Despite the studio’s recent key-jangling Easter eggs and continual hints to the contrary, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore has confirmed that it “might be a few years” before Disney officially introduces the X-Men to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Moore, whose lengthy career as a Marvel producer has also seen him serve in the role on such other MCU entries as Captain America: Civil War and Eternals, spoke to the studio’s plans for their merry band of mutants during a recent interview given to Screen Rant on the topic of the Black Panther franchise’s future.
Opining as to which Marvel Comics characters fans could see introduced in a future Wakanda-related adventure, Moore asserted, “Well, Storm’s relationship with Wakanda in publishing is pretty interesting.”
However, offering a significant caveat to his mention of the weather manipulating Ororo Munroe, the producer quickly lamented, “Obviously, we might be a few years out from the X-Men, so I’m not sure we’re there yet.”
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In addition to Storm, Moore further speculated, “Who else from Wakanda have we not introduced? I mean, there’s a pretty deep bench, actually. And especially, I think, Ta-Nehisi’s run introduced a lot of key characters that would be fun to export.”
“Even characters like Vibraxas, which are more Fantastic Four characters,” he concluded. “But yeah, it’s a pretty deep bench. I think there’s a lot more stories to tell on Wakanda for sure.”
First meeting during a particularly tumultuous time in both of their respective childhoods, T’Challa and Storm would eventually reunite in the opening days of the 616’s superhero civil war, with the Wakanda king proposing to the veteran X-Men member soon after.
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A few months later, their union would be made official, with their ceremony in Wakanda even serving as a temporary cease-fire to the then-ongoing hostilities.
However, as is typical of the capes-and-tights game, their relationship was not meant to last.
When the battle lines were drawn between the Avengers and the X-Men following Namor’s Phoenix Force-fueled destruction of Atlantis (as seen in 2012’s aptly named Avengers vs. X-Men event), Storm sided with the X-Men – in the hopes of finding a peaceful and amicable solution to the conflict – over T’Challa and his fellow Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
In the end, this betrayal would prove too much for T’Challa to bear, and as the High Priest of the Panther Clan, he proceeded to annul their marriage and cut ties with his now ex-wife for the time being.
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Notably, Moore’s suggestion that the proper arrival of the X-Men in the MCU is still a ways off paints Marvel’s aforementioned turn to dangling the beloved superteam in front of fans in a far more cynical light (if that was possible) than ever before.
While before such reveals as Kamala Khan being the cinematic continutity’s first mutant, an analog to the 1990s incarnation of Professor X appearing as member of an alternate universe’s Illuminati, and Hugh Jackman returning for one final outing as Wolverine could be seen as the studio laying the groundwork for the X-Men, given this new revelation, it seems these hints were nothing more than “better bait” with which to entice fans into giving Marvel their time and money.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters this Friday, November 11th.
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