Recently rumors have been flying about the future of the Fox X-Men franchise and the possibility that Stage 4 of the MCU could finally bring in the beloved mutant superheroes. While nothing has been confirmed by either studio at this point in time, fans (and even some actors) are already speculating on the perfect way to combine the franchises based on their previously intertwined backgrounds in the comics.
Avengers vs. X-Men
If or when the X-Men join the MCU, some kind of misunderstanding-based conflict between the two superhero groups is inevitable. While they have both clashed and worked in tandem many times over Marvel Comics history, two story arcs specifically titled Avengers vs. X-Men exist.
The first is from the late 80’s and sets the X-Men against the Avengers in an attempt to save a reformed Magneto from going to trial. The better-known series from 2012 pits the two teams against each other over the presence of the Phoenix Force and whether it should be used to save the mutant race or destroyed.
If an Avengers vs. X-Men movie does happen, it will probably be dramatically different than either of the comic arcs (similar to the Age of Ultron and Civil War adaptions), but the general idea and the title are ideal for any future films that bring the teams together.
House of M
The House of M storyline is another storyline that could be used to bring the X-men into the Avengers world.
In the comic, the Scarlet Witch uses her reality-bending abilities to construct a world where her father Magneto rules the United States and mutants are the dominant species. She uses Charles Xavier’s telepathy to find her friends and allies most profound desires and give them a seemingly perfect life, but this ends in tears when their true memories return, and they attack Magneto and his family in a desperate attempt to change reality back.
As it involves reality warping and the inclusion of new characters such as the Scarlet Witch’s formerly lost children, House of M has been put forward as the perfect opportunity for the X-men joining the MCU. Scarlet Witch actress Elizabeth Olsen has even suggested it in a recent interview.
Due to the poorly handled portrayal of the Witch’s mental health and the demonization of her character in comics for nearly ten years following it, it is far from a popular choice for many comic fans.
The 2015 Secret Wars storyline is also based in reality warping and merging.
In it, a complicated chain of events throughout the Marvel Multiverse cause ‘incursions,’ different universes collided and destroyed each other. It eventually led to the destruction of the prime Marvel reality, pieces of which merged with other universal fragments. In the end, the universe was safely restored, but with added aspects from other worlds including popular characters such as Ultimate Spider-man (Miles Morales).
An adaption of this storyline could function the same way a House of M movie would, providing a plot-related excuse to add the X-Men and mutants to the MCU. Perhaps most importantly, Thanos and the Black Order were vital to the Secret Wars set up; this could mean that Avengers: Infinity War is a natural stepping-off point for the cinematic merger.