Friday, May 05, 2006

How can Wolverine swim?


The dude has strips of metal grafted to the major bones of his body; that's got to add some weight. The adamantium grafted on to Wolverine's skeleton is often described as "unbreakable," but I've never seen it described as "incredibly light." Wolverine's strong - anyone would be if they had to lug all that extra metal around. Mr. T, for instance. But is Wolverine strong enough to actually... swim?

Nay! He'd sink like a stone.

If I were on the Hellfire Club or something, the next time Wolverine attacked our mansion I would just throw a few donuts and a six-pack of Labatt's into the deep end of the Olympic-size pool in the basement and call it good.


Anonymous said...

I always wondered about that. Wolverine must be one strong guy to even be able to move, much less swim, run, jump, and do all the acrobatic stuff we see him do.

Supposedly, if you punch him, you'll break your hand, but it really depends on the writer and if they remember that Wolverine logically shouldn't be able to be punched and kicked like a guy without a metal skeleton.

Anonymous said...

Now that is a geerariffic post.

While we're on X-Men bone questions, wow. That was a bad way to start a sentence.

While we're talking about the bone structures of X-Men: you know how Angel is supposed to have extra-light hollow bones so he can fly better? How does he manage to punch anyone? Figure he weighs about 70 pounds. And wouldn't someone, at some point, think to just grab his hand and pulp it?

I think Longshot has the same problem.

Salo said...

I remember Wolverine being about 150 kgs, or about 300 pounds. While that is undoubtedly much for a small guy like him (his natural weight is 70 at most, I bet), there are people who carry so much lard around that adamantium is nothing compared to that.

And those guys dont even exercise.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Each and every one of Wolverine's body hairs acts as a miniature flotation device, ensuring his buoyancy. That's why he never waxes.

Excessive body hair isn't just an aphrodesiac--it's a survival tool.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Cap's shield made of a vanadium-adamantium alloy?

That's pretty lightweight, I should think, which suggests that adamantium isn't very heavy.

Kill me now.

Anonymous said...

" Wolverine logically shouldn't be able to be punched and kicked like a guy without a metal skeleton."

Also, if Wolverine punches a hard-skinned baddy, isn't that essentially slamming his flesh between two very hard surfaces?

His skeleton might be unharmed, but his muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin won't be very happy about it.

(verification word: bxjbk - the troublemaking extradimensional imp who went on to star in The Courtship of Eddie's Father and The Incredible Hulk.)

The Little Black Duck said...

What I've always wanted to know is how Wolverine bends his hand at the wrist. Our handy-dandy X1 x-ray there seems to indicate that his unbreakable three foot claws run from abour his knuckles to through his forearms in the "off" position. He shouldn't have any flexibililty there... right?

I don't lose sleep over this at night or anything. I'm just saying...

Tom Foss said...

Hey, if the Thing can swim, why not Wolvie?

Why the hell can the Thing swim?

Anonymous said...

Wolverine did swim (across the Rio Grande, maybe?) in Rucka's run. Not that he should have been able to do it, but it looks like there's no standing rule at Marvel saying "don't make the mistake of having Wolverine swim."

And I second the "bending his wrist" problem as the one thing that's always bugged me about Logan. If somebody could come up with a no-prize worthy explanation to help me sleep at night, I'd appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Wolverine's bones are not solid metal. Rather, they are coated with a microthin layer of Adamantium. The stronger the metal, the less you need to use of it and the thinner the pieces can be. It probably doesn't add more than a couple of pounds ot his body weight, at most. Ultron, on the other hand, weighs a ton.

Bending the wrist? No prob. Look at your arm. See all the space between your wrist and elbow? The claws are a little shorter than that. Remember, they pop out the TOP of his hand in the comics, where those little housing thingies are.

I've wasted my life.

Anonymous said...

Damned if I can remember where, but I remember seeing Wolverine get knocked out of a plane and into the ocean once. He was near an island and swam ashore, only to pass out on the beach because just staying afloat wore him out so.

