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Why Johnny Storm and Peter Parker Make The Perfect Couple...Sort Of

FF #17 inspires us to dive into Johnny Storm and Peter Parker's classic comic book friendship.

Comics aren't just about action packed panels and out of this world ideas involving multi-verses and ultimate cosmic powers. Sure, that's definitely one reason why we're all comic book fans and love our funny books, but it's not the only reason. Many of us love comics because we can read them and relate on some level to these characters. Yeah they can seem out of this world, but sometimes they exude personalitiy traits and characteristics that just make these books so much fun to read.

In the latest issue of FF we saw Jonathan Hickman really explore the idea of these superheroes and their very normal, human relationships. In fact, it's what made the latest issue so great. When I read it I found myself laughing out loud, and it reminded me of why I started reading comic books in the first place. And god, who wouldn't want a friendship like that? I mean Johnny Storm and Peter Parker, as different as they are, as much as they've bickered and played jokes on one another over the years; theirs is the epitome of a great (fantastic, even) friendship. It's one that should be cherished and celebrated, and that's exactly what Hickman did in the latest issue of FF. FF #17 is a "filler issue" -- sure -- it was used as a buffer following a really heavy story arc; but it was also another avenue for Hickman to take the two characters and an opportunity for him to further explore their friendship.

== TEASER ==

I admit, it even made me appreciate Spider-Man a little bit more -- and that's saying something. All kidding aside, though, FF # 17 which was released about two weeks ago tells the story of Peter Parker and Johnny Storm, living together under one roof. It demonstrates that even though this two bedroom apartment seems big (especially for New York City standards) it isn't enough room to contain these two friends who obviously cannot live together. The book is full of Johnny pulling pranks on Peter, all the by bringing him closer to the edge. It's narrated by Peter and as he grows increasingly frustrated, is highlighted by his "to-do list." At the end of the list? Kick Johnny Storm out of the apartment. It's a great issue that really explores the friendship between these two characters. It also got me thinking about previous appearances featuring these two and other moments they have shared over the years that have really made reading THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and FANTASTIC FOUR a lot of fun.

One of Peter's first interactions with Johnny is inspirational. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3 Peter Parker is feeling discouraged. It's in the early years of his superhero career and he's feeling down because, well, he's struggling. Johnny Storm shows up at his school to give a lecture that inspires Peter. You can really look at this as one of the first classic moments that these two characters would share together on panel, and one that would really influence their friendship.

After Johnny Storm sacrificed himself in FANTASTIC FOUR #587, Parker joined the FF as his replacement -- but not without Johnny's blessing. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #657, Reed Richards shows Peter a hologram message from Johnny to Peter which he had recorded in the event of his death. In it, Johnny asks Peter to join the Fantastic Four, and reveals just how much Peter meant to him. It's a moment in comics that is difficult to read without feeling a little bit teary eyed.

Yet, what makes the friendship between these two so entertaining to read is the fact that it isn't all love -- it's a little bit love/hate. People were not so crazy about the Fantastic Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #512, and Johnny Storm was feeling the repercussions of his actions big time. The Human Torch was rapidly losing his popularity, and Spider-Man was becoming more popular. This, obviously, was making Johnny very unhappy; so he goes to Peter for advice to see what he can do about dealing with his decline in popularity. Needless to say, by the end of the issue Johnny winds up naked in a swimming pool. Very funny.

Friends don't always get along, and these two had a helluva time doing that in the latest issue of FF -- but that's exactly what makes their friendship stand out. Yeah, they pick on one another and give each other a hard time once in a while, but it's what makes their relationship so endearing and so much fun to read. At the end of the day, no matter how often they bicker, Johnny Storm and Peter Parker love each other. And I for one, love them for it. We've written about comic book friendships and how important they are in the past, what are some of your favorites? Is there an issue that stands out to you above the rest that you have really enjoyed? What friendships do you feel need to be fleshed out a bit more?

