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Which X-Men Should Join The MCU First

When Disney shelled out $71.3 billion to acquire 21st Century Fox in March of 2019, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had one thing on their minds: when will the X-Men make their debut in the MCU? Although Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige did confirm that mutants would eventually be heading to the MCU at the San Diego Comic-Con, it appears as though it won't be happening anytime soon. "It's all just beginning and the five-year plan that we've been working on, we were working on before any of that was set," he explained to iO9 in April 2019, adding that "it will be a very long time."

Long time or not, fans' excitement about the inclusion of the X-Men is at an all-time high. The internet is exploding with speculation as to how Disney could introduce the beloved super-team into their expansive universe, with theories ranging from the relatively conservative to the wildly ambitious (please, no more time travel).

Although the Phase 4 lineup of films and Disney+ series primarily features established characters like Hawkeye and Doctor Strange, who says various characters from the X-Men universe couldn't work their ways into those storylines? It worked especially well for Spider-Man and Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, so Feige and company may be willing to try and replicate that success. Keeping that in mind, here are the X-Men that should join the MCU first.

A Storm on the horizon

Black Panther was more than just a money-maker. Sure, it grossed a cool $1.3 billion at the box office, but it also injected a dose of freshness to the MCU's formula by having a uniquely motivated villain, an extremely thought-provoking premise, and arguably the best MCU romance to date. While Lupita Nyong'o and Chadwick Boseman shared undeniable chemistry as Nakia and T'Challa, the King of Wakanda actually married someone completely different in the comics: Ororo Munroe, a.k.a. Storm. 

In comic lore, Ororo and T'Challa first met as children, when she used her weather-manipulating powers to save the young prince from being kidnapped in Africa. The two young lovers remained close through the years, eventually marrying in 2006. Although they eventually had their marriage annulled after the events of the Avengers vs. X-Men story-line in 2012, they still shared roughly six years of marital bliss.

With Black Panther 2 officially slated for release on May 6, 2022, Marvel has a perfect opportunity to introduce the thunderous mutant while staying true to the source material. Back in February of 2018, Comicbook.com asked director Ryan Coogler about a potential Storm sighting in a future sequel. "I don't know enough about that acquisition to even talk about it... if it's something that goes through, I can't think of better hands for those characters to be in than Kevin [Feige]'s." With the rights finally in hand, a Storm may indeed be brewing for Black Panther 2. Look out, Nakia!

Now Rogue's got bad blood

In the immortal words of Lil Jon, "There's about to be a what? Girlfight!" Or at least there will be if Marvel chooses to delve into one particularly prickly super-powered rivalry in the Captain Marvel sequel, which Kevin Feige confirmed was in development while speaking at SDCC.

True comic book fans know that Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, has a twisted history with longtime X-Men member Rogue, whose absorption powers make her a formidable force. Their beef began when Rogue, while working with Mystique and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, drained Carol's powers and memories, stealing her powers of flight and super-strength. Although Carol eventually reclaimed her identity and abilities, she and Rogue have remained fierce rivals throughout the years, more frenemies than allies.

You might be reading this and thinking, "Wait a minute — the Rogue I saw in the X-Men movies only had the ability to drain mutants of their power; I never saw her do anything cool like fly!" The reason Anna Paquin's Rogue was so toned down was because Fox didn't have the rights to Carol Danvers, so they obviously couldn't give her that backstory. Now that Marvel has reclaimed their mutants, it's totally possible that fans finally get a comic-accurate version of Rogue in the MCU. What better way to debut her than trading blows with Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel 2?

Namor, Marvel's first mutant

James Wan's Aquaman hit theaters in 2018, dominating the worldwide box office with a whopping gross of $1.1 billion. Now, for seemingly the first time in the past ten years, Marvel has an opportunity to take a page from the DCEU's playbook and try to capitalize on musclebound fish-men.

Namor the Submariner, Marvel's own King of Atlantis, was their first character. It's been 80 years since his on-page debut, and although he has fought both for and against the heroes of the Marvel Universe during that span, he is widely considered a good guy. He became an official member of the Avengers in 1985, but more recently, he joined the Uncanny X-Men in their 2009 comic run. 

Namor's affiliation with the X-Men has actually earned him a powerful rival in the past ten years: that of Wakanda's King T'Challa, the Black Panther. During the epic Avengers vs. X-Men comic event, Namor, all hopped up on excess Phoenix force, even went so far as to attack Wakanda with his Atlantean army, bringing great destruction to the technologically-advanced city.

