Bucky Barnes is getting a new arm in Thunderbolts it appears, and it could help set up Wolverine’s Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. Known for his metal arm made from vibranium, Phase 4 delivered a surprise twist related to Winter Soldier’s future. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special revealed that Nebula stole Bucky’s arm and gave it to Rocket. While it does pay off a moment from Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky losing his arm in this fashion also raised a lot of questions. Most will now need to be answered in the character’s next appearance in Phase 5, Thunderbolts.
Despite what The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special revealed about Bucky losing his arm, Marvel has already confirmed that a new one is in his future. Early concept art for Thunderbolts showed Bucky with a vibranium arm resembling the one given to him by the Wakandans in Avengers: Infinity War. Speculation has since turned to the Phase 5 MCU movie needing to provide an explanation for why/how Wakanda would give Bucky a new arm while he is aligned with Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. It is possible that Bucky’s new arm is vibranium and acquired before he joins the Thunderbolts, but another explanation connects his arm to Wolverine.
Bucky Could Get An Adamantium Arm In Thunderbolts
It is possible that Bucky’s new arm in Thunderbolts is made of adamantium, not vibranium. Wakanda is not likely to continue spreading vibranium around the world after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s ending, even if Bucky has a history there. Nebula stealing his arm then sets up the need for Bucky to find a new supplier for his metal arm. There are various theories that adamantium is making its way to the MCU in Captain America: New World Order or Thunderbolts thanks to Tiamut’s rise in Eternals. If that is true and adamantium begins to be harvested, Bucky getting a new arm made of the powerful metal is possible.
Beyond Rocket getting Bucky’s arm in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Marvel may have already started to plant the seeds for the Winter Soldier’s adamantium upgrade. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever makes it clear that Val wants more power and has dreams of having control of something as strong as vibranium. The emergence of adamantium in the MCU would certainly pique her interest. If Val and the U.S. government get their hands on the metal, Bucky’s new arm in Thunderbolts might not be the only adamantium upgrade given to the team members and setting up Wolverine’s Weapon X transformation.
Thunderbolts Can Continue The MCU’s Wolverine Setup
Thunderbolts using adamantium to give Bucky a new arm would be the latest example of the MCU setting up Wolverine. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier included the island of Madripoor, a location that Wolverine often visits in the comics and even secretly runs a bar at. The MCU dropped its biggest tease with She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, though, as a mention of a bar brawl involving a man with claws might have confirmed that Wolverine exists in the MCU already. Of course, Hugh Jackman is now slated to return through the multiverse as the mutant in Deadpool 3 too.
Bucky’s adamantium arm in Thunderbolts could be the most direct Wolverine setup the MCU has done. Adamantium is synonymous with Wolverine because the rare metal is what Logan’s body is infused with to give him metal claws and bones. Thunderbolts featuring it in any capacity will be a very clear sign to audiences that the fan-favorite X-Men member is right around the corner. The movie’s post-credits scene could even tease Weapon X.