Please note; in all instances this is about the guys on paper, not their movie or TV incarnations.
1. Swamp Thing
I realize that this sounds insane, no one wants to get all messy with a guy who is a bunch of plants and comes from a swamp. But with him there’s a better option. In issue #34 of The Saga of the Swamp Thing: The Rite of Spring (or in the trade paperback Swamp Thing: Love and Death), he grows a fruit for Abby to eat and she has a transcendent, life-altering experience. The writing _really_ sells this one, the description of their shared trip makes it sounds absolutely wonderful. Follow this up, much later, with issue #10 of Hellblazer, (or collected in Hellblazer: The Devil You Know) where John Constantine lends Swamp Thing his body so that he can impregnate Abby. Initially she’s revolted by his smoker’s breath, so the Swamp Thing causes Constantine’s internal flora to grow in such a way that it kills the bad breath. Now that’s a considerate lover.
2. Doctor Manhattan
I don’t think I’m the only one who read that scene in Watchmen chapter 3, with Laurie and the multiple blue Jon’s and thought “Fun!”. Yes, I do realize that he’s unbelievably emotionally detached, (what with the whole “am I human anymore” thing), which would be depressing in a long term partner, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Dr. Manhattan isn’t someone you settle down with, you spend a really strange weekend with him.
This is a man with incredibly heightened senses, he’s going to know what he’s doing, he’s going to find everything without fumbling in the dark. Plus, he’s had a lot of incredibly sexy, strong, scary girlfriends and sparring partners (like the Black Widow and Elektra), which means that he’s comfortable having a woman as his equal. Unfortunately, like most tortured superheroes, he’d be busy all the time, saving lives and patrolling, so he’d only really be a good boyfriend for the first few months. Perfect if you’re a Russian spy or a ninja assassin and you need someone lovely to spend a hot, messy weekend with.
There’s the obvious super-strength thing, that man-of-steel thing they always say, etc. But I’m not that impressed by that. It sounds like he could end up being a bit exhausting to be honest (see Action Comics #593 for more on that) and then there is always the possibility that his ejaculation would tear right through a person (not good!). While his physical appearance is nice, that’s not what puts him over Batman. He’s a genuinely positive person, a happy guy (which is a rarity in the superhero world). It’s not terrifically exciting sounding, but being around someone who’s usually in a good mood and is comfortable enjoying themselves can be tremendously easy. Over time it might become difficult to maintain the good mood around someone so relentlessly upbeat, but he’d certainly make a fun partner for a while.
Batman has no superpowers, and it’s extremely possible that he’s an introspective, depressed loner in his spare time. A few years ago Batman would easily have beaten Superman to number 4 on this list, but there’s a point in everyone’s life when tortured, angst-ridden partners lose their charm. Still, he’s pretty damn amazing. He’s deeply commanding, serious, strong-willed, decisive and principled and focused. In any given situation he will take charge, he has no problem being in control. There’s not a hint of wishy-washy bollocks, he seems like a person who’d tell you exactly what he likes and be very clear about it too. There are times when it really doesn’t get any sexier than that.
6. The Shadow
In 1987 there were a series of issues of The Shadow written by Andrew Helfer and drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz (and later Kyle Baker). The Shadow in these has the suave sophisticated manliness of a man from another era, think Gregory Peck (particularly in Roman Holiday, where Rock narrowly misses sleeping with a very young Audrey Hepburn in her first film). Naturally Lamont Cranston’s story always makes me think of Lost Horizon too, with all the implications of that fabulous, lost utopia and the main character’s adventurous/heroic nature. Doesn’t everyone fantasize about being swept off their feet? He’d be fantastic at that.
7. Christian Walker
Is anyone reading Powers? Do I really need to explain this? He’s immortal, he’s built like a god (for all he knows, he could BE a god), and when he has an orgasm in #25, his girlfriend literally feels fireworks. Yes he has two jobs, being a cop and being a superhero, but don’t all superheroes have two jobs? Unlike a lot of them, he appears to make time for a life of sorts. Maybe it’s Bendis’ writing, or maybe it’s Oeming’s artwork, but he seems like an incredibly solid, upfront person – great qualities in a potential mate.
Beast was always super strong as well as super smart, a potent combination (how many giant, muscular genius’ can you think of?). In Astonishing X-Men though, he got pushed into a whole other place. Now that he’s physically growing into more of an actual beast, he’s getting a lot more appealing and a lot less stuffy. As he becomes increasingly bestial, loses control sometimes, and looks more and more like an overgrown giant blue lion, he’s losing some of the tedious professorial attitudes written in to his character previously. Definitely an excellent wrestling buddy.
9. Doctor Strange
Okay, so he dresses kind of nuts, but he can do magic, he understands unknown things (oooooooh). He’s strongly connected to the esoteric, and yet firmly anchored in reality. Definitely has a flare for the dramatic, without being any kind of drama queen. Personally I find the outfit to be a bit of a turn off, but his connection with magic and the way he handles it is very intriguing. I can’t imagine that any time spent with him would be dull.
10. John Constantine
He seems like he’d be the most fun to lie around in bed with for a week. He’d probably know about some really weird stuff too, what with all the communing with demons and gutting through the bullshit he does. But he smokes. He’s also prone to use the people around (though this has improved over the years). More disturbingly, everyone he is close to ends up in hell, or worse. So, on a practical level, he’s out. But then none of this is real, so it hardly matters what the consequences would be. Still, it’s worrying enough to bump him down to the bottom of the list.
1. Professor X
Obviously we’re talking about a younger Professor X here, not some old grouch in a chair, (see Uncanny X-Men comics from the 70′s, where he seemed to be about 35-40). There’s the incredible intelligence, and his willingness to take care of other people. Most importantly; he could read your mind, so he’d know exactly what you want and how to do it. This is invaluable.
Doesn’t everyone in the universe fancy Wolverine a little bit? He probably reeks of old booze and smoke, but I’m sure he’s burly good fun in the sack. There are those scary claws to watch out for, but as long as he’s not too surprised, you’re probably safe enough.
3. Captain America
He never really did it for me until the New Avengers. Before that he always seemed like a nice person, but he was so old-school and gung-ho, he just wasn’t very fancy-able. Now suddenly he’s walking around without his mask on, in these tiny tight t-shirts, talking to people like the upstanding, supportive team-builder he is. He looks all corn fed and healthy, it just screams 1950’s Americana and that’s hot.
Swashbuckling good fun. There’s the giant demon hand, which though giant and rock-like, could still be useful for carrying a girl around. Also, he’s got a tail. What can he do with that tail?
5. Black Bolt
The classic strong/silent guy. Because he never speaks, he’s got an extremely commanding physical presence.
6. Iron Man
If you’ve read the Extremis storyline, you know what I’m talking about. Warren Ellis and Adi Granov create a resourceful, brilliant, caring, and insightful man. This is definitely a costume-off guy though; that metal would be cold.
7. Green Lantern
What else can he do with that ring? It’s definitely worth a go. And of course part of the skill of using the ring involves the wearer having a strong will and an incredibly imagination – both highly useful skill. (Note: This applies to any Green Lantern, except for that Guy Gardner nitwit, who should be wiped from all of our memories.)
Sonia likes comics and men, in that order. She prefers the ones in comics to the ones in San Francisco. You can contact her at email@example.com.