An Iconic X-Men Villain May Be Condemned to Wolverine’s Grimmest Fate

The following contains spoilers for X-Men #10, now on sale from Marvel Comics

Most of the time, Wolverine and his kin could be considered to have some pretty impressive powers. While their mutation doesn't make them Omega-Level figures, it does give them a durability and adaptability that allows them to survive pretty much everything. But one of their greatest upgrades might quietly be killing them, and some of their enemies.

Lady Deathstrike is seemingly dying in the pages of X-Men #10 (by Gerry Duggan, Javier Pina, Marte Gracia, and VC's Clayton Cowles) and the cause is a kind of ailment that has doomed other Wolverines in the multiverse and could eventually be the ultimate cause of death for the Earth-616 Wolverine and his family.

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Lady Deathstrike has been an enemy of the X-Men, with a deep hatred for Wolverine that stems from his "theft" of the adamantium-bonding process that Weapon X used to graft the unbreakable metal to his bones. Augmented with cybernetic attributes and an adamantium skeleton of her own, Lady Deathstrike has done her best to kill Wolverine and his allies over the years. Although, she's also experienced periods of peace with the mutants, like when she briefly joined Weapon X-Force.

However, it seems that all the advancements to her body have finally caught up to her. X-Men #10 revealed that Lady Deathstrike had initially been offered a place within Orchis but the villainous Dr. Stasis decided she was better used as a test subject for his scientists. Deathstrike was passed among the various geniuses working at Orchis, analyzing her cybernetic aspects, until the X-Men located her and Wolverine (Laura Kinney) was able to rescue her. But it turned out that she's not long for this world regardless, as adamantium poisoning has begun to take effect on her body, halting her artificial healing factor and leaving her more vulnerable than she's perhaps ever been. Adamantium poisoning has increasingly become one of the most consistent ways for Wolverine and his related characters to actually die.

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While the metal may make them nigh-unstoppable in combat and grant them enhanced durability, the metal eventually infects their body and causes their systems to shut down. It notably takes a great deal of time for this to go into effect, but when it does, it's considered one of the most lethal illnesses for people like Wolverine. It's afflicted the core-Marvel Universe Wolverine of Earth-616, the Old Man Logan incarnation of the character, and the X-Men film series Wolverine suffered from it shortly before his death in Logan. As Laura noted to Deathstrike, this likely also extends to herself and her sister Gabby, as the adamantium poisoning eventually gets everyone like them in the end. There do seem to be ways to combat it though explaining the older Wolverine who's survived centuries into the future, as seen in Powers of X and X Deaths of Wolverine.

Krakoa's litany of healers and scientists can also likely help stave off the effects of the poisoning for some time. But adamantium poisoning is still a dangerous threat to Logan and his loved ones, and something Deathstrike's affliction of hints might become a more prevalent problem. This could even extend to other characters across the Marvel Universe who've gotten adamantium in their bodies, such as Bullseye, Deathlok, and Hammerhead. While adamantium remains one of Marvel's most durable and important metals, it's clear that the downsides to the upgrade are becoming more prevalent -- and could raise more problems for more characters as time wears on.

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