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Friendship Makes Comics A Whole Lot Better

Why friendship in comics between characters is important to the story and character development overall.

If you're one of the few that has someone in your life you can call a best friend then you should consider yourself lucky. After all, a "better part of ones life consists of ones friends," and they should always be treasured in your heart. Maybe that's why it's so nice to see friendships bloom between characters we know and love in some of our favorite comics -- it's something that we can not only relate to, but that also makes them seem more human. When written well, the friendship between two characters can make for the most wonderful moments in so many of our funny books.

When the penultimate issue of X-23 hit stores yesterday, I did not expect that the book which featured a guest appearance from Jubilee would focus so much on the value and importance of friendship. For X-23, it's not easy to make friends when most of your life has been spent abused in prostitution and manipulated on X-Force; so you can imagine how it would likely be a great challenge for Laura to actually get to the point where she felt she could trust another person. Yet, even though she has suffered at the hands of her captors and Captains, X-23 has still found it in her heart to trust some of the people around her; one of them being Jubilee.

== TEASER ==

The story opens with a very humorous football match where X-23 and Jubilee take on the boys of the Jean Grey Academy -- and they win. But the scene shifts to their very own girls night out, and X-23 reveals to Jubilee her innermost thoughts and conflicts. Should she join Cyclops' team again? Should she leave Wolverine and his school behind? This is a great scene not only because it deals with the future of Laura's character, but it also delves into Jubilee's problems. It makes these characters feel more human because they are confiding in one another, helping each other in their time of need. As her true friend, Laura reassures Jubilee that she would "not harm anyone," implying that she might be blood thirsty, but she is still a good person. Laura still believes that Jubilee is still the same person before she ever became a vampire.

X-23 has made other friends throughout the series, as well; one of them being Gambit. Initially, the unlikely pair had their share of squabbles, but ultimately Gambit eventually turned to look at Laura as his own. He treated her with the respect she deserved, gave her the space she needed, and allowed her to experience life all under his caring and somewhat protective watch. In turn, X-23 kept the Cajun in line, virtually putting an end to his womanizing ways.

X-23 and the evolution of her relationships with Gambit and Jubilee respectively aren't the only good examples of friendship in comics. Thinking back to Fantastic Four #584 when Ben Grimm decided to take the potion that had been concocted for him by the kids, he was given one week out of the year when he would transform from the Thing to just plain-old Ben Grimm.

It was at that moment that Johnny took Ben by the hand, and took him out on the town. The whole issue was spent with Ben simply doing all the things he couldn't normally do as the Thing, and at the very end, Johnny surprised him by taking him to Alicia's apartment, knowing full well that the big lug wouldn't have the guts to do it himself, even if it's ultimately what he really wants. Johnny knows what Ben wants and who he wants to see, which is why he brought him to Alicia's house. It's a beautiful issue and a really sweet moment.

You cant bring up friendships without mentioning Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, the two former Batgirls who were (at one time) very dear friends. In the panel above, the two former Batgirls bond over how warped and twisted both their fathers were, but they make light of it. They bond as both crime-fighters with similar agendas and over their respective sordid pasts. It's one moment of many where the two girls displayed a true love and friendship for one another, something that was very difficult for Cassie who was raised never to show emotion.

Character friendships have led to some of the best moments in comics. They help characters to evolve and develop and they bring readers in, allowing them to better relate to some of our favorite heroes. Do you have a favorite moment shared between two characters in comics? If so, what is it? What do you think of friendships in comics?

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Posted by KEROGA

Cassandra and Stephanie freindship was awesome

Posted by Superguy0009e

I love comic book friendships...especially when they aren't later destroyed by poor writers

Posted by danhimself

I just came home from my best friend's viewing to find this article....Thank you so much

Posted by cattlebattle

Friendship is magic!!  or so I've been told

Posted by cobra88king8

I always enjoy those moments. Comic writers are masters at writing the mentor/ student and partner-partner relationships but you rarely get to see friends interacting and just having fun together. It's nice to step back every now and then and just have characters having fun. Also Friendship is very Magical.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

There are some great friendships in comics and I always like when writers make their stories revolve around those friendships. I think that is important to see with a lot of characters. Friendship is a major theme in any kind of literature and that includes comic books.

