Happily Ever After?
After reading Mr. Gone's articles on cartoon love. I was, well, inspired. I was reminded of all the great couples I encountered over the course of my Saturday Morning/Animated Series/Comic Book/Video game enjoyment. Every time I watched their shows, read their books or played their games, I always hoped these couples would get just a little closer together and, in the end, despite adversity and series cancellation, they would live happily ever after.
So, here they are--my mighty 20--in no particular order.
1. Mark and Princess from Battle of the Planets
My memory of the Battle of the Planets series is so faded now, I only remember a few things. I had a huge crush on Princess and Mark was the coolest of them all. So, somewhere in the back of my six-year-old mind I figured, if I could not have her then only Mark could. Besides, if I recall correctly, Princess had a crush on Mark anyway. I also vaguely remember a BOTP two-part episode where Princess was trapped inside some kind of plant thing and I hoped and prayed Mark would get her out and fast. Let's hope they flew off together in The Phoenix (one of the easiest spaceships to build with LEGO) to some remote spot and are making out under the warm soft feathers of their avian attire, with just the right amount of G-force.
2. Captain N and Princess Lana from Captain N: The Game Master
Princess Lana was every NES owner's dream girl and the possibility you could meet her just by becoming the best NES player in the world was the reason many of us played so darn hard. But, for all our efforts, only one terrific teen came out on top: Kevin Keene. This was just as well as many of us would have shot the versions of Mega-Man and Kid Icarus in this series with our power pistols for attaching "mega" and "icus" to all their sentences. The episode that fired me up the most in the Captain N series was in the first season (I think). Mother Brain brought the school yard bully that used to beat up Kevin to Videoland to be her game master. During a battle the bully hits his power pad's pause button. Then, while the entire N-team is held in place, he goes and puts his arm around Lana and exclaims. "See, Kevin. I even got your girl, just like in highschool." And all Kevin can do is stand there in helpless power-paused anguish. "Hands off, buddy! That's Kev's woman!" I remember shouting. Let's hope that despite Captain N's cancellation, our favourite Videoland couple are somewhere playing Doctor...um... I meant Dr. Mario. Yeah, that's it. What were you thinking?!
3. Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter
While CAPCOM has never officially made a move to put these two world warriors together, there are thousands of Manga comics and fan-fics out there, tasteful and not so tasteful, that have tried. There are also alot of fans that wish these two fireball throwers (Hadoken! Kikoken!) would finally declare their love for each other. A website called Ryu and Chun-Li Forever posts and boasts a fanfic that fulfills several fan fantasies regarding these two warriors and is a good read to boot--although I thought the characterization of Ken was rather one-dimensional. The now defunct Street Fighter RPG from White Wolf mentioned and unspoken attraction between the two. There's even a salsa dancing couple who dressed up as Ryu and Chun-Li and performed. They are posted on the net somewhere. I've seen it. Man, the things fans will do. But, hey, as far as I'm concerned, the only man fit to have CAPCOM's queen is its king. Let's hope Ryu and Chun-Li are somewhere out there smiling at and executing a whole different set of special moves and custom combos on each other, if you know what I mean.
4. Raphael and Ninjara from ARCHIE Comics' TMNT run
I own every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic ARCHIE released, even the badly drawn special issues by some artist named LONG. This series was the first comic I collected. I even managed to get a few of my letters on the letters page. However, there is only one thing that has kept me from popping open the box I have stored these comics in and reading them all again: the fact that this couple broke up. Ninjara (real name Umeko), for those of you who don't know her, was a natural born fox lady--don't ask, long story--who, until she ran into the TMNT, was a sword for hire in a evil ninja clan. No, not The Foot this time. She ended up falling for Raphael, attracted to his tendency to dwell on the negative (as shown in the above page). The relationship was a fun read, but ultimately ended sadly. I forget exactly why. I think it was because Ninjara wanted to live with people of her own kind who she originaly thought had been wiped out. The ARCHIE TMNT series ended shortly afterward. For the final double-sized issue ARCHIE Comics, perhaps meaning well but really only succeeding in rubbing salt in the wounds of Raphael/Ninjara fans, wrote a story set a century or more in the future (what's a hundred years to a mutant turtle). In the story, Raphael had hooked up with another fox woman named Myzcal or something like that. ARCHIE got a few angry letters over this, one of them mine. They would have been better off bringing Ninjara out of Chryo-stasis or something like that. Anyway, this pairing will always hold a special place in my heart because, well, it was my first comic and, as far as I know, it was the first time any of the TMNT had a love interest (No, April does not count). Ninjara was a foxy lady to be sure. Better to have loved and lost Raphael, then to never have loved at all.
