Three years after Disney completed its acquisition of Fox, Marvel Studios has finally begun to plant the seeds for the arrival of the X-Men as Ms. Marvel revealed Kamala Khan as the MCU's first. The wait may have proven more than many hoped, as there were early theories some could arrive as soon as Avengers: Endgame, but the studio has clearly been eager to take its time.
Even though the first mentions of the X-Men in the MCU have only just begun with Ms. Marvel's twist, Marvel Studios is famous for planting the seeds for storylines years before they come to fruition. It's for this reason that MCU fans are always so quick to dig into every throwaway line and Easter egg in hopes of finding a deeper meaning.
One such line came in Spider-Man: Far From Home just months after Disney finalized its purchase of Fox, and one theory suggests it may have been setting up the X-Men.
The MCU's Suspicious Kree Sleeper Cells
After playing a starring role in 2019's Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home saw Talos, disguised as Nick Fury, mention "Kree sleeper cells" being active on Earth: "I thought Kree having sleeper cells was top secret information."
At the time, Far From Home screenwriter Chris McKenna commented on the line in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that the Kree name-drop wasn't intended to be a big deal. However, Marvel Studios is famous for retroactively adding new meaning to events and lines years later to suit the current story:
"It was one of those things where we needed a downbeat with Maria and Nick talking in their disguises. We'd be asking [Marvel Studios for] plot points, and they'd be giving us little things here and there. That was one of those things they felt like they could be talking about the Kree. It's that boring of a story."
Back in 2019, the Kree had only been major players in Captain Marvel, on top of Guardians of the Galaxy's Ronan the Accuser, but now they are being poised to be involved in the MCU's introduction of mutants in the imminent future, a drastic departure from the comics.
Are the Kree and Mutants Connected?
Prior to revealing Kamala Khan as the MCU's first mutant, Ms. Marvel hinted at the origin of the bangle that unlocked her abilities with the presence of a suspicious arm. During a flashback to 1942's British Occupied India, Kamala's grandmother Aisha searched for bangles and found one attached to a blue arm underneath some rubble in a British-looted cave.
The body connected to the arm was never revealed, but most assumed it was attached to a Kree - the alien race from Captain Marvel. The Kree don't have much to do with the mutants, but their experimentation on humans was what led to the creation of the Inhuman race.
Based on the few teases of the MCU's mutants that have been revealed so far, there has been some indication they may be merged with the Inhumans. Typically, mutants are born with their powers, and yet Kamala had to have hers unlocked, leading to theories about Scarlet Witch undergoing something similar, similarly to how Inhumans have to undergo Terrigenesis to develop their abilities.
Perhaps the MCU will combine elements of the Inhumans into the mutants to avoid confusion for general audiences about having two similar, but also very different, super-powered races at once. Marvel Studios has combined characters and stories in the past, but using elements of the Inhumans as a means to introduce the mutants would be the biggest change yet.
Did Spider-Man: Far From Home Tease Mutants?
At the time that Far From Home was produced, Disney had only freshly acquired Fox and taken on the rights to the X-Men. With that in mind, the chances are slim that Marvel Studios had even begun to plan out how mutants will come into the MCU, never mind planting the seeds into its movies.
However, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is infamous for adding new meaning to elements of the MCU after the fact to only further its connectivity. With that in mind, perhaps these Kree sleeper cells could turn out to be mutants in hiding as other famous mutants are probably already out there somewhere, such as Namor.
Sleeper cells would be a rather militaristic and conspiracy-driven term to give to mutants in hiding, but as that line was delivered by a Skrull, they would probably have a biased opinion on anything Kree-related due to the famous rivalry between the two races. Or maybe the implication of villainous intention is warranted and this may be setting up the Magneto-led Brotherhood of Mutants.
The group, originally called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, has served various purposes over the years, from terrorist activities targeting anti-mutant figures to all-out world domination. As the Kree originally created Inhumans for their own purposes, perhaps they may have done the same with mutants in the MCU, leading a group such as the Brotherhood to be serving them as a sleeper cell.
With Secret Invasion poised to dive into Skrulls who have wrangled their way into human society and are in hiding, perhaps the Kree's own sleeper cells may come into play. The Marvels could also serve as an outlet to further explain the Kree's mutant connections as Kamala Khan returns, especially after the blue aliens played so heavily into Captain Marvel and ought to do the same again.
Whatever the case, the mystery behind the MCU's mutants will only be furthered in the coming years as the wait continues for the long-awaited X-Men reboot. Maybe Disney's D23 presentation will offer news next month when it takes place on Saturday, September 10.