In the Marvel universe, we come across two nearly indestructible metals.
The first is Adamantium, which the Weapon X program grafts onto the skeleton of Wolverine to make him almost indestructible and give him his extremely dangerous Adamantium claws.
Then there is Vibranium, an extra-terrestrial metal that landed on Earth in meteorites. It is most plentiful in the African nation of Wakanda and is the basis for their rich and technologically advanced culture.
It is the basis of Black Panther’s super suit. Captain America’s shield, which has faced some very powerful weapons, is Vibranium alloy.
But which of these two Marvel super metals, Vibranium or Adamantium, is the strongest?
Vibranium is the stronger metal and makes the best defensive material since it absorbs the energy that it comes into contact with, with the exception of sonic waves. While Adamantium, which is derived from Vibranium, is incredibly strong, it can be damaged by extreme heat.
But these are difficult lines to draw because Vibranium is one of the constituent ingredients of Adamantium, which means that it belongs to the Vibranium family as well.
Plus, the two metals are used inconsistently in the comics. The same weapon can be made from Vibranium or Adamantium in different comics.
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But let’s take a closer look at these two metals, their properties, strengths, and weaknesses.
Adamantium vs Vibranium
|Used by||– Weapon X program|
– Wolverine (X-Men)
– Dr Otto Octavius (Spider-Man)
|– Black Panther (Wakanda)|
– Captain America (Avengers)
– Ultron (Avengers)
|Origins||Created by Dr Myron MacLain when trying to bond Vibranium with steel||Alien metal extracted from meteorites, mainly in Wakanda|
|Strengths||– Easily molded when created using extreme heat, once set will hold its form indefinitely|
– Virtually indestructible
– Can cut through any metal
|– Can absorb vibrational energies, including physical force and sound waves|
– Bonds absorbed energy into its molecules, increasing its strength.
|Weaknesses||– Can be broken when superheated to extremely high temperatures|
– Can be manipulated by beings such as Magneto
|– Susceptible to sonic energy (which is used to mine the metal)|
– Can be broken down by excessive energy consumption
Can Adamantium beat Vibranium?
Adamantium is denser than Vibranium and has cut the metal on some occasions. We know this since Wolverine, and Black Panther faced off in Wolverine #8. While Black Panther won, since Wolverine was without his usual healing abilities, his Adamantium claws damaged Black Panther’s Vibranium-based suit.
Of course, Black Panther’s suit is not pure Vibranium but treated to make the fabric. The same is true of Captain America’s shield, which is a Vibranium alloy, and not pure.
Nevertheless, when Wolverine fought with Cap, he was unable to damage the shield. However, the stronger Thanos was able to cut the shield.
Perhaps a stronger Wolverine with the same Adamantium claws would be able to.
What is Proto-Adamantium?
Proto-Adamantium is a Vibranium alloy created by Dr Myron MacLain (or Howard Stark in the movies) and used to make Captain America’s shield. It is an alloy of Vibranium and Steel. The process has never been replicated since the creation of the iconic shield.
It is different from True Adamantium. True Adamantium was used to coat Wolverine’s skeleton. It was created for the Weapon X project, and it can be reproduced.
The exact recipe is top-secret, and it is unclear how much Vibranium it might contain.
It is worth noting that Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton is not his superpower. His primary superpower is extremely rapid healing. This allowed him to survive the procedure that bound Adamantium to his skeletal frame.
However, we do learn in Logan that the Adamantium is slowly killing Wolverine by depleting his healing. Wolverine’s natural bone claws, which were also coated in Adamantium, are another of his natural mutant superpowers.
Vibranium Strengths and Weaknesses
The main strength of Vibranium is that it absorbs energy, which means that it can repel pretty much anything.
This means that it can absorb the force of a knife or a bullet that hits it with force. Or it can absorb the energy of a nuclear blast.
It is also strengthened by what it absorbs. So, if a villain hits a Vibranium shield with their energy, they are just making their opponent stronger.
Vibranium is very versatile. Wakanda uses it in a huge variety of technologies. It is even used in clothing, including Black Panther’s habit. Combined with advanced Wakandan technology, the suit not only absorbs energy to protect the wearer, but the suit can gather that energy and use it as a weapon.
There are limits to how much energy Vibranium can absorb. It does not absorb sonic energy.
Sonic energy is used for mining Vibranium. But sonic energy can also be used against the metal. For example, when T’Challa and Killmonger get stuck in a sonic train tunnel, both of their suits are disrupted.
The metal can also become disrupted if it absorbs too much energy or absorbs magical energy. When the Roxxon Corporation bombed an island excessively, the Vibranium there protected the island but was also destroyed by the excessive force.
Other types of Vibranium, such as Antarctic Vibranium, also known as Anti-Metal, have different properties.
What is Vibranium made of?
Vibranium is an extra-terrestrial metal that came to Earth on a meteorite that landed in the Wakanda region and the Antarctic about one million years ago. There are several different varieties of Vibranium on Earth. While it is incredibly powerful, it also seems to be radioactive. It has negative effects on those exposed to it in large quantities.
Vibranium is considered valuable in the universe and is mined on several planets where it occurs naturally. Most of those mines have now been exhausted.
