Well, it’s official. With its $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney now owns approximately 40% of all cinematic and television media, ranging from their own home grown success stories like the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the intellectual properties of the Fantastic Four and X-Men to the television rights to The Simpsons. The major purchase has immediately sparked interest in the film and comic book communities. Now that Disney holds most of the Marvel film rights in its hands, what new characters can audiences expect to see brought to the massively successful MCU? Would the introduction of the X-Men make the already obsolete Inhumans even more obsolete? Will Ryan Reynolds still be able to make an R-rated Deadpool movie?
And above all, will any of Marvel’s archive of comic book couples make it to screens? After all, characters fuel comics and relationships fuel characters, so it does make one wonder which two characters Disney will ship next. Unfortunately, some of Marvels most famous pairings are already made impossible by the limits Disney has set for itself. Other times, it’s unlikely that the House of Mouse would approve of a particularly controversial couple. For better or worse, here are fifteen Marvel comics couples that won’t be shown on-screen.
15 QUICKSILVER AND SCARLET WITCH
The controversial Ultimate Universe will always be know for one of the most disturbing creations in Marvel history: the actual, physical romance between Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Though the entire Ultimate Universe has been written out of existence, the bizarre family angle has survived as something of a symbol in the comic book community of wrong-headed ideas brought to life by wrong-headed writers employed by a wrong-headed company.
Perhaps the most famous example of how weird this got is a now infamous scene between the two in a garden while Wolverine plays voyeur from behind the foliage. There was never any chance that Disney would adapt this concept to screen, for obvious reasons, but Quicksilver was killed off in his first outing as an Avenger and Scarlet Witch is in a pseudo-romance with Vision, just to be safe.
14 WASP AND CAPTAIN AMERICA
Ah, the Ultimate Universe, who can possibly make sense of some of the things you did. After reframing the Hank-Pym-hits-his-wife story from the original universe, Captain America, who had already been sweet on Janet Van Dyne, took vengeance in the most macho way he could think of: by beating Hank up in a bar. After that, the two tentatively began to date despite Janet not being legally divorced and Hank continuing to try and fix their relationship.
Though it didn’t last long and Janet soon went back to Hank, for reasons the writers have yet to explain, it was still a memorable connection. In the MCU, Janet Van Dyne is lost in subatomic space and Cap is a wanted war criminal who shared a passionless kiss with Sharon Carter. It’s probably safe to say this won’t be a thing on screen.
13 WOLVERINE AND SQUIRREL GIRL
The relationship between Wolverine and Squirrel Girl in the comics is strange, even by Wolverine standards. It’s first hinted at when Emma Frost finds a mental image of Squirrel Girl in Wolverine’s mind behind a door marked ‘fantasies.’ That’s creepy enough, but years later the two encounter one another at Avengers Mansion and immediately start acting awkward and generally behave like they had hooked up at one point.
The worst part of all this? If you do the math right, it comes out that the point where Wolverine and Squirrel Girl could have gotten together would have been when the latter was 15, taking their relationship from creepy to illegal. Though Disney will be happy and proud to sport both these characters in the MCU (coming soon), they’d be wise to keep them as far apart as possible.
12 IRON MAN AND BLACK WIDOW
Marvel has a bizarre relationship with its own Ultimate u=Universe. An alternate dimension of Earth-616, the strangely dark and twisted world gave the regular Marvel world the likes of Miles Morales and The Maker, but also gave readers racist Captain America and a cannibalistic Blob. Among the stranger aspects of the Ultimates Universe was the engagement between Iron Man and Black Widow.
Though short lived due to Widow’s betrayal of the Avengers to the Liberators and subsequent death, it left an impact by including an adult film between the two that leaked after her passing. Apart from that though, it was just another puzzling creative choice. Fortunately, Iron Man is spoken for in the MCU and it seems Widow might still be pining for Hulk.
11 HAWKEYE AND MOCKINGBIRD
Because Hawkeye wasn’t enough of a blatant Green Arrow rip-off in the comics, Marvel paired him with a bird-themed girlfriend in the form of Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird. The two had a long-lasting but strained romance that hasn’t existed in the comics for quite some time, probably due in part to fan disinterest and a general sense of blasé about the two of them together.
Clearly realizing in advance what a dud this relationship was, the MCU has wisely separated the two of them as much as possible. According to Disney, Hawkeye is married to a civilian with three kids while Bobbi was kicked around Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with her on-again, off-again husband Lance Hunter and hasn’t even been mentioned on the show since season three.
10 THOR AND FALCON
Currently in the comic universe, the being that is Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is attached to the soul of Jane Foster, the original Thor’s former love interest. With the original now going as Odinson, the new Thor has become a hero in her own right by becoming Midgard’s advocate in the Congress of Worlds, battling breast cancer, and even starting up a passionate affair with Sam Wilson, aka Falcon.
Though the two are sweet together, Wilson is currently single in the MCU, and Disney probably would be okay with portraying a female version of Thor, this pairing will never make it to the big screen because there is no amount of money in the world that will convince Natalie Portman, who played Foster in the first two Thor movies, to reprise the role.
9 HULK AND RED SHE-HULK
In the comics, Bruce Banner and Betty Ross are as iconic a duo as Superman and Lois Lane. Though the MCU has messed with that formula by pairing Hulk with Black Widow instead, the comics kept their relationship going by turning Ross into Red She-Hulk and making her a hero in her own right, albeit one stuck firmly in her father and boyfriend’s shadow.
While it’s not unbelievable that Red Hulk could make an appearance, after all they wouldn’t bring back William Hurt if they weren’t going to use him to the fullest, Betty Ross has been persona non-grata since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and there’s no sign that Liv Tyler, who played the human version of the character, is on her way back to the House of Mouse’s favorite plaything.
