We've had a lot of time to think lately. And, as ever, our thoughts are with our families, our friends, our loved ones, and America's Ass. When the going gets tough, the tough look to the MCU — for the heroes, the friendship, the heroism, and the ships. On this day, we're focusing on the ships.
We took a look at the biggest ships from canon to fanon to our wildest dreams and discuss them in a very special Battleships: MCU Edition.
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts aka Pepperony
Courtney: Tony and Pep are the ship that leads the fleet of all other MCU ships. They are forever, they are strong, and they are necessary. If for no other reason than Pep (and Peter) is the only person who can actually tolerate Tony and put him in the place he deserves. NOW IS IT WITHOUT FLAW? No. She’s literally his manbabysitter and he pitted her against other women, calling them "trash" which like, HEY, Leslie Bibb is not your enemy, Pepper!
Cher: I'm... not into this pairing. Tony was terrible during the first few movies and why Pepper stuck around and put up with his narcissist, immature ass makes ZERO sense to me. He didn't bring out the best in her — let's not forget her slut-shaming and jealous streak, which I AM AWARE are the writers' faults but still. And, to me, there’s no reason for her to want to date someone like him other than it being canon. She’s basically a glorified babysitter and pseudo-mom to him because our guy definitely has more than just daddy issues. Also, Pepper isn't really a character I root for, which may be peppered (get it?) by my opinion of Her Royal Goopness. I will admit, Tony redeems himself at the end, but it shouldn't take half the universe's population being wiped out and actually dying to be a better man.
Preeti: I’m pretty neutral about this ship, mostly because neither character is my favorite and Gwyneth has sort of been phoning it in over the last few movies. I love the first Iron Man movie to this day, and I love the first Avengers movie, but in the battle of Cap vs Tony, I was always Team Cap and so for Tony/Pepper… sure? Fine? I guess I wish them all the best. … I did cry a lot at their final scene together, but I'm a baby. Don't trust me.
Courtney: I think we can all agree Howard is the superior Stark. And he totally would have hit on Pepper, but then learned a valuable lesson because episodic television works better lesson-wise. Also, Tony never learned a lesson he couldn't unlearn in the next scene.
Cher: I would 1000% have been into Pepper traveling to the past as part of the time-heist, meeting Howard, then getting it on with him. Someone write me THAT fanfic.
Peter Parker and Michelle "MJ" Jones aka Spideychelle
Courtney: Spideychelle? That is… terrible.
Preeti: Obviously I'm all in on this ship. The ship-name needs work, agreed, and technically Michelle is not Mary Jane, but… she's still MJ. And Zendaya's MJ in the MCU Spidey movies is a breath of fresh air. She's a total weirdo to Peter's straight-laced dork. The MCU gave us a Spidey who is decidedly less quippy and off the wall than his comics' counterpart, but MJ pulls him more in that direction and I appreciate that about her. I don't know what the future holds for these two — especially with that cliffhanger of an ending in Far From Home — but I know Michelle Jones can handle it, and while Spidey's doing whatever he needs to save the world, she'll be right alongside him kicking all the butt she needs to.
Courtney: Zendaya is MY MJ. I never cared for Kirsten Dunst's MJ or her chemistry with Tobey Maguire's Peter/Spidey, or, frankly (this is a hot take) those films. MCU MJ (MJCU) is that perfect mix of snarky, awkward, and a secret romantic that works so well with Peter who is mostly just the awkward part and a not-so-secret romantic. He got her a murder necklace! I ship. I ship eternal.
Cher: Co-sign. I love this ship and that totally carried over into real life because I wanted nothing more than to see these two dorks end up together. Tom IS Peter Parker. I don’t think he's acting very much beyond the accent. Zendaya is perfect. Also this feels like a perfect excuse to share the greatest moment in TV history, aka Tom Holland's Lip Sync Battle.
Preeti: Spideychelle is the Ship that SHIPS.
Cher: Spideychelle is like the Obama Hope poster of the MCU. I don't really know what that means, but just go with it.
Wanda Maximoff and Vision aka Scarlet Vision
Cher: This ship name sounds like something you would hear when getting your tarot cards read. I feel like this is another pairing that's weakened by the way Wanda's written in the MCU. Also, it came out of left field, which made it hard to really care about that storyline. The very obvious age difference between the actors didn't really help, to be honest. But I do love me some Paul Bettany, so I don’t hate this ship. I just wish it was better? Maybe the show will help with that.
Courtney: I'm very excited for WandaVision. I think this coupling will be best served given their own space to be themselves and be very weird. It's hard to make a real romance inside of a group film where everyone essentially gets their own ten minutes of story. It's why Maria Hill has had maybe ten minutes onscreen combined in the entire MCU BUT THAT IS A RANT FOR ANOTHER DAY.
Preeti: This is another one I'm fine with? I think I'm bringing a lot of my love of the comic characters to that, and the show does look great.
Cher: We should point out, some fans see this ship as non-binary because Vision is an android that presents male. So the fact that there's a love story with a character that some see as a non-binary character is a win, even if it's a small one.
Carol Danvers and Valkyrie and Thor aka CarValThory
Cher: This ship name sounds like a college course in SEXINESS and I would like to register, please.