The first Wakandans to mine the ore were turned into demon spirits. Its radiation also created the Heart-Shaped Herb that is used to give Black Panther his powers.
What can destroy Vibranium?
Concentrated energy blasts that can generate enough heat and power can destroy Vibranium. We saw this in Avengers: Age of Ultron when a combination of Thor’s lightning, Vision’s Mind Stone energy, and Iron Man’s repulsor beams were able together to melt Ultron’s Vibranium body.
Thanos was also able to break Captain America’s Vibranium shield with a massive dual-bladed weapon that he is carrying.
This suggests that while Vibranium is one of the strongest metals on earth, there are stronger metals in the universe. Thanos’ weapon is made from one of them.
Can Wolverine Cut Vibranium?
We have seen Wolverine fight with both Black Panther and Captain America. While his Adamantium claws were able to cut Black Panther’s suit, he was not able to cut Cap’s shield. But neither of these items is made from pure Vibranium. The former is Vibranium weaved into the fabric, and the latter is a Vibranium alloy.
Can Magneto Bend Vibranium?
Magneto cannot control Vibranium when it is pure. This is probably because Vibranium is an extra-terrestrial ore, and Magneto’s mutant superpowers were an adaptation to Earth’s environment. However, Vibranium is often combined with other metal alloys, which Magneto can control.
Is Ultron made of Vibranium?
Ultron’s initial body was made using Stark Industries technology. This suggests that it was made from the same gold-titanium alloy of Iron Man’s suit. But Ultron sought out ways to improve his physical form and procured Vibranium for that purpose.
Ultron forced Doctor Helen Cho to use her cellular regeneration expertise to create a powerful synthetic body for him that fused organic cells with Vibranium.
The Avengers managed to prevent him from transferring into this indestructible body.
However, Ultron was able to create a lesser body for himself also based on Vibranium. This body let him gain the upper hand when fighting against the likes of Thor and Vision.
But Captain America was able to pierce the body with his shield because it was also made of Vibranium. The body was then only destroyed by the power of the Mind infinity stone.
Adamantium Strengths & Weaknesses
As a manmade metal, Adamantium is highly malleable during the creation process and can be shaped into almost anything. It can even be used for challenging procedures such as coating Wolverine’s skeleton. But once the metal is set, it will hold its shape forever.
The resulting metal is extremely dense and strong. It offers extreme protection, for example, against bullets, and can slice through most things like butter.
We have seen Wolverine use his claws to cut through most metals. But we haven’t seen him try them out on things such as Iron Man’s gold-titanium alloy suit, Bucky Barnes’ Adamantium Captain America armor, or Captain America’s Vibranium alloy shield.
But while Adamantium is extremely strong, it is not indestructible. While heating it will not melt Adamantium, heat can cause it to shatter.
We see this in The Wolverine, when Logan faces off with the Silver Samurai armor. The blade of the suit heats to extreme temperatures and is able to cut through all six of Wolverine’s claws.
We also see Magneto use his control over metals to attack and control Wolverine. But unlike Adamantium, Magneto cannot control or manipulate Vibranium. But if it is mixed with other metals, he can control those.
What is Adamantium made of?
The composition of Adamantium is one of the best-kept secrets. But it was created by metallurgist Dr Myron MacLain. He tried to combine Vibranium with a steel alloy, so at least those two ingredients are in the mix.
The metal is named for Adamantine, a fabled metal from Greek mythology. Perseus had an Adamantine sword that he used to decapitate Medusa. The chains of Prometheus are Adamantine. The gates of Tartaros are also said to be made from the metal.
What can destroy Adamantium?
Other Adamantium weapons can do some damage to Adamantium. Striker used Adamantium bullets against Wolverine. While they did not kill him, they slowed him down and damaged his memory.
Strong power blasts can also damage Adamantium. We see Thor, the god of Thunder, destroy an Adamantium version of Ultron in the comic books.
Did the Adamantium poison Logan?
Adamantium can be poisonous with prolonged exposure. With the metal molded to his skeleton, Wolverine was at a high risk of poisoning.
His advanced healing abilities meant that he could constantly fight off the slow poisoning in the prime of his life. But continuous exposure gradually weakened his healing abilities until he could no longer fight the poisoning.
Actor Hugh Jackman has said that the Adamantium poisoning Logan is a metaphor for his personal conflict. The things that make him strong are also the things that weaken him.
Are Vibranium and Adamantium real in real life?
Both Vibranium and Adamantium are fictional metals that belong only to the Marvel universe. In the real world, the strongest metals on earth are Tungsten, Chromium, Steel, and Titanium.
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Neither Adamantium nor Vibranium are real metals. They are an invention of the Marvel universe. Nevertheless, they have sophisticated lore surrounding their capabilities.
Vibranium is the stronger of the two metals. It absorbs energy, so it gets stronger with time and use. But Adamantium is a denser metal. Therefore it may be able to damage Vibranium in the right circumstances.
But it is difficult to draw clear lines between the two metals. Adamantium is made from Vibranium. Captain America’s Vibranium shield is actually made from proto-Adamantium, which is a Vibration alloy. Wolverine is coated in true Adamantium, which also contains at least some Vibranium.