It may be true that the course of true love never did run smooth – but in comics, the bad romance can get really ridiculous! Here are several comics that put the “mess” in “messy romance”!
Megg, Mogg, Owl, etc.
The Megg & Mogg mythos by Simon Hanselmann now spans several different universes thanks to the 2020 real-time comic Crisis Zone, but no matter what the details of their timeline, Megg & Mogg’s relationship is sure to be a mess.
Whether Megg’s cheating on Mogg with Booger (and dealing with subsequent pregnancy scares thanks to her hazy understanding of the workings of HRT), Owl’s pining over his unrequited crush on Megg, or Werewolf Jones is simply fucking everything in sight, the Megg & Mogg comics have messy romance to spare.
Could Scott Pilgrim be the worst comics boyfriend? Maybe not, but he’s definitely in the running! In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott cheats on Knives – a romance that’s at best questionable to begin with, considering she’s in high school and he’s 23.
Next, he courts the new object of his affection by… fighting her seven evil exes? Look, I’m not here to judge, but I’m pretty sure that “battle royale” is not a cornerstone of a happy, healthy relationship.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
In Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Freddy believes that she can make her relationship with the eponymous Dean work, if only she tries hard enough.
While it may be obvious from the opening pages that their relationship will not work, you never feel impatient with Freddy’s slow realization thanks to the fact that every page of this graphic novel is a gorgeous joy. And when catharsis arrives… hoo boy, does it feel earned! Come for the beautiful monochromatic art, stay for the exploration of gatekeeping in queer spaces via sandwiches.
So you’ve found the perfect man: kind, handsome, unbelievably fit, and with a genius-level IQ. The only problem? He stole the body from someone else. Oh, and he’s actually a supervillain!
That’s what happens to Anna Maria Marconi in The Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Edgard Delgado, and Chris Eliopoulous when she becomes entangled in the romantic web of one Peter Parker – only to discover that his brain has been occupied by one Otto Octavius (that’s “Doc Ock” to his enemies).
Be More Chill
In Be More Chill: The Graphic Novel, based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, adapated by David Levithan with art by Nick Bertozzi, Jeremy is a high school student who thinks he has found the solution to all of his problems: a squip, a pill-like supercomputer that gives him constant advice on his life.
Soon, he’s managed to gain the attention of the object of his affection – but how would you feel if you found out your boyfriend was being puppeteered by an internal supercomputer? Probably not great!
The Long Halloween
In Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Gregory Wright, and Richard Starkings, the Bat must rely on his skills as the World’s Greatest Detective to investigate a series of murders in Gotham City. As the title suggests, the story begins on Halloween, but as the narrative progresses, the calendar continues and several major holidays are given the spotlight – including Valentine’s Day, in chapter five.
But could there be another reason that this comic qualifies for the “Bad Romance” listicle? Hmm… what a mystery!
The Wedding of Deadpool
Actually, The Wedding of Deadpool – in Deadpool #27 by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, Mike Hawthorne, Val Staples, and Joe Sabino – is really pretty sweet! Wade and his wife, Shiklah, Queen of the Monster Metropolis hidden beneath New York City, seem to be a pretty well-made match.
At least at first! However, as time goes on, the romance goes south, and the couple eventually splits… But before that? Well, you can imagine how well a souring romance between a mutant with a healing factor and demonic underworld royalty is going to go, can’t you?
Archie vs. Predator II
It’s a tale as old as time: boy meets girl. Boy meets other girl. Boy gets entangled in a love triangle. Boy gets killed by alien. Boy is replaced by alien in guise of boy. Girls live happily ever after.
Wait, what? No, that sounds right – or at least like the setup for Archie vs. Predator II by Alex de Campi, Robert Hack, Jack Morelli, and Kelly Fizpatrick. That’s right, setup – things just get weirder from there. Remember: the only thing that can make a love triangle more complicated is the intersection of multiple universes!
Y: The Last Man
In Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr., Pamela Rambo, and Clem Robbins, a worldwide plague kills off all the men – except two: Yorick and his capuchin monkey, &.
When the event occurs, Yorick is in New York City, and he’s about to propose to his girlfriend, who is in the Australian Outback. One of Yorick’s main motivations over the course of the series is to reunite with his lost lady love, but will they live happily ever after? Consider this: this list isn’t called “comics couples who found their long lost loves,” is it?
Locke & Key
Don’t you hate it when it turns out that your new boyfriend is actually a shape-shifting inter-dimensional demon who has been preying upon your family for several generations? That’s what happens to Kinsey Locke in Locke & Key by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Jay Fotos, and Robbie Robbins. Can the Locke family survive the worse ex of all time, or will they all end up at the bottom of the well?
And as a special b-b-b-bad romance bonus: nearly all of the non-demonic teens who fall for the kids in the Locke family end up dead by the end of the story. Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
In The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Chris Schweizer, Andy Hirsch, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham, Doreen Green goes on a really bad date with a guy who goes by “HawkJock” – but she soon learns he has only the power of a jock, and none of the powers of a hawk!
As if reeling from this devastating dating disappointment weren’t enough, Mole Man arrives – and before long, he’s vying for Doreen’s hand in romance, as well! Blech! PLUS, it turns out that HawkJock guy is a superhero truther. Online dating is dangerous, y’all!
In Harley Quinn (2013) by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair, and John J. Hill, Harley is ready to embark on a new adventure after a bad breakup… but is she really over “Mistah J”?
Whether she is or isn’t, there’s no better place to mend a broken heart than the Big Apple, right? Fortunately, Harley has a new place to hang her unmentionables thanks to a late patient of hers: a freakshow on Coney Island! Quelle romantique!
What’s worse than a boyfriend who’s a supervillain? A boyfriend whose a superhero… but whose radioactive ejaculate proves to be fatal!
That’s the fate of the Mary Jane of Earth-70237 in Spider-Man: Reign by Kaare Andrews, Jose Villarrubia, and Eliopoulous. Is there a comics romance more messy than that?
…probably, yeah! Let us know what it might be in the comment section or on social media @comicsbeat!