Avengers 4 Theory Explains How to Include X-Men and Fantastic Four

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Ever since Disney announced its plans to buy out 21st Century Fox for the staggering sum of $71.3 billion, three questions have been on everyone's mind: What will happen to the notoriously right-wing Fox News division? Does this signify a huge step forward in Disney's seemingly inevitable consolidation of all of media under its mouse-eared banner? And does this mean the X-Men and Fantastic Four are coming to the ​MCU?

Marvel sold the ​film rights to some of its most popular franchises, including the mutant team and their first family, back in the 1990s after facing bankruptcy. While Sony and Universal seem to be happy to share their rights to characters like the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, Fox has until now been steadfast in its refusal to sell or share their portion of Marvel's IPs.

And now that the idea of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a definite possibility, fans have been brainstorming how their favorite characters might be included in an already-established world. With most of the theories hinging on the anticipated and untitled Avengers 4, ideas have ranged from time-travel shenanigans to alternate universe displacement.

One recent theory that gained some traction is that the characters we know and love are already in the ​MCU, but haven't developed their powers yet. In the case of the Fantastic Four, the theory posits that Reed Richards and Susan Storm will appear in Avengers 4 as scientists studying the phenomenon of Thanos's mass murdering snap from Avengers: Infinity War.

The idea is that they believe Thanos's victims are not dead, but rather transported into the recently discovered Negative Zone. They will attempt a rescue mission to the alternate dimension, which will include Ben Grimm as their pilot and Susan's brother Johnny as a stowaway on their ship.

However, in the middle of their mission, Thanos will be defeated by the Avengers and a "reverse-snap" will shock them back to the MCU reality, exposing them to cosmic energy rays and giving them their superpowers in the process. This will turn them into ​Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch, respectively.

The theory's explanation for the existence/nonexistence of the X-Men is equally as plausible but much more convoluted, borrowing slightly from the X-Men's origin via the now-defunct "Ultimate" universe in the Marvel comics. Apparently, in the 1950s and '60s, at the height of the Cold War, the American government was desperate to remake the super soldier serum they'd previously used to create Captain America.

But since they had no viable samples of Dr. Erskine's formula, they resorted to new methods of human enhancements, involving a dirty bomb that was dropped (either intentionally or by accident) on a civilian population. While the bomb thankfully had no visible effect, it did release a surge of invisible, gene-altering radiation across the planet.

Of those affected, only a very small number immediately developed mutant powers, making it easy for them to hide on the fringes of society, undetected by major spy agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. However, thousands of people across the globe now carry an unactivated X-gene and could give birth to an entire generation with the same potential.

The theorized "reverse-snap" to bring back all those who had died in Infinity War would also release an energy wave which would activate all latent X-genes and reveal the mutant population to the world. This would inspire the appropriate fear and distrust of mutants which has formed the thematic basis of the ​X-Men since its inception.

In the chaos, mutant leaders like Professor X and Magneto would rise to prominence, having already amassed mutant followers in secret to follow their respective ideologies. Obviously, these theories are unsubstantiated by virtue of being just that—theories—but they are cool little thought experiments about where the franchise could go now that it has virtually unlimited resources, and characters.

DC's Penguin Rumored to Be Main Villain in The Batman

ABC Television, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
ABC Television, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Little information about Matt Reeves’s The Batman has been released, but a new report by We Got This Covered claims that Oswald Cobblepot, otherwise known as the Penguin, will be one of the main villains in the upcoming film.

Fans have been excited about this rumor since last year, when celebrities such as Josh Gad took notice. Gad took to Twitter at the time to throw his hat in the ring for the role of the Penguin.

Despite the actor’s enthusiasm, it remains unknown who will actually don the Penguin’s iconic top hat for the part. The report states that Reeves requested the Penguin not appear in the upcoming Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn), which will be released in February 2020.

This rumor lines up with previous ones that named the Penguin as a very possible choice for the film’s main antagonist. Last May, Variety’s Justin Kroll reported he was “hearing the Penguin is possibly the choice to play the main villain” in the highly anticipated film.

Last month, rumors swirled that Warner Bros. was eyeing Jonah Hill for the role after Reeves and Birds of Prey star Margot Robbie both followed Hill on social media. Nick Frost and Andy Serkis have also been rumored as possible choices.

Adding to all the speculation, Gad again took to Twitter to tease the role, either hinting he has been cast as the Penguin, or just reiterating his desire to play him.

Reeves has kept fans in the dark during the development stages of the The Batman. "There are ways in which all of this connects to DC, to the DC universe as well," Reeves said last year. "We’re one piece of many pieces so I don’t want to comment on that except to say that I’m focused very specifically on this aspect of the DC world."

If rumors claiming that The Batman will begin filming in November are true, more information about the cast should be revealed in the coming months.

Marvel Timeline Shows That The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor Took Place in One Week

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Comic book fans are aware that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a shared one, where events that happen in our favorite superheroes' lives happen in the same world. But what some of even the most diehard Marvel fans might not know is that some pretty major MCU events have actually happened at the very same time. In fact, the events of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor all took place within the same week.

An old infographic from The Art of Marvel’s The Avengers depicts the timelines of all six individual Avengers movies in extreme detail, going so far as to break down each week into day and night, clearly explaining when and how each moment took place.

Day one starts off with S.H.I.E.L.D. monitoring Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, and Jane Foster, and ends with Stark and James Rhodes battling it out in Stark’s Malibu mansion.

The infographic shows that within the same week of Stark Expo exploding in Queens, the Incredible Hulk took on the Abomination in Harlem in what came to be known as the "Duel of Harlem," Asgard was attacked, and the tiny town of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico was demolished.

The time period—which ends with the Hulk defeating the Abomination and is known as “Fury’s Big Week” (though it's a pretty busy one for S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, too)—is one of the busiest weeks in the entire history of the MCU, and leads up to the key moment where the Avengers Assemble!

Avengers: Endgame, the final film in the Avengers series, will arrive in theaters on April 26, 2019.

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