That's the only time I've seen a writer address the whole "Wolvie is too heavy to swim/float" issue (mostly because I don't read too many X related books), and still it was only paid lip service.

I also remember reading something about Angel's physiology right before Joe Casey's craptacular run on Uncanny, but once again I can't remember where.

Basically I read that Angel weighs like 220 pounds even though he has hollow bones. He has uber-dense muscles that make him stronger than a normal person and keep his bones from shattering when he bumps into furniture. do hollow, weak bones support so much weight? I don't think we're supposed to be thinking about this so hard.

Anonymous said...

Right, cause it's the whole swimming issue that strains the credulity of the X-Men mythos.

Anonymous said...

I hate myself for bringing this up, but wouldn't his healing factor affect the development of Wolverine's muscles, muscle growth being the consequence of muscle fibers ripping from stress and healing?

Anonymous said...

The Thing can swim because NOTHING CAN KEEP HIM DOWN.

Wolverine, frustrated with his inability to swim, would go into a berserker rage, which would be funny to Cyclops or somebody.

Tony said...

The Beast always has that Hi-Pro Glow.

Skipper Pickle said...

I've always wondered how Beast cleans himself. et al.

i enjoyed comics more before there was an Internet.

Anonymous said...

The hard-skinned villain thing is a great point - a few months ago, one of my friends asked me to write up what she would be as a superhero. Since she actually had weak bones at that point from a prolonged bout with anorexia, one of the things in incorporated in the description was a reinforced skeleton. I'll copy and paste... in italics, for those who want to skip past it.

Your entire skeleton has been replaced with one made of a highly advanced polymer that is stronger than steel and extremely light. This has made your bones functionally unbreakable. Your muscles have been augmented as well, giving you superhuman strength and endurance. Unfortunately, your soft tissues were not enhanced, so there are limits to what you can do with that strength- you could punch through a steel wall, but you'd probably flay most of the skin off of your hands in the process. The primary benefit you gain from your new muscles and bones is incredible speed and stamina- you can run up to 100 mph and maintain that pace for hours even while carrying heavy loads.

You usually carry a heavy bag of kettlebells, which are very useful for smashing things without the flaying of skin and whatnot.

You have a costume that covers every inch of exposed skin, with big stompy boots and solid shin guards for when you have to book it cross-country style.

You can jump tall buildings in a single bound, but it's rough on the soft tissues if you do it too often.

Your metabolism is insane. To feed your cybernetic muscles, you eat as much as four or five normal people. Sugar is especially good for the biomechanical engines. Your bag of kettlebells has a large pocket for Pixie Stix, just in case.

She also had a dash of low-level telepathy that made her an effective communicator, and I told her she'd probably work for an organization like the GF or the Knight Foundation... because she's not a big enough comic book geek to know Checkmate or SHIELD.

But anyways, yeah, Wolverine should have serious problems when he's punching the Juggernaut - fortunately for him, he's got that nifty healing factor to rebuild his pulpy hand-mush. Here's another question - how does he carve through superthick doors with those things? It's not like they have scoops on the end, and wouldn't they get caught anyways? If I shove a piece of metal into a block of wood, the wood splits - how does a door split when adamantium hits it if it's properly set in the frame? Why doesn't the pressure from both sides trap the non-cutting edge of the claw?

For that matter, how can his claws be razor-sharp blades if they're actually bone on the inside? They'd only be able to cut with the tips, or maybe the curved insides... and for that matter, which side are the claws sharp on? I'm pretty sure I've seen Wolvie cut people with a backhand slash and then parry a strike with the back of the claw.

As for Angel, hell, I'd just make it so his bones weren't made of bone anymore - make up some kind of superadvanced biological carbon fiber analogue to give him strength and lightness. Of course, to realistically come up with a man who can fly under his own power, you'd have to totally redesign the entire torso...

Anyways, yes, this is terribly geeky, but the blog is about Dave's comic collection. Just reading it and understanding the references makes us geeks.

And I'm an uber-geek, because I want to imagine more superpowers for people now...

ps - maybe Beast Scotch-Guards his fur.

