Relationships and the X-men

I remember reading Generation X and wondering why Husk and Chamber ever started dating. If they ever went on an actual date, I mean. And yes, I am aware that the catalyst was technically both a bottle of beer and Gateway (Imagine telling THAT to your kids?). They have practically nothing in common; they share little to no interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. They don't even have very compatible personalities- Husk is passionate, Chamber is remote. So why did we have to endure their unsatisfying and unconvincing romantic attempts?  

I have a theory, and it centers largely around stress. By that, I refer to the threat of an impending, most likely painful and seemingly unavoidable, death (and/or oppression). When faced with the idea of death and/or pain, people have this tendency to desperately attempt to form a connection (usually romantic, if not outright sexual) with someone else. This is for a myriad of reasons; to take their minds off their impending doom, for a sense of euphoria, to feel less alone.
 
Think about it; the entirely of the Gen X team had recently been made aware of the Legacy Virus, and keep in mind, at this time nobody had any idea how or where to find a cure. Makeout city. And given Chamber's lack of a mouth (great choice, Paige) we can't rightly say exactly how far they both would have gone, had he not blown up part of a freaking building. I'd rather not think too hard on that...
 
You may be thinking that this doesn't really apply to other relationships within the series....and you'd be WRONG. Okay, granted, it doesn't apply to all relationships within the X-men, but it accounts for at least a few, including what can be said to be the most famous pairing the series has ever known. That's right, I'm talking about Cyclops and Jean Grey.
Alright, let's take a look at the reasons. Waaaay back in issue number one of the first run of the X-men (there was a hiatus of a few years, before the Giant Sized issue came out, introducing a new team comprised of Banshee, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus, Warpath's older brother, and Sunfire), we're introduced to Professor Xavier and his crack team of super-powered teenage boys. There's some introductions, a bit of buffoonery that I can only assume is supposed to be characterization, and suddenly the professor announces that a new student is coming...and it's an attractive girl! I kid not, that's his wording. In walks Jean Grey, looking positively normal (especially compared to what everyone else in the room is wearing), and the boys are all taken with this mysterious young beauty. They all make their passes at her, and eventually...wait for it....cyclops offers her a chair.
Let me bring up a little something that comes up at some point in the 90s; Jean Grey at some point states that she first fell in love with Cyclops when he offered her a chair, back at her first day at the academy. Yes, I'm talking about this scene, right here:

That doesn't sound (or look) like a woman in love. Also, I'd like to point out that they all practically manhandle her by issue 5...except for Cyclops. 
Now, put yourself in Jean's shoes, a few issues later. Her status as a mutant having been impressed upon her, she's most likely beginning to feel the weight of oppression and hatred bearing down on her, not to mention having had to endure violent attempts at her life at least twice. She is a young teenage girl, considered attractive, in a relatively closed-off setting, with a pool of four not unattractive young men (and one creepy old man) showering her with attention. In the end, she falls for the one boy who doesn't try to molest her (and is in her age range); Cyclops. Now, we're supposed to believe that Cyclops is just smitten with her the moment he catches sight of her. Seriously, I'm fairly certain it's not really given any better reason than that.
 
I'm at a bit of a loss as to how many other pairings can be said to result from stress, but I'm looking, so in the mean time, this is it. Thoughts?
30 Comments
30 Comments
Posted by Tommy_X

Hmm... This is really interesting and intriguing topic. I have to agree with you that situations where people's lives are in constant danger it's only logical that people would( whether intentionally or instinctively) look to form romantic relationships with other people to get that good feeling that it brings and to get their minds off of their stressful lives. I think that writers could (and maybe should) use this within a story to create tension and drama. It might make for interesting situations...
Edited by cattlebattle

Havok and Polaris
 
 
there was more to Jono and Paige that you mentioned, though different, they cared deeply for each other.....that was actually the genius of Lobdells writing.....real teenage type situations, Paige was afraid to reciprocate Jonos feelings because she was embarassed to be involved with him, because of his appearance and him being a recluse ,which she later found Jono to be intolerable because of his constant brooding, Though I felt they never should have been anything but flirtations but there has been worse relationship ideas

Posted by Squares
@cattlebattle: Good point.
Okay, yes, that's what it ended up as.
Posted by BuddyBulson

I think that Paige and Jono both didn't know what the other wanted that's why they both ended up having sex the minute Gen-X ended. Jono with that blonde popster in London. Husk with Angel the second she joined the X-Men, or was that the other way around? Did she sleep with him to become an X-Man? is she sleeping with wolverine? How is she a teacher? This just all seems so scandalous!

Posted by ntb1124

Good topic, I think that like in real life it is all about proximity and availibility, look at all the office place romances, the stars who hook up during movie shoots, and the afermentioned characters that hooked up because they were on the same team.....many of these despite not having anything in common. My favorite example of this is Glenn and Maggie in the Walking Dead, where they pretty much state the fact that they hook up because they are the only ones the same age and available though they do form a good relationship from that base...

Posted by AgeofHurricane

Laurie Collins and Joshua Foley ?

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@protect_yourself: But one got killed off and the other has gone into DEEP depression.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@protect_yourself: Laurie.

Posted by Earthfall

@protect_yourself: Sniper bullet by the Purifiers...

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@protect_yourself: I doubt it, especially if you read Astonishing X-Men Exogenetic...though, this is Marvel we're talking about.

Posted by Squares

@BuddyBulson:They had sex?

@ntb1124: Thanks. Haven't read that series yet, sounds like it'd be worth taking a look.

@AgeofHurricane said:

Laurie Collins and Joshua Foley ?

