Love interests play a major role in many superhero movies. Whilst in the past the characters would serve very little purpose outside of this role, more recent releases are embracing the significance of these characters, and developing them into considerably stronger characters at the same time.
As we prepare for the imminent release of Wonder Woman, and Chris Pine's role as plucky fighter pilot Steve Trevor, we’ve been thinking a lot about the various love interests that have existed in the lives of our favourite superheroes. Here are five of the most important characters we feel have proven their own abilities outside of their romantic relationships.
Jane – Thor
Played by: Natalie Portman
Jane Porter is an American astrophysicist who first met Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in his first solo movie outing, after he was exiled to Earth by his father. An extremely talented scientist, she was the closest to discovering the existence of Asgard through her scientific research. Jane and Thor formed a deep bond during his time on Earth, and she continued to research ways for his return after he left for Asgard.
Jane is extremely independent and determined to fight for what she believes in. Though she has not been seen back in the MCU since Thor: The Dark World in 2013, she still seems to be a significant part of Thor’s life, as he even bragged about her work during Age of Ultron. Don't expect to see her in this year's Thor: Ragnarok however – she and Thor have apparently broken up.
Pepper Potts – Iron Man
Played by: Gwyneth Paltrow
Originally Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) personal assistant, the chemistry between the two was undeniable and it came as no surprise when they entered into a relationship. Pepper’s own abilities are clear during Iron Man 3, as she launched an attack on villain Killian (Guy Pearce) in order to save Stark.
Though influenced by the Extremis within her body, this served as an example of how far both Potts and Stark would go to save each other from harm. With Stark (temporarily) giving up his Iron Man suit for her, it seemed that this couple was guaranteed to have their happy ending. They might be on a break for now, but we remain hopeful that they will find their way back to each other.
Gwen Stacy – The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2
Played by: Emma Stone
A senior research officer at Oscorp Industries, Gwen Stacy had her whole life ahead of her. Played by La La Land’s Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man, Gwen was the first person to discover Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) identity as Spider-Man.
Though their relationship is seen to be extremely significant to both of their lives. Gwen does not let it hold her back from achieving her dreams. After achieving a place to study at Oxford University, it seems that Gwen is going to achieve everything she ever wanted.
Her desire to help Peter is ultimately her downfall however, as she falls to her death at the hands of the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan).
In this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom Holland’s Parker will have a new love interest in the form of Liz Allen (Laura Harrier), and we’re confident she’ll turn out to be just as strong.
Peggy Carter – Captain America & Agent Carter
Played by: Hayley Atwell
Though their romance is short-lived, Peggy Carter has an undeniably large impact on Steve Rogers' (Chris Evans) life. Carter is an extremely strong character, and will always do what needs to be done.
Following Roger’s return from his deep freeze, they continue to be present in each other’s lives, up until her death in Captain America: Civil War.
Outside of their relationship, the television show Agent Carter highlights the capabilities that Carter had within her job. She is extremely loyal and does not take kindly to being mistreated, remaining secure in her skills at all times.
Steve Trevor – Wonder Woman
More than a simple love interest however, Trevor, an Air Force officer, plays a significant role in her first call to action. With Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s chemistry being highlighted as a particularly strong aspect of the film, we cannot wait to see how this pairing plays out on the big screen, and watch both characters truly come into their own.
Hannah Dixon is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.