The MCU Should Avoid This X-Men Love Triangle
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has suffered and succeeded in the romance department – but mostly suffered as no romantic pairing nor love triangle has successfully piqued fans' interest in the slightest. The flops of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffolo) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and the rushed romance between Wanda and Vision are contestants of that. And speaking of love triangles, Sersi (Gemma Chan), Dane Whitman (Kit Harington), and Ikaris (Richard Madden) weren't really much of a love triangle in the first place. With the X-Men officially a part of the MCU, a boatload of characters will be making their appearances, along with the many dramatic romantic trysts that come along with these characters.
Most popularly, Logan (Hugh Jackman), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Scott Summers's (James Marsden) love triangle was a subplot that leaked into the original X-Men trilogy and lingered in Wolverine. If the MCU learned anything from the X-Men films, it would be the drawn-out romantic tension between these three characters. In the grand scheme of things, the romantic element didn't add anything to the plot and only distracted viewers from the main point of the series. Having all people from around the world be accepted as they are -- not who Jean's love life. MCU should avoid the love triangle altogether or resort to various methods when sharing the romance.
The X-Men has many characters shown throughout the series, but only a handful have speaking roles, and only a few actually have a substantial plot line that's made to good use. Storm (Halle Berry), for one, though a part of the core X-Men group, barely has any lines in the first X-Men film, and as she appears in the second and third installments, she doesn't receive a proper story that poses her as an essential character.
Even though Scott Summers is considered the group leader, he's not given much credit, nor is he given much of anything except limited down to Jean Grey's boyfriend, who she ends up killing. The entire time, he's not given a proper role, and Wolverine overshadows his character's development. Marsden's Cyclops was barely in X-Men: The Last Stand, having issues with scheduling conflicts, which ultimately snipped at the possibility of showing Summers without Jean… this is until the prequels. But even then, Summers wasn't given much material to play with as he starts as a new mutant still trying to figure out his place in the world.
Other characters like Rogue (Anna Paquin), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), and Kitty Pryde (Elliot Page) were lumped together in a romantic triangle as well, which only limits the X-Men: The Last Stand performance. Although included in the third film, Colossal (Peter Rasputin) was sourly underused in his performance when it could have been a perfect time to extend his character background and his purpose of becoming an X-Men. The third film established much-needed younger X-Men members, but instead, it lingered on Jean, Scott, and Logan -- the guilt Jean held onto Scott's death, her sexual side that became overbearing on Logan, and the ultimatum death of Jean at the hands of Logan. It was all unnecessary and overshadowed the possibility of passing the torch to younger X-Mens.
The MCU Should Not Even Include The Love Triangle
History tends to repeat itself in superhero films. Very rarely do romantic subplots in MCU films make a substantial impact on the plot -- let alone a love triangle. In the original trilogy, the love triangle was confusing enough as it was. Jean loved and chose Scott but still couldn't abstain from her physical attraction to Wolverine. Considering Jean and Logan's relationship was somewhat rushed in the films, it doesn't quite make sense why there was even a conflict of interest, except that Jean finds his abilities interesting.
Of course, completely ignoring this romantic triangle wouldn't be abiding by the comics, as within almost every version, there's an entanglement between the three. But this wouldn't be the first time the MCU completely ignored the comics regarding romantic pairings. Black Widow and Hawkeye's (Jeremy Renner) relationship was and still is an on-again, off-again romantic coupling. Still, in the movies, they are best friends without an ounce of romantic tension between the two. So it wouldn't be such a bad idea if they completely ignored the romantic element between Jean and Wolverine.
The MCU Should Use the Krakoan Approach
However, completely ignoring the love triangle might be too extreme. The MCU could truly shake things up by having Jean, Logan, and Scott be in a non-monogamous relationship like in the Krakoan Era in the comics. It would be a polygamist type of relationship where Jean could be with both mutants separately and just have "fun." Of course, the semantics behind this would deliver some drama in navigating this type of relationship. Still, it could open doors to exploring other sexual explorations in the MCU. Considering all the romantic pairings are monogamous, and most of the relationships are hetero-normative, this would be an exciting entry into what could be seen from the X-Men.
Nevertheless, this would be a hit-or-miss take on the love triangle, considering how bold this could be for a casual superhero movie watcher. It could backfire and essentially make the love triangle even more prominent than before by disclosing the nature of what a poly relationship looks like, which could overshadow more essential themes. Either way, completely ignoring the triangle or allowing a poly relationship would still be a risky decision. Jean and Wolverine's relationship could transpire into a friendship successfully like Black Widow and Hawkeye if they establish that dynamic early on -- or if anything, allow these characters to grow feelings over time -- a long extended time, a slow-burn of the sorts, which would permit the possibility of a poly like relationship in the future.