We love it when our heroes fall for the suspicious types: the wolves in sheep's clothing, the dangerous femme fatales. It happens often in film noir and a heckuva lot in comics, and provides some of the best last-act twists and turns as our hearts palpitate along with those of our protagonists... up until the bitter end. Can't that evil love interest turn out to have a heart of gold, so we can all have a happily ever after? Sometimes, yes. Most of the time, no.
What is it about these doomed romances that we love so much? Perhaps it's the futility of it all; you can't have your cake and eat it when you're a superhero or a (wo)man on a mission to right wrongs, even if you'd rather be kissing that beguiling bad guy than fighting them, arresting them, or foiling their evil plans. Turning down a chance at love is the ultimate sacrifice for a hero or heroine to make -- it proves their commitment to the side of good. Hence, loving a villain makes a hero even more heroic. How tragic!
In what will surely spur controversy, I've whittled my favorite villain-hero romances down to the seven best pairings in cinema. No, Phantom of the Opera didn't make it. That would have been too easy. Instead, find odd couples, would-be perfect pairs, star-crossed lovers, and yes, the world's most legendary bromance after the jump.