Anonymous said...

In Uncanny #132, I believe, Wolverine was made heavy by the fat guy in the Hellfire club. he went through the floor, ended underground and was swept away by a current. At the end of the issue, he is exiting the water saying "Ok suckers, you had your best shot, now it's my turn!" I actually remember that and I havent read the issue for 10 years!
Does that mean he can swim? I dont know but he sure didnt sink and drown!

Anonymous said...

Rasselas - if Wolvie's healing factor does heal his muscles as they tear, that would have a phenomenal effect on his strength. I think one of the major effects of steroids is to speed that healing process after exertion... and Wolverine heals from gunshots in minutes.

Wow. If you think about it, Wolverine could be one of the strongest people in the world if he put his mind to it. It took me months to build up the strength to bench 225lbs because a.) I wasn't exactly consistent in my training and b.) I had to build a lot of muscle to get there. It took weeks and weeks for my muscles to tear and heal, tear and heal, each time getting stronger... and Wolverine could do that in seconds.

If he put in a couple days straight at the gym, he could come out able to bench press a car. He could conceivably train to incredible levels in any strength discipline in a matter of days. Barry Bonds would give his steroidally-withered ***s to do that.

Does anyone know how the healing factor might affect aerobic training?

Anonymous said...

This would all make for an interesting Very Special Episode of "X-Men"

"Why Doesn't Wolverine Swim?"

Professor Xavier and the X-Gang take a much deserved break and have a picnic at the nearby lake. Everyone is laughing and swimming and having fun, but Kitty notices Logan keeping to himself and looking sullen. When she asks him to join her for a swim, Logan goes into one of his "Berserker Tantrums." Kitty soon learns that Wolvie has never learned to swim because he always sinks like a stone. With special water wings developed by Forge, Kitty helps Wolverine conquer his fears and finally get in the water.

The Hellfire Club, meanwhile, have been watching from the distance and taking pictures to use as embarrassing leverage against the furry tough guy.

Anonymous said...

Good point on the muscle tear/healing factor thing.

So the adamantium is a thin coating on top of the bone. How did they work around where the muscles attach? What about the tendons and such? How did they accommodate the marrow, which produces new blood cells, and would presumably need a channel through the adamantium to get where it needs to go.

Eh. Y'know, they should've given the Angel raptor talons and eagle-grade vision while they were at it.

Anonymous said...

Also, how can Daredevil do gymnastics when he's built like a heavyweight boxer? And even if he can do gymnastics with that build, how can he jump that high?


As for the non-swimming thing, yeah, I was thinking the same thing about Luke Cage in a recent issue of Thunderbolts. Atlas jokingly tosses him into the ocean to get him out of the way for a while, and I'm thinking, dude, you just murdered the superdense guy.

Chris Arndt said...


you'll pay for asking this question....

oh you'll pay.

Chris Arndt said...

I'll answer questions randomly.

According to Jubilee the Beast leaves a blue ring around the bath tub. What to get from that I have no clue.

In one of the Acts of Vengence issues of Wolverine in the nineties (eighties?) Tiger Shark jams the adamantium claws into a coral reef and it gets stuck. Wolvie nearly drowns and does lose his hearing from it. It takes the whole following issue to get the hearing back.

It's always better for you to assume that Wolverine's claws are solid metal and not metal covering bone.

Anyone who wants to beat the shite out of Wolverine can just hit him in a soft, non-bony part. Gut punch. Jab in the neck. That sort of thing.

No writer that I have ever seen has actually been thoughtful enough to remember that if you are strong enough punching Wolverine in the jaw .... if you hit Wolverine hard enough even in the skeletal parts Wolvie will find his skin and musculatre mashed between his steel bones and the impacting whatever.

In the comics Wolverine's claws come from the top of his hands. He has bionic housings in the forearms where the claws are stored. He extends the claws when his hands and arms are straight to some degree. If his hands are bent on an angle to his forearms when he pops his claws it shouldn't work but the reader should either ignore that problem or he is too anal to be the right audience.

