Deadpool comes out this week, and for me it’s going to be a perfect Valentine’s movie- he’s a wisecracking antihero who’s rude and obnoxious. You know he’s going to rescue the girl at the end (or she’s going to rescue herself), so there’s not going to be sappy grief, but it’s going to be a good ride. However, it got me thinking- there is a TON of heartbreak in comic book based movies (which, when you think about it, should shut up critics about it not being great literature- the triangles and tragic deaths held within graphic novel plots actually have their origins within Shakespeare and the Greeks). And for some reason, Hollywood thinks that really sad movies are the PERFECT thing to release right around this time. So, in honor of heartbreaking movies, I have put together a list of the most heartbreaking comic book movie romances below.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
When you think of this movie now, you think of wait, Wolverine has bone claws? And wait, how are they going to tie in this movie to the new Deadpool? And how is THIS Gambit going to be related to the new Gambit movie coming out with Channing Tatum (Oh, didn’t know about that one? Click here) But the huge sob (if you can get over Jackman lunging straight at a helicopter earlier in the movie) is the death of Kayla Silverfox. Even though she tricked him into thinking she was dead, when he found her alive he couldn’t get over his feelings for her. He comes back for her, fights for her as she fights for him. As she’s wounded he’s carrying her to safety when Stryker shoots Wolverine in the head. Thinking Logan is dead, she uses her powers to make Stryker walk until he bleeds, and then walk more- and then she dies. Logan, with his powers, heals the fatal wound, but can’t heal the damage and has no memory of who she is- just a ghost.
She was actually his real love- you think it’s Jean, and the other movies play that out over and over, but it’s actually her voice you hear in Logan’s nightmares in The Wolverine, not Jean Gray’s as a lot of people believe, and with the resetting of time in X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s hinted that she’s alive somewhere.
THE HULK; THE INCREDIBLE HULK
I always get sucked into the love story with Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. I know they’re never going to be together, I know they can actually never be together because something happens, and her dad’s insane, but I want them to be together. I’m in the minority that liked the Ang Lee version (comic panels and blends awesome and Sam Elliott as General Ross was perfect; starfish and genetic mutation, not so much), and I grew up watching the TV show, so I know there’s really no happy ending, but I can want one. Yet every time he has to leave her, and every time he looks at her, no matter which version of him is looking- you know both the scientist and the Hulk see her. And she fights for him.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER; AGENT CARTER; CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER
You knew he was going to end up in the future going in. You KNEW it. They SHOWED it at the beginning of the movie to remind you. Peggy believes in him when Steve’s the scrawny weakling, even more so when he’s the super soldier. She’s the one who gets Howard Stark to fly him behind enemy lines when he’s determined to rescue the battalion that that no one else will go get, and he’s fallen for her from the get-go. And it grows, and grows, and at the end she has to grab him and kiss him because he’s too much of a gentleman, and then- he has to stand her up for the dance as he’s busy crashing the Red Skull’s plane into the ice cap to save the world, thereby freezing himself somehow for 60 years- a byproduct of the superserum. What’s going to be interesting is even though fanfiction has him falling for Bucky (which would be really fun), Agent 13 who was flirting with him is actually Peggy’s niece.
THE DARK KNIGHT
So you knew going it it was going to be a harsh version of the Batman story- Batman Begins gave you that with Scarecrow and the the destruction of Wayne Manor. All the teasers of Heath Ledger’s Joker let you know that it wasn’t going to be Jack Nicholson’s bright purple suit, let alone Cesar Romero from the TV Show. Yet I’m not sure anything could have prepared you for the fact that Batman failed to save Rachel. Sitting in the theater or just watching it for the first time, you think he’s on his way to get her, he’s going to be on time and that the cops are going to be partially on time to save Harvey- that’s how we get Two-Face. Yet, when he opens the door and finds Harvey and the cops can’t get to Rachel at all, I remember there was just silence in the theater. And then the funeral, and Alfred reading and burning Rachel’s farewell note to Bruce saying she was leaving him for Harvey- a double heartbreak because he couldn’t save her and she dumped him. And then Harvey goes insane. Dominoes falling one by one.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
I know. Amazing Spider-Man 2 was pretty much an homage to Andrew and Emma’s relationship (may it rest in peace), especially with the messages in spiderwebs across the bridge, and the debates about whether to go to school across the country or not. WAAAAY to much time spent on that, NOT enough time spent on Peter’s father, or much of anything else, and Spider-man agrees. Yet even with all of that, the way that they killed off Gwen was just heartbreaking- I’m not sure because you knew it was going to happen due to leaks and you were waiting to see how, or that you just didn’t want another death on the character’s hands after Uncle Ben. However, having been saved over and over by your boyfriend/hero, and then only to die because physics failed and he dropped your neck snapped from the drop is just a terrible way to go, especially when you thought you had been saved. It was heartbreaking in a different sense, especially because after three movies of Mary Jane whawha and one of a kick-ass Gwen Stacy, she got treated to a fridge.
Not Romances, but definitely heartbreaks
- Avengers: Age of Ultron: Death of Quicksilver
- Punisher: Death of his entire family at the beginning of the film
- Captain America: the First Avenger: apparent death of Bucky
- Thor: The Dark World: apparent death of Loki (yes, I mourned the villain)
- Thor: The Dark World: death of Frigga
- Avengers: apparent death of Agent Coulson
Any others that you can think of?