Saturday, May 30, 2015

Assemble & Unite: Love Changes Everything

     Love really can change everything, at least if it’s the right kind of love. Romantic love in stories can be tricky and sometimes, downright impossible. There needs to be romance without sentimentality, there have to be characters that are real and human to be able to convincingly portray the advantages and downfalls of love. Sometimes love is written in the stars and sometimes it is hardly seen at all. There are times when you can love more than one person and times where you have to find the courage to say goodbye.

      However love may be portrayed, in the superhero universe, love and the stories created by love is the most real and personable way that the reader is able to identify with the character. Everyone at one point in time has been in love with the guy or girl who never notices them, or have waited for someone for months or even years, believing them to return one day and there are those who find there lives compromised by the questions who and when and why?

      Love is what can make or break a hero. It’s what heals and damages the soul. It gives peace and incites war. Love resounds strongly in words of wisdom and acts of courage. Love can turn the ordinary into extraordinary, can make a selfish prince a worthy king, turn a soldier into a legend and help the lost find their way back home.

~ ~ ~
Tony Stark & Pepper Potts
A Devoted Love

     We all need the one person who is always going to be one step ahead of us, but in the case of Tony Stark, he needs someone that is 6 months ahead of him. In Iron Man, Pepper is introduced as Tony’s clever, no-nonsense secretary that does anything and everything her boss requires. And what Tony Stark requires is 24/7 moderating and management as well as someone to run his company, put out all his public fires, keep his ego under control as well as caring for his alter-ego, bring him coffee and sometimes take out the trash. Pepper pulls it all off, effortlessly and with no complaints. So, why does she remain in this job, working for a chauvinistic playboy whose ego is the size of the company building? Simple. She’s in love with him.

     Pepper is beautiful and intelligent and could probably find a good job elsewhere, but she chooses to stay because Tony is only ever himself when he’s around her. She is only person who is able to see a good man behind the facade of arrogance. Pepper wants Tony to see that same goodness as well. Tony fears that he will always live in the shadow of his father, but Pepper believes that Tony does just fine casting his own shadow over people.

     Also, Pepper is only one of two people (the other being Rhodey) that Tony really respects and listens to. When Tony gets out of line, Pepper has no problem telling him off. Tony seeks her opinion on every company issue and he trusts her with ever ounce of his convictions, believing the will always get the job done.

     Because Pepper and Tony have known each other for almost seven years, their relationship line has blurred somewhat. They’re not entirely professional nor are they entirely casual. In the beginning Pepper worked for Tony, in Iron Man 2, Pepper was Tony’s equal in the company business and by The Avengers and Iron Man 3, Pepper and Tony have now created a business/personal relationship that is built on trust, hard work, a little fun from time to time, and of course love; all forgiving, unselfish, never-ending love that breaks boundaries and gives the world something to believe in.

~ ~ ~

 Thor Odinson & Jane Foster
A Fairy Tale Love

     Every little girl at some point in her life has dreamt of meeting a prince. Maybe even dreamt of falling in love with a prince and maybe…just maybe…marry a prince. Jane Foster may or may not have been one of these little girls, but she probably never imagined that one day she would actually meet a prince, just not in the way the storybooks have written it.

     Thor and Jane’s romance can easily be described as superhero fairy tale. Ordinary girl living an ordinary life runs into a prince (or hits him with her car), finds him to be arrogant and rude, goes off on a dangerous adventure with him where he ends up getting into trouble, she fights to save him, gets to know him as a genuinely nice guy trying to get his life under control and unexpectedly finds herself in love with him. And that is in the space of 24 hrs. Of course, between those 24 hrs. were other moments that lent to Jane and Thor’s blossoming love story. Thor getting Jane out of her comfort zone and rescuing Jane’s journal for her. Jane realizing that work isn’t always important and love isn’t so scary.

