Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe saw the debut of some important characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and more, who all still play a huge role in the franchise today. Of course, like every other phase of the MCU, these characters were often at their best when they got to work as a duo.
For example, the Guardians are a team together but splitting them up into pairs of two has led to some great moments. Many of these duos not only helped make Phase Two what it was but have also become some of the most iconic pairings in any superhero film.
Pepper Potts & Tony Stark
Every era of the MCU has seen the Pepper and Tony relationship as a key cog. That being said, they were at their least prominent in Phase Two, simply because they weren’t around as a duo for most of it. After appearing in half of Phase One together, they only share the screen in one film here.
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They were at the forefront of Iron Man 3 though, with Tony showing his desperation to save the one thing he can’t live without, which is Pepper. She also got to step into the role of hero for once, saving Tony’s life at the end of the movie.
Bruce Banner & Natasha Romanoff
After first coming together in The Avengers when Natasha helped recruit Bruce to the team, the relationship between Black Widow and the Hulk grew exponentially in Phase Two even if it was only a focal point in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Right from the start, Natasha is shown to be the person capable of getting Hulk to calm down and turn back into Bruce Banner. They strike up an unexpected romance that lacked the chemistry of other MCU couples. Still, their bond is associated with this time period in the MCU, especially since they didn’t interact much afterward.
Hope Van Dyne & Scott Lang
The final entry in Phase Two is Ant-Man, which marks the on-screen debut of Scott and Hope. At first, Hope was antagonistic toward Scott but only because she believed she should be the one to don the Ant-Man suit and be the hero.
The two ultimately came together to work as a team to the point where Hope trained Scott to be great. Their scenes together were always a blast as well. They also developed romantic feelings for each other that ended up making them a beloved couple within the MCU.
Sam Wilson & Steve Rogers
Everyone knows that Steve Rogers’s best friend is Bucky Barnes but a new modern-day equivalent of sorts arrived in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Steve bonded with Sam Wilson over their shared experiences and when Steve needed to lay low, Sam was there to help.
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Sam proved himself to be incredibly loyal to Steve, helping him in the fight against Hydra even if he was severely overmatched more often than not. In Age of Ultron, Sam also showed up with a quick report that explained how he and Steve were still trying to track down Bucky as a team.
Pietro & Wanda Maximoff
Introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier before officially showing up in Age of Ultron, the Maximoff twins began things as villains. They worked alongside Ultron in his quest to eradicate the Avengers as a way to get revenge on Stark Industries.
When they learned of Ultron’s plan to cause an extinction-level event though, Wanda and Pietro switched sides. Their bond sadly only lasted one film as Pietro was killed off but the film did a strong job of showcasing their relationship. Pietro’s death also set up Wanda’s tragic future in the MCU.
Loki & Thor
In Phase One, Loki and Thor were vital to the MCU throughout Thor’s solo film and considering Loki’s role as the villain in The Avengers. Their scenes together in Thor: The Dark World dealt with the aftermath of what Loki pulled off in New York.
Loki was put in prison in Asgard before inadvertently causing the death of his own mother. That led to some of the most emotional scenes involving Loki and he went on work with Thor as a team for the first time in the MCU. He “sacrificed” himself for Thor in a moment everyone remembers, even if the sequel isn’t held in high regard.
Gamora & Star-Lord
The release of Guardians of the Galaxy proved that the MCU could turn pretty much anything into a hit. The D-level comic book heroes weren’t household names but the film was a huge success and the characters are now beloved. At the forefront of the group are Gamora and Star-Lord.
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Their romance is hinted at in the 2014 film but they are a great pair for much more than that. They ultimately act as the leaders of this ragtag team, playing well off of each other, and using their opposite personalities in an entertaining fashion. It was the start of another important MCU pairing.
Natasha Romanoff & Steve Rogers
In a lot of ways, Natasha is kind of the most important piece of the MCU. She has relationships with various members of the Avengers that are all crucial from Bruce Banner and Clint Barton to Yelena Belova and of course, Steve Rogers.
Though they first met in The Avengers, it was in The Winter Soldier that they truly became friends. Natasha is the second lead of the film, always by Steve’s side after earning his trust amid a web of lies all around him. This film cemented their bond which was pivotal for years through Natasha’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.
Groot & Rocket Raccoon
Although Gamora and Star-Lord come across as the leaders of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the most memorable pair from the team is likely Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Unlike the other members, Rocket and Groot were already together when the movie started.
Their friendship is unusual but it captivates the audience. Rocket is the only person who can understand Groot at this point and it’s through him that the audience comes to know the character. They’re among the most beloved friends to ever appear in the MCU and some fans even ship them together.
Bucky Barnes & Steve Rogers
Speaking of friends the audience loves, Bucky and Steve are iconic together. Steve was a man out of time in Captain America: The Winter Soldier who had lost basically every connection to his past life. That all changed when he discovered that Bucky was still alive and working as the Winter Soldier.
Despite the threat that Bucky posed, Steve refused to give up on his friend. Even when Bucky was prepared to kill Steve, he didn’t fight back because he was with his friend to the end of the line. It triggered something in Bucky that led him to save Steve, furthering themselves as a great duo.
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Born in New York City, Kevin eventually went on to attain his Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University as Valedictorian. He has written in the past for various websites covering movies, TV, pop culture, sports, and wrestling. You can always find him on his Twitter, @the_kevstaaa.
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