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Ship Sinking / Comic Books

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  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
  • Spider-Girl:
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    • There was huge May/Brad shipping. At least until she discovered he hates mutants and people with superpowers. From this time she can't even stand five minutes near him. Tom DeFalco was playing Will They or Won't They? for years, and sunk it in one issue. And it worked!
    • Normie's marriage to the Romantic False Lead killed the then-Fan-Preferred Couple Normie Osborn and May, after years of Ship Tease.
  • Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in the comics based on the DCAU - Ivy crashing the Joker and Harley's wedding leads Harley to dissolve their friendship once and for all. And in Gotham City Sirens #24 the Les Yay between Harley and Ivy is acknowledged and weaponized by Harley against Ivy when Ivy tries to "save" Harley from the Joker's influence. Near the end of the issue, Selina turns on Ivy as payback for one of Ivy's attacks in the past.
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  • Green Lantern storyline Blackest Night sinks Kyle Rayner/Donna Troy, with both Kyle and Donna taking great pains to explain to Jade how utterly not interested in each other they are. It was case of Biting-the-Hand Humor since an editorial mandate around the time of Countdown to Final Crisis wanted them as a couple, sinking their ships at the time to make it happen.
  • X-Men:
    • The Cyclops/Jean/Wolverine Love Triangle has had this happen to it dozens of times, usually due to Jean picking Scott over Logan or one of them getting killed. Though there's always a Shipper on Deck like Mr Sinister for Scott/Jean who attempts to bring them together via resurrection before continuity or writers rip them apart. Scott had done this way more times, sinking his relationships with Madeleine Pryor and Emma Frost due Evil Twin heel turns or being dead.
    • Wolverine/Mariko Yashida's relationship ended tragically not only does Mastermind throw the spanner on the works by using his powers to make Mariko call off the wedding, then Mariko was poisoned by Tsurayaba and to avoid a painful death she asked Wolverine to end her suffering which he did. There were many Manly Tears.
    • Avengers vs. X-Men has two of these: Black Panther and Storm, Rogue and Magneto.
      • Storm's relationship with Black Panther ending was especially tragic as fans mostly liked it since it's inception. However thanks to massive damage and body count in Wakanda because of the Phoenix Force and the part the X-Men played in the slaughter, Black Panther annuls their marriage and tells Storm she isn't welcome in Wakanda. A fight ensures, and it ends very bitterly with some tear jerking flash backs to happier times.
      • A more bittersweet example is when Magneto proposes to Rogue after they save some civilians from a evil Phoenix Forced-influenced Cyclops, Rogue takes the ring but after spending the night and a rescue mission together Rogue gently turn down Magneto's proposal.
    • Subverted with Gambit and Rogue as similar to Magneto, Rogue leaving Gambit in Antarctica after sleeping with him appeared to be end of their relationship as the writers and good chunk of the readers assumed. While it did leave its mark, the relationship eventually recovered and both characters seem perfectly content to forget it ever happened.
    • In Ultimate X-Men, the Nightcrawler/Colossus ship was brutally sunk when it was revealed in issue #67 that despite being persecuted for being a blue demonic mutant and otherwise being one of the purest nicest guys on the team, Nightcrawler is suddenly a homophobe with a creepy obsession with Dazzler.
    • Monet & Sabretooth is a more subtle case. They have an overt Ship Tease during Uncanny X-Men (2015) and Weapon X (2017). Numerous characters, consisting of Psylocke, Callisto, Emplate, Deathstrike, Domino, Deadpool, and Omega Red, believing they have feelings for each other. The ship not only sinks, but is brutally shot down when Creed's inversion is undone the final issue of Weapon X. He's now sided with the Malekith during the War of the Realms and has plans to exact bloody revenge on the X-Men. So needless to say, anything he may or could have had with Monet is over. Sadly, Monet is in the dark on his reversion & was last seen wondering what became of him.
