Due to Disney buying 20th Century Fox the X-Men and all the mutants are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which means some of the most popular Marvel characters are going to be in the same cinematic world as The Hulk, Thor, and Captain Marvel. But the world of the X-Men is extensive, and the series is known for its social commentary. There would be a logistical problem for the MCU to introduce so many superpowered characters suddenly. If there is a will, than there’s a way; here are a few possibilities to bring the X-Men into the MCU.
11. The Memory Wipe
An idea that has been suggested by some fans is that mutants have always existed in the MCU but Charles Xavier has wiped the world’s collective memory about them. To me, this is one of the worst of ideas to introduce mutants into the MCU and should only be used as a last resort. But let’s humor the idea because any story idea could work with imagination and good writing.
If the MCU did use this idea, it would turn the X-Men into the Marvel version of Men in Black. In this scenario Charles Xavier would find out about mutants around the world, tries to recruit them and whatever the outcome he would erase the memories of the people would have seen mutant power use – whether it’s blowing up a water tower or freezing a school. Or the MCU could go down a similar route as Heroes where a shadowy organization finds and track mutants and erases the minds of ordinary people who were exposed to them. Claire Bennett’s mother always had her memory erased.
The risk of this story is it would act as a big retcon in the MCU, leading to questions like why didn’t the X-Men or mutants get involved when Loki invaded New York City or Thanos snapped half of life out of existence. Plus for the story to work the numbers of mutants are small up until the start of the MCU X-Men movie and the press would have been involved in any cover-up.
- Weapon X
In the Ultimate Comics series it was revealed that mutants were actually created through genetic experimentation. In the comics Nick Fury Sr. and James Howlett were arrested for looting when on tour during the Second World War and experimented on to recreate the Supersoldier formula. Howlett ended up becoming the first mutant, getting his healing factor and adamantium claws, and the experiment ended up causing more mutants to be created. The US and Canadian government covered up their involvement.
Like the Memory Wipe, using this idea would be the nuclear option: it could only be used if there are no other story ideas. One of the big themes of the X-Men franchise is that people are discriminated against because of a quirk of nature, something that naturally happened. This would be lost if it turned out that mutants were just the result of science run amok.
9. Storm in Wakanda and Other References
A backdoor way to introduce mutants would be to use one character to appear in a non-X-Men film. One of the most obvious candidates would be Ororo Munroe AKA Storm. Storm has a history with Black Panther: she even marries him in the comic. Black Panther 2 could find a place for her, even if it’s just a cameo or reference to a teenage girl or a woman in Wakanda who can control the weather. This idea could even snowball to other references in other films like reports of a Canadian soldier during the Second World War who had rapid healing abilities, or a news story about a teenager with extraordinary powers.
8. The Snap
Another popular suggestion from fans is that The Snap caused the creation of mutants. At the end of Avengers: Endgame the Avengers were able to reverse The Snap and bring 3.5 billion people back to life. Because of the stress of being resurrected the X-gene gets awakened in people and unlocks their mutant powers. The idea would be influenced by the first Deadpool movie where Wade Wilson is tortured so that his mutant powers would be activated. It could be stated in a news report, similar to the opening of Spider-man: Far From Home and allow any MCU X-Men film to jump straight into the action.
7. The Multiverse
Marvel is clearly building up the idea of the multiverse. In Avengers: Endgame The Ancient One stated that if a past event changes then it would create a new timeline and Mysterio said he was from another alternative Earth. One of the films in Phrase Four is titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Because of this, the multiverse could be used as a way for the X-Men and mutants as a whole coming into the MCU. They could either be in their own universe and through a bit of inner-dimensional travel are about to travel to the MCU or seek refuge in the MCU.
The Multiverse could act as a backdoor for the MCU to keep the 20th Century Fox cast, particularly James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Hugh Jackman. Sure, Jackman has retired from the role as Wolverine but don’t underestimate Marvel’s powers of persuasion. The Multiverse could also be used to explain the timelines within the X-Men film series.
Within the comics characters from alternative futures have joined the X-Men. Bishop and the Old Man Logan version have both ended up in the main comic series.
6. Wanda and Magneto
In the comics, Magneto was the father of Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver. This wasn’t the case in the MCU because the franchise didn’t have the movie rights for Magneto and other mutants. This has obviously changed now Disney has bought Fox.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron Wanda and Pietro were orphans who harbored hatred toward Tony Stark because they blamed him for their parents’ deaths. This could change with a simple retcon and Wanda finding out her birth father was really Magneto. It could be done because it has been established in other media that Magneto had children out of wedlock and never raised the children himself. It was done in X-Men: The Animated Series and Fox’s prequel films.
Marvel would have two-story possibilities if Marvel decide to use Magneto as a way to introduce mutants. The first would be a revenge story because Magneto would go on the warpath if he finds out his daughter was experimented on by a secret Nazi cult. It could be a way for Marvel to create its own version of the proposed X-Men Origins: Magneto story and modernize his ideology and background.
