Very early this morning, the official Marvel Entertainment Twitter caused a bit of a hype storm when they posted a very cryptic bit of promotion:
II IV V VI IXhttps://t.co/x8cfBZV3wn— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) June 14, 2019
Past the roman numerals, that tweet links to this article on Marvel’s website, which is made to look like a leaked confidential report complete with dense blocks of code and pictures of three heavily redacted documents. Obviously—like all fun bits of interactive viral marketing—there’s plenty of information to glean from the article’s non-redacted elements. In the first two documents, there are references to Captain America, Wolverine, and the respective Super Soldier and Weapon X programs which brought both of them to prominence. The third document describes Weapon XIII, a slightly more obscure X-Men character who goes by the names Charlie Cluster-7, or Fantomex. All three documents say they should be unclassified on June 17, 2019. Surprise! That’s just a few days from now!
The timing, content, and manner in which Marvel posted this “confidential” article has led a lot of fans to speculate that an X-Men related Marvel Cinematic Universe announcement is in the offing. After all, Fox’s X-Men series just concluded with Dark Phoenix, and with Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, Marvel Studios’ “Phase Three” is also coming to a close. Even though we know Marvel is working on films about Black Widow, Shang-Chi, and The Eternals, so much about their future slate remains a mystery. Now would be as good a time as any to unveil their grand follow-up to the Infinity Saga—their plans to bring the X-Men and mutants into the MCU fold, right?
Well, no. It is highly unlikely that Marvel is alluding to an X-Men-MCU crossover with that cryptic tweet and article. My apologies to the (currently 10K) people who favorited that tweet believing it to be movie related. What’s much more likely is that Marvel is promoting one of their upcoming comic books by teasing it cryptically, which is something they love to do. One could argue that it’s a bit irresponsible of them to play coy seeing how they share a name with the biggest film franchise of all time. But seeing how I’m giving them free press to diffuse this situation, one could also argue that it’s a stroke of genius on their part.
There are quite a few upcoming comics Marvel’s “confidential” article could be teasing. There’s Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus whose first issue comes out in July, and there’s Jonathan Hickman’s much-anticipated X-Men books House of X and Powers of X, also starting in July. Hickman has been coyly teasing his books for a while now on his personal Twitter, and Marvel has hyped them up by saying they contain “the most important scene in the history of the X-Men.” Considering how the X-Men and mutantkind have been wiped out whole-cloth multiple times in the comics, it’s hard to imagine what a much more important scene would look like, but Hickman might be a writer who could pull something like that off. If he has, it’s easy to see why Marvel would want to push this new event with viral marketing tactics.
So that’s really all there is to it: Marvel is teasing some comics. If you’re a fan of those, get hype, but if you’re only here for the movies, don’t hold your breath for Monday’s announcement.