From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAvengers #66 (July 1969)
Created byRoy Thomas
Barry Windsor-Smith
Stan Lee
In story information
Element of stories featuringWolverine, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, X-23, Captain America's shield, Ultron's Armor
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Adamantane.
For the American metalcore group, see Adamantium (band).
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAvengers #66 (July 1969)
Created byRoy Thomas
Barry Windsor-Smith
Stan Lee
In story information
Element of stories featuringWolverine, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, X-23, Captain America's shield, Ultron's Armor

Adamantium is a fictitious metal alloy in the Marvel Comics Universe best known for being the substance bonded to the character Wolverine's skeleton and bone claws. Although regarded as indestructible, the original comics revealed adamantium was penetrable by bullets made of the same alloy. Also, Wolverine's skull was punctured by two Adamantium bullets in X-Men Origins.


The first use of the term "adamantium" was in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, a classic MGM science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox. In the film Dr. Edward Morbius on the planet Altair IV, discovers a highly advanced native species, the Krell, a race that mysteriously died suddenly 200,000 years before, had used adamantium steel in their buildings. In the time since, all above-ground evidence of their civilization has disappeared.

The use of the term adamantium in Marvel Comics was then used in Avengers #66 (July 1969), where it refers to part of Ultron's outer shell.

The word is a pseudo-Latin neologism (real Latin: adamans, adamantem [accusative]) based on the English noun and adjective adamant (and the derived adjective adamantine) with the neo-Latin suffix "ium," implying a metal. The adjective has long been used to refer to the property of impregnable, diamondlike hardness, or to describe a very firm/resolute position (e.g. He adamantly refused to leave). The noun adamant has long been used to designate any impenetrably or unyieldingly hard substance and, formerly, a legendary stone/rock or mineral of impenetrable hardness and with many other properties, often identified with diamond or lodestone.[1] Adamant and the literary form adamantine occur in works such as Prometheus Bound,[2] the Aeneid, The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, Gulliver's Travels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Lord of the Rings, and the film Forbidden Planet (as "adamantine steel"), all of which predate the use of adamantium in Marvel's comics.

History and properties[edit]

In the Marvel Universe, adamantium is a group of man-made metal alloys of varying durability, but all are nearly indestructible. Adamantium was inadvertently invented by the American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain in an attempt to recreate his prior discovery, a unique alloy of steel and vibranium (which required an unknown catalyst for its manufacture) that was used to create Captain America's shield.[3]

Before molding, the components of the alloy are kept in separate batches, typically in blocks of resin. Adamantium is prepared by melting the blocks together, mixing the components while the resin evaporates. The alloy must then be cast within eight minutes. Adamantium's extremely stable molecular structure prevents it from being further molded even if the temperature is high enough to keep it in its liquified form. In its solid form, it is colorless, shiny, and resembles high-grade steel or titanium.[4] It is almost impossible to destroy or fracture in this state and when crafted to a razor edge, it can penetrate most lesser materials with minimal application of strength.[5]

Despite its utility in armament and armature, adamantium is rarely used due to its high cost and inability to be reshaped.

Wolverine once discovered an adamantium-laced skull in Apocalypse's laboratory and said it seemed to have been there for eons.[6]

Types of adamantium[edit]


The experimental iron alloy that Dr. MacLain experimented on with Captain America's shield is now referred to as "proto-adamantium", which is slightly different than true adamantium in that it's stronger than the latter. Dr. MacLain's experiments with proto-adamantium lead to the creation of true adamantium. This proto-adamantium (the only known source) was incorporated with the vibranium in the shield and had never been recreated since.

