With all upcoming Marvel blockbusters like Black Widow and The Eternals bumped back several months due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, another massive Avengers team-up is still a few years off. Still, given the tremendous box-office success of Infinity War and Endgame, we're willing to bet that Avengers 5 is an inevitability. Though the next outing for Earth's Mightiest Heroes is likely years away, there's a clear way to get the band back together while introducing Marvel's favorite mutants to the MCU.
Avengers: Age of Ultron saw Wanda Maximoff and her brother, Pietro, obtained powers after being exposed to the Mind Stone. While the film never directly refers to them as mutants, that is precisely why they’re so powerful in Marvel comics. With that in mind, a fascinating new theory may reveal how Age of Ultron helped set up the X-Men and how Avengers 5 may bring back an old villain to finish carrying out those plans.
Reddit user Bobby_Go suggests Ultron’s “original plan was to create the X-Men,” in order to compel humanity to change and evolve. Ultron says the only way for humans to advance is for the Avengers to die, believing that they’re essentially holding the population back.
Ultron mentions evolution several times throughout Age of Ultron, in a manner that's strikingly similar to Magneto's crusade in the original X-Men movie. By turning humans into mutants, it speeds up the evolutionary process, presumably ushering in a new era. The theorist cites that Ultron partnering up with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, two of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men comics, is indicative of his plans to advance humanity.
Marvel did not have the movie rights to the mutant team when Age of Ultron was made. However, now that 20th Century Fox has been folded under the Disney/Marvel umbrella, it’s possible for Ultron’s presumed plans to take shape. Despite the villain being dead, Ultron is not human, but a form of artificial intelligence created by Hank Pym. Ultron 2.0 could return in some form in a later MCU outing. It’s possible that the groundwork laid in Age of Ultron will come back to the forefront, expanding upon what the film started.
Wanda is still alive and one persistent rumor claims the upcoming WandaVision for Disney+ could incorporate an X-Men storyline. Perhaps whatever’s left of Vision will be reallocated to create a more advanced version of Ultron. Or, the A.I. is still alive in the MCU somewhere. That’s always possible considering how powerful Ultron was.
The Inverse Analysis — If the old villain does return in Avengers 5, perhaps he’ll have picked up a few more powerful humans to assist in his plans for evolution. There are so many ways that the MCU could introduce the X-Men, but there’s arguably no better way than by tying it back to Ultron’s original plans to “better” humanity. Whether or not Ultron will ever return to the MCU remains to be seen, but the idea that the A.I.’s plans were to evolve humanity provides the perfect backdrop for the X-Men’s eventual arrival.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently streaming on Disney+.