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Not to be confused with Adamantane.
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 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 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.


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." 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]

Adamantium is a very dense, artificial, iron-based alloy that is virtually indestructible. A sufficient amount is capable of surviving multiple nuclear explosions with no damage. A pure blade of Adamantium is capable of cutting almost any known substance, with the known exceptions of Adamantium itself and Captain America's shield. The ability to slice completely through a substance with an Adamantium blade depends upon the amount of force being exerted and the density of the material in question. Adamantium, its degree of density, makes a very thick metal capable of drilling with greater effectiveness than Vibranium.

Creating even a small amount of Adamantium is astronomically expensive, and only a few people know the complete formula. Adamantium is created by mixing certain chemical resins together. The exact composition of these resins is a closely guarded secret of the United States government. When these resins are mixed and kept at a temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the resulting liquid can be cast or worked into a particular shape. After eight minutes, the mixture sets and becomes solid. Its molecular structure is extremely stable, and its shape can only be altered by precise molecular rearrangement. However, due to the sheer density of Adamantium, there are few known forces capable of altering its molecular structure.

Very few means exist to pierce adamantium, including the Dargonite.[4]

Once liquid adamantium cools and hardens, it can never be manipulated again.[5]

Some supervillains have taken to harvesting existing sources of Adamantium, hoping to utilize it through molecular rearrangement. Apocalypse harvested Adamantium from Sabretooth's skeleton, and Gambit in turn got Adamantium from Constrictor to save Sabretooth's life. Genesis harvested Adamantium from Cyber by destroying his body's organic matter, leaving only his Adamantium-laced skin.[6]

Some Adamantium is made by Adametco. [7]

Adamantium, despite being an iron alloy, is incapable of rusting under any circumstance whatsoever. The character Wolverine once discovered an adamantium-laced skull in Apocalypse's laboratory and says it seemed to have been there for eons, in perfect condition.[8]

Hercules, the demigod of Greek myth, wielded an enchanted golden mace, which (according to legend) was made of Adamantine and supposed to be indestructible. Inspired by this myth, Dr. Myron MacLain sought to create an indestructible alloy for the American side during World War II. At one point he fell asleep at his lab bench, and the metals he was working with somehow bonded together. This mysterious alloy--a combination of steel, Vibranium, and an unknown catalyst--created a material stronger than any yet known. However, without knowing the exact ingredients and their proportions, MacLain could never duplicate the process. The sample was worked into a disc, which became Captain America's Shield. MacLain's later attempts to duplicate the material included a formula without Vibranium, which resulted in the creation of True Adamantium, which is almost as strong as Captain America's shield.[9] [10]

Although True Adamantium is thought to be indestructible, there are at least two known examples of the alloy within the Earth-616 reality sustaining damage without molecular manipulation. The first involved Thor focusing all of his strength into striking a small cylinder of Adamantium with Mjolnir, which only slightly dented.[11] The second incident involved a battle between Ultron and the Hulk. During the fight, the Hulk punched the robot with enough force to slightly dent it.[12]

Because True Adamantium is exceptionally difficult and expensive to create, various researchers found a more cost-effective way to duplicate it, at the expense of quality and durability. This alternate version, referred to as Secondary Adamantium, is considerably stronger than even titanium and is resistant against most assaults. However, assaults from sufficiently powerful weapons or beings can warp or break it.[13]

As a key component[edit]

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

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In 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.[19]


  1. ^ a b Walker, Karen (February 2010). "Ultron: The Black Sheep of the Avengers Family". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (38): 23–30. 
  2. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant".
  3. ^ Great Books of the Western World Vol. 4 pg 40
  4. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #18
  5. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #15
  6. ^ Wolverine Vol. 2 #96
  7. ^ Captain America Annual #18
  8. ^ Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure (1990)
  9. ^ Captain America #302, #303
  10. ^ Avengers #66
  11. ^ Avengers #66
  12. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12
  13. ^ Avengers Vol 3 #22
  14. ^ X-Men #98 (April 1976) (w)Chris Claremont
  15. ^ Wolverine vol. 2 #126
  16. ^ Uncanny X-Men #205
  17. ^ X-23: Target X
  18. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Steve Dillon (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i), Chris Sotomayer (col), RS and Comicraft's Wes Abbott (let), Stuart Moore (ed). "Dirty Work" The Punisher v6, #4 (October 2001), United States: Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002)