Marvel movies usually do a great job in bringing to life those intriguing and indelible characters from their vast comic book library to the big screen. The filmmakers have been able to cast the right actors and actresses to take on the iconic superhero roles, along with finding the perfect talent to support them. This includes the big-screen Marvel couples who have either found love or looking for it in the universe.
There are those Marvel movie pairings we swoon over. Sometimes they are just too cute for words, in their banter and sparring. Others have an incredible amount of charisma between them, becoming powerful couples for the ages. Then there are those who sizzle like it's 100 degrees. The actors and actresses portraying the roles simply spark, and we just sit back and enjoy it.
However, Marvel hasn't always gotten it right when it comes to finding the perfect onscreen match-ups. Sometimes love interest are thrown in for seemingly no real reason, as if the characters absolutely need a romance when it really isn't necessary. Other couples seem to have potential at first but the love connection sort of peters out midway through. Then there are those who just don't work at all and probably never will.
Here are 8 Couples That Hurt Marvel Movies (And 7 That Saved Them).
15 Hurt: NATASHA ROMANOFF AND BRUCE BANNER (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
The budding romance between Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), aka the Hulk, sprung up in Avengers: Age of Ultron and leaves most fans scratching their heads as to why.
Sure, it's only Black Widow who can calm the Hulk down with lullabies and sweet touches after he has been rampaging, getting him back to the nerdy but cute Dr. Banner. Natasha is willing to give the romance thing a try, but Banner doesn't want to go there because he can turn into a big green monster and destroy people at the drop of the hat. He thinks he's better off by himself.
While Johansson and Ruffalo have a good rapport, all this really does in the story is make Natasha a little more sad about her lonely life. What's the point of that?
14 Saved: STEVE ROGERS AND PEGGY CARTER (Captain America)
As Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) becomes Captain America with the guidance of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), the SSR agent working to take down HYDRA, an attachment is formed between the two. It's a sweet love connection and makes total sense within the context of the story.
While nothing is shown more than a few kisses, Evans and Atwell have a nice thing going on.
Their love also ends sort of tragically, which all good love stories tend to do. Rogers, after defeating Red Skull on the plane but sending it into a tailspin, radios Peggy that their dance will have to wait as he crashes into a glacier – and wakes up 70 years later to become an Avenger.
Atwell once said a Comic Con panel that she believed Peggy and Steve consummated their love at some point during the war, but Evans feels like they never did. What do you guys think?
13 Hurt: THOR AND JANE FOSTER (Thor)
In the first Thor, we are actually rooting for the relationship between Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to work. The fact that this arrogant Asgardian god lands on Earth, looking the way he does, it's not hard to see how Jane would be attracted to him. Then having to show Thor how Earth's mankind operates just endears him even more to Jane - and to the audience.
Unfortunately, as the movies go on, the relationship seems to make less and less sense. In Thor: The Dark World, the differences between the two really stand out. Jane is upset that Thor goes back to Asgard and doesn't keep in touch after all they go through? Come on. It's ridiculous, and honestly, she isn't missed now that she's out of the picture.
12 Saved: T'CHALLA AND NAKIA (Black Panther
Let's just say all the women in T'Challa's life totally save Black Panther, but the relationship between T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) adds a very intriguing layer to the King of Wakanda's story.
Thankfully, there are no flashbacks to shows us what happened between the two – or more like what didn't happen. What we gather is T'Challa never took his romance with Nakia to the next level. Instead, Nakia followed a greater calling and ended up leaving Wakanda to become an undercover missionary of sorts, helping the poor and oppressed in Africa.
Now, Nakia's mere presence makes T'Challa freeze up - something his sister, Shuri, and head of his army, Okoye, continually tease him about. While she disagrees with T'Challa to keep Wakanda's otherworldly resources a secret to the rest of the world, the two share a refreshingly unshakable bond. Boseman and Nyong'o play it perfectly.