Not sure. If you take into consideration the fact that their first (significant) encounter was that whole purifier thing where he healed her, it makes perfect sense as a typical teenage relationship.

@protect_yourself: Why did you quote the same thing twice?

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: I just mean that they had a really strong relationship that Marvel decided to destroy.

Posted by Squares

@AgeofHurricane: Right you are, although I fail to see why you bring it up.

Posted by unicornpuncher

@AgeofHurricane said:

@Squares: I just mean that they had a really strong relationship that Marvel decided to destroy.

I thought hellion and X-23 were much better together

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: >.>

@unicornpuncher: Their relationship to me was just forced IMO, Hellion should have stayed with Sofia.

Posted by unicornpuncher

@AgeofHurricane said:

@Squares: >.>

@unicornpuncher: Their relationship to me was just forced IMO, Hellion should have stayed with Sofia.

I disagree. Julian liked Sofia, but she never really returned the love. X-23 and Julian had adventures that bonded them and X-23 actually started showing emotion to Julian. It was reciprocal with X-23, but not with Sofia who was just a short lived crush.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@unicornpuncher: Well it was shown in the New Warriors that she did love him, she had dreams about being with him again, even in HoM they were a couple together and could have been a real one if Sofia never got depowered, and towards the year's end Sofia actually was beginning to express the feelings she had towards him, so you never know.

Posted by Squares

@unicornpuncher said:

@AgeofHurricane said:

@Squares: I just mean that they had a really strong relationship that Marvel decided to destroy.

I thought hellion and X-23 were much better together

I have to admit I'm somewhat of a fan of their possible relationship; it involves two characters I like and it seems very realistic. And from a writer's standpoint, it's only getting better.

@AgeofHurricane said:

@Squares: >.>

@unicornpuncher: Their relationship to me was just forced IMO, Hellion should have stayed with Sofia.

Sofia rejected him on multiple occasions, after she left he had NO way to contact her, and it mostly seems like Sofia was rather disgusted with the way Hellion chooses to conduct himself most of the time. Any relationship would be rocky at best and would probably end relatively swiftly and pretty dramatically.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: That's true, but thats when she first met him, she even said herself during Years End that she admired the way how he never gave up on her, his persistence on what could have been a relationship is what she liked most about him, they even shared a kiss just before before HoM. It had been hinted that Sofia shared some sort of feelings for Julian when he stopped talking to her because of what happened in 'Choosing Sides' , that was resolved and when Northstar died she was the one who went to go comfort Julian about his ex-teachers passing, so i don't think she was so disgusted as you say to the way Julian presented himself at most times, she did have strong feelings for him,

Posted by Squares

@AgeofHurricane: Important life lesson- strong feelings don't automatically make a relationship viable, or a good idea. Sure, a relationship between Sofia and Julian would make sense, but it would be a) short-lived and b) end badly. Sure, there's the whole 'Julian's not a total jerk, he's actually a nice guy on the inside' thing, but the fact of the matter is that he acts like a jerk around other people most of the time (increasingly so as of late), and a nice girl like Sofia can only really handle so much asshattery.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: But he changed his personality (or something like that) anytime he was around Sofia, otherwise she wouldn't have given into him in the first place, the way i see it, he was actually willing to change himself compltetely for Sofia because he tried to win her over at every given oppurtunity and Sofia's just as stubborn and hard-headed as Julian if not more, I'm sure she would have been able to take his crap.

Posted by Squares

@AgeofHurricane: Yeah, she probably could have, for a little while. It would have been a doomed relationship. And I'm not sure Julian changed himself, exactly; it seemed more like that was who he was when he wasn't trying to impress people. Or something.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: I strongly disagree.

Posted by unicornpuncher

@AgeofHurricane: I have to agree here. Most of the early New Xmen was Julian trying to impress Sofia and Sofia totally brushing him off. Julian and X-23 had a much stronger bond. He didnt hurt her during the team selection process even though the white queen made it easy for him to do so and he later went to find her and help her on a solo mission because they had developing feelings. That alone was more than any unrequited love he had with Sofia.

And the good news is I picked up this months X-23 and they actually had some X-23 and Julian aftermath. I cant wait to see how it ends.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@unicornpuncher said:

@AgeofHurricane: I have to agree here. Most of the early New Xmen was Julian trying to impress Sofia and Sofia totally brushing him off. Julian and X-23 had a much stronger bond. He didnt hurt her during the team selection process even though the white queen made it easy for him to do so and he later went to find her and help her on a solo mission because they had developing feelings. That alone was more than any unrequited love he had with Sofia.

And the good news is I picked up this months X-23 and they actually had some X-23 and Julian aftermath. I cant wait to see how it ends.

Because before that relationship had anytime to evolve, Chris and Craig had to depower her and ruin their relationship to bring in X-23, if New X-Men's original writers stayed on till that series end, i doubt we'd be having this discussion.

Posted by Squares

@AgeofHurricane: What parts do you disagree with?

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: "For a little while" no and "It would have been a doomed relationship." not even close.

Posted by Squares

@AgeofHurricane: I could be wrong, that's just my impression of the outcome.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@Squares: To each his own.

Posted by John Valentine

@unicornpuncher said:

@AgeofHurricane: I have to agree here. Most of the early New Xmen was Julian trying to impress Sofia and Sofia totally brushing him off. Julian and X-23 had a much stronger bond. He didnt hurt her during the team selection process even though the white queen made it easy for him to do so and he later went to find her and help her on a solo mission because they had developing feelings. That alone was more than any unrequited love he had with Sofia.

And the good news is I picked up this months X-23 and they actually had some X-23 and Julian aftermath. I cant wait to see how it ends.

I'd much rather have Julaura than Jufia.