Off My Mind: Should Team Members Get Involved With Each Other?
For the dedicated hero, trying to have a normal life can be next to impossible. Throw in trying to have a relationship and it magnifies the difficulty. Maintaining a relationship can be a challenge for normal people but with a secret identity or major responsibilities it can be hard to meet that special someone and keep them in your life.
For many heroes that are on a team, they spend most of their time with the other members. They don't really get a chance to meet other people besides the villains they're fighting. It's only natural that team members might find romance within their group. Should a relationship between team members be encouraged or frowned upon? Can it help the way the team works or will it create unnecessary problems? == TEASER ==
Because heroes dedicate so much of themselves to protecting the innocent, they deserve to have some happiness in their off duty lives. By dating a member of their team, the hero doesn't have to worry about explaining where they are or if they have to suddenly rush off. They will be willing to spend more time in the team if they are working side by side their significant other. If team members know each other on an intimate level, it can strengthen their work abilities. How many times have you seen that couple that know each other so well, it's like they can read each other's thoughts? If team members are lovers, they could easily work together to outwit the bad guy without having to make elaborate plans right there on the spot. They'll be able to read each other's body movements and know what needs to be done.
But relationships don't always work. There are some places that frown about romance in the workplace. What happens if one of the hero is extremely jealous? When the other tries working with another member, it can cause the jealous one to become distracted. This distraction could cost the lives of other team members or even innocent civilians. What if the couple gets into a lovers' spat? Will they be able to remain professional enough to keep their heads in the game? There's also the chance that another team member might be secretly pining for one in a relationship. Will there be secret jealousy issues there? When facing the bad guys, the last thing a team needs is to be defeated from within.
There are some relationships that have worked. Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman have had very little problems that disrupted the team's performance. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are now married with a child while being in the New Avengers. Kitty Pryde and Colossus have had their ups and downs but have found their way back together. The same can be said for Rictor and Shatterstar in X-Factor.
Unfortunately there have been team romances that haven't faired too well. Scarlet Witch and Vision got married but Wonder Man had strong feelings for her. When Vision lost his memory and Wanda started having feelings for Simon, things got awkward. What about Jean Grey? The entire original team of X-Men (including Professor X, eww) had feelings for her. Cyclops and Jean became a couple but Angel always had strong feelings for her. Even years later when they formed X-Factor. Let's not forget what happened when Scott and Emma had a psychic affair. Hawkeye and Mockingbird were married and her return from the dead during the Skrulls' Secret Invasion made it seem they'd get back together. Unfortunately they've had too many differences of opinion. Green Arrow and Black Canary seemed they'd fight crime happily ever after as a married couple but that didn't work out either.
All this tension isn't good for the team. When they're out in the middle of a huge battle, they need to be completely focused. Lives could be lost and the fate of the world could be at stake if the crazy villain's plan for world domination is allowed to succeed.
There really isn't a right or wrong answer. What it comes down to is what are the two lovebirds like? Can they handle being in a relationship without becoming jealous or losing their focus? Can they put the lives of innocents before that of their lover? Would they be able to remain in the team if the relationship turned sour? A team leader could make the final call. They could make the decision like some places of employment do. Having someone to share your heart is a healthy thing and can prevent a hero from becoming so focused in crimefighting that they go over the edge. The only time it might be a problem is if that minx Jean Grey becomes a member of the team.
I can't believe theres a discussion about marriage between two members of the same team and no one has yet to mention the ultimate in married team members. A couple that have been together for OVER 40 years. Sue and Reed Richards. Granted they have had rough spots, but they still manage being married, having kids, being in the public eye and saving the world.
Heroes are for the most humans. And when there not they're although put into a human dynamic thing, so whether it's good or bad, relation will be cause it's not possible to refrain their behavior towards each other when personality hormone or whatever are doing their jobs, plus ok they're heroes but they've the right to search for someone to be part of their lives, and it'll be easier to be with someone who know and understand your hero/ counterpart persona.
I agree up thread, it's like at work, people meet their partners through those features, it's how I met my wife but granted. Different departments and different careers. We both no longer work there and have moved on to other companies and now have a happy healthy baby boy. It's a matter of prospective by the writers ane editors. Reed and Sue are the best examples of making it work, while Hawkeye and Mockingbird are the best examples of what can go wrong.