8 WINTER SOLDIER AND BLACK WIDOW
Strange as it is to the uninitiated, but Black Widow is supposed to be almost a hundred years old, kept youthful by a Soviet variant of the Super Soldier Serum. That means she was training to be an assassin while the Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes was a Russian secret weapon and instructor in the Red Room. While the brainwashed cyborg taught her how to murder, the two sparked a romance that went on and off for several decades and into the modern day.
Though it’s possible Disney may be planning something similar farther down the line in the MCU, Bucky is frozen in Wakanda (at least until Infinity War) and Widow is still hung up on Banner so if this is in the plans, it won’t be a reality until at least phase four.
7 JESSICA JONES AND ANT-MAN
For comic book readers, the names Jessica Jones and Luke Cage go together like peanut butter and jelly. With their realistic relationship and legitimate chemistry, the two have become a quintessential comic book couple. But this was not always the case. Before she and Luke were formally a thing, Jessica briefly dated Ant-Man 2.0, Scott Lang, despite being in the early stages of pregnancy with Luke’s baby.
Their relationship was put together by the suggestion of Captain Marvel herself, but fell apart immediately after the Purple Man returned to torment Jessica and she revealed her pregnancy to Scott. With Jessica and Luke only bouncing off one another occasionally in their respective Netflix shows and Scott firmly rooted in the cinematic elements of the MCU, we probably won’t see them interact much on-screen in the future.
6 HAPPY HOGAN AND PEPPER POTTS
In the original comics, Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts had a deep infatuation with her employer, Tony Stark. Meanwhile, her co-worker Happy Hogan had a crush on her. Hijinks ensued. After dozens of issues of the three playing a weird game of relationship keep-away, Pepper and Happy eventually got married. Their marriage was rocky to say the least, with several prominent stops and starts, but it ultimately survived all the way to Happy’s death in the "Civil War" storyline. Though not exactly an iconic duo, the pair were closely associated with each other.
In the MCU, however, Pepper is secured in a relationship with Tony, despite breaking up with him briefly so he could be angsty enough to make the screen version of "Civil War" happen. Happy seems to be content playing third wheel so don’t expect things to change anytime soon.
5 GAMORA AND IRON MAN
The brief fling between the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy and the Golden Avenger led to one of the funniest comic book pages in recent memory. Gamora and Tony lie side by side in bed in varying states of undress. While Gamora looks remarkably unimpressed, Tony has an expression of abject terror of the woman to his immediate right. After Gamora dresses and leaves, Tony breathes a sigh of relief and whimpers to himself, no doubt regretting the experience.
While such a comedic scene would fit right at home in the MCU, despite its overtly sexual overtones, Disney is pretty adamant on the pairings they’ve already put in place, namely Star-Lord and Gamora and Iron Man and Pepper. To confirm that they at least won’t hook up in Infinity War, Gamora actress Zoe Saldana confessed in an interview that she didn’t even now the two had met in the comics.
4 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND SCARLET WITCH
For decades, Steve Rogers and Wanda Maximoff seemed to have an on again/off again flirtmance that never seemed to go anywhere. Everyone was happy (as nobody was really making a whole lot of noise in favor of the two Avengers members hooking-up) but years and years later things actually progressed. Well, sort of.
Wanda's crush on old man Steve finally ended up with the two starting a short, but pretty steamy, romance. Their torrid affair ended when Captain America eventually decided that this whole thing was a real bad idea and to put it mildly, Wanda didn't take it all too well and she unleashed the a fury of hexing powers unlike ever seen before. Hell hath no fury like a mutant (still?) witch scorned. This one is better off never being explored on-screen.
3 CYCLOPS AND COLLEEN WING
Pretty much the best thing about the abysmal Iron Fist Netflix show was Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing. As seemingly the only actor on the show capable of showing this human thing called emotion, she also had the distinction of having the most complete arc of any of the characters. However, even she could not make the most awkward love scene in all of Marvel history work, sharing virtually zero chemistry with scene-mate Finn Jones.
The obvious solution would be to break these two up and find someone to play Colleen’s other significant love interest from the comics: Cyclops. The two dated after the "Dark Phoenix Saga", but, Cyclops being Cyclops, he dumped her as soon as he heard Jean Grey was alive. Again. Though its technically possible that Disney might go in this direction, it won’t be for some time.
2 THANOS AND HELA
Since his inception as a character, Thanos, the grand archvillain of the entire Marvel Universe, has had one motivation and one motivation alone: wooing the literal esoteric concept of death itself. So it makes sense in a way that he recently sparked a budding relationship with Hela, the Norse goddess of the afterlife, in the comics.
After Hela escaped from imprisonment in Hel, she disguised herself and coerced Thanos into trying to steal an alternate universe version of Mjolnir for her. Though he failed, she revealed herself to him and the two shared an abrupt but passionate kiss. This would certainly make an interesting couple in the MCU, both Cate Blanchett and Josh Brolin are suitably intimidating in their roles, but unfortunately Hela is currently either dead or stuck on a destroyed Asgard and Thanos is a little too busy with Infinity War for romance right now.
1 DAREDEVIL AND BLACK WIDOW
Though Daredevil’s most commonly associated love interests are Karen Page and Elektra, both of whom he’s already met in his Netflix show, his partner for many years was actually Black Widow. Though it’s not brought up much in current comics, the two once hooked up as civilians before teaming up in costume. Their chemistry was solid enough for them to share top billing of a comic title for years. They were together so long that it became a running joke in-universe that every super criminal knew how to get to Daredevil.
In the MCU, however, Matt Murdock and Natasha Romanov exist in separate corners of the universe: Movies and Netflix shows, and it’s highly unlikely the two will ever meet, let alone spark a long-term romance.