    • In the mainline Marvel Universe, Jim Shooter wrote a romantic sublot for Colossus in the middle of Secret Wars (1984) for the express purpose of finally putting an end to the Kitty/Colossus relationship, a longstanding point of complaint by Shooter (for good reason — his concern was not with the relationship itself, but with the fact that Kitty was at the time 14 and Colossus was 19, and so was concerned with reasonable worries about how the relationship would be perceived by the readers.) The followup issue of Uncanny X-Men was Claremont taking the plotline and running with it. Despite this, Joss Whedon tried to bring the relationship back during his Astonishing X-Men run. At that point, Kitty was an adult so the age wasn't a problem anymore.
    • In X-Men Forever, Kitty starts to have romantic feelings for Gambit. Gambit turns her down, pointing out that at the time this is going on, she is going through a massive amount of mental and physical trauma concerning her assimilation of Wolverine's claw and powers, and that she is not thinking straight.
    • In X-Men: Gold #29 and #30, it's seem like Colossus and Kitty are finally, finally getting hitched but when Colossus tries to put the ring on her... it doesn't work out. Despite genuinely loving Colossus, Kitty can't form a commitment after such a turbulent history, thus making any reunion unlikely any time soon.. But for Gambit and Rogue, on the other hand, uncertainty and turmoil ironically is the basis for their relationship in the first place, so they decide not let the reception go to waste and get married with Kitty and Colossus' blessing.
  • Teen Titans:
    • The New Titans run plays with Terra II and Damage having feelings for each other, but sinks the ship by the end of the series with Damage feeling too put upon by Terra. Terra II also has feelings for Beast Boy, but he rejects her advances due to her resembling the original girl who betrayed him. Meanwhile, in the same run, any chances of Gar continuing to be paired off with his non-superhero girlfriend Jillian are sunk (and Jillian vanishs forever) after Terra II gets into a catfight with her and threatens her life to "stay away".
    • Wonder Girl and Superboy were the Official Couple throughout most of volume 3, but after Kon died for a time, Adam Beechen and Sean McKeever both had the intent of a Robin/Wonder Girl pairing... which wound up sunk itself and not lasting long. Kon then returned from the dead, but the Superboy/Wonder Girl ship wound up sunk when they broke up in J.T. Krul's run.
  • Robin (Tim Drake) and Secret from the Young Justice comic. Robin/Secret fans kept on sending letters to the editor about how they want them to end up together, despite the fact that Robin was never interested in any of his female team members and it looked like Secret's crush was unrequited. Finally, Peter David addressed the 'pairing' in issue #30, where Secret finds out about Robin's girlfriend Stephanie Brown, stalks her back to her house and attacks her in a jealous rage. After that, Robin kept being oblivious to Secret's feelings for him and she ended up being unstable and went over the dark side in the last few issues — which resulted in her attacking Stephanie for the second time.
  • Marvel has attempted to break up Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson many times even before they got married:
    • Originally Mary Jane was introduced as a girl that Aunt May believed would be good for Peter but which Peter refused because he thought she couldn't be cool if old stodgy Aunt May knew her. Later issues had her appear as The Faceless but context details confirmed that she was incredibly beautiful based on the reactions of other characters. By the time she made her first appearance, and got a design that audiences loved at once, Lee-Romita felt they needed to go in a new direction and tried to make Gwen the Love Interest but audiences gravitated to Mary Jane who Peter dated for a few issues. So Stan Lee decided to have Peter call her irresponsible and so on, and then had her Put on a Bus with a ridiculous hairstyle in later issues and so on. The romance of Peter and Gwen in the meantime was unpopular, and ultimately Gerry Conway killed off Gwen and made Peter and MJ a couple.
    • Marv Wolfman got tired of the Peter/MJ romance that had been going strong for more than fifty issues at that point and saw fit to break it up. He decided to have Peter propose to her and have Mary Jane reject him, which he believed would make readers unsympathetic to her. Of course readers felt that Peter proposed in a cheap way (leaving a ring in a cracker box) in Issue #182-183, and Wolfman himself provided Mary Jane a compelling Freudian Excuse (revealing that her parents were divorced) in Issue #191-192, after which she was Put on a Bus. How did that work out? Well exactly 100 issues later she said yes, and got married to him.
