The introduction of mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a hotly anticipated event. Many were under the impression that WandaVision would result in mutants being brought into the MCU. This would've been a clever subversion on Wanda Maximoff's iconic “No more mutants" moment in the comics. However, mutants have turned up in a very unexpected place: Black Widow.
Warning: Spoilers below!
How Black Widow introduced mutants
The MCU's first mutant appears in one of Black Widow's signature set pieces. Before The Red Guardian, Alexi, is freed from a maximum-security Russian prison, the character arm wrestles various inmates.
While wrestling, Alexi tells a story about fighting Captain America. One challenger tells Alexi that he couldn't possibly fight Captain America as he was frozen under the ice during the Cold War. A frustrated Alexi refers to the man as Ursa and snaps his wrist into a very floppy appendage.
As it turns out, the Ursa in question is the MCU's first mutants to make the cut on screen. Confirmed by actor Olivier Richters, the character was actually Ursa Major, aka The Winter Guard. In the comics, the character can transform into a bear.
Ursa Major in the MCU
Richters confirmed Ursa Major's MCU debut in a post on Instagram. The actor stated that he was told he was the first MCU mutant over two years ago. Richters said that he was brought to tears when he found out; it was always his dream to me an official comic book superhero.
"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 (SWIPE photos). 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 appears many times in the comics fighting Wolverine and The Hulk."
"When production on set told me who I really was in Black Widow I let some tears in my hotel room, because my movie dream became true: being a official comic super Hero. I can only hope Marvel will bring back Ursa in full form."
Mutants in the MCU
Unfortunately, the Black Widow version of Ursa Major never uses his bear transformation powers in the movie. As the MCU has yet to officially introduce mutants, this could mean that this universe's version of Ursa Major isn't necessarily the mutant version.
Following the thrilling season finale of Loki, there's hope that a multiversal version of Major could appear. Perhaps the upcoming Multiverse Saga will end in mutants becoming commonplace in the MCU.