There’s always something fun about the quirky, organic partnerships that grow up between two characters in comics. Sometimes they’re done for mercenary reasons, like the need to combine two low-selling books into one moderate-selling title (like, say, slapping together a martial artist from the lost realm of K’un L’un and a street-smart super-strong hero for hire.) Sometimes they’re the result of a writer that decides the two characters fit together, and who does such a good job of selling it that the two become inextricably linked (like, say, an impossibly erudite blue-furred mutant and a self-doubting titan of strength and invulnerability.) Whether you love Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, Green Arrow and Green Lantern, or Black Canary and Oracle, those unplanned pairings are part of the fun of comics. And since there are a few characters floating around in the wake of recent cancellations, I thought I’d suggest some places for DC and Marvel to put them before they get around to killing them off.
1) Blue Beetle and Static. Both of these characters have a lot in common. They’re both fairly well-known to non-comics fans through other media (the ‘Brave and the Bold’ cartoon, the ‘Static Shock’ cartoon), but have never quite found enough of an audience in comics to sustain them long term. They’re both young men trying to learn how to be heroes. They’re both ethnically diverse in a comics universe that still has problems with that. The two of them could very well make a team that makes people forget Ted and Booster.
2) X-23 and the Winter Soldier. Two former killers, each trying to redeem their troubled pasts. Both of them are at the same time worldly-wise and strangers to real life. Both of them are the kind of badasses that comics fans gravitate to. It’d be interesting to see the original Bucky trying to take on a mentor role, especially when he doesn’t feel like he necessarily knows himself enough to strike out on his own.
3) Mister Terrific and Grifter. One of them has a plan for everything, the other can barely figure out where his next paycheck is coming from. One of them is a super-genius, the other is a killing machine. One of them needs the other’s help…but which one?
4) Daken and Deadpool. Let’s face it, if there is one creation that has completely and totally flopped, it’s “Dark Wolverine”. The concept of an emo teenage Wolverine with daddy issues practically screams, “Hate me!” and none of the stories he’s appeared in have ever shaken that notion. So why not make him the butt of Deadpool’s jokes? A Looney Toons-style romp between two characters whose healing factors make them unkillable, one of whom is utterly insane and the other of whom makes the perfect straight man could be the first Daken comic actually worth reading.
5) Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange. Actually, how has this not happened already? I mean, you’ve got the Sorcerer Supreme and a guy struggling to keep a demon contained within his body. Doc Strange has a habit of gathering together misfits and outcasts and making teams out of them, and Johnny Blaze clearly needs a mystic mentor. This just feels like something that should have been done ages ago.
Any partnerships you’d like to see becoming the next World’s Finest? Share ‘em in the comments!