Posted by EnSabahNurX

Jubilee, Gambit and Laura = AWESOME still want to be a team book

Posted by DarthShap

Completely agree on that one, especially when you bring up Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. But now that I think about it, all of the best friendships I loved from the DCU are no longer present after the reboot. Superman & Batman, the Titans, the Secret Six, Ted Kord and Booster Gold, even Fire and Ice.

Posted by OldManJoe

The bonds and friendships that were formed in the New X-Men is one of the main reasons that series was so great.

Posted by cosmo111687

Great article, Babs. :)

Edited by Duo_forbidden

I agree about this week's issue of X-23. Jubilee and Laura make such a great bond. I would love to see it evolve even further in the series but............well, we all know what happened :(

Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain is another good pair. Oh God, I'm starting to miss them even more! BRING THOSE TWO BACK ALREADY DC!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by MyraMyraMyra

I love Jubilee and Laura together. If they're ever getting a mini-series starring jsut the two of them, I'm definitely going to read it. I also loved the Gambit & X-23 friendhsip. I hope they'll be in the same title again someday.

Posted by Danial79

I used to like Marc Spector and Jean-Paul DuChamp's friendship in Moon Knight... but apparently that no longer exists.

Posted by Deadcool

That is the power of friendship and love!!!

Posted by FLStyle

I very much enjoyed X's character development as her and Gambit's friendship grew.

Good article, enjoyed reading it.

Posted by InnerVenom123

Wait, I thought Cassandra Cain was mute?

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Now this was great. I enjoyed the concept and the examples you gave with Steph and X-23. An excellent feel good analysis. Right on!

Posted by Inverno

I really liked this article.

Posted by StarKiller809

I really like comic book friendships. That is part of the reason I enjoy Legion of Super-Heroes so much. I haven't seen many comic book friendships as I have seem conflicts. This characters vs. that character. I really just wish that for a while we could have a friend period where everyone would just stop fighting and just realize that they could be great friends. Great article.

Posted by RedOwl_1

Yes it does, things like that makes me remember my first friends :'D

PD: of where's the Steph & Cassie image?

@cattlebattle said:

Friendship is magic!! or so I've been told

LOL, now I'm thinking on this

Posted by Cafeterialoca

They are awesome.

Unfortunately comic writers think killing/destroying friendships is more interesting...that or make everyone like Wolverine and Spider-Man...

Posted by fivestarga

I don't recall X-force manipulating Laura. She was asked to be on the team, which was a very logical move considering what she is and what they X-men were facing.

Posted by Saren

@InnerVenom123 said:

Wait, I thought Cassandra Cain was mute?

A decade ago, yeah. A telepath removed her mental block about speaking and then Babs and Steph taught her to speak, read and write.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@CitizenBane said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

Wait, I thought Cassandra Cain was mute?

A decade ago, yeah. A telepath removed her mental block about speaking and then Babs and Steph taught her to speak, read and write.

Ah, I had no idea.

Posted by Storybook9

From what issue is that Stephanie and Cassandra scene?

I liked the relationship that was developing between Rose Wilson and Damien in Teen Titans pre-52. They were becoming friends and almost had a sibling relationship going on that was funny, endearing, and also helpful for both of them, I think.

Posted by Duo_forbidden

@Storybook9: Batgirl #28 I believe.

Posted by BatClaw89


Edited by ArtisticNeedham
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, Super Friends!

Blue Beetle and Booster are such a great team to me because they are, were, such good friends. Its hard to think of one moment in particular.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Ep. 44
Posted by Hector

I just finished reading X-23 today and I must say I agree. Friendship shows the compassion this heroes have and that even though they have power they're are much like us humans more than we think.

