It’s February and love is in the air- especially for Marvel’s Merry Mutants!
It’s the month of love true believers! Often being called a Sci-Fi soap opera with superpowers, the X-Men are no strangers to matters of the heart. One could argue that without a romantic escapade or two, many of the stories that we hold so dear wouldn’t be half as interesting. Even with the world-ending, time traveling events over the years, the writers have been able to weave into the mythos relatable relationships that help drive plots and (for better or worse) grow characters. Best, doesn’t always mean “popular” or healthy. Here I’m focusing on the most impactful ones in the mythos. So without further ado, here are the X-Men’s Top 10 Couples.
10. Beast and Abigail Brand
The furry community may be bigger than we know because, despite Beast’s beastly blue furry appearance, he’s had little issue with the opposite sex. Matter of fact, his blue fur is what attracted Agent Abigail Brand to him in the first place. Though she is, in fact, mutant, she’s also half extraterrestrial with a father that looks very much like the infinitely intelligent X-Man.
Abigail’s adoration for the bouncy blue beaker breaker is hidden by a gruff militant personality. However, it’s not something she’s unaware of. Both often joke about that facet of her, even in the most intimate of settings. Most recently, she was spotted at the Kitty/ Colossus wedding (though it turned out to be Mystique), so she maintains a presence amongst the X-Men. Seeing as her only real connection to them is Beast, it begs to reason that their relationship is still solid.
Defining Attribute: Endearing
9. Rogue and Magneto
Probably the most shocking pairing on the list, Rogue and Magneto came to be after the Age of X storyline in X-Men Legacy Vol 1. In it, one of Legion’s ridiculously powerful personalities both altered the minds of all the denizens of Utopia and trapped them within a pocket universe. After the story was resolved and the X-Men freed it was revealed that Rogue’s persona “Legacy” was secretly in love with Magneto. Choosing to hold onto the traumatic memories of the fictitious reality, Rogue decided to explore those feelings.
After spending a night together, the two began a casual, but still, sexual relationship, though it was only depicted (or even referenced) once or twice during the run. When the book changed from Mike Carey’s pen to Christos Gage, the relationship was brought up less and less until the second to the last issue of the run. Rogue ultimately turns down Magneto’s request to make their coupling official. Since then, the two have only interacted a handful of times, most recently in the pages of Mr. and Mrs. X.
Defining Attribute: Infamous
8. Legion and Blindfold
Though exclusively contained within the pages of Si Spurrier’s X-Men Legacy run which began in 2012, Legion and Blindfold were two first-time lovers that found themselves linked by circumstance. Their initial meeting saw the young psionic mutant Blindfold (Ruth) use her feminine wiles to distract the off-centered titan by passionately kissing him. This started a romantic relationship that occurred primarily via telepathic communication.
Ruth would generally function as David’s confidant and conscious during his adventures. Without her influence, the world would have most likely ended by way of her boyfriend’s rampaging powers. David, in turn, allowed Blindfold to feel what it was like to be inside a real relationship and be loved despite her physical limitations. Ruth and Legion fell utterly in love with one another. With both his father and mother dead, she became his only motivation to save the world. In the end, though David wiped himself from existence, their bond was maintained.
Defining Attribute: Profound
7. X23 and Hellion
Similar to Legion and Blindfold, X23’s relationship with Hellion was a first time for them. But not in the way of being with another person. X-23 was as far away from being untouched as one could be. Upon escaping the program that created her, she turned to prostitution for much of her teenage years. Hellion, a very handsome and confident young man, saw himself as something of a playboy during those same formative years.
X-23 had never been in a real relationship that required emotional validation or emotion at all, for that matter. Hellion had since lost his hands and felt less than whole following the incident. In a way, both X-Men were discovering love for the first time and found comfort in the relationship they built. Though they didn’t remain together for a long period of time, it was the premier ship among the New X-Men class. It’s also a large reason X-23 has been able to cut through her programming and embrace what it means to be human.
Defining Attribute: Heart-warming
6. Kitty Pryde and Colossus
Teased and developed for over 30+ years, Kitty and Colossus’ relationship went from forbidden to a staple, to overlooked, and ultimately ended in heartbreak. What began as a somewhat inappropriate flirtation, turned into a long-running relationship between the two X-Men. Their affair began in the 80s and partially survived into the next decade when the two were part of Excalibur, though their bond was stressed with Pete Wisdom emerging as a love interest for Kitty.
Their relationship would be less than romantic for the time leading up to his supposed death. When Pete is discovered alive in Astonishing X-Men, the two reconciled and entered an on/off phase. In the meantime, the two would date other X-Men such as Iceman and Domino and we saw Kitty briefly get engaged to Star-Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In the end, Kitty would be the one to propose marriage to Colossus. Sadly, she got cold feet and pulled out, leaving Peter at the altar. Understandably, their relationship didn’t survive.