    • Roger Stern, a writer who liked Mary Jane as a character but didn't think she and Peter were compatible, reintroduced her as a friend in Issue #242 and set up a backstory for her about a broken home and an abandoned sister which hinted at guilt and regrets, as well as family loss. After he left, his basic outline (Mary Jane had known Peter was Spider-Man, her childhood had given her baggage and that her public persona was a mask) was repurposed by Tom Defalco in Issue #258-260, and this started a new period where they became best friends and confidants, with Mary Jane now proving to be a Foil for Peter and Spider-Man in having a double life, and this ultimately made them far more compatible than they would have been without this backstory. And in less than 50 issues they got married.
    • After they got married, writers came up with bizarre plans since now sinking the ship meant either divorcing them (which made Spider-Man look bad as a family friendly character and also aged him), widowing Peter (which meant making him a Failure Hero on such a level that no one could buy him being a quipster or dating again after losing the love-of-his-life, and also aging him). So they tried byzantine plots like The Clone Saga, where Peter 'retired' as Spider-Man so that his clone Ben Reilly could take over as the main character. After Ben's death and Peter's return, they tried killing MJ in a plane crash, then had her return but separate from Peter, but it didn't stick as the two patched up their relationship. Then the infamous One More Day storyline broke them up for well over a decade, albeit the manner in which it was done immortalized the pairing since EIC Quesada admitted that he couldn't find any real in-story way to end the relationship that made sense with the characters and backstory and felt it was a corporate decision to keep Spider-Man a Kid-Appeal Character.
    • In the Post-OMD era, they tried to sink the ship by simply refusing to let it sail. Much time was spent keeping MJ out of the books, having both her and Peter in different relationships, neither of which were compelling or charismatic enough to replace the earlier one. Instead attempts were made to Ship Tease them to bring readers in, only to Bait-and-Switch it with gimmicky storylines. Dan Slott's run had Peter's then girlfriend Carlie Cooper and Mary Jane in the wake of Superior Spider-Man abandon Peter agreeing that the price was too high to be in a relationship with him. Mary Jane transferred over to the Iron Man books and has only sparingly interacted with Peter since, with their relationship routinely jumping from friendly (Chip Zdarsky) to tense (Slott) Depending on the Writer. After Slott left Nick Spencer's Spider-Man brought them back together.
    • The major problem with sinking the ship is that Mary Jane is Peter's major love interest in most adaptations and in alternate versions such as the Newspaper Strip, the Ultimate Spider-Man titles and she is also the mother of Spider-Girl, Marvel's longest running title for any female character. So popular are they that writer Dan Slott revived them in the alt reality family title Renew Your Vows which sold incredibly well and started a series. In other words, there are rarely any long gaps without some version of Peter and MJ either married or in a romance in some Spider-Man comic or the other.
  • After the second Book of the Anathos Cycle in Les Légendaires, fans started elaborating hypothesis about Anathos not being as evil as it seems and assuming he might have feelings for his female Dragon Dark Jadina (to be fair, most villains in this series are subject to Even Evil Has Loved Ones, so it might have been partially justified). The author quickly sank the shipping in the next book by revealing Dark Jadina was indeed kinda Anathos' Dark Mistress... only to have him killing her in cold blood after she failed to defeat Jadina.
  • Runaways:
    • Every new creative team since Vaughn and Alphona's departure from the series has made sure to sink at least one ship during their run. Joss Whedon sank both Nico/Victor by having Nico willingly step aside to let Victor pursue Lillie McGurty, and put a good-sized hole in Nico/Karolina when Karolina tells Nico that Xavin "gives me something you can't."
    • Later, Terry Moore all but obliterated Karolina/Xavin by having Xavin take Karolina's place when she was accused of war crimes.
    • Kathryn Immonen apparently tried to sink Nico/Chase by having Chase get hit by a car after possibly running into Gert, but then the series was cancelled. Nico/Karolina took another broadside, after the Runaways appeared in Avengers Academy, which led to Karolina hooking up with Julie Power.
  • An issue of Hawkeye seems to do this to all three of his most prominent romantic relationships: he cheats on Jessica who breaks up with him, finally signs divorce papers for his marriage with Bobbi, and Natasha is thought of as his work wife.