Posted by sora_thekey

The best friendship I've seen in comics is probably the dynamic that the Runaways, the Teen Titans or the Young Avengers have. Opposed to all of the other teams they always seem to be at each other's throats or they handle their team in chain of commands allowing no room for friendships. These three young super hero teams are friends from the creation of the team.

Sara, really nice article by the way!

Posted by Kairan1979
@OldManJoe said:

The bonds and friendships that were formed in the New X-Men is one of the main reasons that series was so great.

I agree. And I really miss X-23/Mercury friendship. No offence to Jubilee fans.
Posted by teekomeeko

Great article. It definitely makes me wants to read the X-23 series beginning to end and keep up with that character - a little down-to-earthness might be the perfect thing to get me back into comics after several years away from them.

Posted by tonis

great article Sara and I have to agree, some of my favorite moments are those that deal with friendship. Blue Beetle and Booster really showed me the potential there :)

Posted by Grim

YOUNG JUSTICE Proper is the golden idol of comics friendships to me. Bart, Conner, and Tim (Impulse, Superboy, and Robin) should have been best friends forever. Im very annoyed with the new 52 STILL for breaking up the dream team....

Posted by lorex

This past year I have really enjoyed X-23's character development and espically the budding friendship with Jubilee, though Gambit in a sort of an older brother role was good too.

Posted by Mr_riddler

this article reminds me the great friendship between The Blue and The Gold, good times, Ted and Michael, the best partners in the Giffen era.

Posted by Mbecks14

The friendships between the original Young Justice gang and even Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are my favorites.

Posted by cmaprice

Nice piece, Babs. :)

Edited by ParaDemise

I remember The X-Men 'The Wedding Album' (I still have that copy, in mint condition) where Jubilee illicitly reads Jean Grey's diary and got caught in the act by 'yours truly'. And although Jean's very displeased (she wrote down her most inner feelings/private issues in that diary), they end up with a conciliatory embrace. I don't know, there was something heart-warming about that moment.

Wonderfully written article, Sara.

Edited by jhazzroucher

X-23 and Jubilee together was awesome. I hope Hollow could join them.

And Babs, you did a great job making this article. This article is the best I've seen and read here in comic vine.

Posted by Pokeysteve

Barbara Gordon and Black Canary's banter at the end of the Of Like Minds arc got me hooked on Birds of Prey. Simone did an excellent job writing their friendship.

Posted by Or35ti

comic book friendships are just so enjoyable

Posted by Eyz

@Or35ti said:

comic book friendships are just so enjoyable

'nuff said!

Posted by Green ankh

Booster and Beetle the best comic buddies no really it was a blast to read back then.

Edited by The_Tree

I miss Blue & Gold. Best comic book friendship ever.

Posted by soccersss

Stephanie and Cassie were great together. I hope the both show up at some point in DCNU. Watching Laura and jubilee's friendship grow was awesome and I also loved the bond between Laura and Gambit

Great Article Babs, it was a pretty good read

Posted by Sir_Deadpool

Deadpool and Weasel. Great friendship between thease two. Comicbook friendship makes reading storys even more emotional and enjoyable. This is something that we all know. It is even nicer if the favorite character has a friendship with an other character you like!

Posted by TheMess1428

Clark/Bruce, Dick/Wally, Hal/Ollie, and Tim/Conner were my all-time favorite friendships.

Posted by ArkhamInmate

@sora_thekey said:

The best friendship I've seen in comics is probably the dynamic that the Runaways, the Teen Titans or the Young Avengers have. Opposed to all of the other teams they always seem to be at each other's throats or they handle their team in chain of commands allowing no room for friendships. These three young super hero teams are friends from the creation of the team.

Sara, really nice article by the way!

Agreed I love the relationships between the different members of the Teen Titans!!

And what about Batman and Commissioner Gordon? I mean they are not BFs who would go out bowling every friday night but I think they've gone through a bunch hard times together.

Posted by fodigg

No mention of Green Arrow/Green Lantern? That seems like an oversight.

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