Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Supernatural Boyfriends Rock

by Sara N.

As my esteemed colleague Megan has pointed out, there are many things about supernatural entities that make them unsuitable as boyfriends. I'll admit that she's right on target with many of her points. (Plus she forgot another drawback: the crippling ennui that comes from eternal life. How can your lovah get excited about your first date, first kiss, first anything when he personally witnessed the fall of the Roman empire and the dawn of the industrial revolution?)

However, I think Megan was a little hasty to dismiss all supernaturals as possible romantic partners. You can find some shining examples among the otherworldly throng who would be well worth pursuing. Check out my list and let me know if you consider these guys romance-worthy.

First, we shouldn't overlook wizards. Consider these fine specimens.

Harry Dresden: I know that some people have written Harry off, but I'm standing by my man. His life has grown increasingly dark, but Harry's kept his sense of humor and his geek cred. He's a thoughtful, compassionate guy who's had to make some hard choices over the last few books, but I don't think that rules him out as a romantic partner. With the right woman, it could be ... magic. (Yes, you're allowed to groan here.)

Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter: The boy who also lived, who completely won at puberty, who made a good percentage of the fandom think that they had been rooting for the wrong hero, led the rebels at Hogwarts while Harry, Ron and Hermione were off camping. Loyal, smart and powerful, he's the supernatural boyfriend who's least likely to get you killed. (Thanks to Kathy for this entry.)

Ned the pie-maker from Pushing Daisies: If he resurrected you from the dead, then sure, he isn't the romantic choice for you inasmuch as a second touch from him will kill you permanently. But as long as he didn't resurrect you, go crazy. He's a sweet-natured tall drink of water, and he bakes.

Duncan McLeod from Highlander: He may not technically be a wizard, but he's immortal, and he gains power when he cuts another immortal's head off, so I'll allow it. Anyway, the challenge with Duncan is that he won't age while you do, but he's got a good track record of staying devoted to his women as they grow old, loving them for their whole lives and remembering them long after they've died. As a bonus, you'd get an eternally youthful lover.

Another subgroup that Megan didn't explore were superheroes, where there's also great boyfriend potential.

Captain America/Steve Rogers:

Oh, I'm sorry, did I need to add actual words to this? Fine. Poor Cap is dismissively referred to as a Boy Scout, but that's his charm. He's earnest, loyal, patriotic and moralistic. (In a storyline in The Ultimates, he single-handedly thrashed wife-beater Hank Pym, who literally grew to the size of a giant.) Steve might set a high standard for the woman he shares his life with, but what better traits are there to strive for?

Spider-Man/Peter Parker: OK, fine, he does have a track record of endangering his girlfriends' lives. But here's a superhero who isn't a grandiose egomaniac or a sociopath. He's a normal guy trying to help out his city as best he can. He may stand you up occasionally, but only because he's out fighting crime. And he may be constantly broke, but money can't buy happiness, right? He just wants a nice girl to talk about photography with and to take home to Aunt May. Sign me up.
Night Owl/Dan Dreiberg from Watchmen: First things first, he has an Owlship named Archie. So that's awesome. He's also an affable scholar who writes ornithology articles, and he's loyal to his elderly mentor Hollis and his girlfriend Laurie. He's always there for you, unlike certain godlike blue superhumans. Sure, Dan had some depression and impotency issues early on, but getting back in the cowl and beating up bad guys in the streets fixed that problem right up. Nothing wrong with a little role-play, amirite ladies?

T'challa/Black Panther: This Marvel superhero is heir to Wakanda, a wealthy African nation. T'challa is a genius, a gymnast and a diplomat who defied the xenophobia of his people to bring his love home with him. He's been forced to balance ruling Wakanda and pursuing his romantic relationships and international do-goodery. He's a man with priorities and a passionate heart.

Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic from Fantastic Four:

Let's set aside his pliable, elastic limbs for a second (hello!) and consider the alt-future storyline in Universe X. Reed's wife Sue has died, leaving him alone. When he learns that there's a way to bring her soul back, he offered up his right arm as a vessel to be remade into her body once her soul entered it. He literally gave up his right arm to bring his wife back. That's true boyfriend potential.

Finally, I have to speak up for two deliciously reformable bad boys. 

Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time: I've already swooned at length about Killian Jones, but he's worth a mention here, too. He's got a tragic backstory that twisted his soul and turned him evil. (Proof: all that black leather and eyeliner.) But when he falls for a good woman, he starts making decisions to help the group rather than hinder it. In the mid-season finale when he stands in front of his love, offering her his heart, I defy anyone to scoff at the boyfriend potential of a villain-turned-hero.


"But he's only happy when he's on the road fighti—"


"But his closest relationship is with his brothe—"


"But he'd never by happy in a suburban li—"


"But he wears so much flannel —"



How about you, dear readers? Was Megan right that supernatural men aren't worth it? Or are one or two of them worthy of your love?

Tip of the hat to my brother Chris, who can talk about the boyfriend potential of a variety of comic book characters at the drop of a hat. Most impressive, sir.

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