I must be honest, I have dreamt about the X-Men joining the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and now that we are inching closer and closer to that eventuality, I find myself wondering just how Kevin Feige and the MCU geniuses will do it.
Many expect that the X-Men are in another universe and will end up being dumped in the MCU like a salt shaker being emptied but I find that to be lacking in creativity and a really lame way to bring them into the fold. Of course, this is a possibility and obviously, a simple way to explain the absence of the X-Men from all the Avenger’s films and their respected tie-ins thus far so it may happen. But I ask you this- what if the X-Men were there all along?
Think about this for a moment. Pick any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films or shows and tell me that every single known MCU character was referenced at some point or another in each movie or each episode. You can’t, obviously. And for good reason. I mean, why would characters that have nothing to do with that film or show be discussed? Not every film references Captain America, not every show talks about Tony Stark. Many do, sure. But only if the reference ties into the plot or whatever is happening in the movie or episode.
What if that is the case with the X-Men? What if they have always been there but any time someone had a conversation about them, or Mutants in particular, the audience just wasn’t in the room?
In the first Ironman movie, we did not know about Bruce Banner, we did not know about Steve Rogers, and we did not know about the Tesseract, an otherworldly cosmic energy. As far as I am concerned, Ironman was so self-contained, it teeters on the edge of almost being real (in that the film is all about things that could actually happen despite the technology being so far advanced). As far as we know, there was nothing supernatural going on in that universe by the end of the movie. However, it turns out that space aliens and gods and monsters and superpowers are all real, despite never being mentioned at all to or around Tony Stark. Why? Because it wasn’t relevant to the plot of the film. See what I am saying?
If the above is any indication, this suggests that the absence of Mutants or any reference to them is the result of irrelevance. We know that Captain America existed before Tony Stark. We know that Captain Marvel existed before Ironman, and we know that both Captains faced the Tesseract. Just because the audience hasn’t heard of it, or the characters didn’t talk about it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
Now, I know what you are thinking- either the Mutants will come from another universe or the cosmic energy from multiple Infinity ‘Snaps’ will be the birth of the mutant gene and Mutants. Possible. But I expect a much more simple explanation: they are around and the audience just hasn’t been introduced to them yet because they have not been relevant to any plot so far.
Think about this: the Avengers and other non-Avenger superheroes can’t be everywhere at once. Heck, we haven’t even really seen any duo, buddy team-ups yet. We never saw Spider-Man interact with Daredevil in his show, or Luke Cage, or Jessica Jones, or Iron Fist (sure, maybe it was because they were still working out the kinks of bridging those Netflix shows over to the larger MCU but you get my point).
Adding further to the above- regardless of how Daredevil is brought into the MCU, we know that one exists in the MCU somehow for multiple reasons, even if we never see him in a Spider-Man movie (we got Murdock in NWH, finally but you get it). The point is, these heroes would have heard rumors of each other if not definitively known about each other since they operate in the same city. Sure, Daredevil operates at night but he has been on the news, people have snapped photos that made it into the local paper, etc. so it isn’t like the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is an urban myth. There is proof he is out there. My point is, Spider-Man and Daredevil have existed at the same time in some overlap along with many other heroes but if one is not relevant to the other in their own respective series or film, why would you talk about them?
That is how you explain the X-Men.
The X-Men have always been around. They have always been there. But their plots are self-contained. For whatever reason, the Avengers have not been involved in any X-Men-related plots because whatever the X-Men and the Mutants had going for them was either handled by S.H.I.E.L.D. or some other organization or even the X-Men themselves and therefore the Avengers didn’t need to be involved.
Still not convinced? What about the Sorceror Supreme and the three Sanctums across the globe? They don’t get involved in local threats because they are handling mystical ones. What about the Eternals? While that movie was garbage, it is explained that they did not get involved in any issues threatening earth that weren’t Deviant-related. This is how you bring in the X-Men.
Mutants have existed since long before mankind was able to show a record of history. We know of many Mutants existing thousands and thousands of years before we reached any sort of modern era.
We know that the Eternals have been around for thousands of years but only just got introduced to them. We know that the 10 Rings existed for thousands of years but only just first heard about them (the real organization, not the one in Ironman) in Shang-Chi. This would suggest that Mutants and the Uncanny X-Men could very easily have always been around since before Ironman came to exist. In fact, I am sure of it.
Maybe the X-Men have operated in secret to avoid too much public exposure, and maybe Charles Xavier has gotten really good at wiping memories. The one thing we do know is that Charles and the Mutants exist in the greater MCU (Earth-838) and through that, we know that a version of every person exists in every universe, save for America Chavez. And that would include the X-Men.