5 Ways X-Men Can Be Brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe Continuity | Fanboys Anonymous

5 Ways X-Men Can Be Brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe Continuity

Posted by Anthony Mango Sunday, August 26, 2018
We all know the backstory: Disney has purchased Fox's assets and part of the package is that the film rights to the X-Men characters are now able to be brought into the fold for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let's just get that out of the way.

For far longer than when this deal was even in the works, people have been talking strategies and theories on just how that could happen, as the MCU is pretty well established at this point with absolutely zero involvement in mutants.

Sure, we've had Inhumans, and it's been a complete and utter mess, revolving entirely on the television side of things, which goes completely ignored. Especially that TV show. Woof, that was awful. But that's the closest thing we've gotten, and even that doesn't have any impact on the movies, but bringing in Wolverine and company certainly would.

Without even talking about the logistics of the properties like The Gifted and Legion and other elements like that—all of which certainly wouldn't be able to be folded into the continuity and continue—let's just assume Marvel starts with a complete, clean, fresh slate.

If that's the case, how do they establish mutants in a world that has never had mutants?

Here are five ideas that I have regarding the potential ways this could be pulled off.

1) What do you mean? They've always been there!

This is my least favorite method, and I really hope that Marvel doesn't go in this direction, but it would be the simplest and easiest to do.

Effectively, they would do what they've done with everything else, and just say that things were in the background and nobody knew about the mutants in the shadows, or some clandestine government organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. did in fact know, but oddly, nobody ever brought it up, ever, in any capacity, even in conversations that seemed to fly in opposition of not mentioning it.

It's lazy and it makes no sense and creates plot holes, but the MCU isn't immune to errors like this. They're not infallible.

2) The Infinity Gauntlet

My ideal situation is for the end of Avengers 4 to be that there have been some changes to the canon, fixing some plot holes, patching up a few problems here and there, establishing some storylines that can be explored in the future and for everything to be in a better state.

For instance, I don't want Steve Rogers or Tony Stark to die. I want S.H.I.E.L.D. to be reinstated, so we can have that group's presence in the movies, and with Stark and Rogers as the heads of it (allowing them to work in the background and not have to appear as Iron Man and Captain America in movies). I want Thor to be the king of Asgard, allowing his absence. Clint and Nat and Rhodey and Sam and Maria Hill and even Nick Fury are in the mix as trainers and overseers of S.H.I.E.L.D, too, and so on. I want the timeline to make more sense. I want some of the television show's continuity to be cleaned up so we can do some of those stories better, like how we really got screwed on some characters meaning nothing. I want an acknowledgment that they know what's going on with Daredevil in the film universe and that people like Steve and Tony are aware of people like Fitz-Simmons, too.

And, I want this "new world" that is created with undoing the snap to be a world where mutants exist in a shadowy sense. S.H.I.E.L.D. knows about the existence of the genetics and have studied people like Wolverine, who has fought alongside Cap in World War II, and Magneto has gone through all that he's gone through, but mutants are largely in the background and nobody really addresses them as a social issue.

The gems themselves can do this, or this can be done by entities like The Living Tribunal, Eternity, Infinity, Death, Entropy, and so on, as a response to the way the gems were used. Basically, they could repair the universe. Better yet, you can have one quick shot of Stan Lee, playing The One Above All, and he can simply hand-wave the explanation to all the "true believers" watching. It's the MCU. You can get away with breaking the fourth wall.

3) The Beyonder

Maybe we go into Secret Wars, to an extent. Maybe The Beyonder screws with the world and creates some kind of merge between the two universes and allows for an explanation of why they were separate and why they're coming back together, after we see some of the MCU characters fighting the X-Men.

This would be messy and hard to accomplish, but it could be super fun to see.

4) The Fantastic 4

As a way to establish the Fantastic 4, who also need to be brought into the mix, what if there's an experiment that Reed Richards is working on (with or without Dr. Doom) that actually manipulates the universe and is used as an explanation for why these elements were missing all along?

Avengers Tower in New York should be replaced by the Baxter Building, for sure, and while we're establishing Reed and the F4, there could even be Kang the Conqueror making an appearance to further drive home the point of the new timeline. Hell, if you want to do an even deeper cut, have this other-worldliness written off as a byproduct of Franklin Richards in the future having messed with things and restoring the universe to having mutants.

5) Onslaught

We've already seen Magneto, Apocalypse, the Phoenix Force, the cure storyline, and more. We're running out of major X-Men villains to have their first appearances, and even though I don't think Onslaught is anywhere near a fully-realized character, it would at least be something different to bring to the mix.

You can't just introduce Mad Jim Jaspers and have him do all the reality manipulation, nor can you make Scarlet Witch responsible if she's not a mutant (and I hope she isn't ever converted over to being a mutant, as I like her so much more when she isn't)

But Onslaught has immense psychic abilities and could be used as a crutch for removing the world's knowledge of mutants, in some kind of misguided attempt to let them live in a bubble, away from normal eyes, and when it pops, the reality that was being manipulated snaps back in on itself and the universe "heals" this by having characters have new continuities where they've dealt with mutants in the past and such.

Those are my ideas, but what do you have to say about the topic?
How would YOU introduce the mutants into the continuity and explain their absence after all this time?

Tell me your suggestions in the comments below!

Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and podcast host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, fiction writer and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.