There is this special connection sometimes between two male characters. You know what I’m talking about; you’ve at least either seen or read The Lord of the Rings and know about the special “friendship” between Frodo and Sam. I mean, Frodo couldn’t have done it without his Sam, after all.
I’m sure each of us could name off at least five of these special man on man friendships, be it full on man love between a hobbit and his gardener or the rather competitive relationship between one Mavrick and Iceman. I feel it is my responsibility to highlight the more memorable and timeless of these relationships, and the first comes that springs to mind comes from the world of comic books.
No, not the ward/waif relationship of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, nor the unrequited love between Lex Luthor and Superman, though you are getting warmer—I’m talking the full-on bromantic love between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr.
Charles was born to a family of New York blue bloods. Knowing that his ability to read minds set him apart from everyone else, a brain that size can be intimidating to man and woman alike, and also realizing that there he wasn’t every really alone in his unique abilites, Charles turned his familial home into a school for gifted youngsters.
Erik, on the other hand, has led a life of pain. He is the Jewish child of Nazi Europe, and the only survivor in his family. The man has seen the very depths of human depravity and evil. He knows that being different makes a person a target and a victim, not special. He also has seen first hand what humans do to people that they see as different. He also is determined to never again be a victim.
The two boys met in their younger years and shared a few passionate afternoons, evenings, and sometimes mornings, lost in the throes of heated debate about the nature of mutant rights. They worked tirelessly to bring about real change for their brothers and sisters. They saw a new dawn coming to humanity and knew that if they didn’t take up the charge to guide it, things would go horribly wrong. But there was a darkness in Erik, one that not even Charles, no matter how big his intellect, could penetrate.
Knowing that they would never be able to agree, Erik broke from the side of his one-time partner and formed the malevolent Brotherhood of Mutants.
Erik’s Brotherhood and Charles’s own team, popularly known as The X-Men, (as an aside, note that each time is very gender skewed despite both possessing more than a couple of ladies, just saying) have clashed time and time again. But the feud has never ended in blood. Erik remains immune to the probing, ever reaching of Xavier’s mind. And the master of magnatism just can’t bring himself to destroying one of the only men that has ever shown interest in him, provided compassion and understanding, and shared a home with (ok maybe I made that part up, but really the Marvel continuity is so screwed up I’m willing to risk it).
In fact, the times where either Charles or Erik have been in real mortal danger, neither of them has ever not been willing to drop everything and save the other. Despite being the greatest of enemies, they have never really been able to hate. In fact at one point they *ahem* joined into one being called Onslaught; sure, people died, but the important thing was that they were together. And the whole reason the Onslaught delima happend was that after witnessing Magneto rip the bones out of one of his special youngsters, Wolverine, Charles wiped Magneto’s memory, driving Mags into a coma. Xavier was so distraught that his mind merged with Erik’s to create an being that combined both of their powers. That’s right, Erik and Xavier had a son.
So here’s to you, Professor X and Magneto, for it is brave souls such as yourselves who keep the bromance strong in the hearts and minds of young people everywhere. And remind each and everyone of us that sometimes, its a little creepy when you are that close to your arch-enemy.
Who are your favorite bromance duos?
Christopher Morgan works for CriminalElement.com and HeroesandHeartbreakers.com. He lives in New York City, and belives that his idea for a UF book called The Bromancer, about a fist-bumping wizard, is just waiting to be written...