?Let me start this list with a little anecdote: being a twin, I got to thinking about the contributions twins have made over the course of history, fictitious or otherwise. For example, Romulus and Remus, although a creation myth, were instrumental in founding Italy’s capital of Rome. Billy and Benny McCrary motorcycled their way into the hearts of every American — and the Guinness Book of World Records — with their delightfully charming morbid obesity and tag team wrestling prowess. So it was at that moment I immediately thought to myself why not write a list giving due to nerdery’s greatest twins? Given that there are so many forms of nerdy media — comics, cartoons, video games, etc. — it wasn’t at all hard to find the numerous pairs of twins that occupy these various fantasy worlds, but choosing who would hold the title of “greatest” proved to be a daunting task in itself. But after careful consideration and research, the list has been at last compiled and ready for your reading pleasure.
Without further ado, get ready for some serious double vision with the 12 greatest twins of nerd-dom, chronicling everyone from the super powered to the downright disturbing! And, sorry, no conjoined or parasitic twins here. That’s what the TLC network is for… and the film Basket Case.
12) Aurora and Northstar, Marvel
?Kicking off this list are Aurora and Northstar: the crazy mutant Cancucks of Canada’s premiere superhero team Alpha Flight. And I’m not using the word “crazy” to be funny, having endured such turbulent lives, it’s no wonder that the pair isn’t playing with a full deck. Losing their parents in a car crash during their infancy, Aurora (Jeanne-Marie Beaubier) and Northstar (Jean-Paul Beaubier) were separated and never learned of each other’s existence until their adulthood. Having been raised in a religious school in Quebec, Jeanne-Marie was punished for her budding mutant abilities (deemed blasphemous), which only sowed the seeds for her eventual multiple personality disorder. Jean-Paul, on the other hand, lived a rather lonely childhood and lashed out at society by becoming a no good punk to vent his harbored frustration.
But this was only the beginning of their woes. Upon joining Alpha Flight, the two were constantly at odds with each other, with Aurora growing irritated over her brother’s pompous behavior and Northstar growing wary of his sister’s schizophrenia. And if that wasn’t enough, the Norse god of mischief Loki — for convoluted reasons — couldn’t help himself and convinced the twins that their mother was an elf named Danae, which naturally was utter bull.
Regardless, Aurora and Northstar both possess super speed and photokinesis among other abilities, making them forces to be reckoned with. No one wants to go toe-to-toe with mutants out of their minds. No one!
11) WilyKit and WilyKat, ThunderCats
There are two things that a senior member of the ThunderCats never wants to see and hear: some kind of disaster taking place on Third Earth or New Thundera followed up by the statement “WilyKit and WilyKat left Cat’s Lair a few minutes ago to play outside.” When there’s trouble, more often than not WilyKit and WilyKat are to blame for either nearly getting themselves killed or releasing an imprisoned monstrosity that needs to be sealed back up again before it brings about the apocalypse… also while nearly getting themselves killed.
Despite being more trouble than they’re worth, WilyKit and WilyKat have pulled their older compatriots out of plenty of scrapes thanks to their agility, guile and bags full of tiny capsules that release all kinds of hell once they hit the ground; one of which included a giant inflatable dinosaur — no kidding! So in essence, they kind of balance out their pain-in-the-assery with their diverse repertoire of cunning. And besides, with Lion-O having the mind of an undeveloped child, it’s always nice to have a few people on the same mental level as you, unlike the rest of those grown-up doo-doo heads.
10) He-Man and She-Ra, The Secret of the Sword
Already raking in the green with the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toyline and television series, Mattel was eager to fatten their wallets a bit more by marketing the popularity of MOTU to girls in the form of She-Ra: Princess of Power. Basically replacing the male-centric cast with more women, and splashing nearly everyone and everything with as much pastel colors and sparkles as feasibly possible, She-Ra told the story of Prince Adam’s (He-Man) long lost twin sister Adora (She-Ra) and her destiny to wield the Sword of Protection: a parallel to Adam’s Power Sword.
On the behest of the Sorceress, He-Man and Battlecat travel to the oppressed world of Etheria, ruled by Hordak, in order to find the destined wielder of the sword. During a run in with the Evil Horde and their force captain Adora, He-Man discovers that she is the one he’s been searching for, whom of which accepts her role as She-Ra and realizes that she’s been brainwashed into serving under Hordak; because fighting alongside colorfully named monsters like Leech and Grizzlor, and working out of a fortress called the Fright Zone, just scream benevolent empire with the people’s interests at heart.
Ultimately, it’s revealed that Adora and Adam were kidnapped by Hordak and his erstwhile pupil Skeletor many years in the past to prevent a prophecy involving his defeat at their hands from ever becoming realized. In typical fantasy trope fashion, he was only able to make off with one of them, thus separating the two during their infancy.
