#RomanceInOtherGenres: Under The Cape
PHS columnist, Amanda Cinelli, is talking about the up-and-coming trend of superhero romances!
Think about the superheroes you know and love, what is the one thing that most if not all have in common? Sure, they've all got skills and powers that makes them heroic enough to save their city, their world and sometimes the entire universe. But what really drives them to be a hero other than flexing their impressive muscles?
There are superheroes who are driven by non romantic love, of course. And there are also some pretty impressive Super-heroines who have powerful love stories. It just so happens that none of the above made the cut of my all-time favourites. As the saying goes, the views expressed below are entirely from my own tortured alpha-hero obsessed mind!
Some of the best comics in history have had more emotional, dramatic uplifting love stories than you'd find in a soap opera. Judging by the fact that most if not all comic book storylines contain love interests it seems that readers are quite partial to a good romance plot. I, however am not technically a comic “book” reader. I'm more of a TV and movie fanatic. I often wonder is that like someone admitting to only watching the Harry Potter movies? (Sidenote: If this is you we really can't be friends.)
So I'm going to quickly give you the low-down on my own personal favourites. Here is my pick of the best Swoonworthy Superhero Love Stories in modern TV and movie-land.
Thor and Jane Foster
I love this pairing because Jane is this super smart, pragmatic astrophysicist who is landed with a real life god who falls from the sky from another world, completely clueless to earth and its customs thus throwing her life into complete chaos. Chris Hermsworth certainly shows us what godliness looks like in his portrayal of Thor and their chemistry is great to watch as they work together and try to deny their attraction. Even after Thor sacrifices himself for her and regains his powers, he is faced with forging a difficult balance between life on earth with his true love and his responsibility in his own world. I love that Jane always stays true to her own work, too. They don’t compromise on their own individual goals, which is important.
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts quite literally is the driving force behind Iron Man. As executive assistant to Stark before the events that lead to him becoming a superhero, Pepper was the beacon of reliability in his chaotic lifestyle. She quite literally greeted his conquests on their way out his bedroom and never batted an eyelid. But Tony returns from his time captured abroad a changed man and Pepper finally sees the man beneath the facade.
Their banter and quick witted exchanges are fun to watch but watching playboy billionaire Tony fall in love so hard and fast is every romance readers dream. Pepper goes on to become his equal, taking charge of Stark Industries while Tony fights to save the world from peril as Iron Man.
Green Arrow and Felicity Smoak
The romance between billionaire playboy Oliver Queen and ultra intelligent hacker Felicity Smoak was a very slow burn. We seen them progress from a working relationship to friends and eventually the flickers of attraction, but boy did they make us wait for it!
Felicity’s character arc is wonderful, she goes from shy geeky computer genius to being the slick, confident CEO of her own company and the glue that holds Team Arrow together.
However her relationship with Oliver is filled with challenges due mostly to his staunchly black and white view on the world. He sees himself as polluted from the bad things he has done in his life and so always holds a wall up between himself and those he loves in order to protect them from himself. Even though he would sacrifice himself for Felicity and truly loves her, he cannot fully reveal all of his past wrongdoings to her. Felicity loves him deeply but ultimately oliver’s habit of keeping secrets comes between them even when things seemed ready to go all the way.
I still hold out hope for these two, though.
Wade Wilson (Deadpool) and Vanessa Carlysle
Okay, full disclosure, this movie is GRAPHIC. It is not the same PG kind of superhero storytelling as the others i’ve listed. Deadpool is an extremely violent mercenary and Vanessa was technically a prostitute when they met but this relationship is possibly one of the most emotionally driven and natural storylines I have seen in a comic book movie adaptation. These are two characters who are cynical and hardened who transform a relationship based on sex and sarcasm into something truly meaningful.
When Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he chooses to risk everything on the chance of a miracle cure from a shady stranger, unwittingly abandoning and breaking Vanessa’s heart in the process. So when he emerges from a hellish ordeal in captivity with horrible disfigurement and superpowers, he feels even less worthy of her love and focuses on revenge instead.
When Deadpool’s quest for revenge lands Vanessa in mortal peril, she proves herself to be quite capable of holding her own ground. When the dust settles, she demands an explanation from Wade rather than falling into his arms at first sight. That’s what I love about these two, the dialogue between them is honest and raw. In the end, love prevails and Vanessa forgives Wade for disappearing and sees past his burned skin to the man she loves beneath.
So, in summation, I’m clearly quite obsessed with sexy alpha superheroes and the strong women who they fall for!
I would love to hear your opinion on my take of romance in the superhero world, feel free to get into the discussion and tell me who your favourite superhero coupling is of all time. Share your #RomanceInOtherGenres recommendations with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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