When it comes to superhero television shows, there is so much to love. Sure, we’ll initially drawn to the story due to their superhero persona. But when it comes down to it, we care as much as we do about these shows because we give a damn about the person underneath the supersuit or persona.
Romance can sometimes be a bad word in the world of comic book television or film, especially when it involves female fans. But the thing that makes DC Comics and Marvel television shows so attainable is that they’re representative of our lives — well, apart from the whole superhero saving our city kind of thing.
Heroes are shaped by the people in their lives. And if there’s one incredibly powerful emotion, it’s love. And if there’s something we love to love, it’s love.
Whether it’s the romances pulled right from the comics themselves, such as Barry and Iris on The Flash or Matt and Karen on Daredevil, or the romances that completely took us by surprise in the best possible way, like Oliver and Felicity on Arrow and Kara and Mon-El on Supergirl, these romances have shaped our heroes — and our viewing experience — for the better.
Balancing romance and our hero’s journey is no easy feat. But there are plenty of superhero shows that have managed to do that with their couples from Arrow to Daredevil to Legends of Tomorrow to Luke Cage to Supergirl to The Flash.
There are such strong emotional reactions from fans when it comes to these pairings, these ships. And that’s because we feel a genuine connection. Sure, these characters and their relationship are fictional. We won’t deny that. But the simple fact is, these fictional couples elicit such raw and honest emotions every week they appear on televisions — and long after.
From couples we expected to the ones that surprised us to ones that aren’t together yet, here are 8 superhero couples we love to love!
Oliver & Felicity (Arrow)
If there was ever an example of capturing lightning in a bottle or the best surprise to ever happen to a superhero television show, it was Arrow’s Oliver and Felicity. Perhaps the fact that their romance was never planned, which allowed for an organic journey over the first two seasons before romance was explored, that allowed for Olicity to thrive as a beautiful, complex relationship. But then you also have to look at Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards, whose sizzling and undeniable chemistry made Olicity what it is. At the core of their relationship is this trusting foundation that allowed them to gradually evolve from strangers to friends to partners to soulmates. While things took a bumpy turn in terms of storytelling mid-season 4 through most of season 5, we can’t help but hold onto hope that Oliver and Felicity will find their way back to the happiness they previously shared. But even when these two aren’t “together together,” they are. You can’t write away from that chemistry. Arrow has tried and failed with that. When it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
Kara & Mon-El (Supergirl)
Sometimes it’s the romances that you don’t see coming that end up being the most satisfying. Such was the case with Supergirl’s Kara and Mon-El, who snuck up on me and ended up being one of my favorite ships this past television season. Once again, it stands to reason that chemistry is a big part of the success of the sweetest ship around, Karamel. Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood breathed life into their characters’ dynamic while managing to show us what it means to be in love: to be cared for, to protect each other, and to want to be the best version of ourselves. Kara and Mon-El’s journey has been a complex and emotional one, but it’s also shown us a levity with these two characters. While we’re still not recovered from that gut-wrenching season finale, the emotional reaction further illustrates the importance of Karamel. These are two imperfect people who were inspired by each other to fight for what they believe in and to always aspire to be the best versions of themselves.
Barry & Iris (The Flash)
While Barry and Iris were always meant to be together, that never forced us to take their beautiful moments or them for granted. Sure, they’re meant to be in the comics. But you can’t force that on television and be guaranteed success. Just look at Arrow’s Oliver and Laurel. You couldn’t force that if they tried even harder to. But from the moment that Barry and Iris both appeared on screen together, we’ve known that they were meant to be in this DCTV universe. Grant Gustin and Candice Patton’s beautiful chemistry and genuine affection have only added to the appeal of Westallen. It’s been a long and difficult journey for Barry and Iris, but we finally saw the pair explore a romance in season 3 that brought us some many new moments for the friends turned lovers. Barry and Iris have a genuine trust and care for one another that has transcended the status of their relationship. When you think of Barry and Iris, it’s not a matter of “they’re boyfriend and girlfriend or engaged.” It’s a matter of, these are two people that genuinely love and care for one another to the point of no return. That’ll never change.
