Best Marvel Fan-Fiction Relationships That Deserve to Be MCU Canon

With so many characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s huge potential for shipping. Here are some of the best possible pairings in the MCU.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a titan in the world of popular culture, and its impact on movies, and entertainment in general, is undeniable. That media dominance comes with a gigantic and diverse fandom that has contributed much to the world of “shipping.” Shipping is when members of a particular fandom propose (and often demand) romantic relationships between characters within the fandom. Some ships are popular because both they are fun and unlikely, whereas others are popular because the ship would improve the canon. With so many characters in the MCU, there’s a lot of shipping potential. These are some of the best.

Steve Rogers / Bucky Barnes AKA Stucky

captain america reaches out for bucky barnes

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes’ relationship in the MCU pulls a lot of inspiration from the comics, but their origins are a little different. In the comics, Bucky was a young kid and sidekick character when he and Steve fought together in World War II. It was not until Bucky’s resurrection in The Winter Soldier storyline that they were closer to being equals. In the MCU, however, they’ve been friends since childhood, long before Steve became Captain America, and share a strong bond riddled with chemistry. It’s that chemistry and rich backstory that makes this ship so compelling. Unfortunately, within the MCU, this ship’s opportunity to become canon has passed thanks to Steve ‘ending in Avengers: Endgame.

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Sam Wilson / Bucky Barnes AKA SamBucky

Bucky and Sam bonding on the boat from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Bucky Barnes may still have a chance with Captain America within the MCU. Sam Wilson has taken up the shield and the title of Captain America. Like his predecessor, Sam has great chemistry with Bucky Barnes. Their relationship in comics is technically platonic, but there’s chemistry there as well, especially after the death of Steve Rogers. They could be a great example of “enemies to lovers” that is so popular in fanfiction and popular culture in general. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier Sam suggested that Bucky may be beyond saving, but by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier they two are drinking beer and refurbishing a fishing boat together. Their relationship is poised to move to the next level given the right opportunity.

Clint Barton / Natasha Romanoff AKA Clintasha

Again another ship that can not actually become canon in the MCU, but really should have. As sweet as Clint’s family is when they’ve appeared in the franchise, there was just something so compelling about these two original Avengers. They have been a canon couple in the comics, and most fans thought their canonization would be the logical next step considering their shared history and obvious closeness in The Avengers. Instead, Clint was revealed to have a secret family and Natasha developed feelings for Bruce Banner.

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While Carol and Maria’s relationship is technically platonic in the MCU, and not part of the comics at all, there is room for interpretation that their relationship may be something more than just friends. In Captain Marvel, it’s established that Maria is a single mother and Carol is a central figure in her life with her daughter, Monica. In WandaVision, it’s hinted that Monica has some complicated feelings about Carol; there’s potential that the reason behind this resentment is because Carol broke Monica’s heart by never coming back after the events of Captain Marvel. The Marvels will likely explore Monica and Carol’s relationship and could provide the opportunity to canonize Maria and Carol, which would be a significant instance of queer women representation in the MCU.

Valkyrie / Captain Marvel AKA Valcarol

Captain Marvel Valkyrie

Valkyrie is apparently going to be openly queer in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, after a scene blatantly canonizing her sexuality in Thor: Ragnarok was cut. One of Valkyrie’s most popular ship pairings is with Carol Danvers. Adding fuel to this ship’s popularity are Valkyrie and Carol actresses Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson, respectively. Additionally, there have been recent rumors that Valkyrie will actually appear in The Marvels, which could be an opportunity to canonize this relationship in the MCU. This ship is popular within the fanbase, and there genuinely seems like there is an easy way to introduce the pair in the upcoming films.

Sam Wilson / Sharon Carter AKA SamSharon

Sam Wilson is now Captain America in the MCU, and Sharon Carter is operating as the Power Broker. Those aliases put them in opposition to each other, but personally, as Sam and Sharon, they have a connection and a shared history. A relationship in their personal lives while their superhero aliases oppose each other could introduce an interesting dynamic into the franchise. It would be similar to the iconic relationship between Batman and Catwoman that has been so popular for so long. A Sam / Sharon pairing would be a way to reinvigorate the sometimes stale executions of romance plots in superhero movies, which often run the risk of being clich├ęd, underwritten, or, worst of all, boring.

KEEP READING: Marvel’s Best Superhero Marriage Will Tragically Never Happen in the MCU … Or Will It?

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