9) Jade and Obsidian, DC
?There’s a lot of things women shouldn’t do when they’re pregnant: don’t consume alcohol, don’t smoke cigarettes and don’t dye your hair. But many obstetricians always forget to mention not to bump nasties with guys who have super powers, namely those empowered by the Starheart. And that’s just what happened when one Rose Canton (a.k.a the villainess Thorn) married Alan Scott, the original Golden Age Green Lantern. Leaving her life with Alan behind and fearing that she would harm her newborn twins, Rose put Jade (Jennifer-Lynn Hayden) and Obsidian (Todd Rice) up for adoption. While Jennifer-Lynn was adopted and raised by a loving couple in a Milwaukee suburb, Todd’s life was the complete opposite having been brought up in an abusive household.
Upon their late teens, the two discovered each other’s existence and the truth that they were actually the twin children of the Green Lantern. Wanting to uphold their father’s crusade against crime, the two tried to join the Justice Society of America, but were ultimately rejected. However, they — along with the children of the other JSA members — formed their own team called Infinity Inc.
Sadly, Obsidian is afflicted with a case of schizophrenia (seeing a pattern here?) inherited from his birth mother, and this, in combination with his power over shadows and the Starheart’s influence beckoning him to fuse with Jade to form one omnipotent entity, makes for a lethal combination — especially when being manipulated by those with malicious intent. But in the recent Justice League of America #59, the Starheart’s negative influence over the twins was diminished and Obsidian keeping his condition in check meant they were at last able to be together once again, with animosity towards each other virtually nonexistent. Take note, Aurora and Northstar!
8) Mario and Luigi, Super Mario Bros.
There was once a time in the legacy of the mustached plumbers when Luigi was nothing more than Mario’s younger non-twin brother and a green variant of his older sibling’s 8-bit sprite from the Mario Bros. arcade game. Now, the brothers are so much more! While comics and other media featuring Mario and Luigi back then were never consistent with the duo’s twinhood, it’s safe to say that Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island for the SNES solidified the fact that Mario and Luigi are indeed twins, given that the stork was carrying two bundles in his beak at the same time.
Due to their contrasting personalities, there is a bit of a brotherly rivalry between them, but when it comes right down to it, they really do need each other. If it weren’t for Mario always dragging his brother Luigi along on one of their many adventures, he wouldn’t be able to toughen up and have the cojones to rescue his headstrong bro from situations that fall well out of his comfort zone. Namely, busting Mario out of a haunted house armed with nothing but a glorified vacuum cleaner and a flashlight.
7) The Twins, Superjail
The Twins of Superjail are an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in the skin of monobrowed techno eurotrash. So mysterious, we have yet to learn their names or what they even are; according to one episode they’re the very last of their race granted permission by their father Ozoe to vacation on Earth, with Superjail being their destination of choice. Are they aliens? Or something else entirely? We’ll never know, but you have to admit you can’t help yourself from giggling like a schoolgirl whenever techno music starts playing in the background, knowing full well that these two are on the way and planning to derail the Warden’s grandiose schemes and ambitions behind the shadows, typically climaxing with the series’ signature gory and psychedelic killing spree sequences.
From creating the “new god of war” Combaticus to one of them birthing the Warbuxx for sustenance, these two are your quintessential creepy identical twins that prey on your primal fear of the two little girls from The Shining. Except that these two are actually funny (in an unnerving way).
6) Captain Britain and Psylocke, Marvel
?Nearly all the world’s nations in the Marvel Universe seem to have a hero representing the might and unity of their respective homelands. While Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) is overshadowed by our Captain America, he gets major points — and stands head and shoulders over Canada’s and Russia’s Guardian and Red Guardian, respectively — for being the twin brother to every X-Nerd’s flights of fancy: Psylocke (Elizabeth Braddock)! The Braddocks were created during the late 70’s and, for a time, were exclusive to Marvel UK publications. But thanks to Captain Britain’s appearance in an issue of Marvel Team-Up, he and his purple-haired sister hit American comic shelves and become major players in the X-Universe and beyond, with Psylocke eventually joining the X-Men and Captain Britain opting to remain behind defending his nation himself and alongside his team Excalibur. And like a true loving sibling doing a solid for their kin, Psylocke once took the reins as Captain Britain in her brother’s place, going as far to dye her hair red, white and blue — just in case the fact that she’s a British super heroine was lost on the public.
5) Tomax and Xamot, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
There have been many stories and studies regarding an empathic link between twins, especially between those that are identical. To wit, one twin can feel the physical pain or emotional distress of the other to a degree without actually having had the particular experience. Works of fiction are no stranger to this concept with a prime example being Tomax and Xamot Paoli: the savvy and sadistic businessmen of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
The Paolis are the CEOs of Extensive Enterprises, the insidious company of the expansive Cobra terrorist organization, as well as the co-leaders of the elite Crimson Guard. Always undermining Cobra Commander to their delight, he wouldn’t keep the two around if it weren’t for their corporate know-how and mastery of a combat style similar to gymnastics, but more lethal! However, their empathy is their downfall since a punch to the stomach of one brother, for example, can bring the other down like a ton of bricks. There was even one incident where one of the two experienced the panicked sensation of his brother falling from a great height, rendering him in a state of immobile horror.
