The relationships between comic book writers, artists and editors and their corporate owners in Hollywood has never been more apparent than it is now, as four or more comic book movies hit the theaters just about every year and fans and critics seriously ask questions like "Did Superman start dating Wonder Woman because that's what they want to do in the movies?'.
So far, Marvel has been anything but clever about it. A new #1 issue launched around the time of Marvel's The Avengers featured the same line-up as the movie had (in spite of the fact that they hadn't been working in that composition the month before) and was titled Avengers Assemble, the film's name in a number of foreign markets. They've reinvented Nick Fury as a black man, copying the movies which were, oddly, in turn drawing inspiration from the Ultimate Comics Universe.
So what's all this got to do with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or with the iconic superhero's escape from Dimension Z this week and the major character death that came along with it?
Well, we've got an idea.
Captain America has, at this stage, been dating Sharon Carter on and off for the better part of 20 years real-world time. We're never sure just how that translates in the comics, but even in that context it has to be a while. Seeing her apparently die in this week's issue had to be pretty hard on him...
...probably about as hard as it will be when she comes back at the worst possible moment.
Because that's how that tends to work.
Meanwhile, over in Hollywood, we've got a Captain America who's been photographed kissing Black Widow. The actors have avoided actually confirming that there's anything going on between the two characters, but they've dropped hints.
"I think that’s the way his relationship with Black Widow comes to fruition," star Chris Evans told reporters at San Diego Comic Con International last month. "The relationship with Black Widow is interesting because she’s someone who’s always had the ability to compromise her morals and Cap is so black and white. I think as a result…I can’t say too much but something happens."
That something will likely create some tension between Widow, Cap and Sharon Carter, who's set to be portrayed by Emily Vancamp, whose casting was widely announced as "playing the love interest."
If that's the case--could we see Cap and Black Widow flirt with some involvement in the comics? It could be a little creepy, given her role as a will-they-or-won't-they with Bucky Barnes during the time when he replaced Captain America during the Brubaker run, but a little creepy really shouldn't stop the guy who's spent the better part of the last however-long dating his previous one true love's niece.
And, of course, that's where it gets fun; once Cap finally starts to get over Sharon and consider the possibility of something real with Natasha...oops, there comes Sharon, wandering on out of Dimention Z like nothing ever happened.
And probably just about in time for the movie, too...