Ms. Marvel made huge waves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the get-go with its AvengerCon setting. Marvel superfan Kamala Khan defies her parents to go to the convention for superhero fans, and it’s there she first dons the bangle that awakens powers within her. The setting was full of Easter eggs, including glimpses of countless cosplayers and a wall memorializing Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark.
But could there have been a bigger secret suggesting a shakeup to the MCU? Recently released concept art suggests just that.
Artist Shae Shatz published concept art for Ms. Marvel’s AvengerCon scene on his ArtStation page. At first glance, it doesn’t look too different from the version we saw in the final product, but a discerning eye can find several elements that seem out of place. Is that a stormtrooper wandering the floor? And a pink Darth Vader? Was there really an exhibit called “Stuff the Hulk Broke”?
But the most exciting Easter egg is included in three black and white images depicting a huge Ant-Man statue looming over the convention floor. In one, two fans take a selfie in front of the statue, and one of them is cosplaying as Cyclops.
Cyclops, as an X-Man, isn’t yet part of the MCU. He is, however, Disney’s intellectual property, and could feature in a future MCU project. Do the X-Men already exist on Earth-616, and just haven’t been featured in any MCU stories yet? Do they, like Darth Vader, exist as fictional characters? Do people on Earth-616 think Cyclops is cool? Or was this just a case of a concept artist filling a crowd scene with something familiar?
Regardless of the answer, this raises questions about just how the X-Men will be brought into the MCU. Because Ms. Marvel threw out Kamala’s Inhuman comic book background and instead casually mentioned that she has mutant genes, mutants have technically been introduced into the MCU.
Kamala dismisses the mutant terminology as just another label, but that label could still be a door for the X-Men to sneak in through. No one really seemed shocked by Kamala being a mutant and, at least according to this concept art, mutants are already kicking around.
Though it’s unceremonious, this is our first glance of the X-Men in MCU canon, aside from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness briefly showing us a Professor X from another world. But is this just a glimpse of what’s to come? Maybe at the next AvengerCon, Ms. Marvel will be on a panel with some other mutants.
Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney+.