Secondary adamantium[edit]

As true adamantium is extremely difficult and expensive to create or manipulate, some parties found a way to duplicate it on a larger and more cost-effective scale at the expense of quality and durability. For most practical purposes, this secondary adamantium is also largely indestructible. Conventional weapons, such as ballistic missiles, have no effect on it and it is far stronger than even the most durable of titanium or steel compounds. However, extraordinary force, such as a punch from a being with superhuman strength, can warp or break it. Unconventional forms of energy discharges have also been known to warp or damage secondary adamantium, such as Thor's lightning attacks using Mjolnir.[7]

Adamantium beta[edit]

Adamantium beta is a metal created as a side-effect of the process of bonding true adamantium to Wolverine's bones. His healing factor not only allowed him to survive the process, but also induced a molecular change in the metal. Adamantium beta functions identically to true adamantium, but it does not inhibit the biological processes of bone.[8]


Carbonadium is a resilient, unstable metal that is vastly stronger than steel, but more malleable and cheaper than adamantium.[9] Due to its malleability, carbonadium is less durable than true adamantium, but still nearly indestructible. Omega Red has carbonadium coils through which he can transmit his ability to drain life energies. Carbonadium is highly radioactive and objects composed of it have proven to disable the accelerated healing factors of Wolverine[10] and his son, Daken,[11] if implanted within the body. Deadpool used a carbonadium katana to kill Wolverine in the miniseries "Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe". It is currently unknown if carbonadium affects other beings with superhuman healing powers in a similar manner. The only device that can produce carbonadium, known as the Carbonadium Synthesizer, was initially believed thrown into a river in Brussels by Wolverine. It has since been revealed that the Carbonadium Synthesizer had been hidden on the deceased body of a double-agent who died escaping Omega Red along with Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Maverick. The synthesizer was retrieved and handed back to Maverick, whose mission was to retrieve the item for unknown parties.


In X-Men #191, when confronting Wolverine, one of the Children of the Vault named Serafina claims that adamantium has thirteen allotropes, all of which are "unstable, and short-lived, but virulently poisonous." She throws a small device that clamps onto Wolverine's claws and makes them glow green, claiming that it is adamantium nine. This apparently raises adamantium's toxicity dramatically, overloading Wolverine's healing factor. Allotrope is a misnomer, as adamantium is an alloy and not a pure element. The more general term, used for any crystalline material, is polymorphism.

Adamantium as key component[edit]

Adamantium is used as the key component in several instances in the Marvel Universe, including:

Adamantium in the Ultimate Marvel Universe[edit]

Within the Earth-1610 reality, also known as the Ultimate Marvel Universe,[12] adamantium is highly durable and is able to effectively protect a person's mind from telepathic probing or attacks. It has been shown as a component of the claws and skeleton of the Ultimate Wolverine and Ultimate Lady Deathstrike characters. The shield of Ultimate Captain America is composed entirely of vibranium, which is a super-strong metal created before adamantium but the formula for which could not be replicated, therefore leading to the creation of adamantium. This version of adamantium is not unbreakable. In Ultimates #5, the Hulk breaks a needle made of adamantium. In Ultimate X-Men #11 (December 2001), an adamantium cage is damaged by a bomb. In Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002), one of Sabretooth's four adamantium claws is broken.[13]

In other media[edit]

Adamantine has, throughout ancient history, referred to anything that was made of a very hard material. The degree of resilience and the creation of adamantium can sometimes vary between different media forms. In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, adamantite is referred to throughout the game's many books and adventure modules as a very special and valuable metal.






See also[edit]


  1. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant".
  2. ^ Great Books of the Western World Vol. 4 pg 40
  3. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #66-68 (July – September 1969)
  4. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #201-202 (November – December 1980)
  5. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #139 (November 1980)
  6. ^ Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure (1990)
  7. ^ Thor (vol. 1) #271
  8. ^ Wolverine (vol. 2) #80 (April 1994)
  9. ^ X-Men (vol. 2) #7 (April 1992)
  10. ^ Wolverine: Origins #7-8 (October – November 2006)
  11. ^ Wolverine: Origins #25-26 (July – August 2008)
  12. ^ Earth-1610 (Ultimate Universe) at
  13. ^ Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002)
  14. ^ "Adamantium". Lost Souls Wiki. Retrieved 2011-07-10.