62 Comments
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Posted by G-Man

I think this says it all about Johnny:

Staff
Edited by VioletPhoenix

@G-Man: bad thing for a grown man to say alone in a pool full of minors.

they make the perfect ODD COUPLE :D move over Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau!

Posted by feargalr

I smell fan fiction being born

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX

@G-Man said:

I think this says it all about Johnny:

LMAO xD

Posted by TheAnnihilator

@G-Man said:

I think this says it all about Johnny:

On so many levels...yes.

Posted by Stormultt

Lol, They make a great team.

Posted by pspin

Th last issue of New Mutants was like this, with the friends/ interpersonal relationships. Issues like that are always a breath of fresh air from an industry that can seem hung up on drama and angst (I'm looking at you Uncanny X-Men and Batman)

Posted by BritishMonkey

first thing that came to mind

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

This week's Daredevil was also an EXTREMELY excellent calmer character focus issue with a lot of nods to friendship.

Posted by DarkKnight96000

So instead of having Mary-Jane, Spider-Man now has to come home to Johnny Storm. Poor Spidey.

Posted by sora_thekey

I agree with this whole article. Gotta say this is one of my favorite pieces Sara has written...

Moderator
Posted by Deadcool

I had a lot of fun reading this article, thanks...

Posted by BlackArmor

@BritishMonkey said:

first thing that came to mind

same here

Posted by SpidermanWins

Great article

Posted by enigma_2099

If he had any f***** sense, that last comic panel in the article would have stood as the END of their friendship.

Posted by Journey Into Chaos

YAOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIII!

Posted by MrCipher

Honestly, the only time it's OK for someone to make you breakfast wearing their underwear, is if you've just had "relations" with them. Which begs the question; Are Pete and Johnny playing for the other team now?

Posted by danhimself

I really enjoyed that last issue of FF...I do enjoy the high octane explosive filled good guy vs. bad guy comics but I really enjoy the character driven stuff more....where the writer slows things down and focuses on the characters and their relationships....it's why I enjoy Kirkman's books so much...the guy is the absolute best character writer as evidenced by the Walking Dead and Invincible

Posted by KEROGA

awesome geek chilling with a popular guy

Posted by frozenedge

I've noticed that Peter and Johnny's friendship usually happens in other universes but most noticeably in the Ultimate Universe. What happened to all the friendships and stuff that characters had with each other? I liked those for some reason

Posted by John Valentine

MARVEL BROMANCE.

Posted by capfan80

Excellent. Not Booster and Ted excellent, but excellent nonetheless.

Posted by Ganthetsward20

I really enjoyed the moment of Rorschach and Night Owl in the Watchmen comic book. I hope we can see some of that in these Watchmen Comics coming out. I also really liked the bit of brotherly love shared with Red Hood and Red Robin in the last issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws. Some of the Bat Family really intrigue me and that particular moment showed something in Jason I really liked. His friendship with Kori and Roy has been pretty great as well.

Edited by NightFang

@feargalr said:

I smell fan fiction being born

No, that's Slash Fiction your thinking of.

Posted by Renee
Posted by poisonfleur

The first panel was actually making me kinda hot

Posted by kamionero

The ambiguously gay Duooooo!

Edited by TeflonBilly

A buddy comic I really miss is Quantum & Woody. What seemed like just a comical send up of the classic buddy cop cliche only with super heroes instead turned into a lot more poignant and deep comic and friendship as the series went on.

It was the first I read of Christopher Priest and was a great precursor to his run on Deadpool when Wade shared an apartment with Titania and Constrictor when it came to interpersonal relationships between super powered folks

With Valiant returning with X-O Manowar, maybe we'll see a return of Quantum & Woody in the future

Posted by mewmdude77

@BlackArmor said:

@BritishMonkey said:

first thing that came to mind

same here

Yes. Yes. Yes! This so much!!! This is there friendship, with Pete as JD, and Johnny as Turk.

Spidey's next biggest bromance is with Daredevil, and Johnny's next biggest is with Ben.

