One of everyone’s favorite aspects of superhero comics is the friendships that grow between characters. Everyone has a favorite pairing. And few things are as rewarding as seeing some of your favorite characters have each other’s backs through thick and thin. In honor of the upcoming Blue and Gold miniseries revealed in DC’s July 2021 solicitations, we’re ranking some of the best friendships in both DC and Marvel Comics in yet another Top Ten list. While we may not cover all of your favorite friendships from DC or Marvel Comics, you’re more than welcome to add in your two cents and share your favorite duos in the comments below.
These rankings are for duos only. That means we didn’t include the Justice League’s Trinity and the Avengers’ Big Three in this list. Those characters’ friendships are all strongest as trios, so it felt wrong to split them up just to fit them onto this list. Plus, their inclusion just felt a bit too predictable.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at our favorite friendships from DC and Marvel Comics plus the dynamic duos!
Top Ten Friendships in Marvel and DC
10. Deadshot and Catman (DC)
Who said only heroes could have friends? The friendship between Floyd Lawton and Thomas Blake may be an unexpected entry for this list. But anyone who reads Gail Simone’s entire run on Secret Six can tell you that this duo earned their spot. Thomas Blake and Floyd Lawton may not be the first pair you think of when it comes to best friends, but their chemistry is undeniable. The duo met as a part of Lex Luthor’s Secret Six—detailed here by CBR—where they were forced to fight for their lives against most of DC’s supervillain community. Barely making it out alive, they stayed together and led the Secret Six on all sorts of missions. They’ve also had their fair share of ups and downs, but that doesn’t change the bad times these two have helped each other through. Though they’d never admit it themselves.
9. Nightwing and the Flash (DC)
As sidekicks, as Titans, and as legacy heroes, Dick Grayson and Wally West have been there for one another through it all. Fast friends from their days as the founding members of the Teen Titans, Robin and Kid Flash, these two have been supporting each other in and out of costume for years. Dick was even the best man at Wally’s wedding! On the surface, they couldn’t be more different. Dick is a circus acrobat raised by a big-city billionaire to be one of the world’s greatest crimefighters. Meanwhile, Wally is a blue-collar mechanic from the Midwest who can break the sound barrier in his sleep. These two know what it’s like to be raised in the shadows of legends and eventually surpass their mentors. But when the chips are down, these two Titans always come back together.
8. Cannonball and Sunspot (MARVEL)
Sam Guthrie and Roberto DaCosta have been together for their entire superhero careers. From the New Mutants to X-Force, and even to the Avengers, they’ve literally fought to hell and back with each other before venturing into the farthest reaches of space. Initially, they were brought together by the common struggle they face as mutants. After all, they didn’t have much else in common. Sam comes from a working-class out of Kentucky. Meanwhile, Roberto is a ridiculously wealthy Brazilian playboy. Despite all this, they’ve stuck together for years. The two simply bring out the best in each other. Plenty of things may have changed for them through the years, but their friendship isn’t one of them.
7. Mister Fantastic and The Thing (MARVEL)
Reed Richards—the world’s foremost imaginaut—and Ben Grimm: the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing. These two heroes have been together literally since the beginning of their publication history from Marvel Comics. As staples of the Fantastic Four, the pair are synonymous with each other and they’ve known each other for most of their fictional lives as well. Starting off as university roommates, the pair stuck together through college, war, and their respective marriages—not to mention all the times they have saved the entire world together. They’ve had each other’s backs. While Ben has always partially blamed Reed for his condition, Reed blames himself just a little bit. Despite this, they never let their resentment get in the way of one of Marvel’s strongest friendships. After all, Reed’s kids call Ben “Unca Ben” for a reason. Read more about their iconic friendship in this Fantastic Four series from Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo.
6. Black Canary and Oracle (DC)
Dinah Lance and Barbara Gordon have a lot in common as accomplished crimefighters. They each want to do what they can to make their world a better place. And both women bring out the best in each other. They started their relationship in a more professional manner—Black Canary didn’t even learn Oracle’s real identity until she had to save her life. They’ve become as close as two heroes could be in the years since. And they’ve saved each other in more ways than one. Babs really helped Dinah break out of her rut in Chuck Dixon’s original Birds of Prey run. Meanwhile, Dinah helped push Babs to trust again. Barbara was even Dinah’s maid of honor. They trust each other implicitly as the Birds of Prey and they’ve taken down threats that no one even knew about. In this case, birds of a feather really do flock together.
