Marvel Studios brought a lot of razzle-dazzle (and some heavier vibes) to its Hall H panel at Comic-Con 2022. Marvel went so far as to unveil the entire Phase 5 schedule of films and TV shows, while teasing the Phase 6 climax of this "Multiverse Saga" in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. There was indeed a lot of information for Marvel fans to absorb during that Comic-Con 2022 panel – and since then, there have been a lot of new questions that need answering.
One of the biggest questions Marvel fans want an answer to right now is how and when exactly the X-Men will be arriving in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
ComicBook.com made sure that a question about the X-Men's place in the MCU timeline was one fo the first one asked following Marvel's Comic-Con 2022 presentation. Phase Zero podcast host Brandon Davis tried to nail down at least a window of time for when we can expect the X-Men's arrival in the MCU by asking if the plan was to wait until the appropriately-named Phase Ten (or "Phase X") to get them.
"You want to wait till Phase 10 for the X-Men?" Feige replied. "Alright, that's longer than I want to wait. But I guess."
After the revelations of Comic-Con 2022, there are two main schools of thought about where, when and how the X-Men will arrive in the MCU:
The X-Men Arrive Before Secret Wars
Marvel Studios revealed the entire Phase 5 slate during Comic-Con 2022, but left a whole lot of the Phase 6 slate blank, save that it ends with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. There is a lot of room for that slate to be filled in with a new X-Men movie project
It also seems likely that Marvel Studios will debut the X-Men in the MCU before Avengers: Secret Wars as the studio has already introduced the concept of mutants (or mutation) into the franchise, during the Ms. Marvel finale. Establishing mutants as a thing seems like a major step toward introducing mutantkind's greatest heroes (the X-Men). The team itself has already been indirectly referenced in the MCU by having Patrick Stewart's Professor X appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We also know that Deadpool 3 is already in production with Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy. The seeds of the X-Men have already been sewn into the MCU – it would be easy to harvest them sooner before later.
The Fantastic Four are going to be arriving in Phase Six – so why wouldn't the X-Men (the other Marvel property Disney bought from 20th Century Fox).
The X-Men Arrive In Phase 7
Marvel Studios' Comic-Con 2022 panel made it clear that "The Multiverse Saga" of Phase 4, Phase 5, and Phase 6 is going to be much quicker than the Infinity Saga before it. And while it hasn't been said out loud, a lot of Marvel fans have long believed that the entire purpose of the Multiverse Saga is to set the stage for a total soft-reboot of the MCU franchise.
A lot has changed since Marvel Studios started building its Juggernaut MCU franchise from the slow, humble beginnings of Phase One. Marvel has learned that even the best-laid plans have to be revised and that the whims of the fans can redefine the plan entirely. The business realities that kept the X-Men and Fantastic Four out of the MCU have changed; and decisions like killing off Iron Man and/or Captain America have become somewhat less popular since Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel Secret Wars are stories about different Marvel Multiverse realities being brought together to fight for survival – the biggest fringe benefit of those stories are that they offer the cleanest and easiest narrative path for Marvel Studios to retire any actors that want to be done with the franchise; recast or re-introduce those empty character slots, and completely re-introduce the "rules" of the franchise universe with any amendments they want to make. So, while "mutation" may have already been introduced into the MCU, the full roster of X-Men and their world could be saved for the Phase 7 arc.
Any Multiverse Saga projects before Avengers: Secret Wars wouldn't have to really introduce new THE new MCU X-Men: Doctor Strange 2 has taught us that Marvel Studios is game for using previous franchises as cameo surprises in the MCU, even if they won't really be part of the franchise, afterward. That's all to say: Marvel could introduce a variant version of X-Men for the Multiverse Saga, before the real MCU reboot happens in Phase 7.0comments