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Top Five “Near Miss” Relationships Between Avengers Teammates

Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at times in the Avengers where two teammates ALMOST started dating but didn’t quite get there.

Enjoy!

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Captain America and Scarlet Witch

This was not a very long infatuation that Scarlet Witch had with Captain America. It wasn’t really a “near-miss” because it had no chance of happening. Cap was far more obsessed with Nick Fury at this point in time than any romantic stuff with Wanda.

Plus, they eventually DID get together decades later (although it might have been part of Scarlet Witch’s psychosis poking out).

5. Captain America and Black Widow

This one is also unrequited, but you get the feeling that it was only that way because Black Widow didn’t tell Cap before he “died.” And once he was back, he had Sharon Carter alive again. So they passed each other like strangers in the night.

By the way, what was Bob Harras thinking here? He must have had something in mind? I’d love to find out some day.

4. Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch

This one is also unrequited (on Hawkeye’s part) but I put it here because A. It lasted for so long and B. It was a lot more likely to happen than Cap and Wanda.

Interestingly enough, decades later they had a one-night stand when she was dealing with amnesia and he was dealing with his issues with her over her, you know, KILLING HIM in Avengers Disassembled.

3. Wonder Man and Scarlet Witch

This would be higher except years later they DID get together. Still, for awhile, this was THE go-to “will they or won’t they?” and it was mostly ruined by Wonder Man getting his own series. Naturally, the solo series did not want to have Wonder Man’s girlfriend be a character from another book (and heck, they soon had Wonder Man leave the Avengers ENTIRELY). And when the series ended, Wonder Man “died.”

2. Crystal and Black Knight

This would be #1 except since they DID kiss a few times, I dunno if it counts as a true “near miss.” But because they never really got together for real (just a few passionate kisses), I think it counts.

1. Wasp and Black Knight

This was a loooong drawn out sub-plot that never went anywhere. I presume that that was what Stern was going for, that sometimes unrequited feelings DON’T get reciprocated. Still, it was a major sub-plot for a couple of years in the books.

Boy, Black Knight and Scarlet Witch sure get used a lot in these plotlines, huh?

Okay, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
teammate

59 Comments

I like your phrasing about how Cap was “far more obsessed with Nick Fury” than Scarlet Witch. Didn’t you do a couple of posts about that one time?

So, did Black Knight and Scarlet Witch ever…?

Ok…problem with this list is that a couple of these relationships (Dane and Crystal, Wanda and Simon) I consider to have been consummated….

Personally I got a kick of Vision and Warbird from Busiek’s run… and I liked the brief interplay between Triathlon and She-Hulk

And that was my geek out moment from watching Next Avengers: Natasha and Steve’s kid. Imagine the inherited reflexes?

Now that I think about it, I always thought Beast and Ms. Marvel along with Photon and Cap where possible couplings with great chemistry that where never explored…

I guess that’s where the weird fan-fics come in….

Wanda and Simon got together eventually, but about 7 years after they had 3-4 years of heavy flirting and “will they/won’t they.” But even so, the fact that they eventually got together did bump them down the list, it’s not like it isn’t addressed in the list itself.

As for Crystal/Black Knight, is a kiss really a consummated relationship?

@Brian: If you’re a religious fundamentalist, yeah

I always thought Ms. Marvel and Cap would have been a good pairing, but I guess with Sharon Carter around (not that I don’t love her character), I guess we probably won’t see anthing like that anytime soon.

I’m surprised that Tony and Wanda isn’t on that list. They’d have been pretty awesome together.

I don’t recall Tony and Wanda ever really flirting in the past. Force Works, maybe?

I’d give an honourable mention to Vision and Mantis as well as Starfox and She-Hulk for that one-night stand that never went anywhere serious (from early on in the Stern run, a scene I didn’t “get” in my youth but which was only recently brought to my attention, then shortly thereafter featured in a She-Hulk two-part story).

