It’s only been about three years since the last X-Men movie but already fans miss those merry band of mutants. Sure, the movies weren’t perfect, and some, like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: Apocalypse, were outright bad, but they still had a certain charm, an irresistible nostalgic pull that most people couldn’t resist. The Fox X-Men movies were the first true cinematic comic book universe, and they established a foundation that helped the MCU take over the world with 2008’s Iron Man.

Well, it appears the X-Men universe might be making another return trip to the MCU. After being teased last year in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the Ms. Marvel Disney+ series, Marvel is strongly hinting that the X-Men will show up in The Marvels, the latest movie from the MCU blockbuster factory. The Twitter account MCU – The Direct pointed out  in a recent trailer highlighting the movie that text appears onscreen with the words “What Comes Next.” All the letters fade out…except for the letter X. The music then briefly changes to a strong-heavy score that’s very reminiscent of John Ottman’s now-classic compositions for the first two X-Men movies.

Now this could be just a coincidence or a case of eagle-eyed fans willing to a non-existence Easter egg out of thin air. However, Marvel’s been leaning pretty heavily on the multiverse lately (to rapidly diminishing effect) and it’s clear they are itching to bring the X-Men into their universe and take the spotlight away from their lackluster lineup of heroes. (Seriously, is anyone excited for Black Panther 3 or Ant-Man 4?)

20th Century Studios / 20th Century Studios

Additional evidence points to the very real possibility that the X-Men, or at least Fox’s version of the X-Men, will pop up somehow in The Marvels, despite the fact that it’s been pegged as a silly outer space comedy adventure with nothing to do with the multiverse. Sammon News on Twitter pointed out that in The Marvels Press Kit, John Ottman’s two scores for X2: X-Men United and X-Men: Days of Future Past are mentioned in the end credits. Hmm, that’s … odd.

Marvel Studios

Why on Earth would those scores be credited in The Marvels? Well, obviously because something X-related is going to happen that will necessitate those scores being used to conjure up that once-dead universe. And since we’ve already seen Professor Xavier getting his neck snapped by Wanda Maximoff and Kamala Khan being designated as a “mutant,” it’s clear that the X-Men are inching closer to a formal introduction into the MCU. It’s just a shame that it will be in The Marvels, which is tracking to be one of the MCU’s lowest-grossing movies ever. Ah well, there’s always Deadpool 3.

The Marvels is in theaters November 10.

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