Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
Attractive, muscular men and women in tight, revealing costumes, who spend a good deal of their time in intense situations with each other, for up to days at a time... and you wonder why there's so much Foe Yay in comic books.
A few of the comics featuring Scrooge McDuck imply Scrooge and Magica De Spell have what appears to be a mutual attraction. Magica might even have better chances than most villains since Don Rosa's Scrooge actually has had hatesex.
The Joker and Batman, full-stop. The Joker's come to base his existence on tormenting Batman and messing with his head and admits he wouldn't have a reason to live without him.
Then there's Arkham Asylum, where Joker kanchos Batman and says, "Loosen up, tight ass!", and the extended script of Grant Morrison originally calls for the character to be dressed in lurid, S&M women's bondage wear — emphasizing the character's sexualised nature as a foil to Batman's own discomfort with sex and women, a problem caused by the traumatic murder of his mother.
In the Elseworld comic book Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, set in a world where only the female counterparts to Batman and Superman have ever existed, the Joker is madly in love with Batgirl and commits his crimes solely to get her attention.
Joker: Batgirl likes me, you know. She just hasn't admitted it to herself. She must be helped.
Other Batman villains get in on the act sometimes:
Hush. The fact that he's Bruce's childhood friend and seems to obsessively stalk Bruce Wayne/Batman doesn't help dispel the Foe Yay at all. He also returns to Gotham for the express purpose of making Batman suffer, including killing off the other threats to Batman's life so he, Hush, can be the one to end it. Plus all the crazed-ex-girlfriend-esque slurs he throws at any woman Bruce is involved with, the part where he got plastic surgery to look likeBruce Wayne, and:
Hush: But never fear, Bruce.
Hush: I won't desert you before the final curtain.
Hush: I'm staying here to watch as the heartbeats slow and end.
This can apply to The Riddler as well. The DCAU-basedThe Batman Adventures #11 involved him, having sort-of-reformed, trying to get Batman to match wits with him. One of the clues he left was 'Next time, lives will be at stake'. When Batman tracks him down, he hears screaming, bursts in - and finds the scream came from the lobster the Riddler was cooking for him (along with a steak). It doesn't help that he was wearing a "Kiss the Genius" Apron either.
Hugo Strange gets plenty of this with Batman throughout the years. In the Terror storyline of Legends of the Dark Knight, he is in a "relationship" with a female mannequin wearing lingerie and a cowl like Batman's. That is the very definition of Squick
Scarecrow pretty much has a huge fetish for fear. Batman is the only thing that scares him anymore and so he keeps fighting him so that he can feel that sweet taste of fear once again. Do the math.
Dick Grayson/Jason Todd as the new Batman and Red Hood.
Clark Kent/Lex Luthor Ho Yay was never limited to Smallville: in the 90s, for example, Lex was sleeping with Supergirl, and you have to wonder how often he asked her to wear her costume to bed. Of course, she was a shapeshifter, and more than once took on Clark's form so that Superman and Clark Kent could appear in public together. Additional incesty squickiness was added by the fact that that version of Supergirl had been created in the first place by the Lex Luthor of the Time Trapper's pocket dimension. This relationship was the basis of a one-sentence fanfic, reproduced here in it's entirety: "Tonight, could you be... him?"
Continued in Superman: Birthright, where teenage Clark and teenage Lex bonded over their combined love of astronomy.
And in the Elseworld Superman: Red Son, Lex Luthor leaves his wife to "devote my life to Superman."
Lex Luthor: What is it about this man of steel that makes my head work so much faster, eh?
And then Lex went and combined their DNA to create Superboy, technically making him the biological son of Lex and Superman. Yes, they technically have a son together! That adds even more fuel to the fire.
From DC's Superman: Doomsday. Lex Luthor beating up Superman with kryptonite brass knuckles and acting like they had a bad break up? Ho Yay is still at least a little subtle, even with "how could you leave me?"note He's referring to Superman's recent unexpected death. Shirtless Lex Luthor straddling a prone Superman and breathing out a triumphant "Who's your daddy?" Oooh boy! Ahem: That's actually a clone he made of Superman, on whom he's working out his issues, so basically like if there'd been no wrinkles in the project that created Connor in the comic event the movie is based on. He then goes into the next room and starts monologuing to Superman's corpse, which he has suspended upright in some kind of glass tube thing after having the clone steal it. Doomsday Lex is pulling no punches with this trope.
