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Off My Mind: Should Team Members Get Involved With Each Other?
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Is it good or bad for the team's dynamic.
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.