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The first X-Men MCU reference may have been spotted in leaked Falcon and Winter Soldier set photos

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

X-Men appearing in the MCU is no longer a pipe dream. In fact, Marvel Studios may already be busy planting the seeds for mutants to arrive thanks to a curious prop in leaked set shots for the upcoming Disney Plus series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

As you can see below, the set for the first Marvel Phase 4 TV show features a red logo that sure looks like the one found on the flag for the fictional island of Madripoor.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to dig out a dusty old comic book to make sense of it. Here’s the lowdown: Madripoor is best known for its appearance in 1988 comic series “Marvel Comics Presents…” which sees Wolverine take down a crime lord on the Asian peninsula. It has sporadically appeared in the pages of X-Men comics ever since.

Its inclusion here doesn’t explicitly hint at any mutants showing up, but it’s a delicious deep cut that Kevin Feige and company must have known would set tongues wagging. The sudden surge of X-Men attention doesn’t end there.

This follows on from Patrick Stewart, who played Professor X across seven X-Men movies, revealing that he and Feige have had “long, long conversations” about bringing X-Men to the MCU – but wouldn’t be returning himself.

Even though Kevin Feige has previously said we shouldn’t expect any mutant presence in the MCU for a number of years, Marvel is no stranger to laying down breadcrumbs in advance of a big reveal further down the line. Doctor Strange was namechecked in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the less-than-snappy road to the reveal of the Infinity Gems across several Phases showed that Marvel prefers to look towards the future instead of frontloading everything.

So, keep an eye out later this Fall – you never know who (or where, as the case may be) might turn up in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Update:

In other Falcon and the Winter Soldier news, we just got our first look at Wyatt Russell as Captain America. It's surreal seeing anyone other than Chris Evans don the suit, but admittedly the costume and overall look are pleasantly authentic to the comics. You can see John Walker in his new garb in the tweet down below.

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I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.