One of the reasons the bone claws never quite worked in relation to the whole thing with the metal was that it was made pretty clear, explicit, and detailed how Wolverine's artificial metal weaponry worked with his natural body. His bones were laced and/or coated with adamantium. Maybe a few were replaced. Anyway, when they came up with the retroactive continuity of Wolvie always having bone claws... then it kinda broke up the whole coherent continuity regarding Wolverine's anatomy.

Bully said...

Wolverine swims because the element water is terrified of drowning him.

WOLVIE: Ya got one choice, bub. Ya gonna sink me or swim me?
WATER: (ulp!)
WOLVIE: Smart choice.

Anonymous said...

Remember X-Men #150 (aka "Powerless in Magneto's Island Paradise")? Wolvie swam to sure no problem. That's when they established Colussuss didn't have to breath (someone explain that to me) because they didn't have enough Aqualungs to he walked to shore until the "anti-Mutant Powers Shield" turned him back into 200 lbs of beefcake Russian and Kitty gets the thrill of her 14 year old life being the only one who knows mouth to mouth.

Anonymous said...

Two things about Wolverine:

1) I remember that issue of Wolverine where he fights Tiger Shark and loses his hearing. I also remember that he lost it because he was trapped deep under water and the water pressure burst his eardrums. He said that his healing factor kept him alive, but he was stuck in a state of perpetual drowning. That must have sucked.

2) Sometimes Wolverine's claws shred his knuckles when he unsheathes them, leaving his knuckles dripping blood for a bit until his healing factor kicks in. Sometimes they don't. I'm not sure if this was an addition to the Wolverine mythology when he got his own comic in the 80s, or if his gloves have absorbent gauze in them. Or maybe it's simply too icky for Marvel to allow their most popular character running around with bloody knuckles all the time.

Wolverine's got it pretty rough, when I think about it.

Chris Arndt said...


There are good, answered-in-the-comic answers for your questions.

I was actually going to address that in my blog three days ago but I got distracted.... by what I wonder...

Essentially the adamantium blocks off the marrow and blood cell production. The healing factor supplies and creates the blood cells and amrrow. That is why, everytime Wolvie lost his powers while still owning the skeleton (such as in the first two Genosha story arcs) it was noted that he was dying. He was unable to produce new blood cells without a healing factor. (He also bled profusely from each hand when he extended his claws, because the factor was not there to heal the flesh).

I don't know how the tendons attach; I don't think it was ever explained. I assume they just left tiny holes or something.

So essentially they never accomodated the marrow. The healing factor is the work around. The process that turned Wolverine into what he is only works if the subject has a healing factor. That's why Deathstrike is a cyborg; wirhout a natural healing factor she needs a lot of extra parts to support having an adamantium skeleton. I have no idea how Bullseye survived with the metal.

Early in the Fall of the Mutants storyline Wolverine was cut down by lasers and told Longshot that attempting to pick him up would crack his hollow bones. Wolverine is heavy.

There is no question that Wolverine is really strong because of both the practice in moving with that metal and because of the whole tear-healing thing... but none of that addresses how he maintains bouyancy. There is no answer for that; he just is.

Anonymous said...

They addressed Wolvie's lack of boyancy before. (I'm trying to recall the issue, but I know there was one of those flood scenes and they had a thought balloon over Wolvie, bitching about how his metal skeleton was really weighing him down, until Jean Grey pulled him out with her telekinesis) I'm guessing that Wolvie can't just float like most normal humans, so in order to remain above the surface he really needs to be kicking those legs. Being super-strong and with the healing factor to wash away the fatigue poisons, he can do it...for a while. It would be possible for him to swim, but he's not going to be very efficient at it.

Angel and his bones: did they ever establish that they're hollow or just super-light? Longshot we know they're hollow (and super-light), but I don't remember about Angel. But even if they are hollow, they could still be super-strong through his mutant physiology. Besides, the real answer is, however he did it before, when he got turned into a Horseman of Apocalypse everything changed!

call me jack... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Arndt said...

