How the MCU Gets Romance Totally Wrong

Romance in a superhero franchise is usually automatic, or at least going by movie history. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems a little more complicated since it seldom plays a central role.

For one thing, many of The Avengers are already married, if their private lives sometimes set to the side. Only some small examples exist of showing real romance, with Steve Rogers/Peggy Carter reuniting one of the most celebrated.

Some romances in the MCU are more maddening, like Peter Quill and Gamora’s relationship. Others are equally frustrating, hence why more fans are starting to say the MCU does romance the wrong way.

Which romances worked and which ones seemed too artificial? Fans have some surprising opinions.

Did the MCU really mess up with romance?

Kevin Feige speaks onstage
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

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On Reddit, a user started a thread asking fans what they thought MCU did right and wrong. In the thread-starter’s opinion, they thought MCU lacked the most in their romantic relationships. They still called out Steve and Peggy, though, as the exception.

Everyone knows Steve and Peggy are the true jewel romance, even if no one sees the real beauty of it until the end of Endgame. After all, what better romantic scene can one conjure from the MCU than seeing Steve and Peggy slow-dancing in their living room after he returned to the 1940s?

Perhaps it stops there, however, despite many other romances and potential chemistry in the MCU movies. Some other relationships mentioned above (and others) were arguably never fully developed enough. Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne (Paul Rudd/Evangeline Lilly) is a good example.

Well, this is the opinion of the above Reddit fan. As they say: “The only one that worked at all was Cap and Peggy, which was amazing. But Tony and Pepper? Bruce and Nat? Quill and Gamora? Peter and MJ? Didn’t really pop emotionally.”

Perhaps the MCU did romance better than fans think

Other fans on Reddit have their own opinions, some of them more in favor of the romances mentioned above. For one, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts do have some nice moments together. If not scant time was given to them to flesh out their marriage completely, the final scene between the two (as Tony lay dying) was proof of their solid bond.

As for Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff: Some intrigue was still evident. Case in point was how Hulk always acted more sedate when seeing her. Plus, no one should forget Hulk throwing that park bench when realizing Natasha had died.

Emotional romantic connections were definitely there in every case. Some of them are still a bit unrequited as well, which one can place in the categories of Quill/Gamora and Peter/MJ.

Will these romances improve in upcoming MCU films/phases?

Romance definitely works differently in the MCU

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With all the time-travel going on lately in the MCU, romances are more than a little messed up as a result. Sure, it worked out well for Steve Rogers, but it created a bizarre situation with Gamora and Quill. To refresh: Gamora’s past self visits the present time in Endgame after her current self dies.

Gamora from the past now has no memory of the unique romance she and Quill had. Their past romantic scenes together were literally out of this world, including Quill teaching her how to dance. As bizarre as that was, they may be able to reignite their romance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 , albeit having to start all over.

Peter Parker and MJ are still just budding high school sweethearts. How this blossoms is yet to be seen, something no doubt expanded on in Spider-Man 3.  All told, one should count out romance completely in the MCU, even if they tripped up on it before due to overwhelming plot points.

The irony here is Marvel might have done romance better on TV than in the movies. Consensus is the romance between Leo Fitz and Jenna Simmons on Agents of SHIELD might be the most appealing romance under the Marvel banner so far.