Earlier today, the Walt Disney Co. announced a deal to acquire most of the key assets of 21st Century Fox, including its film and television production studios. What this means for fans of Marvel’s superheroes is we’ll soon live in a world where the X-Men, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four can interact with the Avengers and the rest of the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A key quote from the announcement that is the deal “provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”
The thought of finally having the majority of Marvel’s most popular characters under one movie studio is enough to send our geek minds into overdrive. Just think about some of the interactions we can witness in the future: Wolverine and Captain America fighting side-by-side; Spider-Man swinging by the Baxter Building to hang out with his best friend, Johnny Storm; Doctor Doom presented as the next “big bad” all of the heroes have to unite against.
With these possibilities in play, we’d be crazy not to look back at some of Marvel Comics’ biggest events, to see which ones should be adapted for the MCU with the additions of the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
House of M
The first crossover event Brian Michael Bendis wrote for Marvel was 2005’s House of M, illustrated by artist Olivier Coipel. The story saw the Scarlet Witch use her reality-altering powers to create a new world after a mental breakdown. The event is remembered more for its fallout, which included Wanda Maximoff uttering the famous line, “No more mutants,” which lead to her using her powers to greatly decrease the number of mutants in the Marvel Universe.
The ramifications of the Scarlet Witch’s actions were humongous; the number of mutants dwindled from the thousands to a mere 200, and no new mutants were being born. This greatly affected the X-Men line of comics for the next five-plus years. The heroes went into survival mode, and a rift was created between Cyclops and Wolverine. It was only after another event on our list that these changes were undone.
Of course, some groundwork would have to be established to get to a House of M type of story in the MCU. It would have to be established that Magneto is Scarlet Witch’s father, since he played such a crucial role in caring for, and ultimately manipulating, Wanda. Also, Wolverine played the role of the only person who knew the truth about their new reality. It would be worth the extra work, though. Just like in the comics, a House of M movie can set up future films down the line, especially for the X-Men.
Bendis shows up again on our list as the writer of the 2008 crossover Secret Invasion with artist Leinil Francis Yu. The crux of the story is the Skrulls, an alien race of shape-shifters, had secretly invaded Earth by replacing prominent characters in the Marvel Universe with members of their race. It began when the Avengers discovered the assassin Elektra (currently starring in Marvel’s street-level shows on Netflix) was a Skrull when her dead body reverted back to its green-skinned natural state.
The realization that several members of the superhero community have been secretly replaced by Skrull agents would rock the MCU to its core. Marvel Studios could select a supporting character like Hawkeye to be a Skrull; or, it could go big with a star like Captain America or Iron Man. Once the secret is out, the Avengers could head to the Skrull homeworld in space to rescue their comrades.
Secret Invasion would come at an opportune time, as the aliens are set to be the villains in Captain Marvel. Though that film takes place in the past, it can introduce the alien shapeshifters to a wider audience, and sow the seeds of how Skrull spies infiltrated our human hero’s ranks. The Skrulls always existed in a gray area, with some believing their rights were owned by Fox. However, their inclusion in Captain Marvel proved that wasn’t the case, with the characters being shared between Disney and Fox, much in the same way Quicksilver could appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron and X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.
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