I'll just leave this here. * In case the link doesn't work, it's Superman and Batman cheering on Lex Luthor and the Joker as they fight each other. It could not look more like a girlfriend cheering on her boyfriend if it tried.
Not to mention X-Men, where the two of them spend an entire season trekking around the Savage Land saving each other's lives, and that's not even the slashiest part. In the series finale, Xavier is dying, while Magneto is just about to launch his final war with humanity. Then this exchange happens:
Jean: How much do you love Charles Xavier?
Magneto: How dare you ask me such a question? He was my only equal! I owe him my life!
And then Mags gives up his dreams of world domination to go save Charles' life. Dawwww.
See pretty much every Spider-Man villain ever. Notable examples include Chameleon telling Peter he loves him, right before jumping off a bridge. Electro visits a shape-shifting prostitute in the Marvel Knights series, and it's strongly implied he wants her to transform into Spider-Man for him.
Spider-Girl seems to have inherited, along with her father's infamous luck, the "make people Gay for You" gene. One notable example is Felicity Hardy, daughter of the original Black Cat, who really wants to be May's... sidekick. Right.
Spidey may have a virtual rogues gallery/gang of suitors, but Venom takes the cake. An alien symbiote that bounds with Spider-Man as his costume, later rejected for being too clingy. Oh, and making him evil.
Actually, there is some disagreement on this, as originally it was him getting rid of it simply because it was going to permanently bond with him. That's right, Spider-Man got rid of it because he wasn't ready for commitment. Subtle enough? Later retcons made him look like less of a jerk by insisting the suit was making him violent and crazy.
In every one of their subsequent meetings, even after it picked up different hosts, the writers made it clear that this was not just a new foe, but a crazy ex-girlfriend/boyfriend who was still very much in love. It has never missed an opportunity to try and reunite with him. The subtext ceases to be sub and becomes text.
Disturbingly, Peter has this with both Norman Osbornand Norman's son, Harry. Norman can't decide whether he wants to kill Peter or make him his heir. In Marvel Knights, Norman torments Spidey and his family for months on end, gets away with it, and then sends Peter a letter talking about how much he respects him and enjoys their fights. Harry, meanwhile, was Peter's former roommate/best friend who went crazy, died, and is now semi-sane but no longer remember's Spidey's secret identity and hates him for constantly interfering in his life. Oh, and he thinks Spider-Man has a thing for Peter. Norman once taunted Spidey by asking if he has a thing for Harry.
During the "Return of the Green Goblin" arc of Ultimate Spider-Man, we get to look at things through Norman's eyes during a conversation with Spider-Man. The voices in his head tell him things like "kill him" "skin him" "burn him" and "kiss him".
Empowered voices her opinion on this when she stumbles onto a Slash Fic involving her and Sistah Spooky.
Empowered: This is totally accurate, I have to admit. 'Cause nothing brings out my latent bisexuality more than getting my backside beaten and bruised by someone I really, really don't like. *Snort.* Yeah, right.
What makes this more interesting is that Sistah Spooky apparently was in a failed relationship with another hero, Mindf**k, who is female, blonde and has all the traits that Spooky hates in poor Emp.
There was also the time Spooky had sex with Emp's future boyfriend in order to mess with her (precognition was involved), and a brief flashback shows she was apparently thinking about how much it would bother Emp the whole time.
Cable and Deadpool (particularly circa Cable & Deadpool). In the first appearance of Deadpool, he's trying to kill Cable, and they are generally antagonistic in most subsequent meetings up to (and sometimes including) the Cable & Deadpool series. They've beaten the crap out of each other, shot each other, tried to blow each other up, and Nate (Cable) has blown the back of Wade (Deadpool)'s head open at least twice. (Lather, rinse, repeat.) On the other hand, Deadpool travels across alternate universes just to find Cable, when they fight and part ways they refer to it as "divorce," Deadpool had a dream about giving Cable a massage (ok, we've gone way beyond subtext here!) and when Deadpool gets angry and leaves at one point, Cable plants images in Deadpool's subconscious to try to get him to come back and ask Cable for help. Fabian Nicieza has referred to them as a "romance story" he wrote. Seriously, their relationship is pretty much a template for Foe Yay. Although later on it went from Foe Yay to simple Heterosexual Life-Partners during Deadpool's Heel-Face Turn and subsequent friendly relationship with Cable. Very friendly.
Sinestro has spent a lot of time lately chatting up Green Lantern Hal Jordan, telling him that he is the only living GL that Sinestro has ever called friend, and basically pretending like the last ten years or so trying to kill him was little more than a lover's spat. He wants to get back together, Hal.
