Wolverine’s first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is set to happen in Deadpool 3, but it will feature an alternate version of the character. The MCU’s own version of Wolverine is expected to be introduced soon, as teased in She-Hulk. However, the first hint of Wolverine’s presence in the MCU goes back to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which set up the character’s debut.
Debut in the MCU Was Set Up 15 Years Ago
In The Incredible Hulk, General Thunderbolt Ross is shown to be creating super soldiers and enlists Emil Blonsky to help him track down the Hulk. The canister holding the modified Super Soldier Serum that Blonsky receives is labeled as a product of the Weapon Plus program. This is significant because in Marvel Comics, Wolverine’s creation is tied to the Weapon X program, which falls under the Weapon Plus organization. This Easter egg hinted at the connection between Wolverine and the MCU’s Weapon Plus program.
Wolverine’s introduction in Deadpool 3 will feature the version of the character from 20th Century Fox’s X-Men films, and it is implied that he will be from an alternate universe. However, the MCU’s version of Wolverine is expected to be introduced separately. She-Hulk included an Easter egg teasing Wolverine’s future in the MCU, hinting that the character will have a presence without Hugh Jackman’s portrayal.
Connecting back to The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine’s MCU debut could also pay off Thunderbolt Ross’ story arc. Ross’s ambition to create super soldiers sets the stage for the Weapon Plus program and its involvement in Wolverine’s origin. In Captain America: Brave New World, Ross will be the President of the United States, and his anti-superhero sentiment and desire to regulate them could lead to the continuation of the Weapon Plus program. This would result in the creation of Weapon X and the MCU’s own version of Wolverine.
One missing element for Wolverine’s MCU origin is Adamantium, the fictional metal that Wolverine’s skeleton is fused with in the comics. So far, Vibranium has been the focus in the MCU, but there is a theory that through the actions of the Celestial Tiamut in Eternals, humanity could synthesize Adamantium. This could pave the way for the Weapon Plus program to begin in Captain America: Brave New World and complete Wolverine’s origin story in the MCU.
Overall, Wolverine’s first appearance in the MCU is set to happen in Deadpool 3, but the character’s future in the MCU was foreshadowed in The Incredible Hulk. The introduction of Wolverine will likely tie into the Weapon Plus program and Thunderbolt Ross’ story arc. The missing element of Adamantium could be introduced through the events of Eternals, leading to the creation of the MCU’s own Weapon X program and Wolverine’s origin.