I’d also mention Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man (safari jacket era). I remember Wonder Man trying to impress Carol during the Korvac saga by lifting a weight machine set to challenge Thor (which backfires a bit).. In the Taskmaster story they had an interesting misunderstanding where Carol thought he was being chauvinist and he calmed her down. Not exactly a “near” miss but if a writer had wanted to develop a budding romance, I think the seeds were being planted.

Which sounds sexual, so maybe we should say the groundwork was getting laid. Or maybe not.

And I think I remember Scarlet Witch being depicted as a sort of love interest for Iron Man in that bizarre 90′s Iron Man cartoon (with Mandarin and Modok being the recurring villains). That was right around the time Force Works was out, so maybe it got some inspiration there? (Wanda had the same hairstyle, anyway).

During the Kurt Busiek years, the Vision pretty much out of the blue asked out Ms. Marvel (who was calling herself Warbird at the time). They did actually get to go out on a date, but it didn’t lead to any sort of ongoing relationship. Maybe Busiek was trying to mix things up, get away from the whole “Will the Vision and the Scarlet Witch ever get back together?” question that had been hanging over the Avengers books for years at that point. Or perhaps he just wanted to show that sometimes you go out on a date with someone you’re attracted to, and you then find out that you really just prefer them as a close friend. I’m sure that happens it life quite a bit.

Come to think of it, have any of the couples in the Avengers who got involved in long-term relationships ever actually been successful at making it work? Hank Pym and the Wasp, Vision and the Scarlet Witch, Mantis and the Swordsman, Hawkeye and Mockingbird, Crystal and Quicksilver (although that last one was transplanted from the pages of Fantastic Four)… all of them either had very rough, bumpy roads, or eventually just crashed & burned.

so instead of watching days of our lives does baron zemo just watch the avengers?

Didn’t Tony Stark and the Wasp go out on a few dates, too? Although Janet might not have known Tony was Iron Man at the time.

I love how even in their own comics Marvel was admitting they have no idea how the story in X-Men #268 (not #269 as noted above) could have happened. How was the Black Widow a child during WW2? It would have meant she was in her 60s when the story was published, and there had never been any mention before of her being that old or aging slowly or suspended animation or anything. I thought it was very odd when I first read it.

Yes, Vision and Mantis!

Captain America and Black Widow are both old, but Cap is something like 10 years older. So why is she calling him “young man”?

Cap and Hawkeye both have golden hair; in fact, they’re not far from being twins. So it’s a bit odd for Hawkeye to call Cap the “golden-haired leader.” As opposed to him, the would-be golden-haired leader?

The Cap/Wanda relationship just reminds me of this terrible “What If…?” from one of Marvel’s more recent waves of them, where it turned-out Cap was responsible for Wanda going batshit because his Super Soldier Serum had begun to rot his brain and he started to act like Hitler. Man, that sucked.

Wonder Man’s almost-was with Wanda also made me a huge, huge fan of Simon (I was very young). But then they just started ignoring it, and he died again. By the time Wondy came back and he and Wanda DID get together, I really had no interest in either character; I more wanted Vision to kick Simon’s ass and tell Wanda off, but alas…

Also…really? Black Knight never sealed the deal with CRYSTAL of all people?! The Marvel U’s bicycle? Dude must be worse at closing than a 24-hour Wal-Mart during Black Friday! Get with it, Dane!

It’s hard to believe Hawkeye was once more hot-tempered than Pietro.
I’ve never see Hawkeye in that costume with the headband before. Was that a second Goliath outfit, or did he dress that way as Hawkeye for awhile?
Who did the art on that Widow/Cap story? That’s about the best ’90s art I’ve ever seen.

Wanda, your psychosis is poking out.

How about the more recent Spiderman and Ms Marvel flirting that has been going on in his book , her book and the Avengers, most recently during Siege. They also had a “date”.

It didn’t really mean anything and she wasn’t exactly making a secret of it even to Hank, but in the early days Jan sure wasn’t shy about drooling over Thor.

Indeed there was a whole issue in Jim Shooter’s second run of the Avengers dedicated to the Wasp and Tony Stark’s brief romance. It ends when Janet finally discovers Tony is Iron Man.

