? When you look closely at the comparison, these two couldn’t be more different. Peter Parker is a reserved, introverted, and a loner who is more at home with his books and research. Johnny Storm is a good-looking, chick magnet with a hot head(no pun intended, ok maybe it was intended) that loves fast cars and fast women. However, their commitment to the safety of the public and those closest to them, is what eventually made them grow to respect each other in a way that very few others of the Marvel Universe understand. Despite starting as bitter rivals, they became the closest of friends, entrusting their deepest secrets to each other. And when I say bitter rivals, I mean bitter rivals.
And when they became the closest of friends?
In a lot of ways, these two were the friends that had parents that thought “Oh they’re the same age, they have to be friends! Let’s not check if they have anything in common.” And then the horrible awkwardness ensues, but some event happens and they find that at the core they do share something important traits. However, it wasn’t without a bumpy road, and this unlikely pairing coming together made them that much more dynamic. Throughout the years they’ve had plenty of stories, when the Human Torch was presumed dead the FF brought in Spider-Man to be their staple fourth. They had their own book together, and while this pairing doesn’t have as big an effect on the Marvel Universe and it’s events, it’s filled with plenty of moments that give the feels.
2. Captain America/Iron Man/Thor
Throughout this article I’ve been saying, that “they would be higher on this list if they had more of an impact on the Marvel Universe.” This group easily has the biggest effect on the Marvel U. When they fight, a universe wide event occurs. (See: Civil War)
“Well, where does Thor fit in?” In Civil War he claims to be neutral on the matter, but helps free imprisoned heroes, so on the side of Cap. They all have relationships separately, having had numerous annuals, but they are best known of course for being 3 of the founding members of The Avengers, Marvel’s resident super team. Listing foes they’ve taken on seems pointless, but let’s do a short list, the Phoenix force, Galactus, Doctor Doom, Thanos, Ultron, and pretty much every villain worth his salt. But, but, Brian, they don’t have enough d’awwww moments. Oh? During the Stark: Disassembled arc, Tony Stark has essentially had to erase his mind to prevent Norman Osborn from stealing the identities of all the Superheroes, and in doing so he turns himself into a vegetable. However, since he’s Tony Stark, he has a plan to reboot his memory due to the way his mind works because of Extremis. He specifically says, to only bring him back if it is better for the world, and that there are two people necessary to bring him back. Take a guess.
When does that story take place? After Civil War. And after this:
You could argue that they just have a working relationship. But I would show you this.
While there are plenty of bromantic moments throughout their time together, I wanted to show you how much pain and heartbreak this bromance went through, and after all of that Tony still kept his life in the hands of Thor and Steve Rogers. They’ve been through all of this and have decided to forgive Tony and help restore his mind. After which he relearned about the events of Civil War, and was disgusted with himself. Don’t think they could forgive him after something like this? How about throwing him a surprise party after he returned from his stint with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
I know most of this example was through the eyes of Iron Man, but to me it was the best and most recent example of this group overcoming the adversity. When they are clicking on all cylinders there isn’t a villain in the Marvel Universe that want’s to stare these three down.
1. Luke Cage/Iron Fist
Here was a street smart guy that was weary of the world. The other was a martial arts master that was laid-back and philosophical by nature. If you thought of this:
You weren’t far off. The two characters Luke Cage and Danny Rand(Iron Fist) struggled to keep an interesting ongoing solo series. However, together they had a very memorable run as the Heroes for Hire. They even transitioned to a new team together helping to lead and fight alongside the New Avengers. These two have been a team forever seemingly. You can’t go through the history of either of them with out hearing about the other at some point. The longevity of their relationship can’t be ignored, while Marvel is now bringing these heroes to the forefront, they have always been together, in a lot of ways brothers from a different mother. Having had plenty of moments like this:
To me that is really the key to this relationship, they were friends outside of their team-ups and their time as a team. They formed such a bond that even when their team broke up they were still friends. Luke Cage recently became the headliner of a new book for Marvel called the Mighty Avengers, one of the first things that happens in that book? A reference to Danny Rand. As the New Avengers they faced an impressive list of baddies. Fan reception? Heroes for Hire is one of the Marvel intellectual properties constantly being brought up as a TV show or movie. Effectiveness as a team?
I think one picture will really sum up why they’re the best bromance in all of Marvel.
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