June 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM ET
Dating a superhero has its perks. Many of them are zillionaires, they're all handsome and strong, you never need to worry about walking down the darkest alley in the cruddiest neighborhood with one of them at your side.
But there are some big fat drawbacks too. Your guy might need to fly away -- literally -- with zero notice. Don't expect him to stay sitting next to you during that friend's wedding or aunt's funeral or nephew's piano recital if duty calls. His life's often in danger, which means yours is too, since it's a lot easier for bad guys to get to him by kidnapping you every few weeks or so. And the pressure of a second identity can get to him -- we don't know a single hero who appears well-adjusted mentally.
But how would the individual superheroes pan out as boyfriends? They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Iron Man: Best beau for an A-list lifestyle.
Pros: Tony Stark likes his money and isn't afraid to use it, buying a modern spaceship-like house overlooking the ocean in Malibu, and dropping big bucks on a dinosaur-sized stuffed bunny for girlfriend Pepper. If you dream of being whirled from Paris palace to Manhattan penthouse, he's your guy.
Cons: He's hot-headed, given to shouting out his home address to international terrorists who are holding a grudge. He's struggled with alcoholism and panic attacks, though he's worked to tackle both issues.
Boyfriend rating: A-, as long as you don't mind occasionally having to rebuild your entire house after a supervillain calls his bluff.
Thor: Best beau if you haven't outgrown college
Pros: Thor can drink. Really puts it away. He can drink you under the table at a bar with a giant stein of beer, or he can pound the coffee in an All-American diner, smash his mug and call for more.
Cons: Thor can drink. Really puts it away ... Drinking aside, though, Thor's a studly, loyal boyfriend, but his unfamiliarity with human customs is bound to lead to some embarrassing situations.
Boyfriend rating: B. Having a god around can be pretty useful. We imagine it can also be pretty annoying, because since when has a Norse god ever been told to empty the dishwasher?
Superman: Best beau to take home to mom
Pros: Mannerly. Polite. Clean cut. Moral. He'll stand up when you enter a room and carry you across a mud puddle, knight-in-shining-armor style.
Cons: He'll do the right thing, even when the right thing is painful. So if you ask him whether those pants make you look fat, don't expect a nice white lie.
Boyfriend rating: A+ if you think nice guys finish first, C if you have a thing for bad boys.
Batman: Best beau if you're into couples therapy
Pros: Like Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne/Batman has a ton of money and a honkin' big house. Stately Wayne Manor may not be as modern as Stark's Malibu mansion, but it has its advantages. And the Batmobile is the best ride of all the superhero cars, sure to earn stares as you cruise through the Starbucks drive-thru.
Cons: Batman has issues, man. Understandable issues relating to the death of his parents and his own struggle to be a hero with no superpowers other than his super-brain and wealth, but he has enough issues to start a magazine subscription. Still, if he gets some psychological help, he might just smooth things out. It worked for Tony Soprano -- well, kind of.
Boyfriend rating: B, as in brooding, which is practically his middle name.
Spider-Man: Best beau if you make passes at smart boys who wear glasses
Pros: The nerdy ones always try so hard, and Peter Parker has a good heart under all that webbing.
Cons: He hasn't always had the best luck with past girlfriends. We'll stay spoiler-free for those who haven't read the comics, but let's just say that Gwen Stacy falls upon hard times thanks to her love for Peter. Emphasis on the "falls."
Boyfriend rating: Even if you're 17, Peter is probably a C+ beau at best.