To be fair, most superhero films feature some kind of central romantic relationship, but that doesn’t mean they’re always successful. In fact, more often than not the “love interest” feels tacked-on or underdeveloped, and winds up being one of the worst aspects of the story.
There are a few exceptions, however.
Below, you’ll find our rundown of superhero movies which actually succeed in making us care about their central pairings and the romances that blossom from them. Not all of ’em end well, but hey, that’s love!
Simply click on the next button below!
Batman and Catwoman have always had a very complicated relationship in the comics, and Tim Burton’s Batman Returns captured their dynamic perfectly.
With neither one aware of the other’s secret identity, Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) and Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) embark on a heated, and more than a little strange (“psychos never scare me… at least they’re committed”) relationship while they’re costumed alter-egos do the same – but with more punching.
They never actually take their kinky outfits to the boudoir and things don’t end on a happy note, but the actors’ chemistry is undeniable and sparks fly whenever they’re on screen together.
Yes, the first Spider-Man movie has that upside-down kiss in the rain, but for our money, Sam Raimi’s sequel is a far more passionate affair in every respect.
Spider-Man 2 finds Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) struggling to take control of his civilian life while maintaining his wall-crawling ways, and ultimately deciding to give up being Spidey to pursue a relationship with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). In the end, he decides to step back and allow MJ to marry John Jameson in order to keep her safe, only to find the girl of his dreams standing in his doorway in her wedding dress.
A little cheesy? Sure – but admit it, this got you right in the feels!
Deadpool hit theaters around V-day, and was very cleverly marketed as a “chick-flick” in the buildup to its release. Of course, most people assumed this was a gag, but the movie did actually turn out to be surprisingly romantic.
The Merc With a Mouth’s first big-screen outing was every bit the blood-soaked, F-bomb laden adventure we expected, but underneath the flying limbs and fourth-wall breaking wise cracks was a tender love story about a mutated contract killer and a former call girl.
Plus, the R-rating allowed for an actual superhero movie sex scene (well, more of a montage) for once, which turned out to be horny and hilarious in equal measure.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger is often praised as one of the first superhero movies to fully engage viewers in a romantic subplot, and with good reason.
The movie works as an entertainingly old-school adventure on most levels, but the relationship between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) really does tune out to be the backbone of the story.
Steve and Peggy share several very effective scenes together which believably establish how deeply these characters care for one another, and the final sequence with Cap flying towards the ice while promising Peggy that dance will go down as one of the most heartfelt moments in The MCU’s history.
Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman has been accused of borrowing a little too heavily from The First Avenger – especially when it comes to the central relationship – and while the similarities are undeniable, Diana’s first big-screen outing deserves recognition for its achievements in genuinely romantic storytelling.
The chemistry between Gal Gadot’s Diana and Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is palpable, and, just like Peggy and Steve, their relationship is integral to the plot.
The finale of Wonder Woman has its share of problems (it pole-vaults over the fine line between heartfelt and cheesy, for one), but Trevor’s mid-air sacrifice is undeniably powerful.
Superman: The Movie
A bonafide classic, Richard Donner’s first Superman movie features what is widely considered to be the best on-screen depiction of Supes/Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s relationship.
Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder are pretty much flawless as these iconic DC Comics characters, and, as silly as the whole glasses disguise is, we completely buy Lois’ separate dynamics with Clark and his Man of Steel alter-ego.
The “Can you read my mind” nighttime flight over Metropolis scene may have dated a little now (some consider it cheesy even for its time), but we think there’s still a lot of magic there.
The Amazing Spider-Man/TASM 2
The Amazing Spider-Man movies will never be ranked among the best superhero films (we’re being nice), but its’s hard to argue that the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy worked very well.
Maybe it was because they were dating IRL at the time, but Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have chemistry to burn, and they share some genuinely romantic moments – particularly in the first outing.
Things do get a little more mawkish in TASM 2, but Gwen’s death scene remains an undeniably moving and tragic sequence in an otherwise forgettable film.
Okay, we’re not saying Avengers: Endgame is a romantic movie (it has its moments, but most of the central relationships are based more around the bonds of friendship), but it deserves special mention for its final shot alone.
Towards the end of the film, Steve Rogers travels back in time to return the Infinity Stones before deciding to remain in the past and live the life he never got to experience with Peggy Carter.
If you didn’t have a tear in your eye as the pair finally got to have their dance, you should probably check your pulse.
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