Courtney: 10/10 would audit that class. We all love Carol and Val but I hadn't even considered THE POLY POSSIBILITIES until our fellow FANGRRL SE Fleenor posited this throuple of joy. Carol and Val wouldn’t judge Thor for his post-trauma bod. They would celebrate him! Val would certainly be like, "throw a PBR my way, Dude!Thor and let's order pizza." And Carol would want Pizza Hut with the stuffed crust because '90s.
Cher: I'm super into any and all versions of this ship. I don't care if they’re a throuple or all just non-committed f*** buddies or an open love triangle. In fact, they should remake Two Girls and a Guy with these three and I would watch the s*** out of it.
Preeti: I can't argue with any of that.
Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes aka Stucky
Preeti: INTO IT. Mostly because Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan have hecka good chemistry. (I also love Peggy, don't get me wrong.) But Steve and Bucky, they are the original Best Friends Squad. Steve doesn't care about anything as much as he cares about Bucky. LET! THEM! KISS!
Courtney: I love Cap and Peggy. I went down with that ship and I remain drowning in my own ocean of tears. BUT. If Steve has One True Love, it's Bucky. That's the dance I want to see.
Cher: I get the love for this ship, but I don't feel it, personally. My biggest gripe, if you want to call it that, is that this is one of the few examples of two straight men having the kind of emotional and intense friendship that you would typically only see between female characters. For me, it's SO important to show two men being this close because it's like the antithesis of all the toxic masculinity bro-down BS we usually see. So, not to piss in anyone's corn flakes, but this is a no from me, dog.
Loki and Natasha Romanoff aka Black Ice
Cher: Their ship name is not to be confused with that terrible Smirnoff malt liquor drink.
Courtney: Hi I hate this. I ship Loki with no one except for Doctor Strange making him fall for 30 minutes. I ship Loki getting knocked around by Hulk. If Loki had a stack of books, I'd ship me dumping them out of his hands and yelling "NOW PICK 'EM UP."
Cher: This ship, and the Smirnoff drink it's named after, are worse than Zima. And Zima was basically just flat Sprite that allegedly got you buzzed if you drank 47 of them. That did more for my loins than this pairing does. I also really wanted to shoehorn in a Zima joke, regardless of how poorly it landed.
Preeti: I hate this ship, too. I kind of hate MCU Loki shipped with anyone because like Natasha — though for entirely different reasons — Loki/No One is the best ship. Let Loki be with his first love: wreaking chaotic havoc all over the known and unknown worlds.
Courtney: Loki and Chaos: OTP
Cher: Loki just wants the universe, and various groupies' underwear, to burn. He probably has 387 kids on various planets and one day they will all rise as an army. Marvel, feel free to hire me to write this for you.
Courtney's Dream Ship: Natasha and No One aka Natasha Alone-manoff, aka Natalia Alone-ovna Romanoff
Courtney: One of my biggest quibbles with the MCU — and by quibble, I mean it enraged me time and time again — was its early insistence upon using Nat as A Sex Thing for the males of the Avengers. For no reason and without cause, she was either kissing or flirting with every man, as though there was no other purpose for a female Avenger. Even her ultimate and most fleshed-out relationship with Bruce wasn't great. That's why I ship Natasha alone, loving herself, celebrating her freedom, and finding her own purpose and independence. Her whole life has been controlled by others, and her entirety of the MCU has been making her existence about someone else — as a team or in a series of pointless half-hearted flirtations. Let Nat BE. That's why I'm excited for Black Widow. No love interests please, just her going kick-kick-shoot-pow with Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz.
Preeti's Dream Ship: Spider-Man and Black Cat aka SpiderCat
Preeti: I'm cheating. I’m a big ol' cheater. But truly, my dream ship exists in the MCU — Spideychelle — so, I’m bringing in my secondary dream ship which is Black Cat and Spider-Man. I love Felicia Hardy and her no-nonsense, gray-line-walking, bad-ass self. I would love to see what an MCU version would look like. I want her to take our awkward, uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin Spidey for a ride, and amplify his already terrible luck with her own powers of Bad Luck. Pete would be a romantic goner, and Felicia would be in it for the fun. They never work out, but boy is it fun to watch them fall apart.
Cher's Dream Ship: Steve Rogers and Aunt May aka Maygers
Cher: The ship name is awesome, don't even deny it. One of the things the MCU doesn't do well is relationships. Seriously, they're all either random AF or barely fleshed out, making it super-hard to really care that they exist. I get that Steve and Peggy are "the thing" in the comics, but I feel like MCU Cap is a far better, more modernized version of the one that's been around for eons. MCU Cap also deserves to have a woman that 1) isn't related to his first love from over 100 years ago and 2) have a supportive partner and a sex life that doesn't require him going back in time. And Aunt May, who is hot and funny and a strong woman from New York, is the perfect match for him. It's like an LL Cool J song in reverse, 'cause she represents Queens and he was raised out in Brooklyn (points to whoever can name that tune).
MCU May is not only a total goddess (duh, Marisa Tomei), but she's also already indoctrinated in the superhero life because of Peter. Plus, it would low-key make Tony nuts because he definitely would've tried to push up on her if Pepper weren't in the picture.