As busy as its superheroes are fending off the forces of evil, the Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly has its share of romance. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is perhaps the first couple to come to mind. But there are several more high-profile MCU lovebirds.
Fans have also followed Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and MJ (Zendaya), and T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). But one couple still rises to the top: Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell).
Even Atwell’s other MCU love interest knew he couldn’t compete.
Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers have always been endgame
With several MCU couples, there appears to be a bit of destiny involved. After all, who didn’t watch Captain America: The First Avenger and see these two were made for each other? Even after Cap returns decades later, he still maintains a connection with the elderly Peggy. Their bond transcends the time that’s passed between them, only dying when Peggy herself does.
Throughout the MCU, the loss of the love he missed out on and the dance he never got to have haunted Cap. So, of course, Avengers: Endgame used its time-travel plotline to tie up that loose end in the most surprising, satisfying conclusion to “the Infinity Saga.” Even though it might create some timeline issues, most fans believe it’s the perfect way to end Cap and Peggy’s story.
Even Hayley Atwell’s other on-screen love interest agrees
The MCU tried to give Peggy a chance to move on. On ABC’s criminally underrated Agent Carter, Peggy teamed up with fellow agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj). And over the course of the show, their friendship begins to blossom into perhaps something more.
But Gjokaj — who reprised his role for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s final season — admits Sousa never really stood a chance with Peggy. And, in a sense, that’s exactly what makes the MCU character so compelling, Gjokaj told Entertainment Weekly.
“To be honest, it’s so clear in the writing and it’s so clear in the way Hayley plays it that [Steve] was never gonna be replaced,” he said. “I think that was the beautiful tragedy of his attraction to her is that he knew that and he wanted to be with her anyway. He knew he was always going to be second place, and I think that’s a little heartbreaking about Sousa.”
Enver Gjokaj’s Daniel Sousa could remain a part of the MCU
He may not be able to get the girl, but Sousa definitely has his fans. Some believe his Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. appearance could set the stage for the character to join the MCU at another point in time. After all, the setup is already there, as some fans have pointed out.
Gjokaj played a police officer who helps Cap during The Avengers‘ Battle of New York. At the time, Sousa was obviously not connected to this character. But with time travel now in play, the MCU could easily retcon this point. Besides, what better way to show Sousa making peace with his romantic rival than by agreeing to help him fend off an alien invasion.