It is very likely that in the next few years, The X-Men will have a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How might this integration happen? Where have the MCU X-Men been all this time? Here are a few ideas for the MCU X-Men’s introduction.

MCU X-Men: When Will it Happen?

The deal Disney made with Fox to purchase 20th Century Fox has gone through. As a result, there will naturally be a good chunk of time before we see Wolverine with the Avengers. But, why? Because there are going to be a plethora of logistics that Disney will have to figure out first before they can integrate their newly acquired properties into the fold.

Image from Marvel Entertainment

So when might we see the X-Men in the MCU? Probably not for a couple years. Disney CEO Bob Iger did reveal that Disney intends to begin developing and integrating properties like X-Men and the Fantastic Four by this year’s third quarter. This means that we’d probably start seeing MCU X-Men no earlier than 2020.

Having said that, let’s explore some potential narrative possibilities.

MCU X-Men: Birth of The X-Gene After AVENGERS 4

Assuming that the Avengers are successful in defeating Thanos and restoring the universe, what if things don’t go completely back to normal? What if the X-Gene emerges with some of the people who come back from The Snap? The X-Gene is the fictional gene in the Marvel Universe that, when active, makes a person a mutant. It’s what gives them powers, abilities, and unique appearances.

Image from Marvel Entertainment

When The Flash restores the DC Universe after Flashpoint, things aren’t completely the same. There are differences. What if the equivalent for the MCU is the emergence of the X-Gene? If so, it would explain why the X-Men and other mutants haven’t had any kind of presence pre-AVENGERS 4.

An alternate thought to this concept would be that perhaps there have only been a small select few with an activated X-Gene throughout the MCU’s timeline. Mutants like Magneto, Xavier, or Wolverine, keeping their abilities hidden, on the fringes of the public eye. Then, when/if the X-Gene becomes activated for a larger number of people after AVENGERS 4 as suggested, maybe we start seeing mutants in larger public numbers like the X-Men or Brotherhoods of Mutants. It’s a possibility that could certainly work within the current MCU narrative.

MCU X-Men: Mutants of SHIELD

What if mutants have been around since the beginning of the MCU, yet they’ve all been kept under wraps by SHIELD? I could imagine a scenario where mutants came onto the MCU scene post-WW2. SHIELD would have just begun and become witness to the dangers and potential threats mutants could cause.

They’d probably be interested in keeping them controlled and contained, perhaps even wanting them to be non-existent and hidden from the public’s awareness. I could also see that if SHIELD were to have this mindset, they’d also probably see their value as well. What if SHIELD had determined to train and educate mutants in order to better monitor them? It certainly seems their MO.

It could also stand to reason that there would be a possibility it wouldn’t be direct training…

MCU X-Men: Xavier’s School Gets SHIELD Funding

What if Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters was sponsored by SHIELD? It’s not that crazy of an idea: a very similar scenario occurs within the Ultimate Marvel Comics universe. In that universe, Nick Fury and Xavier work very closely together. And, why wouldn’t they?

Mutants are definitely a group of people SHIELD would want to watch closely at the very least. Sponsoring a school like Xavier’s would work in that young mutants could receive schooling in safety and be taught how to use their gifts responsibly for the good of the world, limiting their danger to world security.

Images from Marvel Entertainment/Fox

However, this idea carries with it some issues. What happens to the school when SHIELD goes under after WINTER SOLIDER? Where have the X-Men been? Why wouldn’t they have intervened during earlier potentially world-ending events? Maybe Xavier’s school had just been a school without X-Men beforehand and the events of INFINITY WAR and AVENGERS 4 motivate him to form his X-Men. It seems like a possible way to go.

MCU X-MEN: Utopia and The Savage Land

Another theory worth mentioning is perhaps after an early onset of discrimination and fear, mutants have retreated to places like the island of Utopia and/or the Savage Land. Places like these have reputations in the comics as safe havens and a refuge for mutants from the outside world. Again, I see INFINITY WAR and AVENGERS 4 as the strongest factors that would logically motivate a mutant movement from those places into the forefront of the MCU.

Image from Marvel Entertainment

In the comics, Utopia was originally the base of operations for the mutant supervillain Magneto. Originally an asteroid, it became an island base for the X-Men after it fell into the ocean, protecting them from government persecution and giving them their own sovereignty. The Savage Land is a place where dinosaurs still roam. In the Ultimate Universe, it’s where Magneto holds his base of operations instead of Utopia. Either place or both would serve as remote and hidden locations where mutants could hide.

Honorable Mention: MCU X-Men On Television

It’s worth noting that Bob Iger’s statement on the Fox acquisition and its properties was also in conjunction with comments about Disney’s upcoming streaming service. On a conference call about Disney’s financial results, Iger shares that Disney will be exploring the new properties for the big as well as small screen.

Image from Marvel Entertainment

This creates the possibility that the MCU X-Men could feature as a series on Disney’s new service. Being on a small screen could potentially solve some the questions and issues of the X-Men’s current lack of presence in the MCU. Netflix characters like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist are all in the MCU and reference the events that happen in the films. However, that’s pretty much a one-way street.

The events and actions that happen on their shows aren’t really referenced in the films. If the MCU X-Men is going to feature as a series, the same type of relationship could be assumed. It would explain why we have yet to see them in the MCU. Either that or they’re coming onto the scene for the first time, in the context of the MCU’s overall timeline.

MCU X-Men: Conclusion

Whatever the case may be, it will be exciting to see the X-Men’s participation in the MCU. It’s fun to speculate and create theories (Deadpool changes history and Marvel Studios never sells the X-Men properties in the first place, the X-Men have always been in the MCU!). However, I have no doubt that Marvel Studios has thought of these and other, probably better and more thought-out scenarios.

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What about you? Let us know in the comments below how you think the MCU X-Men will arrive!

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