Now here's an annoying thing.

All the stuff in the comics is canon and that kinda stuff is (mostly) where they get the power levels, powers, abilities, and personalities for the Official Handbook.

However, if the Official Handbook conflicts with a comic book, the Handbook is never canonical.

Which basically means that however sensical or sensible it is that Wolverine has bionic housings for claws it wouldn't exist if the bone claws thing says something else in a canonical comic book. That and having bionic housing for natural claws is a contradiction. I think, however, that the anatomy of metal bone Wolverine was covered in an actual comic some time back.

My point is, however, that the first and last place I read about Angel's hollow bones was in the Official Handbook or on the Marvel website. So I don't know if it's canon on conjecture (because the Handbook is conjecture). If it's stated in the comics, and I don't recall seeing it in the comics (there are holes in my collection) then for purposes of storytelling I don't know how it works. You really don't have to worry about the hollow bones.

On the other hand, the real problem you might see is that in the early portrayals Angel could wrap his wings around his body and keep it there with a harness. In the early X-Factor series he kept his wings hidden in a fake tech-backpack. In reality in order to fly with those things a man would have to have wings with a span of.... doublee or triple or quadruple whatever Warren Worthington's wingspan is. Maybe even larger. Don't think about it.

call me jack... said...

*growl* you can use HTML tags my ass. let's try this again:
How can Wolverine swim
Toby S. gave an excellent explanation. Wolvie is really strong, far stronger than I think any of us realize. he doesn't always need that strength, so he doesn't always use it. but I suppose when swimming he would have no problem keeping afloat- for a while that is.

How do Angel/Longshot keep from shattering their bones?
I believe their bones are kinda honey-combed on the inside. hollow, but strong.

Isn't Cap's shield made of a vanadium-adamantium alloy?
no. Adamantium was discovered when scientists were trying to recreate the metal that Cap's shield is made of.
I only know this because wiki steals my time:

What I've always wanted to know is how Wolverine bends his hand at the wrist. someone mentioned this already, but his claws rest in housing between his elbow and wrist. when he snikts, he has to keep his wrist straight, or his claws won't come out.
except when he had all that bionic weapon X stuff ripped out with his adamantium. then he had his bone claws and no protection when schlickting, which made him bleed. I suppose then he could have schlickted without keeping his wrist straight, but it would have been ugly.

I've always wondered how Beast cleans himself. et al. umm.... well, he's a cat now, so maybe he, uh, licks himself clean? o_0

Eh. Y'know, they should've given the Angel raptor talons and eagle-grade vision while they were at it.
they did. the eagle-grade vision thing at least. at least, he had in in one of the recent Claremont series'.

Right, cause it's the whole swimming issue that strains the credulity of the X-Men mythos.
...uh... *bamfs*

Anonymous said...

This is the single most geeky thread I've ever read. And I've spent a lot of time on the Internet.

Unless I've missed something, no one's ever written a scene where Wolverine had to pop his claws but his wrists were forced bent for some reason, so he just popped his claws out the top of his wrists and started slicing with his hands all flopping around below them. I always thought it was weird that nobody had thought of that.

Anonymous said...

Skip, I agree.

The question of whether Wolverine can swim or not is so far down on the list of comic book physics questions that can't, nay shouldn't, be answered that it's almost not worth asking. Can he swim? Why not? Can Angel take a punch even though his bones are hollow? Why not? Do the yellow rays of Earth's sun imbue fantastic powers to an infant child who was rocketed from a doomed planet across time and space to land on Earth and become America's greatest champion? What the--? Yes, apparently. That's good enough for me!

Comic books 1, Disbelief 0.

Anonymous said...

"Unless I've missed something, no one's ever written a scene where Wolverine had to pop his claws but his wrists were forced bent for some reason, so he just popped his claws out the top of his wrists and started slicing with his hands all flopping around below them."

Or a scene where his hands're bent the other way, so they just pop out of the butts of his palms. Those would be unpleasant open-hand strikes...