It always seems weird to me how many secret IDs took a whole lot longer than people think to be revealed. Captain America didn’t discover Thor and Iron Man’s secret IDs until 1980 or so.

There is a very brief subplot in the start of Stern’s run where Photon/Captain Marvel/Monica Rambeau and Starfox seem to have feelings for one another, and Monica is both fascinated and weirded out by Starfox’s pleasure-inducing powers. That went nowhere too, because Starfox would soon leave the comic.

During the Kurt Busiek years, the Vision pretty much out of the blue asked out Ms. Marvel (who was calling herself Warbird at the time). They did actually get to go out on a date, but it didn’t lead to any sort of ongoing relationship. Maybe Busiek was trying to mix things up, get away from the whole “Will the Vision and the Scarlet Witch ever get back together?” question that had been hanging over the Avengers books for years at that point. Or perhaps he just wanted to show that sometimes you go out on a date with someone you’re attracted to, and you then find out that you really just prefer them as a close friend. I’m sure that happens it life quite a bit.

I just think like with most of Busiek’s dropped storylines and abrupt direction changes on the title, he had no long-term vision for the book and simply had no idea what he wanted to do on the book outside of “fixing” age-old nitpicky continuity mistakes and do a poor aping of Stan Lee and Roy Thomas dialogue and stoylines.

He’d introduce many such subplots out of the blue and either never follow up on them or ignore them for a long period then abruptly and unsatisfactorily resolve them out of the blue. It was a big reason I dropped the book. I think BUsiek’s run benefited greatly from really good artists plus the fact that it followed such a dismal era of Avengers stories that it looked like genius in comparison just for being competent.

I like Busiek’s run mostly for the Ultron and Kang epics.

But I have a few issues with it too.

Man, New Avengers #26…that comic still bugs me to this day. I’m pretty sure the reader wasn’t supposed to come away thinking of Hawkeye as a borderline rapist, but that’s how the plot has always scanned to me.

Busiek’s Avengers was quite good up until the huge Kang arc, at which point the subplots started to peter out abruptly as T. says. But we did get one of the best ever Ultron stories out of it, and Busiek’s take on Kang also strikes me as pretty definitive. I’d say, by the way, that Busiek was much more about going back to Englehart and Shooter than to Lee and Thomas.

I haven’t read much classic Avengers stuff, but was Hawkeye always that much of a jerk back in those days?

Mary Warner – That’s an outfit Clint wore as Hawkeye for a while. It was right after he stopped being Goliath, which was at the end of the Kree/Skrull War. The issues were late 90s through early 100s I’m pretty sure.

Tyler – Yep, pretty much.

What about Hawkeye and She-Hulk…that was heavily implied at the time..did it ever go anywhere?

I think the Crystal and Black Knight story was more like a doomed romance..the feelings were there for both of them, but then Sersi got in on it and then Quicksilver shows up again and it became a big love square. I always liked that pairing though.

Im glad you included the Cap Widow thing though, another story I was interested in seeing where they went.

For whoever said Cap and Ms Marvel..they did sort of get together in a old What If about the Heros from Secret Wars not getting home. Cap and Rogue (with Carols mind in charge) had a little girl together

As much as I loved the Dane-Crystal-Sersi triangle (that was probably my favourite era of the Avengers), it always brings to mind this blog about Crystal’s romantic past:

http://thecoolkidztable.blogspot.com/2008/12/crystal-marvel-univere-bicycle.html

If you think the Black Knight and the Scarlet Witch are bad, Crystal is 10 times worse on a Marvel Universe scale.

Didn’t Crystal and Vision have kind of a flirty thing going on at the beginning of Harras’s run?

It was weird, Dan, it was definitely SOMEthing, but I think it was more Crystal trying to get Vision to act more human.

By the way, I think the Crystal thing is way overblown. Not to even knock these OTHER characters, but Black Widow and She-Hulk have both slept with a good deal more characters than Crystal has.

Some of these are reminding me of that weird little romance between Barry Allen and Zatanna, which isn’t a good thing.

I vote for Tony and Janet, which actually started and then crashed and burned all in the span of one issue, IIRC.