One-sided Parallax/Hal. In Blackest Night Parallax refers to Hal as his 'special someone' and consistently refers to him with flattering names. Parallax even calls Hal 'mine' and insinuates he belongs to him more then once.
Parallax: My precious Hal.
Mephisto once took the form of Nova, Silver Surfer's female friend, to seduce him. Of course, his goal was to steal his soul, and he got it, but "Nova" still kissed him before transforming back (surprising him with a long serpentine tongue). And it doesn't get better once Mephisto takes the Surfer in his demonic kingdom.
Mephisto: You exist for my amusement...to do and be anything I desire...take any shape...serve any purpose. It is mine to deem you slave...or lover...or nothing.
Doctor Doom has repeatedly given up ultimate power so he could stay on earth and screw Reed Richards... Uh, that is to say, screw WITH Reed Richards. It is, however, canon that he wanted Sue.
Doom's relationship with Namor is... interesting, in the sense that he has a thing for making Namor his slave. In a Fantastic Four issue, Doom is fantasizing about defeating the FF and conquering the world, and we also see that Doom doesn't fantasize about having a harem of scantily-clad superwomen, but Namor ruling by his side. During the Emperor Doom storyline Doom allies with Namor and gives him a sparkly purple necklace that controls his mind. He also invades Namor's personal space a lot.
During Dark Reign, Doom "dated" fem-Loki (knowing Loki was actually male), had a dirty little fantasy about him/her and Emma Frost being chained to his throne while he takes over the world with Namor. Clearly Doom has a fetish for pointy eared magic users. It's suggested that Doom might be involved with Loki.
Magneto comes in a distant third on Doctor Doom's Unhealthy Obsession Scale, behind Reed Richards and Namor, respectively. The entire plot of their "teamup" in Super-Villain Team-Up is that Doom slips Magneto a roofie, and then forces him to participate in an elaborate role-playing game. Doom seems to have a thing for subjugating very powerful men...
Iron Man. Iron Man: Legacy of Doom is essentially an entire one-shot of Does This Remind You of Anything?. In essence: After much set-up, Doom (who holds Excalibur) must sheathe the sword in its scabbard in order to Save The World... Unfortunately, the scabbard has merged with Tony's armor, therefore the world is screwed. But wait! Merlin shows up and explains that there is a solution: Doom must "sheathe" the sword in Tony. Although reluctant, Tony agrees to this; and just before Doom stabs him, Doom offers what sounds suspiciously like a compliment:
(Iron Man is out of power, and Doom is trying to kill him)
Doom: Your master would never flee like a whipped cur. He'd use intellect, creativity, find a solution. But you... are no Anthony Stark!note As it happens, Iron Man used intellect, creativity, and found a solution. Doom wasn't pleased for some reason.
Oh, we all know Tony's one true love is Steve. The usual Ho Yay turned to Foe Yay during Civil War, which to some felt like a long, messy break-up.
In that same issue, there's a point where Steve starts accusing Tony of manipulating Peter in a manner reminiscent of the way parents would argue over a child right before/during a messy break-up/divorce.
Tony's also had a Venom-like situation with one of his own Iron Man armors, which achieved sentience and became increasingly jealous and demanding (and careless about collateral damage).
Loki and Thor all the way. They are extremely possessive of each other, and there's a hell of a lot of hate sex setup in their relationship. Loki delights in rubbing Thor's nose in all his mistakes (most of which Loki causes), and Thor loves smashing Loki with his hammer (which Loki generally doesn't fight). It's the most dysfunctional, abusive, codependent, Foe Yay sibling relationship ever.
Thor goes ballistic if anyone other than himself or his father seriously attempts hurting Loki, regardless of how much Loki deserves it. Hank Pym found this out the hard way.
Loki spends the beginning of the next cycle prancing around in Thor's wife's body. One has to wonder what else he might have considered doing with it. Other than dating Doom.
This is inverted in the Alternate ContinuityEarth X, which sees Thor transformed into a woman. Loki spends a lot of time hitting on "her".
In the comic Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, Loki explains exactly why he hates Thor so much:
Loki: Over all the millenia, only you have ever loved me Thor. Only you have ever looked at me with affection in place of condescension. Why then am I killing you and not the others? Because you stopped.
Loki dies to save what's left of Asgard, leaving his spirit wandering around. Thor goes through Mephisto's hell to get to Hel's domain and asks to speak with Loki. When he learns Loki's spirit is lost, he immediately sets out and finds him, confesses that he can't imagine his life without him and brings him back to life. Good thing they're Not Blood Siblings.