Defining Attribute: Heartbreaking
5. Emma Frost and Cyclops
Although this couple began in a most distasteful fashion, Emma and Scott over the years have become a fan-favorite couple. Though being acquainted with each other for years, an attraction between them didn’t come to be until Emma volunteered to help counsel Scott and his then-wife, Jean. During their sessions, Emma developed actual feelings for him, and despite being his therapist and him being otherwise married, she began to pursue him. Though she offered to make it a physical affair, their interactions were limited to thoughts, though for a telepath like Jean, it was enough for her to find fault.
After Jean’s death, Cyclops and Emma openly developed their relationship, much to the chagrin of Kitty Pryde, and in a very mocking way, Wolverine. However, the two received a blessing from Jean herself from beyond the grave. She telepathically encouraged Scott to move on with Emma. From the early 00’s up until the end of Avengers vs. X-Men in 2012 they were the “it” couple of the X-Men. Their romantic relationship hit a rough patch, as the two each possessed a portion of the Phoenix Force. Corrupted by the power, it ended with Cyclops forcibly removing Emma’s share.
Defining Attribute: Scandalous
4. Psylocke and Angel
In the entire stable of X-Men ships, Psylocke and Angel, are quite possibly the most realistic. Coming together officially as a couple in the mid-1990s, they’ve never been without each other for long periods of time. While both would date other X-Men from time to time, their bond would survive death, dismemberment, mind wiping, and entirely new bodies.
When Angel’s evil Archangel personality would overcome Warren and drive him to take Apocalypse’s role, only Psylocke held enough influence to get close enough to stop him. Much of the same occurred when Nate Grey recently transformed Warren into one of his Horsemen of Salvation.
Defining Attribute: Enduring
3. Lillandra and Professor Xavier
The term “star-crossed lovers” doesn’t fit anyone else, better than these two. Lillandra was a member of the Shi’ar Empire’s Royal Family. Desperate for help defeating her brother, the Emperor of the same galactic union, she reached out into the cosmos and found her literal soulmate on Earth, the progenitor of the X-Men, Professor Charles Francis Xavier. These two came into contact at the beginning of what became the Dark Phoenix Saga. Professor-X and his X-Men helped her save the galaxy from her brother’s power-mad ambitions. The experience also brought these two together, and at times tested their union.
Though they’d never officially marry, Professor-X was recognized as Empress Lillandra’s royal consort. Xavier would go on to spend various amounts of time with Lillandra, none as long as during the late 80s, where he was absent from the books for a couple years (our time). Over the many timelines the X-Men franchise has explored we’ve seen at least two examples of offspring between the couple, the latest being Xandra, the true heir to the Shi’ar throne.
Defining Attribute: Hopeless
2. Jean Grey and Cyclops
The original “ship” of the X-Men, a large portion of the X-Mythos will eventually be formed around their relationship and their adult children from various timelines and possible futures including Rachel Grey-Summers, Nate “X-Man” Grey, and Nathaniel “Cable” Dayspring-Summer, although Cable is the present-day result of a union between Cyclops and Madelyn Prior (a clone of Jean created by Mister Sinister). Cable was born in the main timeline but raised in the distant future by Jean and Cyclops in displaced bodies.
Though the two wouldn’t be married until the early 1990s, they would arguably peak during the famous 1980s story The Dark Phoenix Saga. Following “The Twelve” story arc that saw Apocalypse inhabit Cyclops’ body for a short time, troubles began. With a newly hardened personality, a rift was created between him and Jean. Both X-Men would eventually die, however during Jean’s most recent rebirth, the Phoenix Force would resurrect her husband in an attempt to soften her resolve. Though she’d reject the offer, both are now among the living.
Defining Attribute: Iconic
1. Rogue and Gambit
Was there any doubt at this point? Rogue and Gambit’s relationship hasn’t just stood the test of time, it transcends reality. Almost every iteration of Rogue has had herself a version of Gambit. It’s funny that these two are even a thing as their creator Chris Claremont had no intention of pairing the two. He originally wanted to later play with the idea of Rogue and Longshot while Gambit wasn’t even supposed to stay on as a hero!
Romantically, Claremont had designs on Gambit eventually seducing Kitty Pryde (an idea he would eventually float in the X-Men Forever special) as part of his villainous machinations. In recent years the two returned to their “will they, won’t they” status, but under Kelly Thompson’s pen in the Rogue & Gambitminiseries, the two reconciled. Finally, during the Summer of 2018, we would see the two marry and go on to star in their own duo-book- Mr. And Mrs. X.
Defining Attribute: Inevitable
There we have it! The Top 10 X-Men couples of all-time. Which is your favorite? Let us know!