Click to viewWe didn't mean to give the wrong impression with last week's examination of superheroes who can't get any — there are plenty of superheroes whose utility belts are covered with notches. From "hairy-chested love god Batman" to the swinging Spider-man to the sensuous She Hulk, the superhero genre offers plenty of playas. Here's our examination of the superheroes for whom action is their reward.
I think comics are one of the few places you still see men referred to as "playboys." Usually it's part of a phrase that also references their wealth, like "billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne." In any case, Bruce Wayne lives up to the term, bedding lots of supermodels as well as Talia Al Ghul, daughter of his arch-foe Ra's Al Ghul.
When Grant Morrison took over writing Batman, he vowed to bring back "hairy-chested love god Batman," who really never left. Here's a whole article from the Long Island Voice complaining that "Batman Gets Laid Too Much." (They're uptight in Long Island, I guess.)
And then there's Tony Stark/Iron Man, who's portrayed as a total ladies' man in many of his comic-book appearances as well as his recent movie, where he seduces a hostile reporter in like 10 seconds flat.
I don't think Wolverine is a billionaire or even a millionaire, but he's hooked up with a lot of women in his time — there's one issue of Grant Morrison's New X-Men where he goes to Asia to fight some army of evil, and he meets a female mutant bad-ass ninja. A few pages later, they're off to bed together.
It's part of Wolverine's mystique — his animalistic drive and beasty scent drive women wild, and his healing factor probably gives him incredible stamina. He's slept with everybody, including Black Widow. He's even had sex with the Scarlet Witch's mom (Magneto's wife) in The Ultimates.
Also, The Spirit, Will Eisner's pulpy detective/science hero/superhero, had women all over him, all the time, says Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk. Just look here. And here. And here. And Spider-Man gets his fair share of excitement, including dating a bunch of models and marrying a model/actress. He had the easiest divorce in history, courtesy of the Marvel Universe version of the Devil, and has been dating like a madman ever since. And Wally West, who took over as the Flash in the mid-1980s, was speeding through a series of one-night stands before he finally settled down with his wife Linda. Plus Luke Cage, aka the former Power Man, has scored with a number of superheroes in his time, and has been described as a big "Cape-Chaser" in Alias #6.
Other big comic-book playas include Batman's protege Nightwing, Green Arrow and his sidekick Red Arrow, and most of the Authority. There's a running subplot in recent issues of Green Lantern where John Stewart teases Hal Jordan (the original silver age Lantern) about his huge number of booty calls. And thanks to commenter Whitworthian for the list of all the women Daredevil has hooked up with.
Women of ill repute:
There's a great scene in a She Hulk comic where She Hulk goes to bed with Tony Stark, because why not? And afterwards, She Hulk and Tony have a whole conversation about the double standard: they both love having sex, with lots and lots of other people, but Tony gets to be a cool "stud," and she gets jeered at as a naughty slut. (The SHIELD helicarrier gets conveniently attacked before Tony can give a good answer.)
She Hulk's huge sexual appetite is a by-product of her Gamma-radiated superpowers, and it's a huge theme of Dan Slott's run on the comic: when she gets big and green, she gets really, really horny and has fewer inhibitions. She beds lots of male models and superheroes — but she protests that she never had sex with the Juggernaut. (The She Hulk-Juggernaut hook-up happened in a comic by reviled writer Chuck Austen.) Eventually she discovers that it was actually an alternate universe version of She-Hulk. But not before she hits on Wolverine, and he gives her shit about it. (Click to enlarge.)
In a similar vein, the poor Huntress gets all kinds of shit in Birds Of Prey, after she sleeps with her fellow hero Oracle's ex, and she sleeps with her fellow hero Black Canary's (sorta) step-son Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow. Says Black Canary, "Gee, Helena, maybe this would be easier if you'd just tell us who you haven't done the freak dance with?" (Later, Oracle and Canary apologize for slut-shaming Huntress — but not before Huntress has had sex with Josh the parking attendant whom she agreed to date in exchange for help on a mission.)
But Black Canary should totally not talk — she has hooked up with lots of guys during her single days, including the Ray, a teenage superhero whom she, ummm... took under her wing. (DC Comics' editors have since tried to claim the Canary-Ray hookup didn't happen, but it's right there on the page.) Another superhero woman who gets lots of nookie is Tesla Strong, daughter of Tom Strong.
Then there's The Pro, about a sex worker who gets superpowers from the all-powerful Viewer, and joins a thinly veiled parody of the Justice League. She's expelled for profanity, ultra-violence, and for giving the Saint (a Superman rip-off) a blow job.
Heroes Who Cheat:
In the movie The Specials, Ms. Indestructible proves that her sexual ethics aren't indestructible after all, by cheating on her husband the Strobe with his friend, the Weevil. Also, Scott Summers aka Cyclops cheats on his wife, Jean Grey, with the formerly evil Emma Frost — although only psychically, I think. Meanwhile, here's a guy who thinks Jean was looking at Wolverine a little too much — and he's really really really mad about it.
Also, the whole plot of Jay Faerber's Dynamo 5 series revolves around adultery — Captain Dynamo is a beloved protector of his native Tower City. But after he dies, it turns out he's slept with tons of women besides his wife — and he's had five kids by various mothers. Each one of the kids has inherited one of his superpowers, and they all have to team up to save the day.
Sexually transmitted superpowers:
Some superheroes actually get their superpowers in the sack — like the heroes of John Byrne's Next Men, mutants whose powers are triggered when they become sexually active with another superpowered person. (Because the teenagers, grown in a lab, are more innocent, they refer to sex as "dancing." Awww. They "dance" a lot, even after it's given them their superpowers already.)
Also, in OMAC #5, the OMAC nanovirus passes from Mike to Vienna when they hook up, giving her special robo-superpowers. In Alan Moore's Top Ten, there's the S.T.O.R.M.S. sexually transmitted disease, which either kills you or (in rare cases) gives you superpowers.
But my favorite is probably the novel The Bonds Of Love by J.M. Snyder, as described in this review:
Whenever Matt and Vic have sex, super-powers get conferred upon Vic. If you can think of a super-power, Vic has probably already experienced it: the ability to fly, self-heal, teleport, be invisible, or develop immense strength. Some powers are of dubious use: once his bones kept melting away, and he had to call in sick because he couldn't drive a bus with a boneless arm!
It turns out the powers originate with Matt, but he confers them onto Vic. Or something.
Okay, I'm sure I missed some incredibly awesome and obvious examples of superheroes whose booty calls outnumber their calls to adventure. (For one thing, there was an actual comic, Young Heroes In Love, all about superheroes' love lives, but it's a blur to me now.) Who else did I forget?
Thanks to Douglas Wolk, once again, for research help.