11 Hurt: LOGAN AND JEAN GREY (X-Men)
Ah, poor Logan (Hugh Jackman). In the first X-Men movie, we are introduced to the tortured Wolverine, and we understand how the character is all about being better off on his own. Sure, there is a softness to his underbelly, but he works the best when he can just go in, save or protect someone, and then move on.
Of course, he's meant to join Professor X and his X-Men to help protect mankind and mutants. That's all fine, but the part that puzzles us is why he becomes so smitten with Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), especially since Jean is with Scott Summers, aka Cyclops (James Marsden). It's completely unrequited and seems so odd to Logan's character, given his M.O.
Then he's so distraught when Jean sacrifices herself and eventually becomes Dark Phoenix. The whole thing just never connects the dots.
10 Saved: WADE AND VANESSA (Deadpool)
There are so many great and deliciously R-rated things about the first Deadpool movie, including the fact we finally get to see a Marvel superhero have fun in the bedroom.
True, the majority of the time Wade (Ryan Reynolds) with his main squeeze, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), is before he becomes Deadpool. We all have a blast as the two go through the calendar and celebrate holidays in the kinkiest ways. There's a fantastic bond that is set between them, and the love they have for each other carries through and guides Wade into doing what he does.
It might have been hard for another actress to keep up with Reynolds as the titular character, but Baccarin does an excellent job as a sparring partner. We are really looking forward to seeing how these two move forward on the upcoming Deadpool sequel.
9 Hurt: STEVE ROGERS AND SHARON CARTER (Captain America: Civil War)
While Steve Rogers never had the chance to have a real romance with Peggy Carter, he ends up meeting her great-niece, Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who is also an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, she briefly worked undercover as Steve's neighbor, and the two flirted.
When Rogers finds out she's an agent, it impresses him – but not us.
Then in Civil War, it's revealed that Sharon is related to Steve's old love, turning the possible romance between Sharon and Steve into too pat of a plot device. They finally kiss while on the run from the authorities and shortly after Peggy's funeral. When we factor in the age difference, the family connection, and the timing, it just seems icky.
8 Saved: PETER QUILL AND GAMORA (Guardians of the Galaxy
Everything about Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and Gamora's budding relationship has our support, but will they actually make it happen?
As Guardians of the Galaxy begins, we see that Quill is a bit of a playboy and has had a lot of women in his life. When he and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) finally find common ground, Quill makes a move, letting her listen to his Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and dancing with her. She shuts him down, though. =
In the sequel, Quill calls their relationship an “unspoken thing” and clearly wants to take it further, but she always pulls away. When Mantis (Pom Klementieff) uses her empathic powers to reveal that Peter loves Gamora, the Star-Lord makes excuses while Gamora smiles. The romantic tension is the best, mostly because Pratt and Saldana totally sell it. Make it happen!
7 Hurt: REED RICHARDS AND SUE STORM (Fantastic Four)
As we all know, none of the Fantastic Four movies have ever worked. While there are myriad of reasons why, one of the biggest letdowns in all the iterations is the relationship between Reed Richards, aka Mister Fantastic, and Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman.
In the first two Fantastic Fours, Ioan Gruffudd and Jessica Alba (above) play the characters, and it's kind of cringe-worthy watching them fall in love with the zero chemistry between the actors.
Alba has more zing with her brother, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), then she does with anyone else, but that still isn't saying much.
Then in the 2015 reboot, Miles Teller as Richards and Kate Mara as Storm have even less of a connection, like watching two statues try to kiss. It's a shame because, in the comics, Reed and Sue are so much fun. Here's hoping Marvel will finally make a good Fantastic Four.
6 Saved: SCOTT LANG AND HOPE VAN DYNE (Ant-Man)
There's much about Ant-Man that works, and it has a lot to do with Paul Rudd's performance. Casting the funnyman as Scott Lang, a former thief who unwittingly becomes a superhero, was a stroke of genius. When Scott teams up with Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to learn to use the Ant-Man suit the way it's supposed to, we are all in.
Some of the best parts of the movie are when Hope is training Scott.
