In X-Men Origins: Wolverine has Adamantium bonded with his skeleton, after Wolverine escaped the operating room, Col. Striker is given a gun and Adamantium bullets.

But according to the quote from the Marvel Wiki in the answer to the question Is Adamantium common?

The only known substance able to pierce Adamantium is the compound known as Antarctic Vibranium, also called "anti-metal"

So shouldn't the bullets have bounced off rather than penetrate the Adamantium skull?


5 Answers 5


Using information cleaned from this answer, I can tell you that yes it should have.

His bones have become laced with beta adamantium (at least at the time that Wolverine: Origins is filmed).

Adamantium Beta: The only known occurrence of Adamantium Beta was during the Weapon X Project. By the second part of the procedure when they laced his bones with Adamantium there was a reaction with his healing factor that bonded metal and bone. As a result the Adamantium "heals" just as his bones do.

Emphasis mine.

Two things to note from this:

  1. His bones are laced not replaced, thus along with it being Adamantium Beta is possibly not as strong as True Adamantium, and it doesn't completely cover it completely.
  2. If even a small piece of shrapnel had penetrated and not just dented his skull and concussed him the Adamantium Beta itself should have healed over leaving no 'scar' so to say.
  • 1
    the link doesn't work? I've not heard of beta adamantium before.
    – AidanO
    Apr 3, 2012 at 7:41
  • 1
    @AidanO Doh, I shouldn't answer questions late at night/irst thing in the morning. I'd not heard of Beta adamantium until now either.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 3, 2012 at 7:55
  • @Pureferret It seems you have a new and better answer to this question: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/12600/…
    – HNL
    Apr 6, 2012 at 18:10

I don't think there's an in-universe canonical answer to this outside of the quote you already mentioned. I think this is one of those times that Hollywood got it wrong.

You're right in that it shouldn't have pierced his skull It should have bounced. If a real bullet can bounce of a normal human's skull (which does happen) then even an adamantium bullet would bounce off an adamantium-laced skull.

I suppose an argument MIGHT be made that the shape of this particular bullet was designed to penetrate. it was tapered in an unusual way to increase the sharpness of the point, but still I doubt that would be sufficient. But I don't buy that, either. If adamantium can survive a nuclear blast intact, the paltry energy produced by a tiny amount of gunpowder would hardly be sufficient to overcome the strength of the adamantium. Again, it should have bounced, and bot the bullet and Wolverine's skull would show no damage.

  • 1
    I agree but really can not compare the dispersed energy of a nuclear blast with the focused energy of a bullet at point of contact.
    – Chad
    Mar 21, 2012 at 14:28
  • How about direct force from a blow from the Hulk? Mar 21, 2012 at 14:55
  • 2
    with an ice pick to your skull? or a big wide picnic table across your back. The ice pick will focus all of the energy into piercing. The table will distibute the energy among a wider surface. You might survive being hit with the table. The icepick is going into your brain
    – Chad
    Mar 21, 2012 at 15:09
  • I thought that Wolverine has cut other adamantium objects with his claws though. I didn't answer because I can't remember who he's fought that had adamantium but I remember there's been like 3 or four villains at least that he cut theirs. Mar 21, 2012 at 15:32
  • 1
    @Pureferret Any source for that?? If you did that would be an answer...
    – AidanO
    Mar 26, 2012 at 7:35

Wolverine has fought villains that have Adamantium bonded to various parts of their bodies, for example:

  • Lady Deathstrike,
  • Donald Pierce,
  • Sabre tooth, and
  • most notably in this area of discussion, Cyber.

Cyber's body was coated in Adamantium and Logan could not hurt him at all with his Adamantium claws. He had to find another way to take him out. His Adamantium couldn't pierce or scratch Cyber. Therefore, the bullet piercing Logan's skull should never have happened, but look at Deadpool in that movie; that shouldn't have happened either.


The answer is bad writing. The bullet should have just bounced off. His adamantium is bonded in way that allows his bones normal bio-functions to still work, (Probably cause after he was written as a character someone said ummm that would impede marrow and blood production) But its still indestructible metal, so no it doesn't heal. I always assumed his healing factor took care of that with the bones being encased in the stuff.

The amount of gunpowder in the casing would never have the force needed to penetrate it either. It was just a storyline brain fart so they wouldn't have to figure out how to film capturing, brainwashing him, and him escaping again. If they made a dart gun with a chemical made from Striker's son's brain to do the washing. Have them say they haven't perfected it yet, and it causes neural damage, chance of death etc. would have been way more believable.


It shouldn't matter whether or not the bullet would penetrate. Adamantium doesn't have magical properties that kill off people with healing factors. In the second X-men movie we see Wolverine get shot in the face by a cop with a normal lead and copper FMJ round when they were fleeing Bobby's (Iceman's) house. Granted the bullet should not have penetrated the Adamantium , but it did pierce his skull and it entered his brain, dropping him to the floor.

A few moments after we think he's dead, his healing factor pushes out the bullet and he returns to consciousness like nothing ever happened. An Adamantium bullet wouldn't do any different. And there is another factor that makes the Adamantium bullet impossible. The bullet would have to be able to conform to the grooves and lans in the barrel of a pistol or rifle.

A smooth bore shot gun would have worked for the Adamantium bullet concept, but not that revolver they had in the movie. Being Adamantium and being indestructible, the bullet would have gotten lodged in, and distended, the barrel and the gun would have blown up in Lauren's hand. Beyond that, the gun just happened to be in the appropriate caliber....not likely. The Adamantium bullet is a very weak point in an otherwise outstanding film.

To recap;

  • Normal FMJ pierced Wolverine's Adamantium skull in the second X-men film
  • Wolverine fully recovered from the bullet to the head
  • Neither the FMJ or the Adamantium bullet should be able to penetrate
  • Even if the Adamantium bullet penetrated, wolverine, or at least X24, would have been able to heal through it
  • Bullet would never have shot out of that revolver, both for reasons mentioned and not mentioned.
  • "A few moments after we think he's dead, his healing factor pushes out the bullet and he returns to consciousness " isn't that pretty much what did happen! Except he lost his memory because his brain was healed but the memories themselves weren't
    – user20310
    Dec 15, 2017 at 15:40
  • The bullet could be a subcaliber adamantium core with a steel band or jacket to allow it to cling to the grooves of the revolver, the bullet looks as if it is a subcaliber bullet, look how thin it is gamersdecide.com/sites/default/files/styles/news_images/public/…
    – Dom Vasta
    Jul 16, 2022 at 9:22

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