It’s Friday and Josh had a bit of a lack of time this week, so I’ve stepped in to talk about a very serious thing: Bromances. While romances are are all fine and good, there’s another special kind of relationship; a completely platonic relationship between two guys that transcends mere friendship. These two guys are both more and less than brothers, they feel a certain bond that is hard to put into words. But, there is an, admittedly made up, word for it: bromance. In comics there are many, many examples of bromances, but what follows are this comic fan’s favorites, the ones I see as the best examples of what a bromance can be.
Finn and Jake of Adventure Time
While this a bit of a cheat, as Adventure Time was a cartoon long before a comic, it’s a great example of a bromance. There are few relationships more special than that between a boy and his dog, but when that dog can talk and change shape at will, it opens up things up a bit more. Finn the Human and Jake the Dog go on adventures in the magical land of Ooo, saving people, battling monsters, and generally being the best of bros. Living together, these two spend nearly all their time together, hanging out, playing video games, saving the Candy Kingdom, angering various magical creatures, or any number of other things. They share one of the great traits of a bromance in that they are always looking out for each other, even if it’s not the best decision for them. Though they get into fights and get mad at each other, they both know that the other will always have their back.
Batman and Superman
There are few character more synonymous with comics than Batman and Superman. Both men are orphans, though each had people to step in to ensure they were raised properly, Superman had the Kents and Batman had Alfred. Both men grow up to be great heroes that inspire greatness in others. While they often are seem at odds with each other, the two have a long history of teaming up and generally being friends. They’ve stopped alien invasions together, been on teams together for years, and even shared a cruise ship cabin. Even beyond being friends, there’s a deep respect between the two, so deep in fact, that Superman entrusts only Batman with a Kryptonite ring, just in case he ever needs to be taken down. Giving your buddy the only thing that can kill you is a pretty good sign that you’re in a pretty serious bromance.
Jonah and Alphius of Space-Mullet
Again, a bit of a cheat as this is a webcomic, but I’m the one writing this thing. A human ex-space marine and an alien buddy are space truckers, traveling galaxy and going wherever they need to. Confined to the close quarters of the ship for long periods, it’s inevitable that they get into arguments, often about Alphius’ overuse of the toilet paper. Discussing relative size of bowel movements while cooking is a thing that only the best of friends could do. Still, they always know that they can trust one another and they can count on each other to bail them out of a tight spot. While Alphius may have to save Jonah more often than not, Jonah is always willing to back Alphius up if he needs it and is willing to do just about anything to help Alphius out.
Spider-Man and Human Torch
Both of these guys received their powers in freak accidents, one from a spider bite and the other from an odd radiation storm in space. Both then turned to using these powers for good. Peter Parker is known for his quirky sense of humor and his tendency to crack jokes while he beats up the bad guys, while Johnny Storm is the youngest, and often least responsible, member of the Fantastic Four. Both were young men with big personalities, big powers, and even bigger responsibilities. When Johnny Storm “died” only to return months later, it was his good buddy Spider-Man that he chose to move in with. Though it ended up being more of an ill-fated “Odd Couple” type scenario with an endless number of headaches for the more responsible Peter, the two still have one of the greatest bromances in comics. Just because you can’t stand to live with your friend doesn’t mean you can’t still be in a bromance.
Enrico Fermi and Harry Daghlian from The Manhattan Projects
The Manhattan Projects is full of alternate history versions of great scientists, many behind the famed Manhattan Project that ended WWII. Two of these scientists are Enrico Fermi and Harry Daghlian. Daghlian, as an irradiated skeleton rendered immortal due to an atomic accident, is distant from most of humanity as something both more and less than human. Enrico, as what the other characters refer to as a “chromosomal alien”, is similarly viewed as an outsider by the human members of the Manhattan Projects. Enrico befriends Harry, making it possible for him to venture out into the world despite his current radioactive state. Because of this, Harry believed that Enrico was the only person to truly accept who he had become. It’s this acceptance and trust that cemented their bromance as something special even in its short time. Though things didn’t end well for the two friends, with Fermi having some schemes of his own, their bromance seemed true despite it all and was a true example of bromance for over a year’s worth of comics.