Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Ms. Marvel‘s finale.
It’s official: mutants are now in the MCU, with Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) confirmed as one and representing a major step towards the introduction of the X-Men. After the Disney-Fox deal was complete, which saw the rights to the X-Men revert back to Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige teased at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 that “mutants” would be coming to the MCU. That’s led to constant speculation over how and when mutants would be introduced into the MCU: would it be the X-Men? Would Scarlet Witch be retconned as one? Although there have been some teases, like the use of classic X-Men location Madripoor, much of Phase 4 has ignored mutants… until Ms. Marvel‘s finale.
Throughout her debut solo run in the MCU, Ms. Marvel’s origins have been a major question, with it unclear exactly how she received her powers. Ms. Marvel linked them to the bracelet she wears, suggesting her powers may be cosmic in nature, such as Kree, or could have connections to the Djinn. There had also previously been speculation over whether the MCU might make Ms. Marvel a mutant, with talk of her powers being genetic, and Ms. Marvel season 1, episode 6 takes that further.
At the very end of the Ms. Marvel finale, Kamala talks with Bruno (Matt Lintz) about her origin, as he’s been looking into it further and comparing her genes to her family, realizing there is something different, saying it’s “like a mutation.” If that alone wasn’t enough to confirm Ms. Marvel is a mutant, there’s also a quick snippet of the theme song from X-Men: The Animated Series, which hammers home the point the mutants are officially in the MCU now.
Is Ms. Marvel A Mutant In Marvel Comics?
Despite the show’s reveal, Ms. Marvel is not a mutant in Marvel Comics, but instead an Inhuman, an ancient offshoot of the human race that came about as a result of Kree experimentation. After 2013’s Infinity storyline, Kamala Khan was among those whose latent powers were awakened thanks to the unleashing of the Terrigen Mists, a mutagen that causes the dormant Inhuman abilities within a person to activate, giving them powers. The MCU has changed Ms. Marvel’s origin and powers, likely because Marvel’s own attempts at introducing the Inhumans to the screen previously failed, with the short-lived TV show Inhumans (which isn’t officially MCU canon) bombing.
Why Ms. Marvel Uses The X-Men Theme Song
As mentioned, the explicit confirmation of mutants in the MCU comes not just from the word “mutation,” which on its own could have several meanings, but the use of the iconic riff from the X-Men: The Animated Series theme song. That itself is interesting, as Marvel also used it for Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. There, though, it made sense because that Charles was seemingly the same one from the Animated Series. Marvel is also rebooting that show with X-Men ’97, which will use the theme song too (it is credited as such in Doctor Strange 2), but its use in Ms. Marvel implies it will be used as an X-Men theme across the MCU.
What Mutants In The MCU Means For Marvel’s Future
Mutants in the MCU raises a lot of possibilities for future storytelling and introducing different characters. Chief among those are the X-Men, the most famous team of mutants that this is a huge step towards, but Marvel making Kamala one opens up the possibility that other characters could be introduced as mutants or retconned into them. For instance, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel appears in Ms. Marvel‘s post-credits scene, and it’s not totally out of the question she could be retconned into a mutant. Ms. Marvel’s mutant origin essentially opens the door to exploring other people who could have mutant genes yet to awaken in them, perhaps even providing an explanation for how mutants can exist in the MCU that avoids them having to be brought in directly via the multiverse. There could be other characters like Kamala, with those abilities waiting to be activated.
For Ms. Marvel, her bracelet awoke her powers; that has links to the Noor Dimension, with a rift to it opened up. If that wasn’t fully closed, or enough energy leaked through, then Ms. Marvel could even explain how all mutants are created in the MCU, with that being what awakens them. Similarly, “mutants” may not necessarily have to apply to how the powers are activated, but more the specific genetics that allowed them to exist in the first place (which again opens the door for more retcons of characters who received powers via different cosmic energies). Ms. Marvel‘s approach to mutants also raises some other interesting possibilities for storylines: Kamala dismisses the idea of “mutation” as “just another label,” but, given how mutants are often discriminated against and subject of in-universe debates at the highest levels of power, then that label sets the stage for the MCU to tackle such stories. It even positions the Department of Damage Control as a potential enemy, with the mention of “this is what happens when the wrong people get powers…kids” setting up not only conflict with mutants, but, perhaps, also a certain school for gifted youngsters.
When Will The X-Men Be Introduced To The MCU?
With the official introduction of mutants to the MCU, the next question is just when will Marvel use the X-Men? Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduced Professor X, but that was a version from another Earth, meaning the X-Men still haven’t been seen in the MCU proper. Nonetheless, with that and now Ms. Marvel‘s confirmation, things are getting closer to it happening. Marvel still hasn’t announced any firm plans for the X-Men, and whether it’ll dive straight in with a typical team movie or if they’re introduce members such as Wolverine and Cyclops in other projects first, whether that’s solo movies/shows or as characters in others. Marvel’s movie slate beyond 2023 is unconfirmed, despite plenty of projects reportedly in development, but there has been little concrete on the X-Men (unlike various other undated projects, there’s no director, writer, or actors attached). That could quickly change though, meaning it’s possible the X-Men could join the MCU properly in 2024 or, more likely, 2025.
Next: Why Marvel Isn’t In A Hurry With The MCU X-Men
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