But Black Widow and She-Hulk were never defined so much by their romances like Crystal seems to be. Crystal’s only role seems to be as that other hero’s love interest.

Yeah, Crystal has always come off as a romance comics character who happens to have super-powers.

Some of these are reminding me of that weird little romance between Barry Allen and Zatanna, which isn’t a good thing.

I was going to include the JLA, as well, at first, but there were too many. That one was definitely was I was thinking, though! :)

But Black Widow and She-Hulk were never defined so much by their romances like Crystal seems to be. Crystal’s only role seems to be as that other hero’s love interest.

But that’s a far cry from “Marvel Comics’ bicycle,” no?

Crystal just hasn’t met the right guy yet. And by “the right guy,” of course, I mean Crystar.

Sure, it’s unfair. And I dislike any criticisms of a female (fictional or real) just because she’s had an active sex life.

But it’s also understandable, since Crystal’s claim to fame is her romantic life (unlike Black Widow and She-Hulk) that people would fixate on that aspect of the character.

But the deal-breaker may be the fact that Crystal’s been married while she had some of her sexcapades. The dude that used the “bicycle” term in his blog seems like the sort of guy that thinks commiting adultery is cause for having a mark of shame branded on a person’s forehead with a hot iron.

While I think adultery is just a natural consequence of most people marrying unwisely. And that is the case with Crystal: young, sheltered woman hastly marrying a dude that’s a emotionally unavailable jerk.

[...] Read this article: Top Five “Near Miss” Relationships Between Avengers Teammates … [...]

Hawkeye always worked best when he wasn’t getting any. Kind of like a bitchier version of Spidey, but still a character you could root for. Then he married Mockingbird, slept with Jan (despite his life-long friendship with Hank Pym) and did the Bendis with Wanda when she was at her most vulnerable. I’ve never quite liked Hawk as much since.

The one that took me by surprise was Jan and Tony Stark in Avengers #224. It was so logical that they would get together and even more so, that it wouldn’t last.

Excellent art on the above samples, especially the Tom Palmer-inked pages on Steve Epting (?) and Big John Buscema.

Is it to early to use the Spiderman/ Ms. Marvel relationship?

Brian, I really enjoyed this list as I’m a big Avengers fan. But I hate to admit I’m having a hard time pinpointing what issues the pages come from. Any chance you could identify the pertinent issues you featured in the article?

I was fully expecting to see Wasp & Iron Man on this list from Avengers 224 since those are 2 founding Avengers, but I guess Brian wasn’t aware of that one when he wrote the article. D’oh!! Actually, it was unusually low-class for Tony to make the move on Jan just then, as Hank had just been expelled from the Avengers, framed and jailed!! I guess the point of the whole thing was to give Hank another emotional blow, which led to him playing into Egghead’s hands for further humiliation. And shortly after that Tony hit the bottle again and lost his company to Stane, etc., so none of them probably wanna be reminded of it all now!

Still, it’s a good issue and Brian should read it! It’s one of the last issues before Milgrom’s clunky pencils would mar the book for the next couple years..

I loved this list, Brian. Thank you. I’m a sucker for superhero romance. I think my favorite of these is Hawkeye/Wanda, because it nicely showed how much she and the cold, machine-like Vision were meant for each other. If they weren’t, she would have gone with the handsome, dashing Clint.

I was fully expecting to see Wasp & Iron Man on this list from Avengers 224 since those are 2 founding Avengers, but I guess Brian wasn’t aware of that one when he wrote the article. D’oh!! Actually, it was unusually low-class for Tony to make the move on Jan just then, as Hank had just been expelled from the Avengers, framed and jailed!! I guess the point of the whole thing was to give Hank another emotional blow, which led to him playing into Egghead’s hands for further humiliation. And shortly after that Tony hit the bottle again and lost his company to Stane, etc., so none of them probably wanna be reminded of it all now!

Still, it’s a good issue and Brian should read it! It’s one of the last issues before Milgrom’s clunky pencils would mar the book for the next couple years..

