- Mairead Levitt
Mutants in the MCU: How Will They Join and What Does It Mean?
On the verge of bankruptcy at the end of the 20th century, Marvel sold the rights to their biggest characters, including Spider-Man, to Sony, and the X-Men, to 20th Century Fox. In 2009, after the surprise success of “Iron Man,” Disney bought Marvel just as it began to crack the movie formula. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) grew over time to create blockbuster films and a multibillion dollar franchise, which is the highest grossing film franchise in the world. These feats are even more incredible considering the use of characters that virtually no one knew about. In March of 2020, Disney bought 20th Century Fox. Since Disney now owns both the X-Men and Marvel, there has been a lot of talk about whether mutants (the term for powered people in the X-Men) will be introduced to the MCU. This idea was confirmed when Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, made a statement saying that “Deadpool 3” (part of the X-Men universe) will be a part of the MCU. Now, the question is: how?
My first theory is that The Snap caused mutants. In “Avenger’s: Endgame,” we learn that Thanos’s Snap caused a huge energy surge, like no other. It’s powerful enough that when Thanos snaps again to destroy the stones in the beginning of “Endgame,” the Avengers are able to single out the planet he’s on, which is a pretty big thing, considering the infinite planets they were looking through. When Iron-Man snaps at the climax of Endgame, we can only assume that it had the same effect as the previous snaps and that there was a third energy surge (the second of which was on Earth). The MCU didn’t talk about what impact the energy could have on the planet and its inhabitants, but I doubt that there were no side effects. This idea could potentially open the world up for people to develop powers, or perhaps, mutations. Or, the sheer amount of energy could have ripped a hole in the fabric of the multiverse, allowing mutants to crossover from their universe to the MCU.
My second theory is that this has something to do with the Quantum Realm. This could involve two different characters, but first, let’s recap what the Quantum Realm is. First introduced in “Ant-Man,” the Quantum Realm is a dimension in the multiverse that can only be accessed by shrinking really small. Janet van Dyne, Hank Pym’s wife, was stranded in the Quantum Realm until Scott Lang saved her. Then, the Avengers used the Quantum Realm to teleport in “Endgame.”
One idea is that Ant-Man will somehow unlock the other dimensions through the Quantum Realm since it’s shown to be the key to a lot of things that Marvel can’t explain, like time travel. The only other character who can access the Quantum Realm is Adam Warlock. If you remember the third end credit scene of “Guardians of the Galaxy Two,” the leader of Sovereign (the race of gold people), Ayesha, shows off a golden coffin-looking thing, and says, “I shall call you Adam.” She’s talking about Adam Warlock, who, in the comics, was created in an attempt to make the perfect person. One of his powers is Quantum Magic, so he can get power from the Quantum Realm, as well as being able to access it. While he hasn’t been fully introduced yet, there is no way that Marvel doesn’t have plenty of plans for Adam, and he could prove to be a great way to introduce mutants to the MCU.
My final (and favorite) theory is Wanda Maximoff. It’s not a ridiculous thought that Wanda is powerful enough to combine the universes. In the comic “House of M,” Wanda warps the fabric of reality to give everyone their deepest desire, and she is even able to take away every mutant’s power. She’s set the precedent that she can literally change reality itself, so why wouldn’t she be able to merge two different universes? Combine this with the fact that she’s going to be a big part of the new Dr. Strange movie, “Multiverse of Madness,” and I think this is the most promising theory.
Spoilers for “WandaVision” Episode Five
While I was halfway through writing this article, “WandaVision” episode five came out and shocked everybody because Marvel put mutants in the MCU (I am still reeling, by the way). This has huge implications, and the MCU will never be the same. So first of all, what happened?
Before we dive right in, let’s recap some history. In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” we are introduced to the Maximoff twins, Wanda (Scarlet Witch) and Pietro (Quicksilver). They are Sokovian orphans who allowed Hydra to experiment on them and give them powers. They start the movie as villains, Hydra soldiers with one mission: to destroy Tony Stark. However, over the course of the movie, they realize that what they’re doing is wrong and help the Avengers in the Big Final Battle™. Pietro actually sacrifices his life to save Hawkeye, a heartbreaking moment for Wanda. Aaron Taylor-Johnson played Pietro in the movie, and he did a fantastic job. It’s important to remember that the brother Wanda knows, the Pietro of this universe (this being the MCU), is played by Taylor-Johnson.
We first meet the Quicksilver of the X-Men Universe in “Days of Future Past.” When Wolverine time travels to the 80’s (another important detail to keep in mind), he meets Peter Maximoff, an American teenager who uses his powers for mischief in high school. This is a far cry from Taylor-Johnson’s version. Peter goes on to help the X-Men on a mission to rescue Magneto, his father.
Now, onto “WandaVision.” At the end of an intense (and awesome) episode, Wanda and Vision hear the doorbell ring, and who is it? Quicksilver. But not Pietro, Wanda’s brother in the MCU, but Peter, Evan Peters’ character from the X-Men universe. With that appearance, he is officially the first mutant in the MCU.
My two big questions after that episode are: why Evan Peters, and are all mutants in the MCU now?
Why Evan Peters and not Aaron Taylor-Johnson?
Shoutout to Asma, Annika, and Elizabeth for theorizing with me, so here’s what we think. We know that each episode of “WandaVision” is based on a sitcom of a different decade. This specific episode is based on the 80s. We also know that when things go into the Westview Anomaly (the bubble surrounding the town of Westview that Wanda is holding hostage) items revert to things from that time period: Monica’s clothing to fashion from the 70s, the helicopter surveillance into a toy, etc. The Pietro from the MCU is from the 2010s, but Peter from the X-Men universe is from the 80s, when “Days of Future Past” takes place. Our theory is that Wanda tried to bring back her brother Pietro, but since we know that everything has to be from the time period of the episode, she ended up bringing the Quicksilver from the 80s, despite him being from another universe. And, like I mentioned earlier, she may be the only character powerful enough to do that.
Are all mutants in the MCU now?
I don’t think so. If my previous theory was correct, she only brought Evan Peters’s Quicksilver and not all mutants. I believe that all mutants will either come at the end of “WandaVision” and set up “Multiverse of Madness,” or they will come in “Multiverse of Madness.” With the word “Multiverse” in the title, it’s hard to imagine that it wouldn’t have to do with different Earths (like the one the mutants are on). However, I do believe this perfectly sets up bringing mutants into the MCU because as Wanda becomes more aware of what she’s done, she’ll realize that this Quicksilver isn’t really her brother, and when she realizes it, he might realize it as well and realize that he’s in a completely different universe.
Despite this latest episode discrediting almost all of my theories, it was amazing, and I loved it. I’m so excited to see what happens and how Marvel will continue to explore putting mutants in the MCU!