4) Luke and Leia Skywalker, Star Wars
Including He-Man and She-Ra’s, we nerds have put up with the separated-at-birth-to-fulfill-a-prophecy-and-save-the-universe trope countless times in our lives. But you have to admit that the greatest iteration of this story device comes from a galaxy far, far away: Luke and Leia Skywalker. With their mother Padme dead and their father having become a Sith, it was decided that the Force-sensitive twins be separated to evade capture at the hands of Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious and his malicious regime. While Leia was sent off to live a life of luxury on Alderaan, Luke got the shaft and ended up on a planet covered in sand, sand and more sand.
Even though the Skywalkers were lightyears away, Leia’s latent force ability was detecting her brother’s presence in the universe even though she didn’t quite know who he was. Luke, on the other hand, was squandering his gift by locating errant tools around the homestead and pissing off his Uncle Owen in the process (he hated that Force juju crap). Then again, this is all coming from a boy who almost got himself killed out in the deserts of Tatooine on numerous separate occasions; not too bright. Regardless, both would become Jedi with their respective children inheriting their Force sensitivity.
But what really put the Skywalkers on the map was their lengthy, and unnervingly deep, kiss in The Empire Strikes Back. While we didn’t know at the time that they were brother and sister, the revelation in Return of the Jedi made every Star Wars fan in the theater pause for a few seconds, which was immediately followed by imitation butter and popcorn surging back up their throats.
3) Hank and Dean Venture, The Venture Bros.
It’s hard to say which Hank and Dean Venture duo I’m talking about specifically since any fan of The Venture Bros. knows that due to their habit of getting killed on nearly all of their adventures, their father Dr. Thaddeus Venture clones them repeatedly — meaning that it’s never the same Ventures twice. But since they all share the same brain patterns, it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, the Venture brothers are proof that when it comes right down to it, your best friend in this world is ultimately your twin sibling since only they understand you on a level unlike any other; if you’re two sheltered, socially awkward brothers on the other hand, you don’t exactly have a choice in the matter. On top of that, the Ventures are also a prime example of yin and yang personified. While Hank is impulsive and yearns for adventure (damn the consequences), Dean would rather take a more methodological approach or avoid danger entirely by doing nothing at all. Regardless, their conflicting natures coming together to form a greater complimentary whole do nothing to stop death tagging along with them during their father’s worldwide excursions.
2) Zan and Jayna, Super Friends
They’re corny, they come off as last minute/uninspired ideas and their unique ability to shapeshift doesn’t hold a candle to the powers of the other heroes on the Super Friends, but you have to admit it’s their campiness that exudes an inexplicable yet endearing charm that has made them a permanent fixture in the minds of geeks everywhere, as well as the proverbial punchline to any discussions on the topic of the Super Friends. Plus, they were way more tolerable, and more useful, than the team’s once resident liabilities Wendy and Marvin.
It’s a common misconception — typically among the more pedestrian populace — that the Wonder Twins can transform into nearly everything. Not true. Zan changes into the element of water whether it be a solid, liquid or gas. Jayna, on the other hand, can shapeshift into any animal of her choosing, indigenous to Earth or beyond the stars. While their ability isn’t exactly an asset when faced with threats that put the fate of the world, if not the universe itself, in jeopardy, it certainly gets the job done when some stupid teens are in a fix and the rest of the heroes are off elsewhere — something that Adult Swim captured with absolute brilliance in their parody of the twins’ exploits, complete with the style of humor we’ve come to know from Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.
1) Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, Marvel
?There’s a few reasons why Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) and Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) lead the pack on this list of the greatest twins in geekdom. The first is that these two characters help to bridge the gap between Marvel’s two greatest and epic franchises: Uncanny X-Men and Avengers, usually when Scarlet Witch’s sanity spirals out of control and the ensuing shitstorm incurs the wrath of Magneto.
Second, the Maximoffs’ origins couldn’t be anymore tragic: having been abandoned — for their own safety — by a mother they never met, Pietro and Wanda were raised by Django and Marya Maximoff: a gypsy couple who taught them to steal in order to survive. Fleeing retaliation by the angry villagers of Transia, the two spent their young lives without guidance and fending for themselves, only for their budding mutant abilities to cause them to become persecuted for purported witchcraft. Taking advantage of their strife and emotional pain, Magneto, unaware that these were his own children, extended an invitation to have him join his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Before long, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch found themselves at odds with the law and the newly formed X-Men. While they eventually did find acceptance and solace among the Avengers, their miserable upbringing still gnawed at the fibers of their very being.
But the third and greatest reason why the Maximoffs are deserving of this honor is that because of their lives being marked by tragedy and loss, it only aided in making their bond as brother and sister stronger. While Quicksilver is notorious for his irritating complacency and impatience with others, his love for his sister knows no bounds and she is the only person he would actually place before himself in any situation. Scarlet Witch is completely aware of this unexpected altruism and where others may see her brother’s faults, she sees nothing but a noble and caring spirit striving to make amends for whatever pain he has caused in the past. That, my friends, is the definition of what it means to be tight with your twin sibling.