Mutants have been slowly making their way to the MCU, but the upcoming Secret Invasion series could hold the secret to introducing them officially.
Marvel Studios’ upcoming Secret Invasion series could hold the key to the grand debut of mutants in the MCU. As part of Phase 5 of the MCU, Secret Invasion is set to feature an epic story, bringing back old characters such as Nick Fury, Talos, and Maria Hill, as well as introducing new figures played by the likes of Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, and Kingsley Ben-Adir in a crossover event with an espionage twist. While the plot seems to be dealing with a rebel group of Skrulls on Earth, Secret Invasion is also primed to be paramount in setting up the events of the MCU’s Phase 6 and beyond.
So far, the MCU’s introduction of mutants has been strange, slow and steady but posing more questions than answers. Though the presence of mutants has been gradually becoming more apparent, with Kamala Khan being confirmed as a mutant in Ms. Marvel, Namor naming himself a mutant in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and several mutants being teased in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, viewers are still waiting for some of the most iconic mutant characters to show their faces. The perfect place to introduce mutants en masse to the MCU would be during Secret Invasion, which deals with another species living among humanity.
MCU’s Mutant Origin Is Different From The Comics
Not much is known about the origins of the MCU’s mutants, but if other Marvel Studios’ projects are anything to go by, the history of these evolved humans will likely change dramatically. In Marvel Comics, the First Host of Celestials came to Earth a million years ago and experimented on early man. One created the Eternals, another made the Deviants, and the third created a latent mutant gene in their subjects’ genetic code, which would, thousands of years later, come to fruition in the form of Homo Superior, mutant humans who express remarkable abilities. However, it seems the MCU version could veer away from this origin story.
Eternals introduced MCU viewers to one of these experiments by the First Host but changed the backstory significantly so that the Eternals were no longer the product of experiments on early man but robotic beings created by the Celestials in space. This suggests that the First Host never visited Earth, meaning the MCU’s mutants’ history would need adapting too. In Ms. Marvel, it’s suggested that the dormant mutant gene must be exposed to a catalyst to activate, in that case: Kamala’s bangle. This is vastly different from previous interpretations, which have seen mutant abilities arise during puberty or moments of intense emotion or distress.
Are Mutants And Inhumans One-And-The-Same In The MCU?
It has been theorized for quite some time that Marvel Studios could be integrating mutant and inhuman storylines into one, particularly after Kamala Khan (an inhuman in Marvel Comics) was revealed to be a mutant in the MCU. Marvel’s Inhumans are remarkably similar to mutants. However, they were the product of Kree experiments on early man rather than the Celestials, so it wouldn’t be difficult for Marvel Studios to combine mutants and Inhumans into one. Perhaps if the First Host never visited Earth, meaning mutants aren’t the product of their experiments, it could be that mutants were created by early Kree experiments instead: the Inhumans’ original backstory.
Inhumans have already been seen alongside mutants during scenes on Earth-838 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but since this took place in a completely different reality, it’s possible that Inhumans simply aren’t destined to be featured in the MCU proper. Attempts had been made to integrate Inhumans into the MCU in the Marvel Television series Agents of SHIELD and Inhumans. However, since the latter was very poorly received, and the canonicity of the Marvel Television shows is still unclear, Inhumans haven’t yet been officially introduced into the MCU, and it could be that they never will, being replaced entirely by mutants.
There Are Kree Sleeper Agents On Earth
If Marvel Studios are going to rewrite the MCU’s mutants’ origins as Kree experiments on early man, this could provide the perfect connection to the upcoming Secret Invasion series. It’s already known from previous MCU projects, particularly Captain Marvel, that the Kree and the Skrulls have been waging war against each other for centuries, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for the Kree to be part of the Secret Invasion storyline. Spider-Man: Far From Home already confirmed that Skrulls have been living on Earth disguised as humans, as what was thought to be Nick Fury and Maria Hill reveal themselves to be the Skrulls Talos and Soren in disguise.
During the Far From Home post-credits scene where Talos and Soren reveal themselves, Talos confirms that the Kree have sleeper agents already stationed on Earth. These secret warriors don’t know about their true nature. This could have been a major hint that the Kree created the MCU’s mutants and are waiting for the opportune moment to activate their dormant genes, akin to Kamala’s mutation activating with her bangle and waking up a plethora of mutants in the MCU. Secret Invasion, a story that will surely explore the battle between the Skrulls and the Kree, would be the perfect project for an event of this magnitude to occur.
Secret Invasion Can Finally Make The MCU’s Mutants Known
By the end of Phase 4, mutants were not yet public knowledge in the MCU, still being kept in the shadows, but Phase 5 could see this change. However, the question remains as to how the Kree would awaken their mutant sleeper agents on Earth, though the Marvel Comics source material could contain the perfect answer in the shape of the Terrigen Bomb. This device was used by Black Bolt during 2013’s Infinity event, spreading Terrigen Mist across the Earth, awakening the abilities of thousands of unknowing Inhumans. Something of this nature could easily be adapted to awaken mutant powers in the MCU instead.
If Marvel Studios included an adaptation of the Terrigen Bomb in Secret Invasion as a means for the Kree to awaken their secret, super-powered army to use against the Skrulls, this would be a quick and simple solution to their problem of introducing mutants into the franchise. Thousands of mutants could discover their abilities, and the species would quickly become known worldwide, dragging mutants out of the shadows and into the public consciousness. This would be a monumental, world-changing event for the MCU and could perfectly set up several projects for Phase 6 and beyond.
How Could Secret Invasion Set Up The MCU’s Phase 6?
Marvel Studios have already confirmed their entire slate for Phase 5, but there are still many empty slots waiting to be filled in Phase 6, with several potential projects hoping to get picked for the final slate of the Multiverse Saga. So far, the only announced projects for Phase 6 are Deadpool 3, Fantastic Four, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars, while there are at least seven announced release dates with unconfirmed projects attached, meaning most of Phase 6 is still a mystery. It’s possible, however, that Phase 6 could be inhabited by several mutant-centric projects that might have been kept under wraps to avoid spoilers.
If Secret Invasion is set to deploy something similar to the Terrigen Bomb, but aimed at the MCU’s hidden mutants, then subsequent Marvel Studios projects will undoubtedly be dealing with picking up the pieces. Marvel would also want several mutants to at least be a bit established before joining the Avengers in the ultimate battle against Kang the Conqueror in The Kang Dynasty and to take part in what are set to be some huge events in Secret Wars. This means that Phase 6 could lay the foundations for some mutants in the MCU, with perhaps more detailed explorations happening after the Multiverse Saga ends.