An unlikely Marvel film may have unlocked the clue to the next phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Despite having a small contingent of supporters, Thor: The Dark World might is widely considered one of the studio’s weakest outings.
However, there is no denying that it introduced several key elements that became important in later films.
It now seems the film may have laid the groundwork for the arrival of the X-Men with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it piece of writing on Dr Erik Selvig’s (Stellan Skarsgård) blackboard.
In July 2019, studio president Kevin Feige announced the mutants would become a part of the franchise, but did not go into more detail at the time.
Many theries began doing the rounds, with one report claiming their induction could clash with the return of the Avengers in a film that would not be released until Phase Six, which is expected to begin in the mid-2020s. Other reports predicted Wolverine will appear as early as Phase 5.
Fans have slowly been building to the X-Men’s arrival in the MCU. Firstly, in WandaVision, Evan Peters reprised the role of Quicksilver having played the character in the non-MCU X-Men franchise. Then, a location important to the X-Men comics played a part in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
But, the biggest development to date arrived with the release of the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. At one stage, Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer supreme is shown to come face-to-face with none other than Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier.
While it seems Xavier will be in the new film thanks to the introduction of a secret society known as the Illuminati, many fans are wondering how the X-Men will be folded into the MCU, having been absent until now.
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One look at Selvig’s blackboard in Thor: The Dark World could provide a huge hint.
When Selvig is attempting to explain the small matter of the Convergence – an event that sees all Nine Realms placed into alignment – he’s shown in front of a blackboard that has different cosmic anomalies to have rocked the Marvel world written all over it.
Feast your eyes on the following words: “The Fault.” This is a crucial moment from the X-Men comics – it’s a cosmic rift caused by the war between the Kree and Shi’ar that enables the X-Men to join the fold.
Considering that, in the comics, Xavier’s Illuminati is formed in the aftermath of the Kree war with the Skrulls, perhaps it will be explained that The Fault has occurred in Doctor Strange 2.
Perhaps even Doctor Strange himself is the one that causes the cosmic rift.
The Kree-Skrull War will form the basis of the forthcoming TV show Secret Invasion.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on 6 May 2022.