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An ‘Avengers: Endgame’ plot hole might be used to introduce the X-Men

Published Jan 3rd, 2021 5:15PM EST
Avengers Endgame
Image: Marvel Studios

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  • One of the biggest Avengers: Endgame plot holes concerns the Infinity Stones of Marvel’s main timeline, which Thanos destroyed early in the film.
  • But Thanos did not remove them from existence. He just turned them into atoms. The Stones still exist in the universe, and a fan theory says the huge energy burst that occurred when the Stones were destroyed could explain the arrival of X-Men.
  • Marvel has not used mutants in the MCU so far, as it didn’t have the rights for the characters. Following the purchase of Fox, Marvel will bring the X-Men to the MCU, but it’ll have to do it in a way that doesn’t create plot issues with the events depicted so far in the Infinity Saga.

We’re less than three weeks away from the debut of WandaVision on Disney+, which will mark the launch of Phase 4. It’s happening more than half a year later than expected, but the pandemic ruined Marvel’s plans for 2020. We’ve recently learned a lot more details about Marvel’s Phase 4 films and TV shows, with Kevin Feige announcing plenty of new shows during Disney’s Investor Day event a few weeks ago. The Marvel executive also confirmed that Fantastic Four is in the works, with Spider-Man: Far From Home’s Jon Watts set to direct.

Feige did not tell us anything about the only Marvel property that Disney has to address formally — the X-Men — which will have to be brought into the MCU fold. The popular Marvel superheroes were not available for the previous phases, as Fox retained the rights. Marvel crafted the entire MCU without using any mutants in it, with the Romanoff twins being the closest thing we got to the X-Men. This poses a major problem for Marvel. The company has to find a logical explanation for the mutants, given what has happened in the main MCU timeline. There are various theories about how that might happen, with one of the latest leveraging the MCU science to explain how the main plot hole in Avengers: Endgame might be used to bring the X-Men to life.

Watching Endgame only once isn’t enough to comprehend everything right away. Too much happens in the span of three hours, and the first time you see the massive Marvel film, you’re too emotional to pay attention to all the little details. It’s a rollercoaster of excitement, surprise, and heartbreak throughout the film. The plot is complex, the time travel rules aren’t like in most movies, and there’s fast-paced action throughout Endgame. But each time you watch Endgame after that first time, you’ll be able to detach yourself emotionally and observe everything. The film has been streaming online for quite a while, so seeing it at home comes with the added benefit of controlling the playback and rewind when more clarity is needed.

After that first viewing, you might find yourself questioning some of the plot details and finding plenty of potential plot holes. What’s great about Endgame is that most of those plot holes can be easily explained.

Avengers: Infinity War - Thanos
Screenshot from Avengers: Infinity War: Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet. Image source: Marvel Studios

Right after the Endgame premiere, I highlighted several potential plot holes and said that the biggest question I had concerned the Infinity Stones. The time heist plan allowed our heroes to steal Infinity Stones from other timelines to beat Thanos. The Stones in the main timeline were destroyed after the events in Infinity War. But the Avengers also took those Stones back to their original places to keep those timelines safe. The Ancient One made it clear that a universe is doomed if the six Infinity Stones aren’t present. So how could the main timeline move forward if Thanos destroyed them?

The Russo brothers explained in interviews that Thanos actually says that the Infinity Stones have been reduced to atoms. They might be destroyed in the sense that you can’t actually see them, but their atoms are still floating around the universe. A Marvel campaign on social media focused on the Stones’ fate in early July, reminding us they were all destroyed.

This is where New Rockstars’ fan theory about the origin of the X-Men comes into play. The YouTube channel uses science to demonstrate the Stones’ presence and their potential impact on humans.

We know from the Avengers movies that the Infinity Stones have a signature gamma radiation. That’s why Bruce Banner was able to use Stark’s Infinity Gauntlet to undo the Snap. Banner was harmed physically, just like Thanos during the process, but Banner can withstand gamma radiation better than anyone else. It’s what turned him into Hulk.

New Rockstars brings physics into play to remind us of the law of conservation of energy that says the total energy of an isolated system remains constant. Energy can’t be created nor destroyed, but it can be transformed or transferred from one form to another.

Paul Bettany as Vision and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Image source: Marvel Studios

Three of the four Snaps in the film transform some of that energy for a particular purpose. Thanos kills half the world. Banner brings everyone back. Iron Man kills all of Thanos’s forces. But when Thanos destroyed the Stones, that explosion has just sent those atoms into the universe, traveling at speed and impacting whatever might have gotten into their way. The Stones’ destruction was an energy-intensive process that’s clear from the first few minutes of Endgame. That’s how they locate Thanos, that gamma radiation signature.

The YouTube channel explains that particles from the six Infinity Stones could have reached humans carrying the X gene. That cosmic radiation would turn those people into mutants. Wanda also carries the X gene, and her powers are derived from the Mind Stone. Carol Danvers got her powers from the Space Stone, although she’s not a mutant.

There are a few problems with the theory. First, there’s a question of timing. How long would those particles need to travel from Thanos’s retirement planet to Earth? If it’s less than five years, then X-Men would be around by the time the events in Endgame occur. If it’s more than five years, then the X-Men will be activated at some point after the Avengers Compound battle.

If Marvel uses the cosmic gamma radiation of that Infinity Stones explosion to create mutants, then all of the X-Men in this timeline would be activated at a certain point in time. This would rob us of origin stories because all the mutants would have been regular people until those Infinity Atoms would have reached them. They might need to be X gene carriers to have their powers activated, but they’d have none of that history that we want. This is actually the main problem with this theory. Then again, more people like Wanda might have had some sort of powers before interacting with atoms from an Infinity Stone.

There are other ways to bring the X-Men to the MCU, with the multiverse being one of the simplest explanations. And WandaVision is about to show us what happens when you mess with universes. But the reason the YouTube channel came up with this theory has something to do with the upcoming Marvel TV series. Vision is still seen carrying the now-destroyed Mind Stone, as seen in the image above.

The full Infinity Stones theory follows in the video below:

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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