Geekarific is right.

Thanks for the answers, Chris! I stopped reading X-Men regularly in the late '80s--definitely old-school; the bone claws thing never sat right with me.

Anonymous said...

What does the Official Handbook say about Wolverine's weight? If I remember correctly, it gave two numbers - with adamantium and without, and it seems like there was like a 50 pound or so difference.

Anonymous said...

OCCAM'S ADAMANTIUM CLAWS: Wolverine's smart enough to realize that unsheathing his claws with a bent hand would entail a whole mess of hurt - sure, it ain't permanent, but why bother with said pain and the even more frightening cost of cleaning the carpet. Ergo, we the audience are never privy to the sight of Logan asking Forge to rig him up a heavy-duty carpet steamer.

Anonymous said...

According to the ESSENTIAL Official Handbook of th Marvel Universe Wolverine is 5'3" and weighs 195 pounds. Since the 80's Wolvie has grown about a foot so the weight proably isn't accurate either!

Anonymous said...

have you ever notice how badly marvel has retconed wolverine claws, from cybrneticlly controlled addons, to bone claws that had always been there but where mistaken for cybernetic.

even though the where plenty of pics in the books of wolvies cybenetic housings.

Anonymous said...

As far as popping the claws with his wrists bent, I know of something similar. During the Age Of Apocolypse, Wolvie had his hand blasted completely off by Cyclops. Later on, when his other arm is so ripped of tendons that he can't use it, he actually pops his claws out of his stub on the other hand. It turns out his claws were retracted when the hand was blasted off.

Which makes me ask, what was the situation that an "unarmed" Wolverine would get hisself unhanded?

J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

But where's Gambit?

Anonymous said...

Never quite got the whole "hollow bone" thing. I'm pretty sure that a human skeleton usually weighs less than ten pounds -- so it's not like making the bones hollow would save much weight.

Anonymous said...

Well, see, when the Weapon X Project was at it, they fused a pair of triangular super-helium balloons on either side of Logan's skull. Unfortunately, his healing factor tries to reject these particular implants through the hair follicles, accellerating his hair growth, thereby causing his mane to expand out like wings. But the advantage is that these balloons keep him afloat.

Over the years, Wolverine has learned how to best utilize these wings. He created a mask that is hydrodynamically designed to use his wings like flippers or oars. When he is in the water, he simply has to turn his head from side to side to propel himself.

Still, even this doesn't give him maximum buoyancy. Almost by chance, he discovered that his healing factor has a remarkable effect on beer. Firstly, the carbonization enters his digestive system, causing a bubbling effect; his healing factor does not try to combat this so much as it tries to accomodate the rest of his body to the effects, primarily by hyperoxygenating his bloodstream via increased lung activity. Secondly, the over-oxygenation reverse-ferments the alcohol in his stomach, turning it back into glucose. Yet because his body is working overdrive, the glucose remains in his stomach and mixes with intestinal bacteria, which creates a re-fermentation process that produces even more carbon. Essentially, his body becomes a gas factory and internally inflates.

This in turn causes four side-effects:

1) Logan must continually ingest massive amounts of beer to keep the process going at all times, just in case he falls in a toilet and drowns.

2) The increased buoyancy and heightened lung activity are inconvenient when Logan isn't submerged--feeling too floaty and breathing fast aren't exactly advantageous when fighting Juggernaut or romancing redheads. To stall these effects by slowing down his lungs, he smokes like a freight train.

3) Turning his entire body into one big soda pop causes the kind of brain damage one usually only sees in acid-dropping hyenas. Hence, frequent berserker tantrums, memory loss, uncontrolled libido, attraction to brightly-colored clothing, slurred speech, and hyper-sensitivity.

4) Stunted growth.

What's so hard to understand?

Chance said...

Also, how can Daredevil do gymnastics when he's built like a heavyweight boxer? And even if he can do gymnastics with that build, how can he jump that high?

