Mutant Madness

Black Panther theory reveals the surprising way one X-Men joins the MCU

It all ties back to vibranium.

Mystery surrounds the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Upcoming films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home will explore its multiverse, while titles like The Marvels and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are set to expand and shift the focus of their own standalone franchises in unique and unexpected ways.

Since Disney formally acquired 20th Century Fox two years ago, Marvel fans have wondered how mutants, and the X-Men, will be introduced in the MCU. Predictably, Marvel has been frustratingly silent on the matter, leaving fans with more questions than answers.

Fortunately, one Marvel fan has offered up a new theory that could solve not only a major mutant mystery but also answer a lingering question from one of the MCU’s best films.

The Heart-Shaped Herb as seen in 2018’s Black Panther.Marvel Studios

The Heart-Shaped Herb — The same meteorite that first brought vibranium to Wakanda — as seen in the opening minutes of Black Panther — may explain two ongoing MCU mysteries, according to Redditor u/LogicDog.

What if the heart-shaped herb that grows out of vibranium-rich soil was the secret ingredient that Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) used to perfect his Super-Soldier Serum in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger? It’s an interesting theory that we’ve previously written about, but it remains compelling to this date.

However, the meteorite that brought vibranium to the Earth could have also carried adamantium, only for the adamantium portion to splinter off and land in a different region of the world. If so, that could help Marvel introduce a character like Wolverine — whose claws are made of adamantium — into the MCU. It would also answer a question fans have fretted over since Avengers: Endgame hit theaters in 2019.

Thanos wielding his double-bladed sword in Avengers: Endgame.Marvel Studios

Adamantium in the MCU — Up to this point, vibranium has been established as being the strongest alloy in the MCU. However, Thanos still managed to cut Captain America’s vibranium shield in half during their fight in Endgame, and fans have been eager for an explanation ever since.

Adamantium, meanwhile, is one of the only substances that Marvel could conceivably introduce as being stronger than vibranium (or, at least, able to cut through it). With that in mind, making adamantium a cosmic property in the MCU can explain how Thanos was able to cut through Cap’s shield. In other words, if adamantium really does originate in the cosmos, Thanos could have melted it down to make his double-bladed sword.

Should Marvel choose to reveal that a portion of adamantium came to Earth on the same meteorite as vibranium, the studio could theoretically use that plot point as a way to bring a character like Wolverine into the MCU. The studio could easily reveal that another nation discovered a piece of adamantium hidden somewhere on the planet decades ago, then using it to experiment on soldiers.

That’d make sense within the world that Marvel has created over the last 13 years. It would also work as a way to retroactively integrate mutant characters like Wolverine into the history of the MCU. (It’s an especially interesting theory, given ongoing rumors that the studio is in the midst of developing a Wolverine anthology series for Disney+.)

Wolverine taking to the skies in Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3 #6. Published in 2004.Marvel Comics

The Inverse Analysis — At this point, there’s no telling what Marvel’s plans are for introducing mutants — including Wolverine — into the MCU.

Additionally, it’s unclear whether fans are going to find out for sure what went into Erskine’s “perfect” Super-Soldier Serum, coming off The Falcon and the Winter Soldier earlier this year.

That said, this is an interesting, multi-faceted theory — one that could single-handedly answer a number of narrative question marks within the MCU.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will open on November 11, 2022.