Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's Not Me, It's You

Heroes and villains alike have proven to be vulnerable in matters of the heart, specifically when those matters have involved rejection. Let's take a look at a few of those who were shot down, rendered helpless by a power far greater than their own.

I suppose the earliest example I can think of was the Sue Storm/Reed Richards/Sub-Mariner love triangle, where Sue was apparently torn by her feelings for Reed and Namor's affections for her. It took over twenty issues for Sue to figure it out--but finally, after a heated battle caused by Namor's abduction of Sue in an attempt to win her commitment, Sue makes her choice:

Fortunately, the FF was subsequently whisked away (by Dr. Strange); otherwise, Namor's rage might have resulted in a scorched FF policy.  But when Reed and Sue later separate during the fallout of their son being rendered virtually brain-dead due to Reed's actions, it's now Reed who bears the brunt of Sue's choice:

And speaking of scorched, the Human Torch got pretty scorched himself when his longtime love, Crystal of the Inhumans, jilted him for none other than Quicksilver:

Though Johnny got a little of his own back when Crystal later rejoined the FF and made a play for him, even though at the time he was married to Alicia Masters. Believe it or not, Johnny actually does the grown-up thing:

So what about another young couple, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson? We know that Peter was originally in love with Gwen Stacy--but when Gwen is killed during Spider-Man's battle with the Green Goblin, Mary Jane is ready to dump her current boyfriend and move in on Peter before the soil has settled on Gwen's grave:

We also know that when Hawkeye rejoined the Avengers after the Kree-Skrull war, he did a little moving in himself--on the Scarlet Witch, that is, who at the time he thought was free for the asking. Not that this presumptuous archer bothered with tact:

This wasn't Wanda's first time at the rejection rodeo, though. One of her earlier suitors took the bad news a little harder than Hawkeye:

Man, when you've had guards sicked on you, you probably realize you could have handled things a little more delicately.

As for the Vision, Wanda didn't have much luck heading Mantis off at the pass when she took an interest in the synthezoid. Right after Mantis dumped the Swordsman, she made a beeline for the Vision's room and initiated "Operation Replacement Lover." Their meeting started out innocently enough:

And then, with the Vision clueless as to Mantis's agenda, Mantis kicks things into overdrive:

Jeez, it doesn't sound like Mantis is ready to let the matter drop. Maybe the Vision should set himself to automatically be intangible around her, just to be on the safe side.

While we're on the subject of Avengers, we know that Tony Stark isn't exactly shy around women--though as Iron Man, setting an example for prospective Avengers, maybe he should be acting a bit more professionally. But he met his match in Moondragon, though perhaps not in the way he'd been hoping:

Even aristocratic vampires can suffer rejection. And you'd better believe they're not going to be the least bit happy about it:

Since Dracula practically invented the phrase "payback," you can correctly assume that neither the former object of his affection nor her new boyfriend lived long enough to enjoy their fresh start.

How do the gods suffer rejection? Well, if you're Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, even the appearance of rejection can have deadly consequences for her lover, Balder the Brave:

Balder survives with the intervention of the Surfer; but when he formally breaks his pledge to Karnilla in a later battle where he's needed, both parties know that his rejection of her goes beyond just allegiance:

Finally, what does one do when Death rejects them? Most of us would be pretty darn happy about that--but not Thanos of Titan, who seems like he's finally realizing he has no hope of pleasing this enigmatic being:

Surely the poster boy for having a death wish.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Comicsfan. I suspect most of your readers (me too) have an unpleasant memory of getting rejected at one point or another. Pretty painful.
The Dracula sequence was pretty powerful; that whole run was incredible. But Moondragon..what a character! Given her origins as a regular Earth girl, beginning as a victim of Thanos and later one of his major opponents, sometimes a hero and other times a ruthless tyrant. She was a "goddess" because she said so. One of my favorite characters from 70's Marvel.

Karen said...

Nice compilation of the various romantic ups and downs at Marvel. I still get a kick out of that shutdown by Moondragon. And Mary Jane did seem to toy with Peter a lot before they finally settled down.