Warning: SPOILERS for The Invincible Iron Man #10Marvel’s the “Fall of X” has brought Iron Man and the X-Men together like never before. As the agents of Orchis use Tony Stark’s resources and technology to upgrade their mutant hunting Sentinels, the Armored Avenger and the heroes of Krakoa finally have a common enemy – but a revelation proves they also have a common history, which could be the key to the mutants’ MCU debut.

The Invincible Iron Man #10 – written by Gerry Duggan, with art by Juan Frigeri – pits Emma Frsot and Tony Stark against he anti-mutant industrialist Feilong, sending them on a journey into the villain’s psyche.

Among the new information this trip down Feilong’s memory lane provides, is a message from Howard Stark to Tony, revealing the existence of mysterium.

The Invincible Iron Man #10 places the newlywed heroes inside the villain Feilong’s psyche, in order to steal secrets to win the war against Orchis. One of those secrets is an old celluloid message from Howard Stark, meant for his son Tony, but viewed and then destroyed by Feilong himself. Fans of the MCU will likely recognize the valuable element Howard Stark’s message reveals to Tony – mysterium. The issue ends with a promise that mysterious will play a vital role in mutantkind’s war for survival against the mutant-hating organization Orchis, with this powerful substance helping to connect Iron Man and the X-Men even further than readers expected.

Mined from the White Hot Room using a specialized mutant circuit, the X-Men have been using mysterium as a galactic bargaining chip since they first terraformed Arakko, declaring themselves speakers for the Sol system. Their prime link to mysterium is its nature as a mutant element that could only be accessed by mutants; it’s clear that for all his genius, Howard Stark couldn’t find his way around that fact. After all, like Iron Man’s grandfather, Howard Stark Jr. was an unparalleled intellect, but he was only just a man, and not even he could have theorized how to successfully access such an unattainable space as the White Hot Room.

MCU fans don’t yet know how the X-Men will tie into the sprawling multimedia storyline, but the idea of Howard Stark discovering a new element is all too familiar to longtime viewers, having first played a role in the Iron Man trilogy. Iron Man 2 (2010) confirmed that Howard Stark discovered a hidden miracle element, one that ended up saving Tony’s life during the events of the film. If the newest onscreen iteration of the X-Men were to retroactively canonize that unnamed element as mysterium, the MCU’s new mutants inhabitants would have a natural link to the already long-running cinematic universe.

While Tony Stark will not be there to see mutants integrate and coexist with the established heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it appears that the comic book iterations of Iron Man and the X-Men have just taken their alliance to the next level. With the secret of msyterium tying them closer together than ever before, Tony Stark, Emma Frost, and mutantkind finally have what they need to take the fight to Orchis. And while Marvel Comics’ Iron Man and the X-Men are formidable on their own, together the potential threat they represent for their enemies is nothing short of elemental.

The Invincible Iron Man #10 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.

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