     Not all fairy tales have the happy endings we all hope for. In the end of Thor, the Bifrost Bridge is broken, barring Thor from seeing Jane. In Thor: The Dark World, Thor returns to Jane where they rekindle their love for each other, but find that her mortal life is can be detrimental to his destiny as future king of Asgard. People accuse Thor and Jane of falling to quickly for each other, but after the escapade they pulled with S.H.I.E.L.D. and what Thor and Jane discovered about one another, love tends to come whether you want it to or not.

     What is a fairy tale? When first impressions are proven to be wrong, taking a risk that help you to better understand who you are, courage that can be found in acts of kindness and moments of sacrifice or it could simply be when something very good can come from something very bad. For Thor and Jane, they found something very good with each other.

~ ~ ~

Capt. Steve Rogers & Agent Peggy Carter
A Legendary Love

     War can separate people, but it can also unite them as allies, companions and even love relationships. For Steve Rogers, he was the war as his opportunity to do something with his life and serve his country. For Agent Peggy Carter, it was to break the social gender boundaries and live in a world once formerly reserved for men. Neither entered this war looking for love, but they both left the war made better by it.

     Steve and Peggy’s slow burning relationship that started out as strangers with an immediate respect for one another, which turned into friendship and then ended with heartbreak. There was nothing really epic or even romantic about Steve and Peggy’s love story. They were two co-workers that immediately understood one another, understood what is was like to have dreams that seemed like an impossibility to accomplish, understand being judged constantly on appearance and understand the longing to make the world a better place.

     What makes their love legendary is that it remained for over seventy years. Although Peggy remarried and had a happy life, she still remembered the gawky soldier who sat next to her in the car and had no idea how he was going to change her life. Steve will always remember Peggy as the first woman he ever had a conversation with as well as the first one to try and kill him. The hardships of war and the desire for peace brought these two very different, but like minded people together and together they knew they could make a difference for the generation that followed.

     Their love story is legendary because their love was real. Their love story started with breaking the rules and overcoming the impossible, but ended with pain, tears and anger. It’s real because they were soldiers. Soldiers who fought and died for their country and knew what they may have to sacrifice in the process. Legendary love isn’t always the most romantic, usually it’s the most painful, but while it was there it was also the most beautiful.

~ ~ ~

 Dr. Jean Grey & Scott Summers & Logan
A Divided Love

     Quite frankly, I believe love triangles to be overrated and outdated, but we put up with them anyway. In X-Men, the most popular (and most debatable) love triangle is between Dr. Jean Gray and her fiancé, Scott Summers and mysterious Logan; two very different men who have their hearts captured by one very complex woman.

     To start out, Scott Summers and Jean had known each other since they were students at the school. They grew up there, trained there, taught there and ultimately fell in love. It seemed inevitable. When you’re in a controversial and feared genetic minority it’s usually best to stay with your own kind. Scott and Jean seem perfect for one another, a match made in heaven. Jean is intelligent and beautiful with a deep love for the children and great amount of respect for Professor X and the safe world he has created. Scott is the type of guy any young girl should consider marrying. Generous, calm, clear minded and a leader who everyone believes will run the school one day; you would find it difficult not to fall in love with him.

     Enter Logan. A broody bad boy from the other side of the tracks who has no memory of who he is or where he came from. Immediately Logan falls hard for Jean, ignoring the fact she is engaged, he wastes no time in pursuing what he wants. At first Jean (naturally) wards him off, but then his true character of strength, sacrifice and courage draws her heart closer to him. Yet, she is still faithful to Scott, the man she has loved since she was a teenager.

     Jean is hardly one to be ruled by her emotion, but she finds her love divided. Scott can give her a happy and successful life with children and a home. Logan, however, is dark and confusing, never knowing where he’s been and where he’s going end up. Just because Scott is the most obvious doesn’t mean that Jean should dump him for Logan. While Jean loves Scott, her feelings for Logan become nothing more than lust for a kind of man she has never met. This doesn’t make Logan evil in any way, though. There can oftentimes be a thin line between love and lust, but Jean knows which side she’s on and will not let anyone lead her astray.

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