Adamantium

wolverine

Adamantium is a fictitious indestructible metal alloy in the Marvel Comics Universe. It is best known for being the substance bonded to the character Wolverine’s skeleton and bone claws. The first use of the term adamantium in Marvel Comics was in ‘Avengers’ #66 (1969), where it refers to part of Ultron’s outer shell.

In the Marvel Universe, adamantium is a group of man-made metal alloys of varying durability, but are all 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.

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 liquefied form. In its solid form, it is colorless, shiny, and resembles high-grade steel or titanium. 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. Despite its utility in armament and armature, adamantium is rarely used due to its high cost and inability to be reshaped.

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.

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.

Carbonadium is a resilient, unstable metal that is vastly stronger than steel, but more malleable and cheaper than adamantium. 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 and his son, Daken, 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.

Adamantium is used as the key component in several instances in the Marvel Universe, including: Ultron’s outer shell, Wolverine’s skeleton and claws, Agent Zero’s combat knife and bullets, Bullseye’s spinal column and some strips coating several of his bones, (one particular set of) Doctor Octopus’ arms, and Lady Deathstrike’s skeleton and talons.

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