Should Marvel choose to bring their "first mutant" into the MCU, Black Panther 2 could be a great place to do so. There was even a potential Easter egg in Avengers: Endgame that fans believe hinted to his arrival, with Okoye mentioning a sub-oceanic earthquake off the coast of Africa. Fingers crossed for a clash of kings in T'Challa's next solo outing.

Heart of Pryde

One of the lasting impacts of Endgame is that Gamora, longtime Guardian of the Galaxy and Peter Quill's "long-term booty call," is not the same badass fans have grown to love. Her character was etch-n-sketched due to the one-two punch of her murder at the hands of Thanos and the repercussions of the Avengers' time heist, leaving us with a Gamora who's alive but hasn't gone on the journey we've witnessed, with no memories of her time with the Guardians — most importantly, with Quill. However, don't cry for Star Lord just yet — it turns out that there could be a new flame in his near future.

Enter Kitty Pryde, the spunky, wall-phasing member of the X-Men. In recent years, Pryde (who has also gone by aliases like Shadowcat and Sprite) has developed a strong bond with Peter Quill in the comics. They first met when the X-Men and Guardians teamed up on a space mission involving the Shi'ar alien race. After completing the mission, the two lovebirds remained close, giving the term "long-distance relationship" a whole new meaning.

Although Fox's X-Men movies did include Kitty Pryde (played by none other than Ellen Page), you could argue that her minor role in that universe didn't do her justice. This is a character who has done some highly impressive things on the page, including traveling through time and even killing Wolverine! If Pryde's MCU debut does take place in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, fans will be treated to a strong female leader with highly-appealing on-screen powers.

Magik in the Multiverse of Madness

At SDCC 2019, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson confirmed his return for the sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Derrickson, whose filmography also includes fright fests like The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, promised to deliver "the first scary MCU film." Seemingly reinforcing this claim, We Got This Covered reported that the main villain in the film is would be Nightmare, the creepy, demonic ruler of the Dream Dimension's Nightmare World. All of these spooky facets would set the stage perfectly for one particular mutant: Illyana Rasputina, a.k.a. Magik.

Magik, who is also the little sister of fellow X-Man Colossus, has a unique connection with the arcane. In addition to her ability to teleport between dimensions, she is a skilled sorceress who can utilize various spells. She also rocks some kickass armor and wields a legendary sword called the Soulsword. Impressed yet?

An onscreen connection with Doctor Strange isn't all that far-fetched, especially considering their similar prowess in sorcery. In the comics, Magik even became capable of wielding the Eye of Agamotto, Strange's signature relic. Derrickson has since departed the project, but including Magik in the Multiverse of Madness would still be an incredibly sensible addition, and a great way to plant the seeds of a potential future X-Men team. Or maybe Strange could start training Illyana to be the next Sorcerer Supreme. Who knows?

Wolverine: friend or foe?

He may not have been part of the original team, but these days, the X-Men without Wolverine is like the Rebel Alliance without Luke Skywalker. Hugh Jackman fantastically played the iconic role for 17 years and nine movies before finally deciding to hang up his claws after 2017's wildly successful swan song, Logan. Wolvie is pivotal to the X-Men universe, but his first major comic book appearance actually did not involve the mutant super team whatsoever. Although the adamantium-clawed badass eventually joined the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, his first outing was in 1974's Incredible Hulk #181, where he fought the Jade Giant.

What could this mean for the MCU? Obviously, you could make the argument that it would be fitting to introduce Wolverine in a future Hulk project, either on Disney+ or on the silver screen. Given that Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner lived through the events of Endgame, you'd have to assume that a character of his magnitude will be featured in the future of the MCU, right? Why not have him square off against an ultra-powerful threat like Wolverine? If so, Professor Hulk better bring his A-Game!

The fangs and fireworks of Jubilee

When Jubilee joined the X-Men at the dawn of the 1990s, she became one of the youngest members of the team's roster. A mutant capable of shooting firework-like energy plasmoids out of her hands, the young Chinese American heroine quickly became a fan favorite due to her quirky personality and dazzlingly appealing power. However, after a run-in with a dangerous foe, she actually became much more than just a mutant.

In the Curse of the Mutants crossover event in 2011, the X-Men found themselves going toe-to-toe with vampires. You know, the blood-sucking fiends that the Twilight franchise tried to ruin? Yep, those guys. Anyways, in the comics, Jubilee was bitten by Xarus, the son of Dracula, and actually became a vampire herself, utilizing a special amulet that allowed her to walk in the sun.

