Marvel movies are great, but they need more kissing. Sure, they have some – they have the bare minimum – but it’s 2018 and we can do better. Most MCU movies offer but one chaste consolation kiss, often between characters whose romance is contrived at best.
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Well, we are here to say that this simply won’t fly anymore. The MCU needs more kissing, needs more more than kissing because life is short and you never know when someone might dematerialize into the atmosphere because a purple guy snapped his fingers.
Below, we examine the best and worst MCU kisses (not all of them, just a few select examples), what worked, what didn’t, and how to proceed.
Vision and Scarlet Witch – Avengers: Infinity War
Listen, Marvel: I don’t care about these two. I never have and I never will. Scarlet Witch is extremely powerful and might be compelling in different hands, but ever since the hot mess that was Age of Ultron, I mostly just forget about her. If I had to pick any two characters to be on a sanctioned off-the-grid sexcapade, it would not be these two! An absurd amount of Infinity War hinged upon audiences rooting for Vision and Wanda over, you know, half the lives in the universe, and we sure didn’t.
Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner – Avengers: Age of Ultron
Natasha and Bruce’s romance feels terribly forced from the beginning, with the kiss shoehorned into the final battle no matter how hard Scarlett Johansson tries to sell “I adore you.” Kiss other people!
Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter – Captain America: Civil War
BARF. Why couldn’t Sharon just remain an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and not turn out to be Peggy’s niece who Steve is inexplicably into? This is weird, and also they have no chemistry. That sorry excuse for a kiss would have been 1000x better if it was Steve and Bucky while Sharon and Sam watched from the tiny car.
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (multiple films)
Iron Man is the O.G. Avenger and he and Pepper are the O.G. MCU ship, but after that first movie their kissing is that of a couple comfortable and well into their relationship. They peck each other on the cheek or lips as if to say “see you at dinner” and that is not the kind of kissing I need from movies with such high stakes!
Steven Strange and Christine Palmer – Doctor Strange
Christine has the misfortune of being one of the most underdeveloped and two-dimensional women/love interests in the MCU, which is a colossal shame because McAdams is such a capable actress. This ultimately boils down to the story of an empathetic woman taking care of a jerk, and we already saw Iron Man!
Thor and Jane Foster – Thor, Thor 2: The Dark World
The best part of this buildup is Thor’s blatant objectification courtesy of Darcy, but we see that Jane can’t ignore dem abs from the moment she sees them. Are you telling me these two didn’t make out way more? Are you telling me they only kissed? Get out of here!
Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter – Captain America: The First Avenger
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Steve and Peggy are one of the few MCU romances that packs any emotional punch, largely due to an actually well-written female character and stunning performance by Haley Atwell. After dancing (sorry) around each other for much of the film, Cap and Peggy kiss before he pilots a suicide mission to dispose of the Tesseract. THEY NEVER KISSED AGAIN AND THEY DESERVED MORE KISSING.
Peter Quill and Gamora – Avengers: Infinity War
After two films of building up that “unspoken thing” between them, Gamora and Peter kiss after he agrees to kill her if she ends up in Thanos’ custody. Romantic! Once she’s captured, they become a literal star-crossed romance, doomed for the rest of the movie. THEY MAY ALSO NEVER KISS AGAIN!
T’Challa and Nakia – Black Panther
We learn early on in Black Panther that these two used to be a thing and that said thing ostensibly ended so Nakia could focus on her work as a spy. T’Challa is visibly in awe of this woman, from when he freezes in Nigeria (just like Okoye knew he would) to when she saves his life and subsequently Wakanda. She’s caught off-guard when he plants one on her but immediately reciprocates. When is the sequel!!!
Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne – Ant-Man
These are two super attractive people who could actually have chemistry, but Ant-Man doesn’t spend much time building that or even setting up this kiss. Hope is mostly reticent throughout the movie (except to briefly ogle Scott’s abs, which, fair) so their banter comes off more caustic than cute. Toward the end, Hank opens a door to find Hope and Scott already kissing behind it and are you KIDDING me we don’t even get to SEE IT HAPPEN?? Ant-Man and the Wasp better rectify this.
As a truly delightful teen film disguised as a superhero adventure, Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced us to a wholly charming young cast and the promise of forthcoming romance with M.J. (Zendaya). He may not have kissed his Homecoming crush, but young Peter still has a few years left to learn.
Steve and Bucky
This is the hill upon which I will fight and die.
Thor and literally anyone
Listen, I feel for the guy. He lost everything because of Thanos, and while he needs some serious therapy in the interim and will probably die in Avengers 4, I’d love for him to get some before that happens. And a beer.