Loki comes back as a kid with a major case of Big Brother Worship. Thor threatens anyone who might want to kill Loki with his vengeance (a good thing too, since all (or almost all)) of Asgard wants Loki's head on a pike. Loki sets out to stop the Serpent for one reason: it's supposed to kill Thor, and Loki won't let that happen.
Thor and Amora the Enchantress, particularly in the first Secret Wars when both spend much of their time trying to convince the other to come to their side. When neither will acquiesce to the other, the resulting battle is pretty much a bad breakup fight with superpowers.
Thor and Amora have actually gotten together twice. First when Thor was powerless during the Warren Ellis run and later when Thor became King of Asgard.
Thor and his niece Hela who has repeatedly attempted to get Thor to join her in Hel. Hela has even admitted that she dreams of Thor and has even offered him the position of her consort so that he wouldn't have to die fighting Onslaught. This was even lampshaded in her appearance in X-Factor.
Miracleman desires two things in the world: his wife and his enemy and creator Dr. Gargunza. When he kills Gargunza, he kisses him. On the lips.
Sabretooth's entire existence seemed to revolve around wrestling with Wolverine. Their first violent encounter was when Sabretooth killed Wolverine's lover Silverfox out of "jealousy" (if you believe those memories were real or not). They were briefly friends during their time in the Weapon X program (since they were brainwashed), but since then, Sabretooth can't seem to get rid of his hard-on for his diminutive foe. It's never really been made clear why either. Granted, Sabretooth is a psychopath, but there's plenty of guys his own size he could pick on, yet he chose Wolverine. He just really seems to like stalking Logan and making his life miserable. He knows that he can't kill him either due to the healing factor. Apparently he just wants to put his claws in him, and vice versa.
Deconstructed in Irredeemable, where The Plutonian, back when he was a hero, learned that his nemesis Modeus both hated and loved him and even built sex robots in his form.
Eventually reaches a head near the end when Modeus mindjacks the Plutonian's ex-girlfriend, uses her gravity powers to pin the Plutonian down, and rapes him while insisting that he/she is the only one who understands him.
Will and Phobos in the W.I.T.C.H. comic books. Specially during the fourth arc.
In the show during an Enemy Mine situation, Phobos magically disguised Will and himself as what could be described as an old married couple. It's notable because he turned everyone else into furniture. Before that he also spent a lot of time looking at her through magic portals, even more than would be required considering she's his arch-enemy.
At one point her boyfriend The Absorbing Man left her because of her obsession with She-Hulk.
Once, in the middle of a fight, Doc Samson brought up the idea that Titania's obsession with Shulkie was due to sexual attraction. This suggestion unnerved Titania long enough for Samson to throw her through a wall.
The whole concept of Foe Yay is hilariously parodied in "He Tied Me To a Buzzsaw But It Felt Like a Kiss", a Cobweb story by Alan Moore and Dame Darcy in Tomorrow Stories.
Bullseye has had a thing for Elektra since the day he gutted her, much to her dismay. Even in the film he doesn't hide how attractive she is.
Bullseye: "I have to say I'm flattered. I didn't know if I'd still have this effect on you. I mean, I know I'm not the only one who's killed you. But I guess it's true what they say... you never forget your first."
Red Mist being... Red Mist in Kick-Ass: "...and if I'm absolutely honest, I've wanted to see you in pain since the first night we met. I've even jerked off about it. Does that sound weird?" Yes, Red Mist. Yes it does.
The revamp of the Cheetah in the New 52 reveals that she and Wonder Womanwere friends before her transformation. When you factor in her trying to win Diana over to her way of thinking and her signaling out Superman (WW's current love interest) to attack, she comes across like a bitter ex-girlfriend.
Much like the Sabretooth example above, X-23's Ax-Crazy former handler, Kimura, is obsessed with Laura, making several notable attempts to recapture her. When she finally does manage to retake her during Laura's stint on X-Force, she's actually licking her lips as she takes a chainsaw to Laura's arm for "being a bad girl." Kimura comes across as nothing less than a full-fledged abusivePsycho Ex-Girlfriend.
Jack O'Lantern has a disturbing obsession with Agent Venom, thinking that the two are Not So Different and claiming that Flash is his personal archenemy. Whenever they fight Jack talks to Venom like the two are best friends or brothers. Needless to say it's pretty one-sided though Flash doespity Jack and spares him whenever he gets the chance to kill him...