Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them, but here at AiPT! we’ve got nothing but love for Marvel’s mighty mutants! To celebrate the long-awaited return of Uncanny X-Men, AiPT! brings you UNCANNY X-MONTH: 30 days of original X-Men content. Hope you survive the experience…How can you fit the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It’s a question that fans have asked for over a decade. But what started out as mere fantasy has become impending reality following Disney’s acquisition of the rights to many of Marvel’s most famous characters from 20th Century Fox.
Now more than ever, the question needs to be asked: How do you fit the X-Men into the MCU? Here are a few possibilities:
It’s not necessary to erase the previous X-Men films from existence. As a matter of fact, it may even be better to use the established lore. The Infinity Gauntlet is now in play in the MCU and the X-Men films have introduced the concept of time travel and altered timelines. How is it that Earths mightiest heroes and the children of the atom have never met? Perhaps they’ve just been in different dimensions this entire time.
Use Dark Phoenix as the catalyst
The Dark Phoenix film has faced one delay after another. The most recent one pushed the film from a February release to June 7. Initially, they seemed more comical than anything else. Pushing the film back one day after releasing a trailer with a release date is pure comedy. But, what if there’s more to the move than we thought? A February release places Dark Phoenix before the next Avengers movie. It’s new release date will follow the still-untitled Avengers 4. This may make all the difference in the MCU. After dealing with their most difficult challenge ever, how can you make the stakes higher for the Avengers? Enter Dark Phoenix. Now, the turnaround for this is way too quick, making this highly unlikely… but you never know.
There are so many connections between characters in the comic book Marvel Universe that just mentioning a name may be the easiest way to go. An on-screen appearance or a logo in the post-credit scene a la Avengers: Infinity War’s introduction to Captain Marvel would be amazing! However, it may also be anticlimactic. A simple passing comment will excite almost every fan. Imagine if Hulk mentioned the time he fought a strange enemy in Canada or if someone in a Black Panther film mentioned that T’Challa was once married. A whole new universe of possibilities can be opened with just one utterance.
Here, I’m taking into account the financial and business side of the Disney-Fox merger. For over a decade now, the MCU has been a box office juggernaut. Storylines have been planned through at least 2020 and there’s no reason to jump the gun now. As long as each installment continues to set some new record or another, Disney shouldn’t even think of doing a crossover. Instead, make two viable franchises that are strong enough to stand on their own. When one or both begin to flounder–that’s when the crossover can begin.
From a fan’s standpoint, it also makes sense to wait things out. The X-Men films have been hit-or-miss and the last thing anybody wants to see is a battle between one mighty superhero team and another that’s clearly a class below it. Build the X-Men up and give them the prestige and renown they deserve. Then, when even mainstream fans are torn between which team is better, we can all have a crossover everyone will be happy with.