The X-Men aren’t in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a small role in Black Widow suggests they mightn’t be far off. Actor and bodybuilder Olivier Richters claims he was the first actual mutant to join the MCU franchise.
Posting on Instagram, Richters shared a picture of himself with fellow bodybuilder and Black Widow costar Tony Mantalbano, with several comics panels of his character, Ursa Major. “After two years I can finally tell who my character is: Ursa Major, the first mutant (X-Men) to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” he says in the caption. “Ursa is part of the Winter Guard, noted for being ‘Russia’s answer to the Avengers’. His power transforms him into an incredible bear, transcending The Hulk in size.”
Ursa Majors is the prisoner who gets his arm broken by arm wrestling the Red Guardian, before Natasha and Yelena arrive to stage a breakout. Indeed, Majors is a Russian mutant, with heightened strength, and the power to transform himself into a bear. His tenure in the Winter Guard is an interesting flag, because one of the major stories he was involved in involved War Machine, and the Abomination, who’s returning for Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings.
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The return of the MCU to cinemas, Black Widow set a record for the pandemic box office. Thought it’s set a few years ago, the ending and post-credits scene points to an interesting future in Marvel Phase 4. We enjoyed it, saying that it’s an “entertaining return for Marvel’s big screen exploits that doesn’t redeem past blind spots” in our review.
Elsewhere in the MCU, Loki just wrapped up, with its ending and post-credits scene pointing towards Spider-Man: No Way Home, and beyond. We’ll have to see where mutants fit into what Marvel has planned.
Black Widow is in cinemas now, and available on Disney Plus Premier Access.