|Posted by Jason on October 29, 2017 at 6:55 AM|
Fans of Marvel comics love to see their heroes on the big screen. Marvel Studios have done an incredible job of bringing many of the superheroes to life, not just the "big ones" like Batman and Iron Man. One thing that many fans notice, however, is that despite the attention given to getting canon accurate about the hero himself in the movie, as far as his romantic life, it's full of largely forgettable love interests in Marvel movies. Why is it that there is a lack of strong couples in Marvel movies? Is it a reluctance of Hollywood to "cross genres" between romantic movies and action blockbusters? Let's explore why there seem to be so many weak romantic comic book couples.
The first reason there seem to be so many missing or half-hearted relationships in the Marvel movie universe may simply be a matter of timing. In a comic book series, the characters are able to interact with others within their universe, and relationships happen organically. When you think of how long some franchises have been going (some upwards of two decades and more are longer), it makes sense that romance in the books would be more fleshed out than in a movie only lasting two hours. Although there are strong and interesting relationships in the comic books, there is a lack of strong couples in Marvel movies.
It seems like there just isn't enough space in the movie to develop a romantic relationship. For most of the action heroes, they have forgettable love interests in Marvel movies, or the love interest is used as more of a plot development point or a device for plot advancement than an actual character. Take, for instance, the recent movie Deadpool, We met his lover, but really what we saw of her was the way that she interacted with him, and how his love for her was a motivation for many of his decisions.
Another point of view is that the movie would be fine without adding the romance - in a two-hour time frame, audiences can see more of a snippet of the hero's adventures, rather than an entire life story, such as we see in the comic books. Even weak romantic comic book couples still have a somewhat memorable relationship, and the female love interest is developed as a character.
Instead of taking time away from the action, moviegoers could be treated to a full throttle adventure with the hero, focusing solely on him, instead of the forgettable love interests in Marvel movies. But many moviegoers go as part of a couple, and conventional wisdom is that the girls want romance. This may or may not be true - in fact, many girls, especially with the rise of nerd culture and gamer girls, would like the hero-only action and adventures just as much as their partners. But this is the thought pattern of Hollywood, so into the story go weak romantic comic book couples.
So now that we've brought Mrs. Superhero into the movie, what are movie execs supposed to do with her? She might be there as eye candy for the single dudes (hey-oh) or having a relatable woman falling in love with the hero really is a sop to the dates of the comic book fanboys. Well, there's another reason that the couples seem to break up and get back together, or that the hero falls in love with different interests over the course of his franchise (they producers bring in different females from his comic book canon). Watching people fall in love is romantic. Having the hero complete tasks to get the girl adds a different motivation to the character besides "kill all of the bad guys." It gives the character depth and a bit of relatable complexity for the masses.
Another reason is it is a lot more interesting to watch people fall in love, find each other, and overcome obstacles than it is to watch people stay in love and nurture their relationship. (That's what the Lifetime channel is for). So while in the books, the relationship might be solid, due to these reasons, there is a lack of strong couples in Marvel movies.
Finally, sometimes the romances in movies seem forced, especially if the relationship in the comic was up and down. The characters may be thrown together and immediately fall in love, while in the comics, that relationship may have taken time to develop. The characters in the movies sometimes seem to be interested in the love interest just to "have a girlfriend" as a plot point, versus really connecting in the way that they're shown in the comics.
Whichever theory you believe about the presence of forgettable love interests in Marvel movies, one thing is sure - if you really want to explore the relationship, read the comic books. If you're here for the action, as the rest of us are, choose the relationship building moments are the time you go get that popcorn refill.