The X-Men Might Be the Only Marvel Property That Can Relieve the MCU’s Woes
The X-Men Might Be the Only Marvel Property That Can Relieve the MCU’s Woes

The X-Men Might Be the Only Marvel Property That Can Relieve the MCU’s Woes

The X-Men Might Be the Only Marvel Property That Can Relieve the MCU’s Woes

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With The Marvels set for release this week amid rumors of a X-Men cameo, let’s examine why the mutant superhero team may be the perfect thing to reinvigorate the MCU right now.

Ever since Avengers: Endgame, the MCU has lost a bit of its identity with the departures of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Those two actors, in particular, basically cemented the franchise as the faces of the MCU as Iron Man and Captain America, respectively. Who has taken the place of these important leadership figures in their absence? It’s not entirely clear.

Lately, the MCU has spent a heck of a lot of time introducing brand new characters, like Hailee Steinfeld‘s Kate Bishop, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight, and Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi. However, none of them seem to signal a new “face of the MCU.” What’s more, established characters like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange or Tom Holland’s Spider-Man don’t seem to be proper replacements either, despite both getting their own movies in Phase 4.

Granted, Iron Man was not a household name back in 2008 when Downey Jr. first brought the character to life. So we could easily see Marvel Studios making a similar transformation for someone like Shang-Chi from a nobody to the face of the franchise. However, the issue is Iron Man had a whole entire trilogy within the span of just five years to establish this reputation, whereas it’s been two years now since Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings without so much as a single sequel even announced.

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Instead, we are getting flooded with even more ancillary characters, from Echo to Ironheart, and it’s no clearer who the heart and soul of the Avengers team is supposed to be at this point. Enter the X-Men to swoop in and fix the MCU’s identity crisis.

X-Men: The saviors of the MCU

Image via Marvel Studios

It’s only a matter of time before the X-Men are introduced formally into the grander narrative, as the forthcoming Deadpool 3 is surely an indicator of. With Marvel’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019 came a slew of new characters who could be inducted into the MCU at arguably its lowest point so far. Although the franchise will likely ease into the introduction of mutants, as the rumors about Storm and Beast making a cameo in The Marvels can attest, it’s only a matter of time before grander figures make their debut.

Even if none of them were played by legacy actors, but a completely new cast, characters like Wolverine, Professor X, Cyclops, and Magneto are already so iconic that they could single-handedly inject the MCU with a much-needed sense of identity once again. Who could doubt the leadership and authority of Professor X as a freedom fighter for mutants everywhere, and indeed, one of Earth’s most valuable defenders?

A total reboot of the MCU to bring back people like Captain America, Iron Man, and even Black Widow may be the long-term game-changer to revamp the MCU’s slump, as is the rumored plan for Avengers: Secret Wars. However, in the meantime, maybe it would be best to put the likes of Wolverine and company, whoever they’ll be played by, front and center.

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We’ll have to see which mutants will pop up, other than Imani Vellani’s Kamala Khan of course, when The Marvels hits theaters on Friday, Nov. 10.


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