‘Til Death Do They Part

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Irreconcilable Differences: MARVEL Marriages Gone Wrong

Marvel Marriages Sentry


The world’s mightiest mortal marrying the love of his life has a particularly mythical ring to it. Even if the bride later reported that she wished she’d killed him on their wedding night.

But marital bliss was not on the cards for the Sentry and his wife. The Sentry found himself manipulated by Norman Osborn to join the so-called “Dark” Avengers. A mistake that eventually led to Lindy’s death just to make him more reliant on Osborn’s guidance. You know what they say: The fourth most common reason marriages end is because one spouse is killed by another’s evil mastermind boss.

Marvel Marriages Namor


He was the king of Atlantis! She was a member of Canadian supergroup Alpha Flight! But a shared love of the water — not to mention they both used their first names as their superhero names — brought them together. For awhile, it looked like they were headed for a happy ending.

Then she turned into a giant monster that Namor had to kill because she was an alien.

It turned out that because Namor hadn’t killed her enough the first time, he had to do so again when she returned as part of machinations. This is on the part of Norman Osborn. Yes, clearly that man has something against the institution of marriage.

Marvel Marriages Quicksilver


If ever there was a marriage that was almost doomed from the start, it was that of Quicksilver and Crystal. They met when she saved his life by accident. Pietro’s co-dependency became obvious to anyone paying attention.

No surprise, when that quickly turned into jealousy and an attempt to control Crystal’s behavior. This led to her acting out in the form of an affair with (gasp!) a regular guy. The two of them split up and sent Pietro into a spiral of self-doubt, super villainy and mental anguish.

It was all pure soap opera but some of the greatest, soapiest of the Marvel marriages. At least Norman Osborn wasn’t involved…as far as we know.


Marvel Marriages Vision Wanda


There aren’t many marriages that end with the literal dismantling of the husband. When Immortus-controlled agents of the US Government looked into the origins of the Vision, they took him apart. Rebuilding him as an emotionless machine man.

No wonder Wanda went slightly mad as a result. She uncreated her children and started the emotional tumble that led to Avengers Disassembled.

Marvel Marriages Storm Masters


Marriage, as some would have us believe, is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. Or, in Johnny Storm’s case, a man and a Skrull.

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t take to the discovery of her true identity very well. Trying to kill her, she temporarily kinda-sorta died soon afterwards. It’s fair to say that the honeymoon was well and truly over. Considering the star-crossed romances Johnny has had since, his luck with women hasn’t exactly improved.

Marvel Marriages Hawkeye


It’s the age-old story; boy meets girl, boy marries girl, girl gets killed by super villain. But it turns out that it’s an alien pretending to be the girl. The girl comes back and doesn’t know what’s going on. Somehow the marriage is legally over because she was believed to be dead. Don’t think about it too much because he’s hooked up with Spider-Woman.

We’ve all heard that one before — and, let’s be honest, surely more than a few of us have even lived it.

Marvel Marriages Hank Janet


Along with Quicksilver and Crystal, it’s another of the few Marvel weddings that had a relatively realistic and tragic through-line. Hank fell prey to his inner demons and took out his frustrations on Jan.

Much has been made of his beating her, but there’s a worrying emotional realism in the collapse of their marriage. His inability to open himself up to her, his acting out against her makes this a well-nuanced portrayal of their split. (Steve Englehart made a great job of dealing with the aftermath of a lot of this in his West Coast Avengers run, as well, for those who want to check out those collections). 

Marvel Marriages Xmen


After presumed deaths, cloned reincarnations and all manner of complications, the marriage of Cyclops and Phoenix was something of a fairytale ending for them, which of course meant that some seriously grey clouds would appear to compete with those silver linings.

That those clouds included psychic infidelity with Emma Frost and a murderous showdown with Magneto may have surprised many — and seemed somewhat cruel to the romantics in the audience — but even now, almost a decade later, there are those still expecting Jean to return and bring with her a happy ending. Stranger things have happened, after all…

Marvel Marriages Hulk


Another marriage that ended with a seeming-yet-not-quite death, the Banners had for years managed to have something resembling a good marriage under the pen of writer Peter David before Betty was “killed,” a death that came in part — David has explained — due to the fact that the marriage had been the one thing in the book that he hadn’t been willing to shake up.

These days, Betty is back to life and somewhat gamma-powered herself as the Red She-Hulk, but Bruce… well, he’s seen better (read: less criminally insane) days, to be honest.

Marvel Marriages Spidey


There are few people who can claim to have been so in love that the Devil himself steps in to split them up, but perhaps it’s the spider-blood in Peter’s veins that made his marriage to Mary-Jane so delicious for Mephisto… Or maybe it’s just that Marvel’s editorial team really wanted a single Peter again that they figured the devil was the best of the various options available to make it happen.

Either way, two decades of continuity were… bumped a little in order to undo the couple’s marriage, but unlike many other Marvel couples, both characters remain around and in each other’s lives… so maybe a reconciliation isn’t entirely off the cards.

Hey, you can’t blame those of us who’d like to think that everyone — even superheroes — deserves a true love that manages to work out in the end, can you?


2 Comments on "‘Til Death Do They Part"

  1. Wanda and Vision still have a strong place in my memory. There was something both cool and cruel about their relationship.

  2. DD says:

    Oh, how could you have left out Guardian / James MacDonald Hudson and Vindicator / Heather MacNeil, where after thinking he was dead, he returns as “cyborg” for a year or so, only to be revealed as the evil female android Delphine Courtney.

    I’ve often wondered what kind of bedroom life they had such that Heather never noticed her husband was really a robot, let alone a girl robot…

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