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Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Avengers #66 (July 1969)
Created byRoy Thomas
Barry Windsor-Smith
Syd Shores
In story information
Element of stories featuringWolverine, Ultron, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, X-23

Adamantium is a fictional metal alloy, most famously appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is best known as the substance bonded to the character Wolverine's skeleton and claws.

Adamantium was first mentioned in the Marvel Universe by writer Roy Thomas and artists Barry Windsor-Smith and Syd Shores in Marvel Comics' The Avengers #66 (July 1969), which presents the substance as part of the character Ultron's outer shell.[1] In the stories where it appears, the defining quality of adamantium is its practical indestructibility.[2]


The word is a pseudo-Latin neologism (real Latin: adamans, from original Greek ἀδάμας [=indomitable]; adamantem [Latin accusative]) based on the English noun and adjective adamant (and the derived adjective adamantine) added to the neo-Latin suffix "-ium." The adjective adamant has long been used to refer to the property of impregnable, diamond-like hardness, or to describe a very firm/resolute position (e.g. He adamantly refused to leave). The noun adamant describes 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.[3][4] Adamant and the literary form adamantine occur in works such as The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, Gulliver's Travels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Lord of the Rings,[4] and the film Forbidden Planet (as "adamantine steel").

In 1912, The Metallurgo Syndicate, Ltd., of Balfour House, used "Adamantium" (with a capital 'A') as a product brand when they exhibited "two of their specialities in the shape of Adamantium bronze—a high-class non-corrosive, anti-friction metal..."[5]

The term adamantium occurs in the 1941 short story "Devil's Powder" by Malcolm Jameson:[6]

"It was a bullet. It was a small slug of adamantium, the toughest and hardest of all metals..."

All these uses predate the use of adamantium in Marvel's comics.[4]

History and properties[edit]

According to the comic books, the components of the alloy are kept in separate batches—typically in blocks of resin—before molding. Adamantium is prepared by melting the blocks together, mixing the components while the resin evaporates. The alloy must then be cast within eight minutes. Marvel Comics' adamantium has an extremely stable molecular structure that 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 described as a dark, shiny gray, like high-grade steel or titanium.[7] It is almost impossible to destroy or fracture in this state, and when molded to a sharp edge, it can penetrate most lesser materials with minimal force.[8]

The Marvel Comics character Wolverine discovers an adamantium-laced skull in the character Apocalypse's laboratory and says it seems to have been there for eons.[9]

As a key component[edit]

Adamantium appears in various Marvel Comics publications and licensed products, where it is found in:

Other versions[edit]

Secondary adamantium[edit]

Marvel’s comic books introduced a variant of "true" adamantium, “secondary adamantium”, to explain why, in certain stories, adamantium was shown to be damaged by sufficiently powerful conventional forces.[18][19] Its resilience is described as far below that of “true“ adamantium.[20][21]

Appearances of secondary adamantium in Marvel comic books include the casing of the supercomputer F.A.U.S.T.,[22] a suit constructed by F.A.U.S.T. and Blastaar for Stilt-Man,[23] a retractable protective dome around Exile Island,[24] and an army of Ultron duplicates.[25]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In stories published under the Marvel Comics Ultimate Marvel imprint, adamantium is highly durable and can shield a person's mind from telepathic probing or attacks. It is a component of the claws and skeleton of Ultimate Wolverine and of the Ultimate Lady Deathstrike character. 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.[26]

Comparison with real materials[edit]

Scientist David Evans argued that as adamantium "is considered to be a very dense and indestructible metal" the most suitable real material to model it would be "[o]smium, the densest known metallic element".[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Walker, Karen (February 2010). "Ultron: The Black Sheep of the Avengers Family". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (#38): 23–30.
  2. ^ Brevoort, Tom; DeFalco, Tom; Manning, Matthew K.; Sanderson, Peter; Wiacek, Win (2017). Marvel Year By Year: A Visual History. DK Publishing. p. 136. ISBN 978-1465455505.
  3. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant".
  4. ^ a b c Kundu, Suze (2019). "Elements of science and fiction". Nature Chemistry. 11 (1): 13–16. Bibcode:2019NatCh..11...13K. doi:10.1038/s41557-018-0194-5. PMID 30552432. S2CID 54626181.
  5. ^ Fowler, William (1912). The Mechanical Engineer, Vol. XXX. The Scientific Publishing Company. p. 520.
  6. ^ Astounding Stories 1941-06: vol. 27 Iss #4. Internet Archive. Penny Publications. June 1941.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ The Avengers #201–202 (Nov.–Dec. 1980)
  8. ^ The Uncanny X-Men #139 (Nov. 1980)
  9. ^ Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure (1990)
  10. ^ X-Men #98 (April 1976) (w)Chris Claremont
  11. ^ Claremont, Chris (w); Yu, Leinil Franics (a), "Blood Wedding", Wolverine )(Vol. 2) #126 (July 1998). Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Captain America #303 (March 1985)
  13. ^ The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #2 (February 1983). Entry: "Captain America", pg. 22
  14. ^ Daredevil #197
  15. ^ Claremont, Chris (w) Windsor-Smith, Barry (a), "Wounded Wolf", The Uncanny X-Men #205 (May 1986). Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ X-23: Target X
  17. ^ Ennis, Garth (w), Dillon, Steve (p), Palmiotti, Jimmy (i), Sotomayor, Chris (col), RS and Comicraft's Wes Abbott (let), Stuart Moore (ed). "Dirty Work" The Punisher v6, 4 (October 2001), New York City: Marvel Comics
  18. ^ Martin, Michael (February 27, 2020). "Marvel: Every Type Of Adamantium, Explained". Archived from the original on February 28, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  19. ^ "Adamantium". Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  20. ^ "Adamantium". Marvel Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  21. ^ "Adamantium". The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #1 p. 5 (Marvel, August 1985)
  22. ^ Marvel Team-Up #18 (February 1974)
  23. ^ Thor #269 (March 1978)
  24. ^ Super-Villain Team-Up #17 (June 1980)
  25. ^ "This Evil Triumphant!". The Avengers vol.3 #22 (Nov. 1999)
  26. ^ Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002)
  27. ^ Evans, David (2015). "Wolverine: The Force Behind His Train Lunge" (PDF). Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics. 4: 90–92. Retrieved August 12, 2022.