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A Valentine’s Day guide to comic book couples that never should have broken up

One of the ten comic book couples that need to reconcile.
One of the ten comic book couples that need to reconcile.J. Scott Campbell

From Spider-Man and Mary Jane, to Superman and Lois Lane some comic book couples are perfect together; they just make too much sense not to be together. They are a combination that when apart leaves a little hole in the hearts of the characters' fans. Unfortunately, story needs and editorial edicts get in the way and separate these loving couples.

With Valentine’s Day approaching what are the chances of these ex-lovebirds reconciling in order to avoid being alone on February 14. The Hollywood Comic Books Examiner looks at the ten break ups that make no sense and examines the odds that they will ever get back together. Some may never happen again and some there is always a possibility of that spark being rekindled.

This list is focused on the characters of the Marvel Comics and DC Comics universes with the criteria that these characters are currently not together in the current comics published by either publisher.

Spider-Man & Mary Jane
Spider-Man & Mary Jane Salvador Larocca

Spider-Man & Mary Jane

Reason for breakup: Marvel Editorial thought that a married Spider-Man aged the character and limited story potential.

The in story breakup: Spider-Man and Mary Jane make a deal with Mephisto, the devil of the Marvel Universe, to erase the marriage to save Spidey's Aunt May’s life.

Key issues and stories: “Amazing Spider-Man Annual” #21 (1987), “Sensational Spider-Man Annual” #1 (2008), “Kraven’s Last Hunt”(1987), “Spider-Man: Parallel Lives” (1989)

Odds of getting back together: 1:10 - They may get back together but they will never be married in continuity again.

Superman & Lois Lane
Superman & Lois Lane Dan Jurgens

Superman & Lois Lane

Reason for breakup: DC Comics wanted to make a whole new take on the DC Comics Universe by re-launching all of their characters and taking them back to basics. This included getting Superman single to make him feel more “alien.”

The in story breakup: During the events of “Flashpoint” time was rewritten. The DC Universe as we know it was completely different than the one Lois and Clark were married in. Today, they were never married but they remain good friends.

Key issues and stories: “Superman” Vol 2 #50 (1990), “Action Comics” #662 (1991), “Superman the Wedding Album” (1996), “The Death of Superman” (1992)

Odds of getting back together: 2:5 - Superman is spending all his downtime with Wonder Woman these days in the comic books.

Black Canary & Green Arrow
Black Canary & Green Arrow Cliff Chiang

Black Canary & Green Arrow

Reason for break up: They must have realized Green Arrow is too loose to settle down.

In story reason for break up:  Green Arrow murders the villain known as Prometheus.  When he finally surrenders to the authorities he says he wants to be alone and Black Canary realizes the marriage is over.

Key issues and stories:  “Green Arrow” Vol 2 #75 (2007), “Green Arrow Black Canary the Wedding Special” (2007), “Green Arrow Black Canary” 5-12 (2008).

Odds of getting back together: Even - The relationship is a heated love affair and they never seem to stay apart for long, but they never seem to stay together much longer.

Hawkeye & Mockingbird
Hawkeye & Mockingbird Lenil Francis Yu

Hawkeye & Mockingbird

Reason for break up: Creating in story conflict, shock value, and then to spice things up

In story reasons for break up: First time Mockingbird allowed a villain to fall to his death after he had tortured her. Hawkeye saw this as going against the “Avengers Code” against killing creating irreconcilable differences. The next time Mockingbird was “killed” by Mephisto. The third time Mockingbird said they had just grown apart.

Key issues and stories: “Hawkeye” 1-4 (1983), “New Avengers Reunion” (2009), “Hawkeye & Mockingbird: Ghosts” (2011).

Odds of getting back together anytime soon: 1:100 - It seems Marvel has other plans for the archer with Hawkeye's successful solo series. The winning formula for that series seems to be to play off Hawkeye as someone who gets around.

The Joker and Harley Quinn
The Joker and Harley Quinn Alex Ross

The Joker and Harley Quinn

Reason for break up: Not sure if there was any reason other than the Joker is scarier on his own.

