It finally happened. After years of speculation, clues, misdirections, and a Variant Professor-X from another world, mutants have officially joined the MCU’s prime reality. Ms. Marvel‘s season revealed Kamala Khan’s genetic makeup is different from the rest of her family. Her powers don’t solely come from her innate Noor abilities. No. Ms. Marvel‘s MCU powers also come from a mutation in her genes. Just in case there was any confusion about what that means, though, that franchise-altering moment featured an iconic musical cue to make sure we know Kamala is a mutant… And if she’s been walking around without knowing who or what she really is, Earth-616 might already be home to a bunch of other MCU X-Men already.
In Ms. Marvel‘s second episode Bruno told Kamala her power was not coming from her bangle. Her power was coming from inside of her. The bangle simply unlocked her superhuman abilities. Those powers ultimately came from her ancestral connection with the Noor Dimension. Kamala is a descendant of Aisha, a ClanDestine who hailed from Noor. But the ClanDestines could not access their home world’s power while banished on Earth. Kamala could, though, because she was a descendent of both dimensions. She had a native Noor great-grandmother but was born on Earth, same as Kamran.
The show’s season finale finally answered the obvious question raised by that explanation. If Kamala and Kamran could access their Noor powers, what about Kamala’s brother? Or her mother and grandmother? They’re all Earth-born, Noor descendants, too. Only, it turns out there’s a huge difference between Kamala and her family. And that difference not only helped made her a superhero, but it changed the MCU forever.
Aamir kept asking Bruno if he also had powers like his sister, so Bruno rechecked Kamala’s genetic make-up to compare it to her family. That’s when Bruno discovered he got it all wrong the first time. Here’s how he explained the truth to his friend:
We know why you have access to the Noor and how you can wield it, but when I compared you to the rest of your family something still seemed off. Kamala, there’s something different in your genes. Like a mutation.
Fans who have long-awaited mutants arriving in the main MCU reality might have wanted this monumental moment to feature angels playing trumpets. Instead, the show gave us something even better. And it erased any doubt about what this really meant. Kamala processed the news as the iconic theme from X-Men: The Animated Series played. That’s the exact motif from the song that accompanied the Variant Professor X when he first appeared in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It’s also the song that will play on Disney+’s upcoming X–Men ’97 animated series. The show will pick up where the ’90s cartoon left off.
By playing that exact song right at that moment the word mutation was mentioned, it was like Ms. Marvel included a banner saying, “Yes, this means Kamala really is a mutant!” Finally, MCU mutants, and maybe even X-Men, have arrived.
This stunning scene obviously has massive implications for the entire MCU. How many other people like Kamala have a genetic mutation they don’t know about? Do other MCU mutants already exist on Earth-616 but remain in hiding? Have they been around for a long time? Or, like Kamala, did they need something to unlock their innate powers? Did the Snap, the Blip, Tony’s use of the Infinity Gauntlet, or all three do that for some? Could it have been the near-birth and death of a Celestial? Or does the force have to happen much closer to an individual? Is that what took place with Monica Rambeau on WandaVision when she passed through Wanda’s hex? (The fact Kamala will return in The Marvels alongside Rambeau only makes that seem more likely.)
These are just a fraction of the questions we have because now that mutants have truly arrived in the MCU the possibilities for introducing more of them seem infinite. Will Kamala’s comic book bud Wolverine show up in The Marvels? Will we learn more than we expected from X-Men ’97? What other superheroes in the MCU are going to learn they also have a genetic mutation they never knew about? Which MCU X-Men have already come together?
Whatever answers we get we’re just glad we get to ask these questions now. We spent enough time wondering about “when” the X-Men would arrive.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.