Little-known (but actually true) fact: Olympic-level weight lifters, while resembling barrels in body shape, are extremely fast and capable of jumping six feet straight up from a crouch. (I saw a great picture in a National Geographic once of an Olympic lifter slamdunking a basketball.)

The point is, people who are that strong, are that strong all over.

Anonymous said...

HEe...."This is not a pipe"

Anonymous said...

I feel really, really close to you guys.
Group hug?

Chris Arndt said...

It was revealed in Fatal Attractions that his teeth were not replaced with adamntium teeth, but I have seen images of hte removed adamanitum skeleton in all those future storylines and those have teeth so I imagine that his teeth have the coatings or are encased or something.

So I assume that his teeth are metalized but they are really really dirty so they are not shiny.

Now: has anyone ever seen Wolverine with adamantium get his teeth knocked out? Even one? Thought not.

Chris Arndt said...

Now let's assume that Wolverine's adamantium is relatively light, not that heavy, Wolvie really does weight just under 200 lbs and Longshot really is an agile weakling of sorts.

Besides... in the first storyline of his regular series he swims. In the second, he swims. He actually spends a lot of time in the first 20 issues of his first regular series underwater.

Chris Arndt said...

Two more thing.

Why has Wolverine seemingly gotten more homicidal in comics of the last seven years than before that?

(Wolverine has always been homicidal, sometimes somewhat maniacal, but never murderous. If you don't recognize the distinction then you need to ask a lawyer).

I don't like how Wolverine's healing factor has gotten more and more powerful over the years. He's gone from simply healing simple small wounds fast and saving him from excessively nasty wounds.... to regenerating body mass and undoing the results of inflicted maiming.

Tom Foss said...

Maybe he doesn't have bone claws.

Sure, he developed the bone claws when he hit Mutanthood, but the Weapon X project took them out and replaced them with sharper adamantium blades, using the existing musculature to allow them to pop in and out. The artificial claws prevented his body from trying to regrow the bones, until they were removed. Once the adamantium was gone, his body regrew the bone claws. When he had his adamantium restored, his healing factor dissolved the bones and used the minerals in other places.

I'm sure this has probably been directly contradicted elsewhere, but it seems decent to me.

Professor Xavier said...

I once asked Wolverine about how he can bend his wrists with his claws retracted since they are so long. He explained that the scientists at the Weapons X Project actually placed O-Rings at the exit holes that emit Pym Particles, causing the claws to shrink as they are retracted and expand as the extend.

As far as the swimming thing goes, he has said that he avoids that activity at all costs because it's too much like taking a bath, which he just can't stand doing.

RedheadFangirl said...

After reading 54 posts on the validity of Wolverine's ability to swim, I'm questioning my life choices. But also thrilled that there are a few wingnuts who care to consider such things!

I'm going to rest on dwelling on Logan being that strong all over .

Anonymous said...

Barry Windsor Smith's Weapon X story was rendered virtually null & void by the bone claws, and that alone makes the bone claws a crime.

I have no idea how Bullseye survived with the metal.
Originally, it was only Bullseye's spine that was reinforced with adamantium, not his whole skeleton. Like Chris, I'm citing the Off. Marvel U Handbook as my source on this one, although writers since have written it as the full skeleton.


zailo said...

I know that fans and writers have talked about Wolverine's skeleton since the start of the character but I don't think it was ever really treated as a serious question to be answered until Windsor-Smith's Weapon X. And looking at what I assume is the metallurgy of adamantium in the art of that story, it always reminded me of melting wax. So I always pictured that they somehow flayed Logan in pieces and drizzed melted adamantium onto each skeletal section then let it heal over before going on to the next piece. Kind of like letting hot solder drip onto a dowel.
That means that Wolverine doesn't have unbreakiable bones just a sort of unbreakable helix of metal built around them. This would also mean that he probably breaks his bones a lot but can support his musculature because the metal doesn't give way.
eww! Painful.

corbiscide said...

My mother is wrong I am not a lost cause to reality. But some of you guys just might be.

Anonymous said...

THIS must be Dave's "plan" for his theme weeks.

He makes one or two posts and EVERYONE ELSE comments for well over a week.