In story reason: It really is just a relationship of convenience for the Joker as he takes advantage of the lovesick Harley. Although she has recently found comfort in the arms of fellow Suicide Squad member Deadshot before he “died” and came back.

Key issues and stories:Batman: Harley Quinn” (1999), “Mad Love” (1993)

Odds of getting back together: 1:357 - Joker is more of a terrorist than a lover. He seems much more interested in Batman than Harley. Harley likes to have her fun and according to her, the Joker she loves is gone.

Rogue & Gambit
Rogue & Gambit Lee Bermejo

Rogue & Gambit

Reason for breakup: It is all part of the soap opera of the X-Men

In story reason for break up: Rogue felt that she and Gambit had grown apart after some changes she underwent. Gambit felt a renewed interest in Rogue and wanted to patch things up. Rogue felt she wanted to try to fall in love with Magneto so Gambit took a back seat waiting for her to come to her senses.

Key issues: “X-Men” #24 (1993), “Uncanny X-Men” #350 (1997), “X-Men” #173 (2005), “Age of X” (2011), “X-Men Legacy” #224 (2009)

Odds of getting back together: 1:8 - It seems too easy to get these two back together and both seem to have finally moved on, but they work too well together to not try again, right?

Kitty Pryde & Colossus
Kitty Pryde & Colossus John Cassady

Kitty Pryde & Colossus

Reason for breakup: It is all part of the soap opera of the X-Men

In story reason: The first time Colossus fell in love with a woman on another planet and did not feel the same for Kitty after. The next time Colossus had received omnipotent powers and Kitty did not like the way he was using those powers.

Key issues:  “Uncanny X-Men” #183 (1984), “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted” (2004), “X-Men Unlimited” #38 (2002)

Odds of getting back together: 1: 100,000 - The way it ended it was pretty obvious Kitty never wanted to see Colossus again. Colossus has moved on to find comfort in the arms of Domino on the rogue X-Force team.

Nightwing & Starfire
Nightwing & Starfire Jerry Ordway

Nightwing & Starfire

Reason for breakup: DC Comics wanted the original Robin to be a closer part of the Batman comics which meant no more cosmic powered girlfriend for him.

In story reason for the breakup:  After their wedding in “New Titans” #100 (1993) was interrupted by Raven, Starfire felt that Nightwing was rushing into a marriage he was not ready for and left him.

Key issues: “New Teen Titans” #2 (1980), “New Teen Titans” #25 (1982), “New Teen Titans” #39 (1984), “New Titans” #100 (1993)

Odds of getting back together: 1:1,000,000 - This ship has sailed. DC prefers Nightwing as a grounded street level hero and loving an alien from Tamaran does not fit that mold. She is quite less innocent than she was in the New Teen Titans days as well.

Nightwing & Batgirl
Nightwing & Batgirl Greg Land

Nightwing & Batgirl

Reason for breakup: A relationship between the two was only hinted at in past tense because it would have happened when they were very young patrolling Gotham.

In story reason: Nightwing as Robin went off to college and joined the Teen Titans.

Key issues: “Birds of Prey” #8 (1999), “Batgirl” #3 (2011), “Batgirl Year One” (2003)

Odds of getting back together: 1:1,111 - This is the couple that will forever be teased but never happen. 

Ant-Man & the Wasp
Ant-Man & the Wasp Jack Kirby

Ant-Man & the Wasp

Reason for breakup: Shock value as writer James Shooter was looking for a complete shake up of the Avengers at the time.

In story reason: Under immense emotional distress Ant-Man then in his Yellowjacket costume struck the Wasp in the face giving her a black eye and ending their longtime marriage and partnership.

Key issues: “Tales to Astonish” #44 (1963), “Avengers” #59 & #60 (1968), “Avengers” #212 (1981), “Avengers” Vol 3 #71 (2003), “Avengers the Initiative” #20 (2008)

Odds of getting back together: 1:1,000,000 - Too much water under the bridge for these two.