The other would be Magneto showing more villainous/selfish intends because he uses Wanda’s powers or the research that was done on her as a way to find mutants or awaken the X-gene in people around the world.
5. Rise of the Sentinels
Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there have been some examples of amazing technology like helicarriers, nanobots and robotic suits. There are also greater threats in the form of aliens and beings with superpowers. In this scenario, the US government or an alliance of nations may look to take their security in their own hands – especially after the loss of The Avengers. A way they would do that is to use Bolivar Trask to lead the Sentinel Initiative which would fend off any threat.
This base idea could go two ways. The first would be Trask arguing that the Sentinels could be used to face a new but growing threat: mutants. The other is the Sentinels gain self-awareness and see mutants as a threat to the public, so go on the offensive. The driving force could be a rogue mutant launch a terrorist attack which The Sentinels stopped, but this action would lead to a crackdown against mutants and force the X-Men into action.
The problem with this story is that it has similarities to Age of Ultron and Civil War.
4. Avengers vs. X-Men
The “Avengers vs. X-Men” was a huge crossover event back in 2012. In that storyline, the Avengers and X-Men go to war because the X-Men were protecting Jean Grey/The Phoenix while the Avengers see her as a threat that is too great for the world. As evident in that description that storyline sounds similar to Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and MCU would be foolish to use the Phoenix in their first film, so the film should just use the title and some basic ideas like what happened with Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
In the comics, various cartoons, and the Fox movies Charles Xavier has taken in scared runaways who have been rejected by their family and friends, trains them up, gives them uniforms, and gets them to act as a paramilitary force. From the outside looking in, Xavier could look incredibly dodgy as he is amassing an army of superpowered teens and The Avengers believe he needs to be stopped.
The other way this story could work is simple and more personal. During a mission to stop a supervillain, Captain Marvel ends up getting her powers taken by Rogue, leaving her crippled or in a coma. Xavier would offer Rogue refuge which leads to Avengers and X-Men towards a headlong collision.
The risk with this storyline is Marvel has already done it with Captain America: Civil War. The sudden introduce the X-Men could lead to the MCU having their own Batman vs. Superman, by having two sets of heroes into conflict so early on.
3. Messiah Complex
One of the biggest impacts in Marvel’s “House of M” storyline was mutants were nearly eradicated and only 300 remained. The “Messiah Complex” was a major storyline published from October 2007 to January 2008. In that storyline, the first mutant child is born since the event, and the various mutant factions set out to be first to find him/her.
For this story to be adapted for the MCU, it could be stated that mutants were a phenomenon that was born for a few generations, but none had been born for years. It could be used as a way to explain mutants were in the MCU in say the ‘70s or ‘80s but retreated because the sudden decline in birth numbers. When it’s discovered a mutant child is born and the X-Men race to find it before Mister Sinister, Anti-Mutant extremists or the US government.
For the story to work in the MCU, it would require reducing the number of characters and factions. This story would be the Marvel version of Children of Men where the X-Men have to protect the hope for mutantkind, which would be awesome because Children of Men was a great film. The risk of this story is 2017’s Logan had similarities to Children of Men.
2. Reverse House of M
One of the most popular suggestions on how to introduce the X-Men into the MCU is to do a reverse “House of M” story. In Brian Michael Bendis’ “House of M,” Scarlett Witch uses her reality-warping powers to create a perfect timeline for mutants. When Scarlett Witch puts the world back to normal, she utters the words ‘No more mutants,’ and with one fell swoop, she depowered most of the mutants in the 616-universe. This storyline aimed to reduce the number of mutants in the comics because they got so big.
The Reverse “House of M” story would obviously bring about an explosion of mutants. There a few ways to bring about this event. One could be Magneto reveals himself to be Wanda’s birth father and gets to awaken the mutant gene in people. If Marvel Studios wants to save Magneto they could come up with another event like a genetic discovery that awakens the mutant genre. This could be similar to Y: The Last Man where Dr. Mann impregnates herself with a clone, leading to the sudden death of male mammals around the globe.
This sort of storyline has been explored in other shows. In the third season of The Legend of Korra people suddenly became airbenders after the Harmonic Convergence, leading to the rebirth of the Air Nation. And in Heroes characters gained their powers after an eclipse.
If the MCU went down this route, it could lead to an exciting look at the impact on society if thousands of people suddenly gained superpowers and a new group gets discriminated against.
1. A small but growing mutant population
One of the most organic ways to introduce mutants into the MCU is simply the mutant population is small but growing. It would prevent Marvel from needing to have a major retcon or event to explain the sudden appearance of mutants.
For this scenario to work the number of mutants around the world would be no more than a few thousand. And most of these mutants would be in their teens. Because of the growing numbers, there would be news reports of people with extraordinary powers, scientific studies, and a growing sense of unease towards younger people.
There would still be older mutants like Xavier and Magneto and legends like of a being known as Apocalypse. Because of the presence of Xavier, he would seek out and protect mutants by offering them places at his school for Gifted Youngsters.