5. He-Man and Teela from Masters of the Universe
All the power of Grayskull couldn't keep any He-man series on long enough for these two to get together. Too bad really. The closest they got, again to my knowledge, was the episode "Teela's Quest" in the original Masters of the Universe series. In the last scene, He-man bashfully offers to carry Teela home after saving her from Merman and some demon the evil fish-guy tried to summon and control. If He-Man and Teela ever do finally tie the knot, I hope they let Orko be the ring boy. I always liked that little goofball.
6. Wheeler and Linka from Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Yeah, I admit it. I watched Captain Planet, but only after all my favorite shows were into reruns for the second time. However, the main reason I stayed with it was these two passionate planeteers. I seem to remember there was one episode that hinted these two not only got married in the future, but had a child. I'm probably wrong, but it's nice to think things worked out for them. It just goes to show you love can settle the differences between an American boy and a Russian girl. And don't any of you even think the words "mail-order bride"!
7. Gambit and Rouge from the pages of Marvel Comics' X-men
Why is it in a place as diverse as the Marvel Universe, with characters like the Beyonder and Silver Surfer running around, Rouge can't get the ability to control her absorption power? Gambit has been more than patient. On the upside, I think these two mutants actually made love in an issue of the X-men. I think it was in a jail cell. Rouge's powers had been temporarily nullified somehow. But, the point is, Gambit and Rogue just can't seem to find anything more permanent to do the job. Ironically, the sad truth is I know why. If MARVEL did "cure" Rogue she just wouldn't be Rouge anymore and Gambit would not be the model of patience he is today. Maybe someday their lucky card will turn up and they will finally join Cyclops and Jean Grey amongst the Marvel Universe's happily married couples.
8. Sonic the Hedgehog and Sally Acorn
Fortunately for these two, their TV series ended on a kiss amplified by a power ring--a clear and cosmic public display of affection. Last I heard, ARCHIE comics continues to keep this couple alive and well. But, once again, TV failed to go the distance. Surprising, with a character as fast as Sonic.
9. Rob and Dia from The Mighty Orbots
I blame TONKA for this one. Let me say that again. I BLAME TONKA FOR THIS ONE! Yeah, that's right, the company that makes the yellow toy construction vehicles. They had Mighty Orbots cancelled after only 13 episodes, with a court order becuase they felt it was too similar to their show The GO-BOTS. Well, news flash TONKA: IT WASN'T EVEN CLOSE TO GO-BOTS!!!! I wish Hasbro would've come down on you like you did on poor Mighty Orbots (The first joint Japan/American animation project by the way). Optimus Prime and his Autobots more than deserved the right to sue the asses off your GO-BOT Transformer wannabes. It is because of TONKA's greed and stupidity that Rob and Dia never got together. Well that and the fact that all it took was a helmet and a slight change in hairstyle to fool Dia into thinking Rob wasn't the Orbots commander. But hey, if Superman can fool a top of the line investigative reporter like Lois Lane with just a pair of glasses and a change in hairstyle, we can't be too hard on Dia, now can we.
10. Lois Lane and Superman from the Superman Animated Series
And speaking of Superman. Bruce Timm and his cronies did an excellent job of bringing Superman back to the small screen. But now, with only one season of Justice League Unlimited left to air in 2006 and no orders for another season made, it doesn't look like this Lois and Clark are going to find the hapiness many of their previous incarnations have. I hope I'm wrong.
11. Grifter and Zealot from the WILD C.A.T.S. Animated Series.
I never read WILD C.A.T.S., save an X-Men/WILD C.A.T.S. crossover series. However, I did watch the TV animated series. Like Sonic and Sally, The animated Grifter and Zealot's series ended on a kiss too. I even bought the VHS release of the final two episodes of this series to enjoy the final steps on this couple romantic journey. However, not even love and Jim Lee could save the WILD C.A.T.S. from cancelation. I bet it was some TV executive possessed by a Daemonite that made the final decision.
12. Link and Zelda from the Legend of Zelda Animated Series
Link, a selfish and often abnoxious hero indeed, spent every episode trying to get a kiss from Zelda and always came up short. But that did not mean I stopped rooting for him. I seem to remember there was an episode in this series where it looked like Link had been killed and his spirit was walking around looking to get his body back. Only Zelda could see him. Why? Because she was in love with him, a fact that Link learned in this episode much to Zelda's discomfort. Unfortunately for these two animated Nintendo icons, cancelation of their series saw to it their finally getting together remained the stuff of legend. Well, excuuuuuuse me, Princess!
13. Batman and Catwoman from the pages of DC Comics
Apparently, Catwoman had finally reformed and was working on the side of the angels. So, It was in a recent comic series called HUSH that Batman finally revealed he was Bruce Wayne to Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman. I can't tell you how long I'd been waiting for this moment. While Catwoman's reaction to the news was hardly as dramatic as I would have liked, it was the successful clearance of what I thought was the final hurdle between the two of them finally becoming a couple because, as Nightwing put it so well in the pages of HUSH,
"If she makes you happy, great. Except, every relationship you've ever had with a woman, either as as Bruce Wayne or Batman has gotten screwed up because you didn't tell her about your being either Batman or Bruce. My point is, tell her. You've known each other so long, she probably already knows."