  • Superman:
    • During the New 52 reboot, DC tried to sink Superman and Lois Lane. It started off with pairing Lois with Jonathan Carroll or trying to set Clark up with her sister, and then Superman dating Wonder Woman. The torpedo, however seemed to have been launched when Lois reveals to the public that Clark is really Superman, but then they went and and fired a second torpedo towards Wonder Woman. Finally, DC threw their hands up and retconned the whole Superman/Wonder Woman's ship out during the DC Rebirth reboot, at the same time restoring the Clark/Lois' marriage.
    • Supergirl/Brainiac 5 ship was temporarily sunk in The '80s when Kara decides to quit the Legion and return to the 20th century. Although she promises to go back, she's killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths shortly after.
    • Formerly, The Unknown Supergirl sank Supergirl/Jerro. Jerro the Merboy -correctly- guesses Kara'll be too busy for romance after becoming a public hero, meaning he has lost his chance.
    • The Conner Kent and Cassie Sandsmark pairing was officially sunk in Brian Michael Bendis run of Young Justice (2019) by revealing that Conner is a married man and farmer with a wife and son on Gemworld.
  • Batman and Catwoman despite having a year's worth of wedding bells were hit with a Shipping Torpedo by Tom King, as Selina fearing marrying Bruce would negate his role as Batman, leaves him at the altar. The fan response was "indisposed" to say the least, even the In-Universe justification of Rogues Gallery planning the Ship Sinking of Batman-Catwoman didn't mollify fans in the slightest. By the end of City of Bane, however, the ship rose from its grave.
  • A fandom favorite in Marvel Comics were between Robbie Reyes, the All-New Ghost Rider, and Kamala Khan, the All-New Ms. Marvel, even though they never met. The Secret Wars (2015) one-shot Secret Love finally makes this both Ascended Fanon and this trope when the two team up and Kamala proceeds to declare them "Crossover Besties 4 Lyfe!", much to the relief of their canon love interests.
  • Sonic the Comic:
    • Word of God is that Johnny Lightfoot had a crush on Amy. Any chance of this ever becoming requited was decimated when Johnny was Killed Off for Real.
    • The "End: Sonic" issue of Sonic the Comic – Online! was written by one of the original comic's writers and is at minimum semi-canon. It sunk both Sonic/Amy and Shortfuse/Tekno by revealing that Amy and Tekno are together and have a son named "Johnny".
  • In the early days of W.I.T.C.H., one of the popular pairings was Cornelia and Caleb, which ended up getting sunk after the Nerissa arc with Caleb opting to stay on Kandrakar. Fans were upset at this, especially with a What If? special that proclaimed on no certain terms that the two together would never last. While Cornelia would end up with Taranee's brother later on, the cartoon would keep the two together.
  • Double Duck: The Wham Episode "Reboot" has Kay forced back to being a thief by the criminally incompetent Direction, and Donald arrests her.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Light Lass (Ayla Ranzz) and Timber Wolf (Brin Londo) were sunk during The Great Darkness Saga. Ayla gets sick of being a Legionnaire so she decides to quit the team. Brin is given the option to go with her, but he chooses not to. Ayla'd eventually rejoin the Legion, but she and Brin would never get back together.
  • All-New, All-Different Avengers:
    • Despite the Ship Tease below, nothing seems to be happening between Cap and Thor. After Cap found out she is Jane Foster, she essentially told him that they won't be able to have any relationship, as she's a cancer patient. And in Cap's own comic, he starts a relationship with Misty Knight.
    • In-universe, Kamala furiously attempts to torpedo a Fan Fiction featuring a love triangle involving herself, Spidey and Nova.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, any chance of Scott getting back together with Knives was shot down when he tried kissing her after his break-up with Ramona and the kiss was so awful that the narration said it "made everyone feel terrible. Including you", the latter part reading like a Breaking the Fourth Wall jab at readers who were still hoping for a Scott/Knives reunion despite the comic having constantly portrayed Knives' feelings for Scott as an unhealthy obsession over a boy who never liked her all that much that she needed to move on from.
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