Dave posts:
"Wolvie is one hairy mother.

The Interweb trips over itself trying to figure out WHY and JUST HOW hairy a mother he is.

Shrewd, Mr. Campbell.


word verification:


drooling noise made as I slip into a coma whilst waiting for NEW DAVE post.

Chris Arndt said...

See, Bullseye can't have an adamantium skeleton like Wolverine's or he would be dead.

See, Wolverine's bones are unbreakable because....

screw it.

I just assume the same bonding process that prevents newly produced blood cells and marrow from escaping his bones is what prevents them from breaking. The adamantium and calcium are sealed together. Permannently. Which is what made Fatal Attractions even more painful.

I think the bone claws are a secondary mutation. I don't think Secondary mutations are natural. I think I'd rather see the Weapon X origin story be the canon and I ignore that Jemas-Jenkins shite.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I believe i have an end to the whole "How can Wolverine swim?" thing. Obviously we all know that the X-Men movies are not as accurate as we may have hoped, but they do a decent job. Needless to say, they may have just solved our dilema. Near the end of X2: X-Men United, Wolverine fights Yuriko, a mutant similar to Wolverine in many aspects except for experience and being on the side of good which cause her to be killed. Which brings me to my point, when wolverine pumps her full of adamantium she is flailing to escape, yet, she is flailing and floating. Yes, her torso is against the bottom of the tank since Logan is holding it down with the pump, but she has no problem keeping her head and arms above the water, until they are filled and sink on their own to the bottom when we hear the "clunk." This is why I am near certain that the amount of adamantium within Logan's body weighs almost nothing. This theory would also support why Captain can throw that shield with so much ease and perform his acrobatics without being effected by the weight.

Anonymous said...

wolverine weighs 200lbs without his adamantium, and 300 lbs with it. so he has 100lbs of metal bonded to his bones, which really would make it hard for him to do certain stuff. but none of this stuff is real, so who cares if things like that don't add up, as long as it's entertaining ;).

Anonymous said...

I remember the Marvel Universe books from the 80s where most every character got a one page bio. Logan was said to be 5 foot 3 and 180 pounds. That's kind of heavy for a short athletic guy but look at Theoren Fleury. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

Anonymous said...

Wolverine should by all rights be dead from his first comic book appearance. The Hulk has more than enough power to kill a man like wolverine with one blow.

Anonymous said...

When Wolverine SCUBA dives, does he have to wear a weight belt? If adamantium is light enough for him to even continue to be remotely human, he must need some weights, right? And if in fact, adamantium is very light, does he need to wear extra weights? Is adamantium buoyant?
-This was a conversation we had on the way to DQ.

Pj Perez said...

This is why I friggin' miss your blog, Dave. THIS IS WHY. Why must you be all, like, busy writing about stupid TV shows?!!!

What's even more pathetic than everyone else who read through 50+ comments and posted on this is me doing so YEARS AFTER THE FACT.

However, I just have to put this out there: People are doubting the plausibility of Wolverine's anatomy while we just freely accept that CYCLOPS CAN SHOOT BEAMS OF RED ENERGY FROM HIS EYEBALLS?

Geeks are fun. Have a nice day. Come back to us.

Anonymous said...

A quick search on google has an archeologist saying that an average human skeleton ground to powder takes up about 1/4 cubic feet of volume. If Adamantium is a similar denisty to common steel that would make a solid human skeleton made of adamatium around 123 lbs. But Wolvie is only laced with it, not solid nor coated like a snickers bar. I have seen at least one illustration of an x-ray of him showing the adamantium covering his bones in a organic sort of criss cross, like someone drizzled the metal over his bones... not a complete covering as shown in the movie. That would probably amount to no more than 30 lbs extra weight at the most, have a similar durability to a full coat and allow for the normal processes of bones and marrow to occur.

Seems to me if you want him dead you can just dunk him in some acid or lava or whatever else you build your evil lair around. Then you have a nice decorative metal skeleton to set in the living room as a conversation piece.