Why should a vampiric mutant earn an early invitation to the MCU? Because the day-walker himself, Blade, is coming (relatively) soon to a theater near you. If Feige and company add a fan-favorite like Jubes to Oscar winner Mahershala Ali's MCU debut, the hype will be unreal. Talk about an explosive opening weekend (pardon the firework pun).

Polaris: Hey, soul sister

Your average mutant fan knows that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, a.k.a. Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, are the biological children of X-Men super villain Magneto. But it takes a more hardcore comic book reader to know that the twins actually have a secret, lesser known sibling: Lorna Dane, the green-haired mutant also known as Polaris.

In the comics, Polaris shares similar abilities to that of her father, being able to manipulate magnetic fields and lift metals. Although she has had her fair share of conflicts with both heroes and villains, she officially joined the X-Men after they saved her from the mutant-hunting Sentinels.

Although Emma Dumont already portrayed her on FX's X-Men-affiliated series The Gifted, there's no reason why the MCU couldn't adapt their own version of the character. Should Disney+'s WandaVision choose dive into more of Wanda's origin story, discovering a secretly gifted half-sister like Polaris could make for a juicy plot twist. 

Hawkeye's arrows vs. Gambit's aces

Poor Channing Tatum. For years, the Magic Mike-star has been vying for a Gambit movie with himself in the titular role. Although it's looking more and more like that film is never going to happen, perhaps there's another way for Tatum to play the Ragin' Cajun in the MCU.

One of the many streaming series on the upcoming Disney+ roster is Hawkeye, a show focusing on Jeremy Renner's archer Avenger. Despite his involvement in the Avengers movies, Renner's Clint Barton is still widely perceived as one of the most useless characters in the MCU. Thus, the anticipation for his own solo series is probably not as high as that of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier or WandaVision.

Perhaps a great way to inject some much needed pizzazz into Hawkeye would be to give Channing Tatum what he's always wanted: a chance to play Gambit. The two heroes have crossed paths in the comics, so it's not an entirely unprecedented move. They both have somewhat similar powers, with Barton's bow precision being compared to Gambit's explosive card-throwing accuracy. Plus, you have to admit, seeing Hawkeye's arrows shooting through Gambit's cards would make for pretty entertaining action sequences. Whether you have them at odds or teaming up, it seems like a great way to lend some hype to a show that could probably use it.

Firestar, Spidey's flame

Although he may be kind of nerdy, don't get it twisted: Peter Parker is a stone-cold player. In the comics, he has shared chemistry with so many women that it's hard to even keep track. Sure, you probably know about his more notorious flames, such as Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, but the wall-crawler's list of lady-loves actually expands quite a bit more than that, including heroines, villains, and even X-Men.

One of the mutants that Peter's had the hots for is Angelica Jones, the fiery X-Men member known as Firestar. Back in the 1980's, Marvel had an animated series called Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. The show primarily focused on Spidey, Firestar, and Bobby Drake (a.k.a. Iceman). Parker and Jones would go on to remain close through years of comic history.

Although the chances of Tom Holland's Peter Parker ever returning to the MCU seem increasingly bleak, it's hard to believe that Sony and Marvel would permanently shut the door on such a profitable partnership. Should the two mega-studios manage to come to terms, we could see Firestar in the MCU, adding a potential love triangle with him and Zendaya's MJ. Nothing like some high school romance drama to get the Spidey Senses tingling!

Iceman and the Frost Giants

Most MCU fans were extremely excited to hear that Tom Hiddleston's Loki, everyone's favorite mythological frenemy, would have his own streaming series on Disney+. Given that the past version of Loki who escaped to live another day in Avengers: Endgame is still hellbent on world domination, it sounds like the ambitious trickster will be getting back to his villainous ways.

One time in the comics, Loki captured the longtime X-Men Iceman in order to try and utilize his freezing powers to make his Frost Giants stronger. Given that the MCU's Loki is also portrayed as the heir to Jotunheim, maybe Hiddleston's iteration of the character will try this ploy, too.

Bobby Drake's Iceman, one of the founding members of the X-Men, has seen his popularity grow throughout the years, but that's not just because of his icy, Queen Elsa-esque abilities. In 2015, he came out as gay, making him an important figure for representation in comics — the kind of representation that's long overdue in the MCU. Of coruse, tying your hopes to the God of Mischief is likely a fool's errand — only time will tell what Loki has up his sleeve for his own series.