Love has always been around in the MCU. But with time, its presence is becoming clearer and its significance stronger. Here’s how love grew.
The MCU has been growing as far as its representation of love is concerned. From Captain America: The First Avenger, we have seen love as a palpable characteristic among our favourite superheroes. And with time, it has only spread wider. Here, we will talk about some of the most popular romantic relationships and how the future of love looks like in the MCU.
The first Love Tirangle- Sersi, Ikaris, and Dane Whitman
The upcoming Eternals will also be a love triangle between Sersi, Ikaris, and Dane Whiteman. According to Entertainment Weekly, most of the movie will revolve around the aeons-spanning romance between Sersi and Ikaris. But the present day will show Sersi with Dane Whitman after she drifted away from Ikaris.
According to Richard Madden, who plays Dane, “You’ve got to have this huge compassion for the human beings you’re with, but then also, you’ve got this huge disconnect from them because you’ve lived through all of this time. That’s what is so good about Sersi and Ikaris together, that they are two opposing sides of how they connect with the world. That’s what balances them.” What will make things more uncomfortable is the fact that at some point in the film, Sersi and Ikaris will reunite. Dane on the other hand will end up in the fight between Eternals and Deviants that will turn him into the Black Knight. This layer of romantic intrigue will further add to the complications of the romantic dynamic.
Transcendant Romance- Steve Rogers and Margaret “Peggy” Carter
Perhaps the only relationship that transcended time in the MCU was that between Steve and Peggy. From Captain America: The First Avenger, we understood their feelings brewing quietly for each other. Finally, in Avengers: Endgame, Steve went back in time and lived a happy life with and fulfilling their promises to each other in Captain America: The First Avenger of the dance. “So, I thought the tone of it, to end there, after some extraordinary things of trauma, action, effects, and powers… to just have two people slow-dancing was very beautiful,” says Hayley Atwell.
The love of Peggy and Steve was clear to the audience but it did not play a role in taking the stories forward. It is although true that it was Peggy’s niece Sharon Carter who assisted Steve in Captain America: Civil War. But there was nothing more to it and not much to see either. Nor did their love contribute to the storyline as such. Their love was rather an example of the strength of heart that both Peggy and Steve shared. And this is reflected many times throughout the movies, especially in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.
“Will that be all?”- Tony Stark and Virginia “Pepper” Potts
The most visually appealing couple of the MCU is, no doubt, Tony and Pepper. But Tony was chaotic and Pepper grounded him, brought out the soft person lying dormant in him. On the other hand, the only person with whom Tony shared his thoughts is Pepper. Throughout the three Iron-Man movies, they were of equal minds, equal hearts, independence, and more than anything, Pepper was the super-ego to Tony’s Id. Only Pepper’s focus can keep Tony’s uncoordinated instinctual actions on track. And Tony’s Id keeps the fun alive.
Yet we have to move on. Tony’s death in Avengers: Endgame devastated us all and took away the only love that we looked up to in the MCU. But the silver lining came in the form of Morgan Stark, Tony’s greatest gift to Pepper and us all.
The Love that Remained- Thor and Jane Foster
Their love story did not give us much but that is definitely going to change in Thor: Love and Thunder. As the title suggests, this movie will deal with love more than the previous Thor movies. Even director Taika Waititi told Wired, “What I wanted to do from the beginning was to ask: ‘What are people expecting the least from this franchise?’ Oh, I know – a full-blown love story!”
Furthermore, a love story does make sense since the movie will see Thor’s love interest Jane Foster take up the Mjolnir and become Female Thor. Thor and Jane’s love story was not quite visible with Thor making random trips to Asgard and having not much interaction with Jane. Their love will make way for the storyline to move ahead and take us to places.
The Incomplete Love- Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff
An incomplete love story, that’s what it is. Despite multiple chances for coming together, there was always the inability to give up the self for the other and indulge. For Natasha, it was her inability to conceive, while for Bruce, it was his “other guy”. Both agreed without a word that family was something they could never have. All we saw was a silence that clearly was made of love and pain simultaneously. And now, with Natasha’s death, it shall remain so forever. Even the little possibility now seems gone with Scarlett Johansson falling out with Marvel.
The WandaVision Love Story
The relationship of Wanda and Vision came to fruition in WandaVision. This was the first time that love was carrying forward the script with a happy loving married life, adorable banter, kids, neighbours as well as secrets, misunderstandings, pain, and loss. While their initial courtship happened completely off-screen, in the comics, their love story is one of the most famous. We, the fans, got their love story as an afterthought and WandaVision actually made us feel that we are coming to know both the characters for the first time.
WandaVision was also the first step of MCU towards showing love that has passion. Even sex scenes are implied clearly, as much as Disney would allow it. Be it Vision’s reactions or Wanda’s 50s lingerie or the subtle jokes about each other’s party costumes, all were proof that the couple is very much into each other physically.
It was, in fact, Vision’s death that brought forth the city of Westview from Wanda’s Chaos Magic around which the plot is woven. For the first time in the MCU, love, and relationship meant something. And Wanda’s presence in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be the direct outcome of her grief in WandaVision.
With time, it seems that the MCU is taking love seriously, something that the comics have always done. Eternals will seemingly have love at the centre of its plot. And we hope to see more of it in the future.