I didn’t go for Tony/Jan because A. They dated right away, so it wasn’t much of a near-miss and B. They weren’t dating as teammates, they were dating as the Wasp and the rich guy who funds the Avengers. She didn’t even know it WAS her teammate! And when she found out it was, she broke it off.

Brian, I really enjoyed this list as I’m a big Avengers fan. But I hate to admit I’m having a hard time pinpointing what issues the pages come from. Any chance you could identify the pertinent issues you featured in the article?

Off the top of my head, the Cap/Wanda stuff is roughly #18-20.

The Natasha/Cap stuff is Avengers #382.

The Clint/Wanda stuff is roughly #25-26, then somewhere in the #80s and the last one is, I believe, #101 or 102.

The Simon/Wanda stuff is Avengers West Coast…I wanna say #46 (somewhere between #46-48).

The Crystal/Dane stuff is Avengers #362.

The Dane/Jan stuff is Avengers #273.

It’s certainly strange how the Black Knight had two long stints as an Avenger, yet remains a 3rd-rate character (at best) in the MU.

Lots of longterm Avengers are 3rd-rate, at best, in the MU.

Wonder Man, Vision, Quicksilver….

It’s too bad, though, because they’re all neat characters!

3rd rate but the Vision is alot cooler than the Red Tornado.

I think what makes Crystal an easy target is that, as others have said, there’s nothing else to her.

First introduced? Messing with Johnny Storm. Up next? Nothing but a bunch of scattered relationships with unstable dudes, her biggest moment coming with BLOODTIES that more involved her daughter than Crystal herself. Second-biggest moment, at least since her debut? Being yet another ret-conned Sentry-Sleeper, just like poor, poor Rogue.

However, I will throw-in that Crystal’s time within SECRET INVASION: INHUMANS was really, really badass, especially for such an underused/abused character.

Well, the Vision used to be a lot bigger in the MU, before the long line of messes that started with Byrne’s dismantling him (and I’m usually not a Byrne-Basher). But the Black Knight was never big, I think.

Yeah, the Vision used to symbolize the Avengers, to the extent they for a while they just used him in the little cover box instead of a bunch of floating heads. The Black Knight is pretty far down the list of seminal Avengers, lower than the Black Widow but maybe higher than Hercules (who’s a much more interesting character but hasn’t put in all THAT much time as an Avenger).

Scarlet Witch on Cap: “To me, he was every inch an Avenger.”

**spits out coffee** WAIT, WHA–???!!!

I always thought that Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch should get together.

I don’t think Hawkeye and Wanda would work out. Although she does have a strong will at times, Wanda tends to be kind of passive in relationships. But look at Hawkeye’s significant relationships– Black Widow, Mockingbird, and Moonstone. Clearly he can only really love someone who can boss him around (and he’s not an easy guy to control). Wanda just isn’t mean enough, despite what Byrne or Bendis might think.

Although she does have a strong will at times, Wanda tends to be kind of passive in relationships.

It’s a bit late to comment on this topic, but I disagree with that assessment. The writer’s skills are everything when it comes to defining characters and their relationships. Englehart’s Wanda was hardly passive; if anything, she was the dominant one in her relationship with the Vision. Given how he developed the relationship and the characters, his stories are the standard to compare others to. None of the other writers who have handled the characters came close to him in skill levels or in the development of the characters.

SRS

“This was a loooong drawn out sub-plot that never went anywhere.”

So, it fit in really well with that era of Avengers, then.

Any list without She Hulk and Hawkeye is wrong

Black Knight over Hercules?

Volume 1 of the Avengers had 402 issues. In order of appearances from most to least it goes:

1. Captain America (311 issues)
2. Vision (248 issues)
3. Wasp (223 issues)
4. Thor (211 issues)
5. Scarlet Witch (210 issues)
6. Iron Man (205 issues)
7. Hawkeye (194 issues)
8. Hank Pym (193 issues)
9. Jarvis (169 issues)
10. Quicksilver (130 issues)
11. Hercules (127 issues)
12. Black Knight (108 issues)
13. Black Widow (93 issues)
14. Black Panther (95 issues)

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