The Marvel Cinematic Universe was built out of spare parts. With heavy-hitters like Spider-Man and the X-Men owned by different studios, Marvel Studios bet big on less popular characters and emerged victorious. Suddenly, Iron Man and Captain America became a big deal for ordinary, non-nerd people. Marvel no longer needs their big guns to matter. And now, they’re showcasing their clout by ruthlessly removing the X-Men from the comic book landscape using the characters they intend to replace them with – the Inhumans, who not-so-coincidentally have their own Marvel movie on the way.

Introduced into the MCU during season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with plans for a movie in 2019, the Inhumans are a strange bunch with a complicated history. Here’s the short version: a certain percentage of people are the descendants of humans who were genetically modified by some extra-terrestrial dabbling. Hidden in their DNA are super powers that are only unlocked via the Terrigen Mists, a strange vapor that cocoons those with latent Inhumanity, allowing them to emerge with powerful abilities.

And now, it’s being revealed that the Terrigen Mists are toxic for Mutants, creating a plague that threatens to decimate the X-Men and their allies. Oh, and it renders them sterile for good measure. Check out a few preview pages from the upcoming series Extraordinary X-Men by Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos:




Let’s give Marvel the benefit of the doubt for one second. Maybe this is a decision born out of wanting to give the always-embattled Mutants a new threat to face. Maybe it was not a decision made because 20th Century Fox owns the film rights to the X-Men and relations between Fox and Marvel are at an all-time low.

But nah. Just like how Marvel cancelled the Fantastic Four comic series and other merchandising just in time to spite the new movie (not that it needed any help), Marvel is pushing the X-Men into a tight spot solely to give the Inhumans prominence in the pages of their comic books. This allows them to set the stage for the future of the MCU, where the Inhumans can be the new “mutants”. Rather than shrug off the fact that they can’t put Wolverine and Storm and Cyclops in their movies, Marvel is choosing to burn one of their flagship superhero teams to the ground.

The current internet scuttlebutt suggests that this new crisis will send the X-Men to another planet, where they can have their own adventures away from the characters who actually have a chance to show up in actual Marvel Studios movies. Ouch.

This is the future of superheroes – the machinations surrounding the movies will dictate what goes down in the pages of the comic books. We get it. It’s a business. We just wish these kinds of business decisions didn’t involve the annihilation of beloved characters.



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