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Ship To Ship Combat / Comic Books

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  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • During the time when Sonic was trying to decide between Mina and Sally, there were flame wars over which was better for him. Things died down a bit when Mina got her own boyfriend and Sonic and Sally got engaged. (Of course, then they went and broke the engagement off...) The fact that Sally was going through her Chickification didn't help, and resulted in numerous hate pages dedicated to what a horrible bitch she was while Mina was clearly the only girl for Sonic. The shipping wars resulted in the Sonic/Sally pairing being discontinued after the comic went through its reboot... and Mina to be Retgone as well.
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    • To a lesser extent, Knuckles and Julie-Su were going well in their relationship, and then Rouge came along to make it a love triangle. The fandom are pretty spilt on who makes a better girlfriend for the red echidna. Unfortunately, poor Julie-Su was banished to another world by the Tasmanian Devil Thrash and then both of them were Retgone less than 20 stories later...
  • The British counterpart to Archie's Sonic, Sonic the Comic, has some mild ship-to-ship combat. It mostly centers around Amy's and Tekno's Romantic Two-Girl Friendship versus Shortfuse's and Tekno's relationship. Word of God is Tekno and Shortfuse have a "thing" for each other, though it wasn't shown much in the comics (the fan-continuation tries to make up for it with mixed results). Shortfuse is The Scrappy due to his annoying insistence of saying his backstory everytime he appeared, and there was already a train of thought in the fandom that Amy and Tekno were "too" friendly. For the most part, ship-to-ship combat is subverted in the fandom. Even though Word of God is that Johnny Lightfoot likes Amy, Sonic/Amy fans don't care. This could because Amy's crush on Sonic was dialed down extremely to almost nonexistent extents (bar Characterization Marches On) and the fact that Johnny was Killed Off for Real.
  • Who should Dick Grayson end up with, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) or Koriand'r (Starfire)? The divide seems to mainly come from comic fans who consider Nightwing as primarily a Batman character favouring the former and fans who consider him primarily a Teen Titans character favouring the latter – adaptations of each tend to pair him up accordingly. The comics, of course, have writers with their own biases Running the Asylum and promoting their own pet pairing while derailing the other. Amazingly, Convergence managed to satisfy both sides by having Pre-Crisis Dick marry Kori and Pre-Flashpoint Dick marry Babs.
    • During the late 90s, the writers of the Bat office were having their own ship war regarding Nightwing/Oracle vs. Nightwing/Huntress. Chuck Dixon had been setting up a Dick and Barbara relationship, only for that ship to get derailed when Devin Grayson wrote her Nightwing/Huntress mini-series in which Barbara reacted jealously to Dick and Helena having a one-night stand. Later on, Dixon seemingly retaliated by having Dick say that he wished he stayed away from Helena in the first place. This eventually culminated in the No Man's Land storyline, in which Dick and Barbara had seemed to start their relationship, only for Dick to kiss Helena on New Year's.
    • There's still a Terra/Beast Boy vs Raven/Beast Boy war, that was first fueled mainly by Terra 2 and the fans of the cartoon who came to enjoy the comics. Terra 2 was later killed off as cannon fodder in an event, but the wars continued when DC brought out a third version of the character (albeit one not very connected to Beast Boy or the Titans). The second and third Terras have since been erased by the New 52 reboot, in which only the first one now exists as an active character. As she's partnered off with Beast Boy, ship wars have started anew. Even more so after Beast Boy winds up separated from that Terra and winds up brought to the Titans by the New 52 version of Raven.
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    • Post-Flashpoint, there's a fan following who prefer Dick's Unresolved Sexual Tension with the new version of Helena Bertinelli over the Will They or Won't They? relationship he has with Babs, in addition to the fans who want him to leave Gotham entirely and get back together with Starfire and lead the Titans again (overlapping with the Fandom Rivalry between the Titans fandom and the Batman fandom).
  • There's also Batman/Catwoman vs. Batman/Wonder Woman. While they don't have the above Armed with Canon combat among those Running the Asylum, this is more than made up for by the fact that Batman/Wonder Woman has far more support from the DCAU than the main DC comicsverse, and so the combat is fraught with a degree of Alternate Character Interpretation.
    • Actually thanks to Tom King’s Batman #39 Bruce and Diana’s UST from the cartoon became canon in the main continuity as Batman (whose engaged to Selina) has an Almost Kiss with Wonder Woman to the ire of Batman/Catwoman shippers. After Selina left Bruce at the altar in Batman #50, Batman/Wonder Woman fans were quick to tear Catwoman a new one.
  • Superman and Lois Lane are a watershed fictional couple in popular culture, so in-and-of-itself the New 52 reboot turning back the clock so they were just friends drew some ire, but then pairing him with Wonder Woman it hit a certain Berserk Button for many fans.
    • Before that, there was a component of fandom who seemed to prefer Lana Lang as Superman's love interest, though it seems to have been localized into Fan Fic. Except that Man of Steel (the comic, not the movie) mastermind John Byrne actually said he wished he could have had Superman and Lana end up together.
  • There is a great deal of tension between those who ship Harley Quinn and The Joker and those who, well, don't. At all. Because their relationship is psychotic and abusive. Those who do ship the pair argue that shipping a pairing is not the same thing as condoning it. On actual ships, there is a thick tension between Joker/Harley and Ivy/Harley fans.
  • Carlie Cooper is not popular with supporters of the Spider-Man/Mary Jane pairing (of course Carlie is not really popular with any of the fans in general). It seems to go only one way, though, since Carlie doesn't have as established a fanbase yet.
