For we mere mortals, romance can be tough; after all, love is, as Pat Benetar once so tunefully pointed out, a battlefield. But some comic book characters come prepared for this kind of war. Here're 10 examples to learn from.
Five men, five women - All of whom have the power of love, and not in a Huey Lewis and the News sense. Comic characters have possessed special love powers since the early day of the medium, but the portrayal of what that means has changed as the audience has gotten older, more cynical and read a lot more mind control fetish stories on the internet. Whither the innocence of comics' youth? Well, that's still around, as well...
A former Siren whose song led sailors of yore to their death, Marvel Comics' Venus has since gained a soul and a superteam: the Agents of Atlas. Her voice offers various levels of mind control, including the ability to make anyone fall in love with her... which comes in handy when trying to stay safe during super-battles, given the Agents' recent X-Men Vs. Agents of Atlas and Avengers Vs. Agents of Atlas series.
Will she leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? More than likely, bewitched. Venus uses her power for good, despite that whole "soulless sailor slaughter" past thing. Which she really does feel guilty about.
A genetically engineered slave created with the purpose of rebelling against his owners, Longshot escaped to Earth without memory or self-knowledge, only to discover two things about himself. Firstly, he was very, very lucky. Secondly, every woman he met fell in love with him; when he joined Marvel's X-Men, he managed to spur catfights between Rogue and Dazzler as to who wanted him more, much to the eager enjoyment of the hormonal teenagers reading the series at the time.
Will he leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? Somewhere between the first and last: You'll be charmed and smitten, but won't necessarily know why. Me, I think that tight leather outfit is to blame.
Onetime member of Marvel Comics' Avengers, Eros is actually one of the Eternals, a genetically-superior offshoot of humanity - which might explain that hair. His power is to control the emotions of others, an ability that led to his being sued for sexual assault before his powers were cosmically shut off to ensure they could never be abused again. No, really; that last part all happened in 2006's She-Hulk series.
Will he leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? He was accused of sexual assault. I think "bothered" would be putting it mildly.
Fables' dearly-departed royal cad couldn't help seducing everyone that came his way; it's what he was created for, literally. But the ex-husband of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty certainly used his talents to his advantage, making sure that he didn't have to pay for anything or go without companionship for centuries before deciding to go into the one career his brand of insincere affection is perfectly suited for: politics.
Will he leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? At the time, bewitched, but before too long, bewildered.
Quite why Marvel Comics' genetically-engineered super-spy was given the ability to generate pheremones alongside all her arachnid-related powers back in the 1970s, I'm not quite sure, but it certainly explains her popularity with writer Brian Michael Bendis, who resurrected the character and placed her in two Avengers teams, as well as writing two series for her.
Will she leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? Definitely bewitched, and potentially bothered. In a sexy way.
A thorn in the side of the original X-Men, Lorelei is ready for a post-modern reboot: A villainess who can hypnotize men - and only men, apparently, because Marvel Girl was left clearly unimpressed - with her voice, but always appears in subservient roles to male supervillains. Come on, people: Surely someone can think of a new spin on her?
Will she leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? Ultimately bewildered about why she doesn't go solo and stop wasting her time with losers like Magneto. He's only going to break your heart, Lor!
DC Comics villain Dr. Pamela Isley is everything you could ever want in a woman: Smart, sexy, a scientist, environmentally aware and a gold digger with green skin. Okay, maybe not that last one, but Poison Ivy mixes chemical addictions with feminine wiles to get what she wants, much to Batman's chagrin.
Will she leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? Definitely bothered, when you see how much damage she's done to your credit card. And the amount of plants she's made you buy for your apartment.
The clue is pretty much right there in the name of Marvel Comics' Thor character, isn't it? Amora, one of Thor's fellow Norse Gods, is a magician who learned her magic through seducing Asgard's most celebrated magicians, and then used that magic to... well, seduce even more powerful figures in an effort to become the power behind any and every throne that would have her. It's like a vicious cycle of seduction one-upmanship.
Will she leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? Literally bewitched, if she's got any say on the subject.
Add Wolverine's son to my Spider-Woman confusion, but moreso: Why does Wolverine's son have pheromone producing powers and can resist telepathy in addition to all his Wolverine powers? I have no idea, but the novelty value of having such a slutty male character in so many high-profile Marvel comics for a change makes it much easier to forgive.
Will he leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? Let's go with "bewildered," if only because I'm still unsure what the purpose of teenage mohawked Wolverteen actually is.
For a character who came from admittedly goofy beginnings, Marvel Comics villain the Purple Man has become a much more disturbing character. Again using pheromones as an explanation for his mind control powers, he went from traditional supervillain battles to keeping Jessica Jones as a sex slave for months in the early-2000s series Alias. Subsequent appearances have scaled back this side, but nonetheless, he remains a disturbing poster boy for the dark side of superpowered love.
Will she leave you Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered? "Bothered" would be being polite.