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In X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Wolverine is able to decapitate Deadpool/Weapon XI, who if I understand correctly, had a bone structure made of adamantium.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

But later in The Wolverine (2013) -- which, correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume it's part of the same continuity -- Wolverine fights the Silver Samurai, who pilots a robot made of adamantium. When the Silver Samurai attacks him with his adamantium sword, he's able to hold him back, but as soon as the Silver Samurai turns one of his swords into a burning sword, the Silver Samurai is able to cut through Wolverine's adamantium claws with his burning adamantium sword.

Later, when Wolverine has the chance to attack the Silver Samurai again, instead of attacking him with his remaining (intact) adamantium claws, he grabs one of the Silver Samurai's swords and in desperation screams "come on!", expecting the sword to start burning, as if that was the only chance he had to harm the Silver Samurai. Then, with the burning adamantium sword, he is able to cut off the robot head made of adamantium.

The Wolverine (2013)

Why didn't he use his adamantium claws to cut/harm the Silver Samurai? Can cold adamantium cut through adamantium?

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  • Wasn't the Silver Samurai's sword tachyonic, rather than super-heated?
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 0:54
  • "but I assume it's part of the same continuity" << All the x-men movies are part of the same continuity, except where they're not. I mean, when a new x-men movie comes out it often has tons of inconsistencies with prior x-men movies. In particular, this happened several times: character X from the comics was used in movie A but as a minor secondary character. Then in movie B they decide to use character X more fully, so they decide to not care about consistency with movie A regarding character X.
    – Stef
    Commented Mar 22 at 16:40
  • For instance Sabertooth appears as a secondary, mostly boring, villain in the first X-men, then reappears as a completely different character in X-men Origin: Wolverine. Emma Frost is in X-men Origins: Wolverine as a very minor character, then reappears completely differently in X-men First Class. And of course Deadpool is completely different between X-men origins: Wolverine and his own movie.
    – Stef
    Commented Mar 22 at 16:42

3 Answers 3

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Adamantium can't cut Adamantium

However, note that Deadpool's neck also contains cartilage:

diagram of the human neck showing bone and cartilage

Wolverine only needs to hit one of those soft points to sever the neck.

Whereas the 'Silver Samurai' has no such weak point.

Otherwise we see that the franchise doesn't treat heated Adamantium consistently.

It has to be super heated before infusing Wolverine's bones, then when it sets it's 'indestructable' (as per William Stryker, various movies). However the superheating seen in The Wolverine at least goes against this logic, in that not only is the Adamantium able to be melted after setting, but it's the heated sword does the cutting not the cold Adamantium of Wolverine's claws.

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    It doesn't seem likely that Logan only hit the soft points in Wade's neck, since he drove not one but three of his claws through Wade's neck at the same time. Also, his claws were super-heated at the time, and his fight with the Silver Samurai proves that super-heated adamantium can cut through adamantium in this universe. Furthermore, adamantium bullets can also penetrate adamantium in this universe. Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:05
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    @Logic these are all excellent points
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:07
  • It's not just heat that works though - Silver Samurai also later taps into Wolverine's powers by drilling into the stubs of his severed claws. I guess drills produce some heat via friction, but nothing like the glowing red-hot we saw in his sword earlier. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 15:41
  • @DarrelHoffman that makes even less sense...
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 15:46
  • @Darrel Hoffman - The visuals made it look like Logan's bone claws were encased in adamantium rather than being blended with the stuff, in which case the Silver Samurai's drills would've been drilling into pure bone marrow. Commented May 14 at 11:53
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In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Logan's claws were super-heated by Weapon XI's optic blasts shortly before he used them to decapitate Weapon XI. In the audio commentary for the film, the director, Gavin Hood, made it clear that the claws were super-heated and that Logan wouldn't have been able to cut through Weapon XI's adamantium skeleton otherwise.

GAVIN HOOD: The idea of the claws being heated up like this was, how on Earth do you take the head off a character that has an adamantium skeleton? And the idea was that the only way we could achieve this moment, was... it wouldn't work, if the claws were just the claws. I think the idea of them being heated up by the beams would justify being able to actually cut through what is obviously also an adamantium skeleton in Weapon XI.

Image of Logan with his claws super-heated, from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009).

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) - audio commentary by director Gavin Hood

This is consistent with what's shown in The Wolverine. As you noted, Logan was able to block one of the Silver Samurai's swords with his claws while the sword was cold. After Logan grabbed the Silver Samurai's other sword, he struck the Silver Samurai with it repeatedly while that sword was cold and inflicted no visible damage. Then, after getting the sword to heat up, he was able to cut the Silver Samurai's head off with one strike.

I think the correct takeaway, though, is that Logan and the Silver Samurai weren't strong enough to drive those swords (or Logan's claws) through adamantium without them being super-heated, not that cold adamantium can't cut through adamantium regardless of the force applied. The fact that adamantium has repeatedly been cut by super-heated adamantium proves it isn't truly indestructible, from which it follows that it must be possible to cut through it with cold adamantium also, if cold adamantium is driven into it hard enough.

In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, William Stryker was able to pierce Logan's skull with two adamantium bullets fired from a revolver. Logan's skull being penetrated is again confirmed by the director's audio commentary, so that right there is an example (from the same continuity) of adamantium effectively cutting through adamantium without being super-heated.

GAVIN HOOD: All right, the famous silver bullet. This was a tricky thing because at the end of the movie, he has to lose his memory. That's how he starts in X1, and he's this guy without a memory. Just this idea that he gets shot in the head, we had to make it really clear that the bullet could penetrate the adamantium, and therefore it would only do so if it was an adamantium bullet, and also that it would destroy the brain, but, of course, the brain would heal. But the idea is that it would heal physically, but memory, which is like what's stored, I guess, like software on a hard drive, would not necessarily revive. That your brain grows back but your memories don't.

Image of Logan with two bullet holes in his forehead, from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009).

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) - audio commentary by director Gavin Hood


To summarise, adamantium can cut adamantium, regardless of whether it's hot or cold, but it takes more strength to drive cold adamantium through adamantium than that possessed by Logan or the Silver Samurai.

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  • I had completely forgotten about how the claws get heated in Origins.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:05
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    @AncientSwordRage - I didn't recall that part myself until I reviewed the scene. Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:10
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    Having also forgotten, and reviewed the scene, I shall now proceed to repress that memory in order to personal dissatisfaction. This comment serves purely as a warning, to future-me, that I don't want to see it again. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 22:53
  • Do you have any evidence that the adamantium bullet pierced through logan's skull? My understanding has always been that it justs hits him very very hard and caused a head trauma, as opposed to a normal bullet which would have deformed upon impact against the adamantium skull, and would have dissipated a lot of kinetic energy because of that deformation.
    – Stef
    Commented Mar 22 at 16:47
  • @Stef - The evidence is right there in my answer. Play the second video clip and you can see Stryker shooting Wolverine in the forehead and producing a visible hole in his skull. Stryker also remarked on the bullets going "through his thick skull" in an earlier scene. Commented Mar 22 at 17:27
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I believe he used the sword because he didn't want to damage his claws. going by real world logic a material can cut things with the same hardness, and since adamantium is just as hard as adamantium it should be able to cut adamantium.

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    Cutting through an extremely-hard material with a blade of the same material is pretty difficult. You need the blade to be very sharp, and apply a lot of force. There is no evidence in the movies that Wolverine has enough strength to cut through an adamantium armour using his adamantium claws.
    – Stef
    Commented Mar 22 at 16:50

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