And a relationship did begin! Batman took Catwoman to the Batcave and the two of them worked together to help discover the identity of HUSH, the series villain. There were several kisses shared between the two and Batman looked Catwoman right in the eys and told her he trusted her. But then, in one page, Batman's paranoia, that is, his belief that there is no such thing as coincidence, ended it all. Lets hope Batman gets his cowl on straight someday and realizes how much of a mistake he made letting Catwoman get away before it is too late because, when all is said and done, only THE CAT is right for THE BAT.
14. Batman and Wonder Woman from Justice League and Justice Leage Unlimited
Now, while the DC comics Batman should only have eyes for Catwoman, my feeling about the perfect partner for the beloved animated Dark Knight voiced by Kevin Conroy is a far more Wonder-ful choice. Batman and Wonder Woman, who'd a thunk it? Yes, we have the brillaint Bruce Timm and his cronies to thank for these two characters trying to become more than superfriends. Now according to Batman Beyond, this relationship didn not work out and the only girl in the animated universe this Batman ended up scoring with was Batgirl. However, let's hope, despite Batman Beyond's success, Batman Beyond is only one possible future and that perhaps another will be written where Batman and Wonder Woman end up together, even though she is an immortal Amazon Princess and he's a rich kid with issues, lots of issues.
15. Wolverine and Storm from the pages of Marvel Comics' X-men and the 90's X-men Animated series
I've heard that this mutant pairing will show its stuff in the third and final instalment of the X-Men live action movies as well. It was in an episode of the 90's X-men animated series that I first came across the concept of the Ol' Kanucklehead and the Windrider getting together. The episode was called: One Man's Worth. In it, Bishop travels to a time where Wolvie and Storm are married, rings and all. During my meager research for this article, I've seen some indication the comics have tried to bring these two X-men together too. I hope so. Wolverine and Storm. Wow, what a cool combination. Snikit! Kraka-boom!
16. Hercules and Megara from Disney's Hercules
Hercules is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time and Herc and Meg are my favorite Disney couple. We know they lived hapily ever after. Until this movie, all the animated Disney movie ladies seemed like carbon copies of one another, just different hair and dfferent songs. Megara may not have been a Disney Princess, but with her wit and charm she ruled them all. Hercules was lucky to have her. Like Hercules said, "Without Meg, any life, even an immortal one would be--empty."
17. Silverbolt and Black Arachnia from Transformers:Beast Wars
This robotic romance was a good-boy bad-girl pairing that turned the whole Transformers world upside down and kept us glued to our seats as the Maximals and Predicons locked horns. This couple is one that I'll always remember because it was a true example of how opposites attract.
18. Fireball and April from Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
I really enjoyed this show when it was on the air, especially its cool theme song. However, like my memory of Battle of the Planets, my memory of Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs is vague. I do remember once scene between this couple though that's stayed with me through the years. They were on the beach together taking rest leave. Fireball is his trunks and April in an attractive one-piece bathing suit. Fireball moved in to kiss April, she closed her eyes and waited. As he got closer she suddenly threw a small handful of sand in his face and then she ran off laughing playfully. Fireball recovered and chased after her laughing and spitting out sand at the same time.
19. Cybersix and Lucas Amato
I only saw a few episodes of this anime on TV. But, I really liked what I saw, especially the great song for the end credits. During the credits we see a romantic scene: Cybersix comes in through Lucas' window. She is either wounded or exhausted and Lucas takes her in his arms. She is tearful, so happy to see him. She looks like she was so afraid she would never see him again. He wipes away her tears and kisses her. Combined with the music it is really a very touching scene. I wish I'd actually seen the episode to which it belonged. I wonder if Lucas knew by then that Cybersix had been disgusing herself as a male teacher at his school and had been working with him all this time.
20. Goliath and Eliza Maza from Disney's Gargoyles
And now, as my last great couple, I offer you Goliath and Eliza Maza. Not becuase I think they are the best. They are just simply the last couple I decided to write about. This article isn't about popularity, after all. Anyway, who thought Disney could create a TV series as good and gritty as Gargoyles?! It was "Beauty and the Beast" all over again with The Star Trek: The Next Generation cast providing most of the voices and I loved every second. Sure, Eliza and Goliath may have been from two different species, but it wasn't like they were from two different worlds. Am I right? I really though these two had a chance of making it all the way because, after all, Disney is a strong advocate of happy endings and "Love conquers all." But even Disney's magic couldn't finish the job. Thank goodness we have fan-fiction writers out there to pick up where Disney left off.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this romantic romp into my entertainment past--a lobour of love. I am sure some of you are thinking now: "Wow, what a great article!" and others are thinking. "Oh my god! This freak needs to get out more!" But, either way, you read something I really enjoyed writing and am glad to share. I thank RetroJunk for the opportunity.