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The Avengers 4 Theory About The X-Men Will Make You Think

This Avengers 4 theory is X-tra special. 

When it comes to Avengers 4, it seems like everyone and their comic book movie-adoring mother has a theory about what will happen in the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War follow-up. We've heard the idea that Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark and Josh Brolin's Thanos actually met before the events of Infinity War, and that Avengers 4 will see Earth's Mightiest Heroes travel back to the past to try to stop the purple-faced despot from destroying the universe. We've also heard whisperings that Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner and the Hulk may finally learn to co-exist, leading Banner to become Professor Hulk; that Tony Stark might have a child with Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts; and that he might even die. We've also mulled over the idea that Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange will journey to the Soul World and later enter the Quantum Realm in Avengers 4

These are all solid ideas worth exploring, but a new Avengers 4 theory has us really thinking about what might go down.

Over on Reddit, user PhobeterWorse posted a theory that claims mutants (namely the X-Men) have always existed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that they'll be introduced in Avengers 4 following a reversal of Thanos' snap that killed half of all living beings. 

PhobeterWorse grounded their theory in the idea that at the end of Avengers 4, one of two things will happen to those who were affected by the snap: they'll either be "brought back into existence," or be "transported back to their home planets." If the once-dead heroes return to the land of the living, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel might burst onto the scene and save the day, as she may be the only character with the physical prowess and mental fortitude to wield all six Infinity Stones and "undo everything." Alternatively, "a few of the original Avengers" actors whose contracts with Marvel Studios are about to expire might sacrifice themselves and live in the Soul Stone "in an attempt to bring people back." 

Both courses of action, as PhobeterWorse postulates, will bring people — even those who aren't on Earth — back from the dead. 

That's right — we're talkin' about characters like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four getting "added to Earth" after Captain Marvel and/or the Avengers undo the consequences of Thanos' Infinity War snap in Avengers 4

It sounds simple from the outside, but there's a lot going on in this theory, so let's break it down.

PhobeterWorse's idea is that the initial Snappening sparked genetic mutations that were already taking place within the MCU, resulting in some humans who were wiped out as a result of Thanos' evildoing to come back as mutants. The theory notes that S.H.I.E.L.D. went to great lengths in the 1950s and 1960s to "create enhanced individuals," like Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier, and created a "dirty bomb that had no effect on those tested," which the organization later abandoned. 

"This was the origins of the work seen in Avengers 2 that created Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The difference being the bomb's energy surged across the planet, creating mutants out of developing fetuses in gestation — it unlocked a gene," PhobeterWorse wrote. "Very few of these fetuses would develop abilities. We see two familiar figures come together in college in the 1980s and use their gifts in similar ways to help others like them. The generation they were a part of had children, Millennials. These would be the modern mutants."

After the snap, however, a "wave of energy would hit," causing "mutant abilities to unlock in the genes to develop throughout this new generation" and in future generations as well. PhobeterWorse adds that two people who could be affected by the S.H.I.E.L.D.-crafted bomb would be none other than Wolverine, also known as James "Logan" Howlett, and Sabretooth. 

As for the Fantastic Four, PhobeterWorse posited that the team will be introduced as scientists who are "ripped back to Earth forcefully through the Negative Zone" after someone — perhaps Captain Marvel — reverses Thanos' snap. The force of being pulled through the alternate, antimatter universe is what gifts the crew their powers. 

So, with all that said, how valid is this theory? Would it hold up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe High Court — you know, if that were a real thing and not just something we made up right this very second? From our vantage point, it seems like it could.

PhobeterWorse gathered up some strong evidence to support their theory, specifically four previously teased Avengers 4 details.

The first point is that the film will "be more 'space-centric,'" something Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige hinted at in a past interview with Omelete (via GeekTyrant). "If the Avengers survive, we will see more films with them in space," he said. This particular notion connects to the mutant ability-stirring energy wave that happens post-snap-reversal, as well as the Fantastic Four traversing the Negative Zone before being pulled down to Earth. 

Secondly, it's been said that Captain Marvel will play a major role in Avengers 4. Feige touched on this with Entertainment Weekly, telling the outlet, "She is more powerful than any character we've introduced thus far. So that alone tells you that there's a reason Nick [Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson] hit that button at the end [of Infinity War], when he realized that they were up against something far bigger than they had ever been up against before. And having her on your side is hopefully going to change the balance of power in a way that they desperately need."

If Captain Marvel undoing the damage Thanos did in Avengers: Infinity War and saving the entire universe isn't the definition of "changing the balance of power" in a way that the Avengers "desperately need," then we don't know what is. 

Avengers 4 will clearly alter the MCU as we know it forever, potentially through adding new characters, which PhobeterWorse pointed to as their third and fourth bits of theory corroboration. 

Introducing new-to-the-movie-series characters like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four would definitely change the MCU in a major way — and it's not like that's a far-fetched idea. Feige once discussed with Gamespot the importance of featuring new and different characters in Marvel movies in the future.

"[Evolving Marvel movies] is perhaps the most important thing. That is the most important thing, and that's what you've seen happen over the past 20 films, different genres, different heroes, heroes maybe you've heard of if you'd read comics, heroes you might not have ever heard of even if you did read comics," he said. 

Granted, fans have already seen the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in various different movies, but they haven't yet seen them in Marvel films. The world of comic book mutants is wide and reaching, so who's to say some of the heroes whose existence Marvel wants to set up in Avengers 4 can't be members of the X-Men who haven't yet graced the silver screen?

Marvel's parent company Walt Disney Studios is currently completing its $71.3 billion deal to acquire Fox, the studio that holds the film rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, so it's only a matter of time until the characters enter the MCU. Considering Avengers 4 wrapped principal photography ages ago (directors Joe and Anthony Russo shot Infinity War and Avengers 4 back to back), fans probably won't see the heroes on the big screen when the film drops in May 2019. Still, there stands a chance that the Avengers 4 story will set up the possibility of that happening somewhere down the line. 

For now, we'll simply have to kick back, relax, and count down the days until Avengers 4 debuts in theaters on May 3, 2019 to find out what really happens.