Introducing the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a tricky proposition, and not just because we’ve already seen a dozen movies featuring the characters already, with The New Mutants still planned to escape from cinematic purgatory eventually, too. Due to previous rights issues, the MCU has never been allowed to use the word ‘mutant’ before, so how they explain their existence and subsequent debut in a mythology that’s existed with its own set of rules for over a decade has to be handled very carefully.
While the reboot isn’t expected to arrive until the tail-end of Phase Five at the earliest, there’s nonetheless been almost constant speculation about how Charles Xavier’s students will be absorbed into the MCU, and now tipster Mikey Sutton has claimed that Beast could be one of the first members of the team to show up and it won’t even be in an X-Men-related project.
According to Sutton, Beast will be introduced in an as-yet-unannounced S.W.O.R.D. show on Disney Plus. We know that the organization is set to make its debut in WandaVision, and Hank McCoy’s ties to the group in the comic books do match up with a couple of things that we’ve been hearing about the show lately.
In the pages of Marvel Comics, Beast was romantically involved with Abigail Brand, the head of S.W.O.R.D. who we previously learned was set to become Nick Fury’s replacement in the MCU, with S.W.O.R.D. themselves poised to replace S.H.I.E.L.D. as the overseers of Earth’s superhero activity.
While this rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, it would definitely be a smart move on Marvel’s part to start slowly rolling out familiar X-Men characters throughout the various movies and TV shows instead of simply launching them with a full-blown reboot, and it also would fit the MCU’s established formula of debuting important new characters in small but notable parts before expanding their roles in the future.