He can't really compete with her, but they gain a respect for each other. Then when the attraction eventually blossoms into more, it seems entirely organic.
It really should be Hope in the Ant-Man suit, of course, but she has her own suit waiting in the wings, so we can't wait to see them kiss, spar and fight bad guys as Ant-Man and the Wasp.
5 Hurt: DOCTOR STRANGE AND CHRISTINE PALMER (Doctor Strange)
Mark this one down as completely unnecessary. Before becoming Doctor Strange, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is just an arrogant but brilliant neurosurgeon who plays an on-again, off-again game with a fellow doctor, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams).
The banter between the two tries to be clever but seems forced.
Once he loses the use of his hands, Christine tries to help Strange get back on his feet, but he rejects her and eventually goes on his journey to becoming a powerful sorcerer. The rest of the movie thankfully leaves the Strange/Palmer relationship behind.
There is very little in either of the actors' performances to suggest we want them to finally get together. While McAdam always brings something unique to her roles, she's completely wasted in this.
4 Saved: TONY STARK AND PEPPER POTTS (Iron Man)
One of Marvel's best coupling is Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and they've really been a great duo from the very beginning. Pepper started as Tony's ever-loyal and whip-smart assistant, and while she clearly had feelings for her boss that went beyond the usual arrangement, it took Tony a bit of time to reciprocate and realize Pepper was indeed his soul mate. And the best person to run his company.
Downey and Paltrow have always done an amazing job with this relationship, and their onscreen sizzle has only gotten better and better as the movies go on.
In fact, probably one of their best moments just happened in Spider-Man: Homecoming, in which Tony finally, sort of, proposes to Pepper, right before a big press conference, and she just rolls her eyes because of how ill-timed it is.
3 Hurt: VISION AND SCARLET WITCH (Captain America: Civil War)
Much like Natasha and Bruce, the pairing between Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) just seems thrown into Civil War. Perhaps it's meant to add some depth and vulnerability to their characters, especially Vision, who is artificial/alien intelligence enhanced by an Infinity Stone.
Can he feel love? Maybe, but we aren't feeling it between them.
Vision is a nice guy, don't get us wrong. He cares for Wanda and supports her, especially as she struggles with the fact her immense powers can sometimes hurt innocent people as collateral damage, like in Civil War. Bettany and Olsen do their best to portray that chemistry but it's not genuine.
Maybe in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Wars, they'll step up the game because it looks like Vision is in deep trouble if Thanos takes the Infinity Stone keeping him alive.
2 Hurt: PETER PARKER AND MARY JANE WATSON (Spider-Man)
Now, we realize not everyone will agree with the idea that Peter Parker's (Tobey Maguire) love story with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) ruins Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Ruin might be too strong of a word, but to this day, it still just doesn't ring the kind of bells it's supposed to.
The first Spider-Man probably showed the very best of the relationship, especially that fantastic upside-down kiss Spider-Man and Mary Jane share in the rain. But as time goes on, Maguire's Peter grows into even more of a lackluster sad-sack, who really doesn't deserve the effervescent Dunst as Mary Jane.
The constant back and forth of “I love you” but “I can't be with you because you could get hurt” wears very thin, even though we know that's the deal in the original source material. The two just never really click on screen.
1 SaveD: PETER PARKER AND GWEN STACY (Amazing Spider-Man)
Most, however, will agree that for all of The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel's faults – of which there are a plethora – the one constant throughout is the powerful chemistry between Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Honestly, their love story is pretty much the only reason to watch the movies - even though Garfield still stands as a great Peter/Spidey overall.
The fact the two actors fell for each on the set naturally helped to create a very genuine love connection onscreen.
When presented with the same plot construct of Peter's struggle to let Gwen go so she won't be harmed in his “great responsibility” to save mankind, his internal conflict holds a stronger resonance. Then, as all his worst nightmares come true, and Gwen loses her life, it literally breaks your heart. That's real love.
Are there any other Marvel movie couples you like or totally hate? Let us know in the comments below!