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What part of the Marvel comic book history will the Marvel Cinematic Universe choose to emulate when introducing the X-Men into the landscape? How will Kevin Feige ensure that the representation pays tribute to the source material — presenting the characters in canonical fashion — while also dodging Fox representations that have grown tired? How will the MCU breathe new life into familiar characters, and which members of mutantkind will be the focal point in the MCU’s illustration? Based on recent information, Storm may become a more integral player than she was in the Fox franchise, following an introduction in Black Panther 2. 

Marvel Studios MCU
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019 | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Under Fox, Magneto and Professor X went head to head; the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants were at the center of the original trilogy; Patrick Stewart’s Xavier had his team, and Ian McKellan’s Magneto has his. As the series progressed, the characters fought and negotiated, compromised and clashed, agreed and disagreed, as humans were spared and sacrificed, protected and neglected.

And Fox, though taking liberties with the comics, drew upon some of the most famous narratives and central character from the source material to create their saga. When the MCU takes over the X-Men, it would be wise to avoid rehashing the same dynamics and the same plotlines — the same political divides and societal inquiries. Thus, Wolverine, Magneto, Xavier, and Jean Grey may take a backseat at the start, as placing new characters in the limelight will be an easy way to suggest a new central story.

Storm may join the superhero soirée in ‘Black Panther 2’

According to Marvel and DC Insider, Mikey Sutton, Storm may make her introduction in Black Panther 2; whether she and T’Challa will begin a romance (as is the case in the comics) remains up in the air. However, rumor has it that the studio is looking to cast Janelle Monáe as Ororo Munroe in the sequel.

If Storm joins the MCU in Black Panther 2, she may be one of, if not the first mutant to join the landscape. Meaning, the X-Men storyline can pick up at different origin point in the comics (when compared to Fox), using conversations, flashbacks, and or prequels to hint at the Fox arcs that fans are already familiar with. If the mutant saga starts at a different point in time, Storm can either be the headmaster of Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters or the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning. 

Storm to become the leader in the MCU’s take on the X-Men?

Though the Fox franchise hinted at Storm’s leadership potential, it did not dive into the extent of her leadership responsibilities as the saga progressed. Xavier often trusted the character to lead the X-Men into battle, and she even went on to take over his school. She was Xavier’s protege, so to speak, as she had a balanced mindset, control of her powers, and a societal perspective and worldview that he admired. He trusted her to do the “right” thing. 

Years down the line, Wolverine built a school where Xavier’s school previously stood, and he named it after Jean Grey. Storm went on to become the headmaster at this institution, so the MCU could also start from a later point in time — when Xavier’s relevance is placed squarely in the past, and Storm’s leadership comes front and center. The mutant dynamics and plotlines can then grow outward from Storm, relying on her connections (and those characters’ connections) in the comics.