With Disney's purchase of 21st Century Fox, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige have almost double the amount of toys in their sandbox to play with. In addition to the Marvel characters that the studio already had the rights to, it now gains all of the mutants from the comics (mainly the X-Men) and the Fantastic Four. The former of the two groups is clearly the more well-known and profitable asset for Marvel, but it's also the most challenging to introduce into the already established MCU. The record-breaking connected franchise has been going strong for more than a decade, spanning nearly 100 years in continuity if you don't include flashbacks. So how do you include an entire race of people with superhuman abilities to this series without making people wonder why the X-Men were just magically absent from every Avengers conflict to this point? Well, Jonathan Hickman's current comic relaunch of the X-Men, House of X and Powers of X, actually provides the MCU with a perfect blueprint.
Marvel Studios has already used Hickman's creations as a major influence in the past, the Infinity War storyline was loosely based on his Infinity comic series. Now the studio has the opportunity to use the legendary writer's work yet again. In the second issue of House of X, Hickman turned the entire X-Men storyline on its head by revealing that Moira Kinross (MacTaggart) is actually an incredibly powerful mutant, and that her power allows her to reincarnate after she dies, essentially resetting the timeline. When Moira reincarnates she takes with her the memories and knowledge from all of her previous lives. It becomes her mission to figure out how to save mutantkind from extinction, but she's defeated in every life she's lived so far. As strange as it may sound, this is the way into the world of mutants for the MCU.
The on-screen version of the story would obviously deviate from the source material quite a bit, but the concept of Moira's timeline power is what makes it all work. It could also explain why the mutants didn't pop up during the Battle of New York or the fight against Thanos. Let's break it down.
So whenever the MCU decides to produce a standalone X-Men movie, it can begin with literally any big X-Men comic arc from history. Start with Age of Apocalypse, it doesn't matter. No matter what goes on, the X-Men will have to lose. Things really begin when Moira reincarnates and stars the timeline over again. The story of the movie then turns its focus to Moira and her various lives. Like she does in the comic, Moira would present the information of her various lives to Charles Xavier, bringing the audience up to speed on her failures and the lessons she's learned throughout them. They then try to work together to create the X-Men and fight off some sort of Sentinel threat but they will fail one last time at the end of the movie. Yes, it sounds super depressing but it'll all make sense.
This story allows fans to really get to know these X-characters in a world separate from the Avengers so that they can skip all of the origins when the two franchises actually come together. Viewers will already understand who both Cyclops and Captain Marvel are when they meet, doing away with any needless backtracking.
The hypothetical X-Men introduction movie would end with Moira in her tenth life, finding Charles once more, feeling as though they've tried everything. So the duo decides to take mutants into hiding. This tenth timeline is the one that the current MCU would exist in, meaning that Charles, Moira, Magneto, and all of the other mutants have been aware of the events facing earth and chose not to do anything about it. The Snap changes everything and brings them out of hiding, as they believe they could've helped stop Thanos. It wasn't their problem but mutants died anyway, so they still feel as though they lost. When the dead return, Charles and Moira decide to step out and join the world, which obviously doesn't go over well with people following Thanos' attack and the loss of Iron Man. Classic X-Men set-up, right?0comments
While Marvel probably already has a story up its sleeve for the X-Men, using House of X would give the franchise a topical, modern X-Men story while also explaining any potential continuity issue that the existence of mutants would pose. It's a win-win. Marvel trusted Jonathan Hickman once, now it's time to do it again.
How do you want to see the X-Men introduced into the MCU? Let us know your best ideas and theories in the comments!