Could we have been looking at - hell, OBSESSING OVER - the way Marvel Studios could bring the X-Men (and mutantkind as a whole) into the MCU?
There's been a lot of speculation about mutants joining the ongoing Marvel movie franchise (because we've already been told there won't be a reboot or side timeline to accommodate them) and how Kevin Feige is possibly going to do it. We've all been led to believe that the Fox deal came way too late for anything to happen in the currently slated Phase 3 movies, so expecting anything in Avengers 4 was always a little unlikely. But what if we see the CAUSE of mutantkind's arrival, if not the actual arrival itself.
One fan theory posted on Reddit might have stumbled upon a clever idea for that trigger event. It asks the question: what if a SECOND snap using the Infinity Gauntlet leads to a mass "awakening" event that creates mutants, rather than their arrival being a side-product of an opening between alternate dimensions or the revelation of some sort of Secret Wars event that took them all off-planet.
The theory posits that because Scarlet Witch and Quicksulver are effectively mutants (as they are in the comics), despite being called "Miracles" who were "created" by the Mind Stone, there's precedent to suggest that Infinity Stones could create mutants. And since the Infinity Gauntlet is basically an amplification artefact (that's why the Stones need each other), that could make a similar physiology change on a global scale possible.
There's precedent to suggest that the Twins were the only successful guinea pigs for HYDRA because they already had something within them. They essentially had a latent mutant gene that needed to be unlocked using the Mind Stone to allow them to access their powers. And if that's the case they cannot be the only ones.
The theory also suggests that the second snap - which could be the means to defeating Thanos - will create a shockwave of the same energy that transforms the Maximoffs, amplified by the Gauntlet but also combining the powers of the Reality Stone and the Time Stone to affect more than just individuals.
The premise is essentially the same as when Dawn Summers joined Buffy The Vampire Slayer in season 5 and everyone accepted that she'd always been there before slowly discovering that she had not. Similarly, everyone would wake from the second snap knowing that mutants had always been around, aside for those involved in direct conflict with Infinity War (to set up a future conflict between X-Men and Avengers).
It's a clever idea, particularly as it means there doesn't need to be multiverse shenanigans and it ties in with the importance of the Infinity Stones (as well as reiterating the powers of the Stones to empower certain individuals like the Twins). And it's certainly better than some of the alternate theories out there.
The only problem is that it would potentially wipe out things like the importance Wolverine's backstory as an old mutant (and indeed any ancient threats like Apocalypse), but then again, if mutants have ALWAYS been around, there's no saying that the change to reality doesn't go all the way back to the beginning of time?
And perhaps it wouldn't be the worst thing for Marvel to concentrate less on the past when it comes to the X-Men, given how much focus there's been in the current X-Men timeline on past events. This would be one hell of a way to make it all new and all different.
What do you think of this theory?