5. Hawkeye and Hawkeye (MARVEL)
Clint Barton and Kate Bishop have one of the most unique relationships on this list from Marvel comics. You may expect it to fit into the generic master and apprentice template. But you couldn’t be more wrong. Clint is an absolute mess, despite being a world-class hero and an Avenger. Meanwhile, the much younger Kate feels much more put together. They didn’t exactly get along at first. Kate actually took up the mantle and bow of Hawkeye while Clint was dead, so she had to prove herself to him as Hawkeye after his return. But since then, it feels like it’s almost been the other way around. Kate is always there to save Clint’s butt, which fans have seen in the Marvel Avengers DLC, but the Hawkeyes treat each other as equals. It’s a heartwarming dynamic that needs to be replicated in the upcoming show.
4. Spider-Man and Daredevil (MARVEL)
Peter Parker and Matt Murdock are two of Marvel’s greatest street-level characters from the Comics. They’re also one of Marvel’s greatest pairings. With how much they have in common, it’s no surprise they get along so well. Both native New Yorkers, these men are both working-class heroes keenly aware of the burdens of power and responsibility. For a while, they were both some of the few people who knew each others’ secret identities. But that was before mutual mindwiping shenanigans. When Matthew steps over the line, Peter pulls him back from the edge. More than once both in Biran Michael Bendis’ iconic run, and even just recently in Chip Zdarksy’s current series, Spidey has had to stage an intervention for ol’ Hornhead. According to CBR, they’ve crossed over into each others’ series more than almost any other Marvel heroes. There has to be a reason for that.
3. Green Lantern and Green Arrow (DC)
One of the longest-running friendships on this list from DC Comics is, Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen first met as members of the Justice League. At one point, Hal became too caught up in the intergalactic nature of his role. Oliver brought him back down to Earth and opened his eyes. They even went on a trip to find America in the classic Green Lantern/Green Arrow series by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. Years later when Hal went crazy as Parallax in the pages of Zero Hour, Ollie was the one who stopped him. Hal also literally brought Oliver back from the dead. Years later, Hal left the Justice League to form his own team. Oliver immediately went with him even though his own wife was chairing the League at the time. If that’s not a bromance for the ages, what is?
2. Luke Cage and Iron Fist (MARVEL)
As a duo, few heroes are as synonymous with one another. You can’t think of Luke Cage without Iron Fist or vice versa, despite their incredibly different backgrounds. Luke Cage is Power Man—a man from Harlem with unbreakable skin and an attitude to match. Meanwhile, Danny Rand is the Immortal Iron Fist. He’s a billionaire playboy and the living weapon of a mystical city called K’un L’un. Despite their differences, they’ve stayed together through thick and thin for years. In Bendis’ New Avengers, Danny didn’t hesitate to back Luke up when led what was left of the team after Marvel’s Civil War. Luke even named his daughter Danielle after her uncle Danny. No two friends on this list are more different, but few mean more to each other than the Heroes for Hire.
1. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (DC)
BWA-HA-HA! You didn’t really think we’d do a list about the best friendships in comics without the Blue and Gold, did you? Who else would be number one? Whether it’s through their get-rich-quick schemes or the pranks they play on their fellow heroes, Michael Jon Carter and Ted Kord epitomize friendship. Booster was the only one to back Ted up during The OMAC Project and it nearly cost him his life. When Beetle was killed while Booster was incapacitated, Michael risked changing the timeline to try and save his friend. Recently, Booster was accused of murder and held for questioning by the Justice League. Beetle broke him out to investigate on their own in Heroes In Crisis. These two wrote the book on “bros before heroes,” and that’s why their friendship tops this list as one of the best from DC Comics.
Are there any dynamic duos or friendships from DC or Marvel Comics you feel we’ve missed? Have you taken a look at our rankings for Superman’s greatest costumes? And what do you think about Marvel’s summer plans? Let’s discuss down in the comments below.