Now that Marvel and Jonathon Majors have parted ways, a lot of fans have been asking the question, “What’s next?” While the obvious solution seems to be to recast Kang and carry on like it’s business as usual, there’s a better idea. The best way to save Marvel is to use Multiverse Saga as a way to pivot the entire universe. Pivot it and set up an Avengers vs. X-Men film. Drop Kang and make the X-Men the new villains fighting the Avengers.
An Avengers vs. X-Men film would—in theory—kill two birds with one stone. First off, it would give the Multiverse Saga something to build to other than everyone vs one big bad like we just had with the Infinity Saga. Marvel could solve their Kang woes by either eliminating the character altogether or relegating him to a background role while the clash between Earth’s mightiest heroes and Marvel’s merry mutants takes center stage.
Meanwhile, assuming Marvel doesn’t suddenly decide to follow in Zack Snyder’s footsteps and try cramming the initial meeting between the two teams, their beef, and then their reluctant team-up all in one film, there would have to be at least one X-Men film put into production ahead of Avengers vs. X-Men. This untitled X-Men movie could easily carry on from wherever Deadpool 3 leaves off and firmly establish mutants as existing somewhere in the Marvel multiverse before pitting them against the Avengers.
Then, once all the pieces are set up, Marvel can hit fans with an absolute slobber knocker of an Avengers vs. X-Men throwdown. Of course, Feige and Co. still need to establish a reason for the X-Men and the Avengers to fight. For that, we turn to the 2012 Avengers vs. X-Men comic event.
The comic version of Avengers vs. X-Men played out like a more personal Civil War. The Phoenix Force—a nigh, unstoppable power that was the driving force behind the Phoenix Saga and the Dark Phoenix Saga—is coming to Earth and is about to inhabit the body of young mutant Hope Summers. The X-Men want to protect Hope and train her to use the power for good to benefit the entire mutant race, while the Avengers want to take Hope into custody to study her and prevent the Phoenix force from potentially destroying the Earth.
The Marvel cinematic universe version probably wouldn’t want to open the can of worms that is the Phoenix Force so early in the X-Men’s tenure at Disney. However, that doesn’t mean the central conflict of Avengers vs. X-Men couldn’t still easily revolve around a mutant child with the potential to either heal or destroy the world. In fact, dangerous powers could be the X-Men’s whole dynamic in the MCU.
Many fans have wondered what will separate the mutants from every other superpowered being in the MCU when they arrive. The answer will most likely be the dangerous nature of their powers.
Now, obviously, any superpower has the potential to hurt the user or anyone around the user. But when it comes to the Avenger’s powers vs. the X-Men’s abilities, Rogue not being able to touch anyone without putting them in a coma—or worse, outright killing them—is a lot different than gaining the ability to climb walls and jump really high. Mutants often have powers they can’t control, like Cyclops when he doesn’t have his visor or Leech, who involuntarily cancels out the abilities of any superpowered being within 50 feet of him.
The unpredictable and even dangerous nature of mutant powers vs. the planned enhancements of many of Marvel’s already-established superheroes will most likely be what sets the mutants up as something people fear and hate in the MCU.
Avengers vs. X-Men could even stem from the world’s premiere superhero team fearing mutants in general and wishing to study the entire race against its wishes. Whatever the reason for the central conflict, setting up an Avengers vs. X-Men movie would be a smart move for the MCU going forward.
To paraphrase the infamous Regina George, “Stop trying to make Kang happen. It’s not going to happen.” Make the X-Men happen instead.