The Best and Worst DC Couples

Art of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy Made By Me

Sofia Bierhorst, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday to celebrate romance. I love romance. Love is such a beautiful thing, and I especially love romance in comics. I’m a huge comic nerd, and I love seeing romantic subplots, especially in DC. DC couples tend to be very hit-or-miss for me. Some are the worst romances ever created and some are the best things you’ll ever see. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be outlining the best and worst DC couples.


Harley Quinn and the Joker


Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Harley Quinn and the Joker is one of the most prominent toxic relationships in pop culture. Despite how abusive and terrible the Joker is, this couple is still seen as iconic. Thankfully, Harley Quinn and the Joker are broken up in the current comics. Harley Quinn and the Joker were first seen together in Batman: The Animated Series, which was also the first time Harley appeared. This relationship was very abusive from the very beginning. In the episode “Mad Love,” the backstory of their relationship is shown. Harley was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, and the Joker was one of her patients. He manipulated her into thinking he was just misunderstood. Harley fell for it and became a villain to break the Joker out of the asylum. The Joker was always just using Harley, but Harley was delusional and genuinely in love with him. Harley was later introduced into the comics. She eventually realized her worth and broke up with him. When my BFF was asked to comment on this couple, he said, “Love is like fire; first it will warm you, and then it will burn you.”


Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy


After her breakup with the Joker, Harley began a new romance with her best friend, Poison Ivy. These two are probably one of the best couples I can think of. They have such deep, mutual care for each other, and even though they fight and have many differences, these only make them stronger as a couple. They work as foils to each other very well, with Ivy being cool and calculated, while Harley is wild and impulsive. Even though they’re broken up now in the main comic timeline, Harley is one of the only things Ivy cares about. They still love each other deeply despite being split up, and it’s honestly heartbreaking to see just how devoted Ivy is. She thinks Harley is the only one worthy of Earth’s beauty. Ivy doesn’t even believe that she deserves life anymore.


Barbara Gordon and Batman


Barbara Gordon and Bruce Wayne are one of my least favorite ships in comics. Everything about it is disgusting. First of all, Bruce is old enough to be her father. As a matter of fact, she’s his close friend’s daughter. Secondly, she’s his son’s love interest. This just adds another layer of nastiness. This ship is, fortunately, only canon in the DC Animated Universe, where Bruce and Barbara have a short relationship in The Killing Joke. This plot line is completely original to the film. It’s completely absent in the original comic. The two characters are completely incompatible, and I will never understand why this was ever a real thing.


Batman and Catwoman


I adore this couple. Bruce and Selina are such an amazing and complex couple. They care about each other, yet most of the time can’t be together because of their conflicting views and because of their double lives. As Batman and Catwoman, they’re more true to themselves, but Selina is a thief and criminal, while Bruce is a vigilante and superhero who wants nothing more than to stop the spread of crime. As civilians, they can never be truly honest and vulnerable with each other. Despite all odds, they always find themselves drawn to each other in one way or another. Although they’ll probably never be allowed to be together permanently because of comic writers wanting to be free to pair Batman with any of his love interests, these two are just so wonderful together.


Despite there being quite a few stinkers, DC has a slew of wonderful couples. I didn’t get into all of them, but I love many other couples like, for example, Zatanna and John Constantine. There are also a lot of bad ships as well, like Wonderwoman and Superman (a bit of an unpopular opinion I know). But again, even though there are a lot of horrible couples in DC, the good ones are REALLY good. If I had to pick a favorite and least favorite DC couple, my favorite would be Harley and Ivy and my least favorite would be Bruce and Barbara. But anyways, have a great Valentine’s Day!