With The Walt Disney Company's purchase of 21st Century Fox, the rights to the X-Men characters have now reverted back to Marvel Studios, which means that the X-Men are going to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point in the not-too-distant future. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Charles Xavier, Rogue, and yes, even Wolverine are going to be recast and somehow folded into the narrative of the MCU, a fact that just about every Marvel fan is over the moon about. Of course, this comes with its own complications, as this current on-screen universe will have to find a way to explain various things about the race of mutants, their origins, etc.
There are also unique challenges that come with introducing some of these individual characters, and watching back through the early MCU films to prepare for Avengers: Endgame next week, I thought about an issue that might come up when it's time for Wolverine to make his debut. That issue is the existence, and current state, of Vibranium in the MCU.
Marvel Studios has spent quite a lot of time in multiple movies explaining that Vibranium, the substance mined by the Wakandans, is undoubtedly the strongest, most advanced, most indestructible metal on the planet. All of Wakanda's weapons are made out of this stuff, as is Captain America's shield, which we've seen hold its own against the likes of Thor's hammer. That's no easy feat.
The point is, Vibranium is the only thing in the MCU that can do these things, but that's sort of supposed to be Adamantium's shtick, right? If you're unfamiliar, Adamantium is the metal inside the body of Wolverine throughout the comics. It can withstand any force and it can cut through anything. It's basically another Vibranium with an equally ridiculous name.
In the expansive universe of Marvel Comics, no one bats an eye about this, but the two substances are entirely too similar to coexist in the MCU. "Oh, you have an indestructible metal that can do anything at your disposal? Well so do I! Nevermind that we're from the same planet and thought only our precious metal existed, let's ignore that!"
It won't come across too well on the screen. Fortunately, there are ways around this that can help make the introduction of Wolverine a little easier, and help keep the movies a little more grounded than the comics.
Adamantium could come from another planet or galaxy, which would make Wolverine even more unique than he already is. The downside to this though, is that you would run into potential complications tying an Earth-bound character to tech from outer space. That would likely have to be addressed at some point.
The best option is to just use Vibranium for Wolverine and ignore Adamantium altogether. Remember, the MCU has already done this once, as the on-screen Ultron utilized Vibranium even though his comic book counterpart was made from Adamantium. You could also simply alter Vibranium in some way, giving it a new name in the process. This would help audiences make sense of this new substance while also adding to the experimental nature of Wolverine's origin story.
Regardless of how the MCU chooses to deal with it, Vibranium will have to be part of the conversation when Wolverine finally arrives. When that debut actually occurs is another conversation for another day.
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