Sara & Snart (Legends of Tomorrow)
If there’s one couple on this list that has brought us the most pain, it’s no doubt Legends of Tomorrow’s Sara and Snart. Another prime example of a couple that sneaks up on you entirely, through longing glances of desire and a natural rapport that radiates off the screen. While Captain Canary was essentially dangled in front of us and subsequently ripped away seconds later, that hasn’t stopped our love for the couple nor the hope that Snart will return and our pair be reunited. Captain Canary has shown us a fundamental aspect of life: People change people. Through their shared experiences aboard the Waverider — and off it — Sara and Snart developed an understanding, a friendship, and a genuine caring for one another. They might try to play off the attraction — they’re both the kind of person to do it — they cannot hide the truth in their eyes. You can’t buy this kind of chemistry and connection. Which is one of many reasons why Legends needs to bring back Snart and Captain Canary.
Alex & Maggie (Supergirl)
There’s no denying that one of the pleasant surprises of Supergirl’s sophomore season was Alex and Maggie’s beautiful relationship. Again, it was something that we didn’t see coming until it was right in front of us, and it was as if it was everything we were waiting for! One of the many beautiful things about Sanvers is that they were treated as an ordinary couple. Because while, yes, they are a same-sex couple, that doesn’t make their relationship fundamentally different than others. Supergirl never made a big deal of the fact that they’re a same-sex couple. Instead, it chose to explore the intricacies of their relationship in a way that was entertaining and gratifying. Not to mention Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima’s chemistry is off the charts. Sanvers was everything it was because of these two wonderful women. They brought a beautiful relationship to life that is so special to so many people. We couldn’t have been more blessed. While Lima’s guest star stance has some concerned, we don’t believe it ultimately jeopardizes the special relationship these two have nor jeopardize the many firsts they still have left to accomplish together.
Matt & Karen (Daredevil)
When you have your sights set on a couple that you intend to do, it’d be easy to fall into the trap of “get them together too quickly” rather than let their relationship play out. It was something I feared with Daredevil’s Matt and Karen. But it was something that was relieving and gratifying to see the care that they took with evolving their relationship. There was an instant connection, no denying that. But instead of rushing them into instant romance, we got to see them evolve as close friends and partners that made the transition into romance all the more organic and satisfying. The story is there. The chemistry is there. All the ingredients that comes with a successful and lasting romance are in place. We’ve only just begun to tap into their relationship. But that’s the beautiful thing. There’s so much more to their story. Especially with the final scene of Daredevil’s second season where Karen learned the truth about Matt’s secret identity. Give me all the development!
Luke & Claire (Luke Cage)
Another example of a couple that we knew was coming yet managing to make their relationship purposeful and natural was Luke Cage’s Luke and Claire. It all stems back to “just because they’re together in the comics doesn’t mean it’ll work on screen.” But luckily, this is Marvel television. And they know what they’re doing. When it comes to Luke and Claire, it was always in the back of our minds this burgeoning romance between the pair. But the beauty of it was that we got to see it unfold gradually. We got to see the meaningful foundation that’ll lead to their blossoming romance. We saw the moments. And the moments were significant. It’s not about the race, it’s about the journey. Taking the time to explore a relationship and give it a strong foundation. That’s what we got with Luke and Claire. We only just saw the beginnings of a romantic spark in the final moments of the season. But they’re already to the point where that foundation is solid. Where they care immensely about one another. Where romance is the natural next step.
Mick & Amaya (Legends of Tomorrow)
You can’t always force romance. Well, you can force it, but you can’t guarantee success. Some of the best romances — hell, look at how many are on this list — come organically through storytelling and genuine chemistry. While Legends of Tomorrow introduced a romance between Amaya and Nate, it just so happens that another spark out-shined them: Amaya and Mick. Don’t get me wrong, Amaya and Nate were cute. But Mick and Amaya were fire. Much like how Captain Canary came to be, this resulted from Mick and Amaya’s shared experiences, different personalities, and a natural spark they both couldn’t ignore. Every moment was significant in developing their relationship. Every moment felt like a moment. They’re people that changed each other for the better. There’s a genuine caring and concern there with so much untapped potential. It might seem easier to stick with what you’ve created, but when something else better comes along, it’s almost too risky to ignore it.
What superhero couples do you love to love? Sound off in the comments!