'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier': Are X-Men among the non-human villains? Here are all the SHOCKING theories
There's less than a week to go for Marvel's next TV show 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' (TFATWS). Unlike with 'WandaVision', we haven't seen any major spoilers or theories, so we really don't know what to expect. That said, the cast and crew have been dropping some careful hints along the way. The latest comes from none other than the director Kari Skogland, who hints that the villains may not be human.
In a blink and miss it moment, the director might have just hinted that the show's villains aren't from Earth, or at least not entirely. From the trailers, many expected the show's villains to be either Baron Zemo or the Flag-Smasher. In the comic, the Smasher is the founder of a group whose sole purpose is to destroy nationalism. Now, it looks like they could just be red herrings from Marvel meant to keep us away from the actual villains.
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Of course, as with all things Marvel, this could very well be a huge misdirection. Remember Paul Bettany hinting at a huge cameo in 'WandaVision'? In the end, it turned out to be nothing more than Bettany trolling fans. The comment from Skogland could be similar, but there could be a hint of truth. In an interview with The Director, he said, "What I do love is that in all of the cases we're able to spend a little bit more time with them and get to know them and understand them a bit better. So as humans, or not humans as the case may be, whatever, we understand their motives a bit more."
If the show really does have non-human villains, there are three distinct possibilities – the Skrulls, Inhumans or the X-Men. Here's a look at each group and the chances of them appearing in the MCU.
Ever since Marvel bought all the Fox properties, the only question on many fans' minds is - when will the X-Men debut? Technically, the mutants are 'not human', a big plot point not just in the comics but in Fox's X-Men films as well. There's a clear distinction, which drives the conflicts on both page and screen. Does that mean they are the villains Skogland was referring to? It seems very unlikely.
For one, Kevin Feige hasn't confirmed their presence yet. In an interview with Collider, he said, "It has been heavily discussed, as you might imagine. And we have a good feeling of where it’s going and when it’s going, but that all remains to be seen." We can take that as a definitive "no" from him at this point, since, TFATWS has been in the works for years, even before the Fox merger was complete. Another reason why is that mutants haven't existed in the MCU till now, so their sudden appearance would break from Marvel's long-held tradition of carefully grounding their shows in science and reality. Without the why or how their appearance would be vague and confusing at best.
TFATWS is far too early for Marvel to introduce its biggest property, and doing so would distract from the main story. In just six hours, there's not enough time to introduce mutants, delve into Sam and Bucky's relationship and talk about Captain America. So don't expect the X-Men to appear at all.
As the name suggests, the Inhumans are a race of not-so-human characters. They are genetically advanced humans, similar to the X-Men but born as a result of Kree experimentation. They have appeared in a TV show of the same name, and on 'Agents of SHIELD', but are yet to be part of the MCU. It's very possible the Inhumans could debut in TFATWS, given that the MCU has already introduced the Kree. A few lines of dialogue would be sufficient to explain their existence before they get fully fleshed out in further shows/films.
However, it is also quite likely that the Inhumans won't debut in the show. As with the X-Men theory, there just isn't enough time for Marvel to delve into the complexities of a new race, along with the primary narrative. An Inhumans film was also scrapped by Marvel in 2016, with no word on their future. We also haven't heard of the Inhumans featuring in any of Marvel's upcoming projects. It would be very unlike Marvel to introduce such a huge group and then ignore them completely, so it's likely that the Inhumans won't be featured at all.
The Skrulls have already made their MCU debut with 'Captain Marvel'. The alien shapeshifters got an interesting makeover, being depicted not as villains but as innocent refugees instead. We also saw two Skrulls, Talos and Soren cameo in 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' as Nick Fury and Maria Hill, while the real Fury was up in space. Putting those two pieces of information together, it is safe to assume that the Skrulls aren't the villains in the MCU, at least not yet.
Marvel is working on adapting it's 'Secret Invasion' storyline into a TV show. In the comics, the storyline follows the Skrulls invade Earth by masquerading as superheroes. If the show keeps to its comic roots, the Skrulls could end up being the big baddies after all. We know Secret Invasion is in the works, with Feige himself confirming it. There's no way Marvel can introduce such a major event without a few breadcrumbs first, so that does make TFATWS a likely candidate for Skrull villains. Even if they are low-level characters, the reveal could pave way for bigger ones in the coming films and shows.
Skogland could be referring to the Skrulls, it's a very real possibility with 'Secret Invasion' on the horizon. Given that they are already in the MCU, it's the most likely bet. Marvel has the background and established the characters. So if the villains aren't human, they are most likely Skrulls. We don't have to wait long to find out.