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Since its debut, Marvel's Runaways has steadily built in quality and popularity. While some have derided the show as "Dawson's MCU," others have enjoyed Buffy-esque vibe and interesting take on what it means to be a powered young person.
While it's not clear that Runaways exists in the MCU, there is at least one character who has appeared in an MCU movie. Disney now owns the majority share of Hulu as part of their recent Fox acquisition, along with a whole new batch of young(ish) mutants they can play with, so the chances of Runaways being part of the core MCU just went up considerably.
Does this mean a rough road ahead for the young team as the less famous group? Or could they do Marvel a solid and help to introduce The X-Verse into the MCU?
Introducing the MCU version of the X-Men, whether using the Fox-verse or a new version, is going to be tricky. There has been no mention of Mutants, Xavier, Magneto, or any of its other aspects in the MCU so far. For Runaways, this isn't an issue as their adventure is only just beginning in 2017 and they wouldn't be on anyone's radar. Yet the whole Mutant/X phenomenon would be harder to have "just been hidden." There IS a way however, that the X-Verse can be included in Season 2, setting up the whole MCU franchise.
Charles Xavier contacts The Runaways.
When the team of teens are finally on the run, one of them has "visions" of a man who wants to help them and is guiding them to a safe place.
As Gertrude Yorkes already has a psychic link to her pet dinosaur, Old Lace, it seems logical she would be the one to pick up the signal. Think of Stephen King's The Stand, where people are guided to Hemmingford Home, only this time they're going to upstate New York.
The rest of the team may or may not believe her or want to follow, but it stands to reason that if the X-Men exist in the same universe as the Runaways, not only would Charles Xavier be aware of their struggles but be actively seeking to find them for his fledgling school.
At the same time, it's equally likely that Magneto and his emissaries are also trying to reach the newly powered group, offering them a different perspective which may appeal to some members more than Xavier's School for the Gifted.
Nico Minoru is the perfect character to cross over...
Nico is a character that could be the focal point of a power struggle between the X-Men and the Brotherhood, as her magic could help both causes immensely. The fact that her mother Tina WAS part of Doctor Strange (just a different actress) means that it's very easy to establish The Runaways as part of the current MCU and thus by extension, the X-Verse.
By the time a second season airs, Lyrica Okano will be in her mid-twenties, so it will be easy to move the character into the Avengers, Doctor Strange or X-Men movies, reflecting some time has passed if needed.
Molly Hernandez is a perfect candidate to be part of Xavier's school as a student, young, unsure of herself, and her powers, left feeling betrayed and alone, especially if the comics are followed and she really feels she has "no family left."
Karolina Dean also has scope to cross over as part of the Captain Marvel story. As half alien, she is someone who Carol Danvers could work with/come into contact with or who might gel with the X-Men themselves while Chase Stein's intellect and Fistigons could make him a valuable warrior for either side.
Those who know the comics know which side Alex Wilder would choose and this in itself is no bad thing; it would be interesting to see how Magneto would utilize his mind for strategy and logic, perhaps even to plan atrocities/attacks for The Brotherhood. Sadly, we also know what lies ahead for Gert but if they did decide to deviate, then she and Old Lace would be great additions to any X-Men team.
Of course, Marvel may have other plans to introduce the X-Verse. However, their stake in Hulu allows them to utilize the platform more than ever before for their own ends and while people might expect a big screen post credit scene, doing it lower key on a show like Runaways makes it must see, something very useful if they decide to move Runaways to their own platform or buy out full control of Hulu.
Whether they overtly show the X-Men and Mutants, or whether they simply tease them, doing so in Runaways is an excellent way to let fans know the X-Men are coming!
Imagine this as the last shot of 'Runaways' Season 2...
Whether we actually see Xavier or not is almost immaterial. That kind of shot would give us all we need to know the X-Verse DOES exist and that Runaways also exists in the MCU. The rest then is easy!