While the X-Men have yet to debut in the MCU, there are still many references to the mutants that have come throughout Phase 4. For starters, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced Madripoor, a key city tied to mutants, specifically Wolverine.
The Easter eggs didn't stop there, as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness featured an appearance from Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier, making him the first on-screen mutant to appear in the MCU. Furthermore, Ms. Marvel also confirmed that Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan is a mutant, ultimately changing her origins from the comics.
Now, it seems that Thor: Love and Thunder almost featured another direct reference to the X-Men.
Thor 4 Could've Featured an X-Men Reference
Marvel artist Sung Choi took to Instagram to share a piece of concept art from Thor: Love and Thunder, showcasing an unexpected tease that has ties to the X-Men.
The image features an appearance from Cyttorak, a mythical entity behind the power of Juggernaut:
The character can be seen sitting on a throne in Omnipotent City alongside other gods:
In the comics, Cyttorak is also known as the Destroyer, Lord of Oblivion, and Master of the Raging Storm. The character is a powerful being from the Crimson Cosmos, with him being worshipped as both a god and a demon by primitive humans on Earth.
To continue unleashing his destructive power on Earth, he would select Cain Marko as his next avatar, giving him powers via the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak.
Here's a closer look at the throne room in Omnipotent City:
Will Other MCU Movies Reference the X-Men Before their Debut?
This isn't the first time that a reference to the X-Men was ultimately scrapped from an MCU project. Official concept art from Ms. Marvel revealed that the series almost featured a Cyclops Easter egg, but it was not included in the show's final cut.
This latest omission is possibly not coincidental as this marks the second time that an X-Men reference was removed. It's possible that Marvel Studios is telling its visual artists to be open with their ideas about crafting the movie's set pieces, thus resulting in the inclusion of this Juggernaut Easter egg. However, the timing of the X-Men reference could be the culprit for its removal.
At this point, it is unknown when the mutants will properly debut in the MCU. Some are speculating that the characters will appear after the ending of the Multiverse Saga while others theorie that they might make their presence felt in the next two Avengers movies.
Despite that, these consistent references (even though some are scrapped) will hopefully build anticipation for the X-Men's introduction alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the near future.
Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters worldwide.