Captain Marvel (2019) raised the question of where were Carol Danvers during the Infinity Saga, a problem that will be repeated with the MCU’s X-Men.
Where was Captain Marvel during key events of the Infinity Saga is a question that has been asked many times since Captain Marvel, the MCU’s plans for the X-Men will make those canon inconsistencies even worse. While Avengers: Age of Ultron had a stand-in for Captain Marvel in a cut scene, Carol Danvers was only actually introduced toward the end of Phase 3. Still, as a movie set in 1995, Captain Marvel established that Danvers had been a superhero for decades – a timeline problem that will now happen with the X-Men.
While the MCU is using the multiverse to bring in legacy X-Men characters such as Patrick Stewart’s Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and potentially Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Deadpool 3, mutants are also being introduced as part of the MCU’s Earth-616. In other words, mutants have always existed in the MCU, as seen with Ms. Marvel and Namor. As such, even if not all of the iconic X-Men characters exist as superheroes in the MCU yet, names like Charles Xavier, Magneto, Logan, and some iteration of the X-Men have to exist – which raises the question of where were the X-Men and other key mutants all this time. Compared to Captain Marvel’s two decades of no-show, the total absence of mutants during the Infinity Saga is a much bigger canon headscratcher.
The MCU Can’t Repeat Its Captain Marvel Trick With The X-Men
While the MCU could establish that a spike of X-Gene activation on Earth is only now happening, the franchise would still have to fit in mutants who in the comics have fought for decades – such as Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine. In fact, if Xavier has lived for decades in the MCU, then some sort of X-Men team has to exist as well. However, whereas Avengers: Endgame quickly established that Captain Marvel was in space during all those missing years due to her role in protecting the universe, there is no clear reason as to why the X-Men or any other mutants did not help during the Battle of New York or Endgame’s Battle of Earth. Even if Marvel establishes that some of the most recognizable X-Men are only now discovering their powers, the list of mutants who could have already helped would still be long.
There’s No Easy Way For The MCU To Bring In The X-Men
There are several ways for the MCU to establish its own X-Men team, including with the help of the multiverse, yet none of those would be free of problems. Introducing all mutants through the multiverse as many had theorized would erase the most important part of the X-Men story – the social aspect, regarding the prejudices mutants often have to face in their respective arcs. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the route Marvel is taking. Still, simply establishing that mutants have always been there while ignoring all the plot holes it creates is also not the best choice. Curiously, even though audiences have already seen a couple of mutants in Marvel Phase 4 and will continue to, how the MCU’s actual X-Men team will be formed or revealed is still a mystery.
So far, Marvel Studios hasn’t announced a live-action MCU X-Men movie or show. As such, the answers to the X-Men questions might only arrive after Deadpool 3 or Avengers: Secret Wars. Still, it is safe to say that fitting the X-Men into the MCU’s timeline will be a far more complex challenge than the one created by Captain Marvel.
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