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The MCU avoided the easiest way to introduce the X-Men and mutantkind to the universe - but doing so was definitely the right call for the franchise.

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The MCU avoided the easiest way to introduce the X-Men and mutantkind to the universe - but doing so was definitely the right call for the franchise.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was right to avoid its easiest X-Men introduction, even if the introduction of MCU mutants happening in the Ms. Marvel finale brought mixed responses. The X-Men have long been a cornerstone of Marvel comics, leading inevitably to the production of a collection of X-Men movies that have had a range of receptions. Despite the MCU having run now for over a decade, however, the X-Men have yet to appear - with even Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver having their backstories changed in order to prevent having to introduce the idea of mutants or the X-Men.

This appears to be changed as a result of a reveal in the Ms. Marvel finale, wherein MCU fangirl and hero Kamala Khan is told that her genetic makeup has "some sort of mutation" that serves to enhance her powers. Though this doesn't immediately equate to every mutant in the entirety of Marvel now canonically existing in the MCU, it hints towards their introduction being impending, and that many beloved characters may already exist in the universe, simply yet to be revealed. Importantly, it also strongly suggests the franchise has avoided using its easiest MCU X-Men introduction, which is the right move in the long run.

With Phase 4 focusing on introducing the multiverse and explaining how it works for the current MCU, many speculated that this would be how the X-Men would finally appear in the big-screen Marvel world, as it could very simply justify the group suddenly appearing. Indeed, with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch having been intentionally not made mutants, it seemed this was the most likely route the MCU could take. This ultimately would have been the exact flaw with doing so - as it effectively makes the existence of the X-Men feel like a retcon, when any other introduction would allow for more depth in their inclusion in the MCU. Though the multiverse and the storylines that have and will come from it are both interesting and engaging, using this new concept to retroactively bring the superhero team into the fold would have limited how much the MCU X-Men could do early into their introduction, as they wouldn't have established roots in the world.

Introducing the X-Men via a solely multiverse-changing explanation would have also required the MCU to further complicate its depiction of the multiverse itself. It's suggested that incursions - events that can destroy realities - are generated by traveling between universes, as the incursions that Earth-838 Doctor Strange and Earth-616 Doctor Strange cause appear to both be generated by their dalliances in alternate universes. If this is to be the case, having the main MCU X-Men appear from another world and stay in the central universe would require the franchise to do a lot of explaining that it otherwise can provide at its own pace.

All in all, having the X-Men not simply pop into the MCU via multiverse shenanigans is worth it in the long run. With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness showing Patrick Stewart's Professor X in another universe, the franchise is still just as capable of providing X-Men cameos whilst taking more care with its actual main introduction of the beloved Marvel team. Given so many years have passed without the X-Men in the MCU, having their arrival be something special pays off both for the world itself, and for the audiences who've spent years hoping to see their favorite heroes finally appear within the franchise.

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