Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas.
Yes, Valentine's Day has begun to recede into the rear view for most of us already, but in the Marvel Universe, love springs eternal-or until your team goes through another major line-up change.
To honor those who persevere in the romance department among our heroes, the Secret Cabal have selected 10 current sweethearts who exemplify the term "Power Couple."
For each pairing you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!
10. MISTER FANTASTIC & THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
When They First Got Together: FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (1961)
Why They Make the List: The most venerable couple in all of Marveldom, Reed and Sue Richards have endured much and certainly tested each other's patience over years of marriage, but they remain the model of Marvel matrimony and each other's greatest allies. Bedrocks of the Fantastic Four and the coolest parents in the world to their children, Franklin and Valeria, Reed and Sue's bond provide them with the strength you need to survive an attack by Doctor Doom as well as a family vacation to the wild west.
Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3-Reed and Sue unite in wedded bliss!
9. STATURE & THE VISION
When They First Got Together: YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #4 (2008)
Why They Make the List: The daughter of fallen Avenger Scott "Ant-Man" Lang and the second iteration of the android Vision share a unique bond and one of the more interesting romances in the Marvel Universe. He's at least part machine, still learning to feel, while she's a little skeeved out by the fact that his attraction to her began as inherited programming from the armor of the departed Iron Lad, but somehow they make it work and give the teen set of the Marvel Universe something to aspire to.
Spotlight Comic: MIGHTY AVENGERS #21-Stature and Vision join the Avengers!
8. STEVE ROGERS & SHARON CARTER
When They First Got Together: TALES OF SUSPENSE #75 (1966)
Why They Make the List: When Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, was thought dead, most accepted the tragedy and moved on, but his one-time lover, Sharon Carter, could not, thanks in no small part to her role in the assassination thanks to the Red Skull's brainwashing manipulations. The love Steve and Sharon share proved enough to steady the Star-Spangled Avenger as he plummeted through the timestream and pull him back to the present when his friends needed him most.
Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #24 (2006)-In the heat of the Civil War, Steve and Sharon's passion reignites!
7. RICTOR & SHATTERSTAR
When They First Got Together: X-FACTOR #45 (2009)
Why They Make the List: It's hard to find two folks more different than street-bred Julio Esteban Richter and the extra-dimensional gladiator known only as Shatterstar, yet in this case, opposites truly do attract. Close friends with a tight bond for years, Ric and Shatty are finally fully exploring their feelings for one another, and discovering plenty about themselves in the process. Whether their relationship proves a dalliance or something with real staying power, they're clearly important to one another and each has plenty to teach the other.
Spotlight Comic: X-FORCE: SHATTERSTAR #1-A glimpse into Shatterstar's past!
6. SPIDER-MAN & THE BLACK CAT
When They First Got Together: SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #76 (1983)
Why They Make the List: For a guy who couldn't score a date in high school to save his life, Peter Parker has gotten plenty lucky with the ladies over the subsequent years, but none have presented more of a delightful dilemma for the erstwhile Wallcrawler than Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat. With the feline fatale always more attracted to the mask than the man, Spidey's liaisons with the Cat have always been tricky, but now that they're back at square one in terms of her not knowing his secret ID, their on-again, off-again partnership has become even more intriguing.
Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194-The Black Cat crashes into Spidey's life for the very first time!
5. RONIN & MOCKINGBIRD
When They First Got Together: HAWKEYE #4 (1983)
Why They Make the List: It took four issues for Clint Barton and Bobbi Morse to fall in love and get married, then only a few years for their relationship to break down, then considerably more time-and a faked death plus alien invasion-for them to find one another again. However, now that Mockingbird and her former Hawkeye have triumphed over the Skrulls, her seeming demise, his lingering other lovers and much more, we're happy to see them back bickering and smooching it out in alternate moments. Clint's more alive-literally and figuratively-than he's been in years, and we can't help but think a little birdie had more than something to do with it.
Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #1-Clint and Bobbi attempt to work through their relationship issues-and kick butt along the way!
4. MAY PARKER & J. JONAH JAMESON SR.
When They First Got Together: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #591 (2009)
Why They Make the List: Proof that romance has no expiration date, Peter Parker's elderly aunt May and the father of his longtime foil, J. Jonah Jameson Jr., tied the knot last year and have quickly become one of the most charming love stories we've seen in ages. The elder JJJ's adventurous spirit has awakened new life in May while her commitment to family and charity has helped the old codger remember a stronger side of himself. Nobody will ever replace Spider-Man's beloved Uncle Ben, but even our favorite Webslinger has no trouble seeing these two were made for each other.
Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #7 (2008)-Before she marries once more, Aunt May reminisces about the day she became a Parker!
3. CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE BLACK WIDOW
When They First Got Together: CAPTAIN AMERICA #27 (2007)
Why They Make the List: Bucky Barnes has got it made; sure he's got decades of tortured memories and forced executions weighing on his psyche, but he also gets to be Captain freakin' America with none other than the world's undisputed sexist spy-sorry, Nick Fury-the Black Widow, on his arm. The Brangelina of the Marvel Universe, the Widow and current Cap exude chemistry when they walk in a room and instantly become the envy of all the other couples around them. After all, how many other pairings spend their days taking down terrorists and their nights-well, this is a family site. Bucky and Natasha have each other's backs in battle and know how to unwind with the best of them.
Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #27 (2007)-The history of Bucky and the Black Widow's torrid romance!
2. LUKE CAGE & JESSICA JONES
When They First Got Together: ALIAS #1 (2001)
Why They Make the List: If you're looking for a marriage that can stand just about any test and endure under the most trying of circumstances, look no further than that of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Despite being forced underground first by Registration and then by Norman Osborn, the former Power Man and Jewel have risen above their predicament, bringing a child into this harsh world but showering it with such love and devotion she may never know the tough times she survived. Jessica has pushed Luke to be the hero and Avenger he always should have been while he has helped her pull her life together and even throw on the old spandex when he hubby's life needs saving.
Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1-The wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones!
1. CYCLOPS & EMMA FROST
When They First Got Together: NEW X-MEN #154 (2004)
Why They Make the List: The alpha couple of mutantkind has achieved incredible feats since coming together, from seeing the Xavier Institute through some of its darkest days to founding the haven of Utopia to making Norman Osborn look foolish for the first time in the course of his Dark Reign. In that last accomplishment was where the leader of the X-Men and his wicked White Queen most demonstrated the strength of their bond, deceiving not only Osborn but just about everybody around them, relying only on unparalleled trust in one another to pull off their daring deception. You can argue all you want that Jean Grey was the true love of Scott Summers' life, but no question he's grown into a sharper, more cunning, more capable leader with Emma on his arm, and seems to be having a good time with it to boot.
Spotlight Comic: UNCANNY X-MEN #505-Emma takes a tour of Cyclops' inner psyche!
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!
Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution", "Wolverine and the X-Men", "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes" and "The Super Hero Squad Show" now on iTunes!
Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!