As for Peter and Mary Jane, it's just short minded editors and writers thinking that's how they wish they could handle their marriages. Oh... did I say that outloud? No wait, most of them are happily married they just don't believe that type of style like Sue and Reed with Peter and any of his main squeezes. Parker Luck remember?
All that tight spandex, adrenaline pumping, and the possibility that you may die on your next mission (and come back 12 issue later lol) who wouldn't want to "mix it up" with their teammates
Not to mention most of them don't get paid for what they do, so at least get some kinda action from it.
I think this is a never ending battle. Anytime you have a group that works in close quarters as Heroes often do feelings are bound to happen. There is no stopping that. Sometimes trying to hold off those feelings can be more harder on the individuals and the team than acting on them. G-Man makes all good points in the above for both positives and negatives. The positive is that the two know each wll enough that they were seemlessly as a pair. The negative is that if the relationship doesn't work the dramamtic effect it will have on the team. For instance... what if there was infidelity? The team would literally be split in two. Possibly even to the point where the tema breaks up. This happen all the time in Rockbands. Evanescence is a perfect example.
Imagine. If Jean Grey didn't die. It would have only been a matter of time before Scot and Emma progressed to a more realistic affair than the psyhic one. Imagine if Scott would have left Jean for Emma. I am pretty sure Scott and Emma would have had to leave the team.
In the end. I am against it. I've done the work place dating scene one time and it was horrible. Especially because she started dating someone else in our workplace immediately after we broke up and possibly may have been with him before. Then having to see her and him together everyday; that is absolutely worse than anything.
Double edged sword really. Frankly I can see team relationships strengthening the bonds together and making them that much more likely a combo to be reckoned with when facing an adversary. On the other hand superheroes are fallible and often fall into troubles as well in the love department, and probably the most glaring example I can think of are Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen. Now we all remember back in the day how it was for the two of them. Dinah was Chairwoman of the JLA and was happily in love with Ollie and all was right in the world. They faced plenty of dangers together and came out on top. Then Dinah found out that the Trinity were holding 'back-door' meetings without her knowledge and she got angry. Final Crisis and Blackest Night happened, bringing out Ollie's worst side to her. And then Cry for Justice was the straw that broke the camel's back, which only leads to the sadness that one saw in Justice League: Rise and Fall. Now the JLA (at least in my opinion) is being led by first rate second rate heroes, Dinah is having her own issues with Birds of Prey and Ollie has a forest to defend and is almost really like a latter day Robin Hood. Did their love cause all these problems? Of course not, but their glaring example does show how sometimes relationships in superhero teams do not always bode good in general, especially if they fail. Some relationships do well and nothing happens, but in my opinion too often comics more and more now are leading toward the cynical reality that often, love just simply isn't enough anymore. No, better for superheroes I think to have loving partners not a member of the team (i.e. Lois and Clark) if they must have a relationship at all.
I think it just depends on the people. Adding realistic romantic relationships within a comic is something, that when done well, is great. Not every relationship in real works out, so it only makes sense that comic book ones aren't always perfect ether.
Seeing the fallout - both positive and negative - from a relationship is something that is interesting to see. I'm all for it, as long as it is done with class.
What about a date where they kill Sentinels?
Emma-"Scott, I'm bored."
Scott-"Well, what do you want to do?"
Emma-"Something exciting...shopping...wine tasting..."
Scott Interrupts: "Let's go kill some Sentinels!"
Emma rolls her eyes,"Go get the X-Jet then..."
Scott: Emma, we have to get to Manhattan, the Sentinels are going crazy.
Emma: Manhattan... Oh, there's a Tiffanys' there. Good, I need a new necklace. And so help me if these shoes are ruined; you will not see me naked until you are so old that vision wont even be an issue.
As long as those team mates can separate themselves from that relationship in times of crisis, especially if one of those team members happens to be leader. When they have to make the tough call, do you sacrifice the one you love or do you leave it up to others to take the burden of the sacrifice just so you can be happy. Being a hero means sacrifice, if you're a leader of heroes it means you have to make even greater sacrifices.
Of course that is easier said then done, but those are the burdens, do you punish others to be selfish, or do you stop the evil at great personal lose.
" @Jake Fury: I'm feeling it, I'd read that. Scott: Emma, we have to get to Manhattan, the Sentinels are going crazy.Emma: Manhattan... Oh, there's a Tiffanys' there. Good, I need a new necklace. And so help me if these shoes are ruined; you will not see me naked until you are so old that vision wont even be an issue. "You should've given Matt Fraction hints on how to write Emma, cuz this is SPOT ON!!! Thank God Kieron Gillen get's all of the X-Men, especially Emma.
