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Adamantium

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Not to be confused with Adamantane.
Adamantium
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #66 (July 1969)
Created by Roy Thomas
Barry Windsor-Smith
Syd Shores
In story information
Type Metal
Element of stories featuring Wolverine, Ultron, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, X-23

Adamantium is a fictional metal alloy in comic books published by Marvel Comics and is best known as the substance bonded to the character Wolverine's skeleton and claws. Adamantium was created by writer Roy Thomas and artists Barry Windsor-Smith and Syd Shores in Marvel Comics' 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.

Etymology[edit]

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.[2] Adamant and the literary form adamantine occur in works such as Prometheus Bound,[3] 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 is inadvertently invented by the American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain in an attempt to recreate his prior discovery, a unique alloy.

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 dark metallic grey, shiny, and resembles high-grade steel or titanium.[4] It is almost impossible to destroy or fracture in this state and when molded to a razor's 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, lack of source materials and inability to be manipulated easily.

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

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 imprint[edit]

Within the Marvel Comics Ultimate Marvel imprint, 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.[7]

In other media[edit]

  • The first novel of the Halo Forerunner series, "Cryptum", ships are referenced to move though the air like a ribbon of steel and adamantium.[8]
  • The novel Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles refers to "the Adamantium of Emma's impassivity".[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Karen (February 2010). "Ultron: The Black Sheep of the Avengers Family". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (38): 23–30. 
  2. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant". Oxforddictionaries.com.
  3. ^ Great Books of the Western World Vol. 4 pg 40
  4. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #201-202 (November – December 1980)
  5. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #139 (November 1980)
  6. ^ Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure (1990)
  7. ^ Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002)
  8. ^ Halo: Cryptum. Chapter 9
  9. ^ Ron Currie, Jr., Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, p.17