    • The ever impressive, the long contained, often imitated, but never duplicated: Spidey/MJ vs Spidey/Gwen. Usually, Spidey/Gwen is spared by the others due to her death, but the Spidey/Gwen fans seem to just plain hate Spidey/MJ for happening, since it's been cited openly by Gerry Conway as the reason for Gwen's death. Gwen was boring to the writers and was generally unpopular with most of the regular readers (except for the vocal fanboys who read the comics near the end of the run and decided that Gwen was Peter's true love). MJ/Spidey fans tend to be respectful to Gwen though they also roll their eyes at Spidey/Gwen shippers by pointing out that Gwen was the Designated Love Interest whose personality kept shifting multiple times before her death (starting out as an Alpha Bitch under Ditko and then being softened into a whiny Daddy's Girl twenty issues later) and that Lee and Romita Sr. largely shilled her by downplaying and denigrating the scene-stealing MJ, and giving Gwen aspects based on her and more recent fans point out that if not for her death, Gwen would probably be remembered as the Carlie Cooper of her day, as Conway has repeatedly pointed out though not in so many words. However, after OMD, many MJ fans have bonded with Gwen fans, feeling that killing Gwen in a classic story was nonetheless the Franchise Original Sin of the series and many have called for Gwen to return if only to bring back the classic love triangle and to allow somewhere down the line a chance for Peter and MJ to have a relationship without Gwen's death between them.
    • Don't forget Spidey/MJ Vs. Spidey/Black Cat either which was the love triangle that played in pages and between writers until Peter and MJ finally married much to the anger and vengeance of Peter/Felicia shippers. Unlike the Gwen-MJ triangle that was entirely about Peter, the second one was about both Peter and Spider-Man. Both girls knew Peter's double life and secret identity, but Felicia preferred Spider-Man over Peter Parker while MJ liked both, still preferred Peter and was afraid that eventually as Spider-Man he would get killed. Black Cat fans point out that she and Spidey would form a great Battle Couple and that she won't give grief to him about staying out later unlike MJ. MJ fans point out that Felicia is Loving a Shadow and that MJ was Peter's confidant and that she was the one Peter confessed his guilt about Uncle Ben's death, and who so loved Peter that she overcame her reluctance and made him get back as Spider-Man during one of his "Spider-Man no more" phases, and that ultimately she has more in common with him than Felicia does. The fact that after OMD, Peter and Black Cat have had Friends with Benefits encounters while writers until Nick Spencer have kept the classic couple apart, merely feeds into this.
    • Now, neither side is helped by the fact Stan Lee has stated he envisioned Gwen Stacy as Spidey's true love, then he goes and has Spidey and MJ get married in his personal comic strip, or how he showed support for Joe Quesada breaking up the couple, only to then put the two back together in his aforementioned comic strip. The guy likes trolling the fans, don't he? There's also plenty of people who wish his relationship with Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) had continued past a first date, and from Ultimate Marvel, many like Ultimate Spiderman and Ultimate Kitty Pryde.
  • The ship-to-ship combat between Cyclops, Wolverine and Jean Grey is the stuff of legend. Even to this day the combat between Scott/Jean, Logan/Jean, and Scott/Logan can be vicious and brutal, no doubt fueled by X-Films series in the early 2000s. What makes this shipping war particularly unique is that it's actually spilled over in universe, with Logan and Scott frequently trolling one another over their mutual affections for Jean.
    • And it turns into a four-way battle royale once you include Emma Frost's own relationship with Scott.
    • Just like her daddy, X-23 gets a fair bit of this, mainly between Helix (Hellion/Laura) fans, Laura/Jubilee fans, and fans who don't see her as having interest in relationships whatsoever. Also toss in Kimura, Gambit, Finesse, Mercury, Dust, Elixir, Fantomex, and more crack pairings such as Wither, Spidey, Hulk, and even Deadpool. There's even more than a few fans who ship her with Daken. And now Rule 63 and time travel is enabling the Scott/Logan Crack Pairing to live vicariously through Laura and Teen Cyke (not that it stops anyone from shipping her with the adult Scott, too). To a lesser extent, the cover preview for ANXM #30 showing Laura and Teen!Warren locked in a passionate in-flight kiss has sparked shipping for that pairing, as well (and more than a few jokes over the idea of Laura moving through the entire O5. Yes, even Jean). In fact it's amazing Quentin Quire's Stepford Cuckoo-induced Imagine Spot of himself flirting with her in Wolverine and the X-Men #4 hasn't created that pairing (yet).
  • While it never got as heated as the Cyclops and Jean vs Wolverine and Jean, the debates between Rogue choosing Gambit or Magneto got quite fierce. To be fair to latter ship Magneto did meet and have Mentor Ship with Rogue before she met Gambit and they even got married in the Age of Apocalypse universe but due to immense popularity of Rogue and Gambit, her relationship with Magneto is often seen as a Crack Pairing due to Magneto's Anti-Villain nature. Marvel eventually settled matters as Gambit and Rogue got married in the main continuity and Magneto who was previously portrayed as jealous of Gambit and Rogue now supports their union note .
  • Archie Comics lives on this trope, featuring quite possibly the most well-known love triangle in American pop-culture. Archie/Betty versus Archie/Veronica are the main debate and it frequently gets milked by the comic itself. Most fans (and writers) lean towards Betty but Veronica has her fans too. Occasionally Archie's (many) Third Option Love Interests, such as Cheryl and Valerie, get dragged into the arguments. On the non-canon route, Jughead/Betty and Reggie/Betty are two common couples (especially with Archie/Veronica fans) and is tossed into the issue. Even Archie/Jughead and Betty/Veronica sometimes get debated. Riverdale brought the ship-to-ship combat to a new level, and it has subsequently leaked into the comic fandom.


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