" I think it just depends on the people. Adding realistic romantic relationships within a comic is something, that when done well, is great. Not every relationship in real works out, so it only makes sense that comic book ones aren't always perfect ether. Seeing the fallout - both positive and negative - from a relationship is something that is interesting to see. I'm all for it, as long as it is done with class. "
I like the romance that blossoms during *SOME* of these get togethers...
However, a lot of them simply aren't written very well, especially as of late.
It's funny that 95% of these comic book love stories are written by men... I guess they know their stuff right? Chick flicks and all.
" @FadeToBlackBolt said:Heh, thank you very much ^_^" @Jake Fury: I'm feeling it, I'd read that. Scott: Emma, we have to get to Manhattan, the Sentinels are going crazy.Emma: Manhattan... Oh, there's a Tiffanys' there. Good, I need a new necklace. And so help me if these shoes are ruined; you will not see me naked until you are so old that vision wont even be an issue. "You should've given Matt Fraction hints on how to write Emma, cuz this is SPOT ON!!! Thank God Kieron Gillen get's all of the X-Men, especially Emma.
It makes sense, from a psychological standpoint. How many office romances develop in even the most mundane of jobs? When you factor in the adrenaline and constant risk-taking of the superhero business, it would be unrealistic to assume that things don't get a little hot and heavy from time to time. Add the fact that most of these people are in top physical condition and wear skintight/revealing outfits, and well...just look up the stats on how many condoms got handed out at the Olympic village in 2008.
As to whether or not they should...many may make the argument that keeping things "professional" would be more conducive to an effective, tactical unit, but history doesn't necessarily support this. Several ancient Greek armies, for example, actually encouraged their soldiers to become romantically involved with each other, the theory being that they would fight harder if they were literally fighting for the lives of their lovers, and would show more courage on the battlefield if said lovers were right there and could see them. As to how effective this practice was, just ask the Spartans.
I think it could work, I mean they're someone you will be with for a long time, and your experiences could make you grow closer, or have the opposite affect but things like that could always happen. Plus you'll always have someone on the team who will have your back, or carry you ideals on if you pass on. Scott's relationships are more complicated than just team romances, since he's had to deal with possessions, multiple deaths, and various other factors aside from that, but don't judge all team dating based on the messed up stuff he's had to deal with.
i believe its just an easy way in prose to illustrate theres more to what they do and the decisions they make, ei: even removing the relationship factor, a hero doesn't just go out and do what they
do without some form of ethical conundrum or emotional dissonance, whatever. the love bird/attachment plot line is just a simple story telling measure used in literature for years to illustrate
how the human element fits in (otherwise our Omega level peoples should be able to just wipe out most problems without thinking twice, and be a little more Punisher in their activities).
I think they should avoid getting into relationships with other teammates. For one thing, most of the time it's just desperation and hormones working on overdrive. Most heroes are young, virile and lacking in common sense. What they think of as 'love' is often just a result of not having time to meet a more complementary mate in the 'real world'. Considering the amount of training a person must undergo to develop the mental skills and physical capabilities needed to be a superhero, a comparison with Olympic level athletes is particularly applicable. During the Olympics in Vancouver, the Olympic Committee stocked 100,00 condoms in Olympic village, because the combination of attractive, uber-fit and athletic people lead to all sorts of trysts (LINK: http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2010/02/18/post-258/). A superhero team, especially one as large as The Avengers or The X-Men is no different. Perhaps this is why so many artists render characters who are in love with being in lustful positions (ie: the woman's leg pushed through the man's, dry humping on covers and etc while in uniform) rather than the body language that generally conveys love and romance. I don't think it's ironic that the characters who are portrayed in lustful romances bring more enmity to the team due to their breakups, emotional outbursts and relationship drama & this enmity negatively affects the team's performance in missions. Rogue and Gambit's relationship is insane, hard to follow and lead to some difficulties during missions. Sue and Reed seem to have maintained a relationship that strengthens their teams because they are shown to be mature and had time to get to know each other before joining the Fantastic Four. Bottom line for me is that having inter-team romance is an easy way out for both the writers, who doesn't have to create an interesting or believable non-heroic/villainous character that readers care about, and the characters, who don't bother interacting with the general populace to find a partner that might fit them better than that uber-hot new member of the team that is a bit of a bad boy/girl yet strangely attractive.
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