Posted by jewunit

I really enjoyed this article. I agree that friendships between superheroes is an under-appreciated part of comics. The moments mentioned in this article show how you can organically grow a friendship, ups, downs, and all, over time. Moments like Thing slapping Wolverine on the back and saying "See back you at the Avengers mansion" make the characters more human and more enjoyable to read. It's the reason I loved Astro City so much. The opportunity to get some perspective on how these character live and operate together makes for such unique dynamics. It's a shame more writers don't add that level of character interplay beyond team-up battles and all-too-brief dialogue exchanges.

As for a relationship I would like to see developed, I think the Hulk and Wolverine would be an interesting one. Now that Wolverine is the head of a school and Hulk is AWOL, the chance to explore how they view one another after years of conflict would be fascinating.

Posted by Miss_Garrick

@MrCipher: EEWW, but you have a point.

You should have included the panel after this where Johnny's back is to Spidey and he's whining about being as lame as Peter, all the while Spidey has his hands reaching toward Johnny's neck muttering "Gloves don't leave fingerprints."

I was chanting "Do it, do it, do it!"

Posted by SupermanJohnathanKentJr

I actually just noticed this in Amazing Spider-Man #657 not too long ago.That part when they picked up Invisible Woman from jail was so hilarious.

My favorite friendships are The Killer and Mariano from The Killer. Whenever Mariano gets The Killer to smile and/or laugh, it helps break out of the usually depressing atmosphere in the series. Lono and Loop from 100 Bullets. Deadpool and Cable. Good polar opposite friendship. Thor and his Asgardian friends in The Mighty Avenger.

Posted by clemj

it 's true that close friends like those can make a good comic couple

Posted by Eyz

One word: BROMANCE!

Posted by Billy Batson

MAKE THEM A REAL COUPLE.
BB

Posted by emperorznb

I can't wait for the next series of events to come between Johnny and Pete... It would be fun to see some bromantic action. lol... just kidding.

Posted by The Devil Tiger

OMG, no offense but they look so... gay ! XD

Posted by revbucky

Freaks and Geeks all over again.

Posted by On1inepersona

I am now a spiderman and human torch fan, things I werent before

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Yeah that's a definite bromance for sure. As for the kind of friendship I wanna see fleshed out more, I have always wanted more in-depth analysis of as well as narrative is the Golden Age Superman/Batman relationship. We always see the love-hate relationship of the normal default Supes/Bats dynamic, but I wanna see how the Golden age counterparts really were. Which is something I hope they flesh out in New 52. Awesome article.

Posted by CapFanboy

@feargalr said:

I smell fan fiction being born

On it...

Posted by mewmdude77

@CapFanboy said:

@feargalr said:

I smell fan fiction being born

On it...

You better! There's no PeterXJohnny fan fics on fanfiction.net!

Posted by feargalr

@mewmdude77 said:

@CapFanboy said:

@feargalr said:

I smell fan fiction being born

On it...

You better! There's no PeterXJohnny fan fics on fanfiction.net!

Are we being serious? I can't tell

Posted by hectorsquall
Posted by Tyrannotaur
Yup.
Posted by mewmdude77

@feargalr said:

@mewmdude77 said:

@CapFanboy said:

@feargalr said:

I smell fan fiction being born

On it...

You better! There's no PeterXJohnny fan fics on fanfiction.net!

Are we being serious? I can't tell

I don't know...

Posted by buzz86us

How come that awesome mini-series that Dan Slott did a few years ago gets no props in this article? That series was one of my favorite comics in recent times really worth checking out.

http://comicbookdb.com/title.php?ID=914

Posted by Mbecks14

Hahaha my second favorite Spider-Man ship.

Posted by JonesDeini

One of my favorite relationships in comics. And FF 17 was superb.

Posted by Queso6p4

Very neat article. This insight is particularly interesting to me as I don't follow these characters but I do have a love/hate relationship with a friend of mine.

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