Nth metal

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Nth metal
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
In story information
Type Metal
Element of stories featuring Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Hawkwoman

Nth metal is a fictional metal appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Publication[edit]

A heavy isotope of iron, Fe676 [1] It is native to Thanagar, the home planet of Katar Hol and Shayera Thal, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman. Among the unusual properties of Nth metal is the ability to negate gravity, allowing a person wearing an object made of Nth metal, such as a belt, to fly. In addition, Nth metal also protects the wearer from the elements and speeds the healing of wounds,[2] increases their strength, and protects them from extremes in temperature. It has many other properties that have yet to be revealed in full. It has been implied that the apparently "magical" abilities of the Thanagarian supervillain, Onimar Synn, all stem from his unique mastery of the properties of Nth metal. These powers are augmented to a god-like level during the war when he builds himself an artificial body made of the substance.

In ancient Egypt a Thanagarian spaceship made of Nth metal crash-landed, only to be discovered by Prince Khufu and his betrothed, Chay-ara. Constant exposure to Nth metal forced Khufu and Chay-ara into a cycle of reincarnation. In the 20th century, they were incarnated as Carter Hall and Shiera Saunders, the original Hawkman and Hawkgirl. As Hawkman and Hawkgirl, they wore Nth metal belts, made with the help of the Thanagarian Paran Katar, father of Katar Hol, when he was visiting Earth.

Many years later, Carter and Shiera's son, Hector Hall, made a suit of armor made of Nth metal and took the name Silver Scarab as a founding member of Infinity Inc. The suit provided him with protection from attacks, let him lift great weights, and allowed him to fly and project solar energy blasts.

The current Hawkman and Hawkgirl continue to wear Nth metal.

Much later in the DC timeline, members of the Legion of Super Heroes wear "flight rings" made of an alloy of Nth metal called valorium.

The mercenary known as Deathstroke wears armor made of a composite Nth metal blend.

Its name is derived from the idiom "The Nth Degree" meaning that something is raised to a very high level, in this case the metal's overall numerous unusual properties and atomic number.

Within the recent rebooted continuum, Nth Metal takes on many attributes of other media while retaining unique qualities all its own. The metal is now mystical in nature, sharing a symbiotic link when it bonds with a proper host giving them numerous biophysical augmentations like in previous publishing.

It grants its user augmented physical capabilities while physically bonding to them as was the case with Katar Hol, it even has regenerative and restorative abilities far greater than in past serializations.

Even being able to restore long lost physical attributes like a Thanagarian's genetically stunted wingspan.[3] The metal is metamorphic and can change, shift and fabricate shielding or armaments on command. The healing properties present within are so potent they can even revive the recently deceased. Nth metal will move and act however the wielder sees fit but can also work on its own protecting its host from certain attacks.

Nth Metal has various other properties making it useful for combat or support. Namely it is adaptive and can develop new abilities when the user needs it such as nullifying another's regenerative abilities allowing for an opening to deliver fatal blows, said metal can also interact with and undo supernatural entities like ghosts and apparitions like in the cartoon.

In Despero's case he used the metal to augment his already considerable psionic and physical capabilities several fold. As wondrous as the materia is, all of its functions are stunted if and when mixed with other metals. Only affording the user vastly augmented strength and physical ability, beyond that its merely tougher than even a titanium steel armor plating mesh.

DC Rebirth[edit]

In DC Comics Rebirth, Nth Metal first appeared in Dark Days: The Forge. It is revealed in Dark Nights: Metal #1 that all Nth metal present on Earth was destroyed by Kendra Saunders, the only piece left was in her possession until Batman stole it. The Nth metal is revealed to be a part of a process called mantling, in which a hero is touched by five divine metals that can create a doorway to the dark multiverse. During the Dark Nights event, Batman becomes a part of this process resulting in him exchanging places with seven dark versions of himself from the dark multiverse.[4] It is later revealed that Nth Metal is a counter vibratory material that cancels out the frequencies of Dark Multiverse denizens, as was the case with a twisted mirror inversion of Damien Wayne under the Bat Who Laughs,[5] making it the most effective weapon against Barbartos and his seven dark anagrams of Batman.

Hawkgirl and Hawkman's origin in Rebirth is still linked to Nth Metal.

In other media[edit]

Justice League[edit]

In the Justice League animated series, Nth metal has a somewhat different history. Nth metal is transuranic iron with an atomic number of 676, possesses innate anti-magical properties, is hyperconductive and is able to invert mesons and gravitons.[6]

The Thanagarians had used the Nth metal to drive off Ichthulthu, a Lovecraftian[citation needed] entity that had dominated Thanagar for generations. Also, Hawkgirl was able to use her Nth metal mace to deflect the spells of Doctor Fate, and her mace was the only weapon that could put down a rampaging Solomon Grundy that was under the influence of chaos magic.[7]

Hawkman, who appears later in the DCAU, also carries an axe and a net made out of Nth metal. He uses the net to capture Gentleman Ghost, claiming that the properties of Nth metal interfere with dimensional shifting.

The Batman[edit]

In The Batman, Nth metal is renamed "Nth Element" and is portrayed as an alien mineral found within meteors. The mineral causes whatever is irradiated with it to float and defy gravity, like in the comics. The Nth Element is used in Hawkman's equipment, and Black Mask attempts to use it for a bank heist.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman uses Nth metal brass knuckles, handcuffs, as well as batarangs, to fight and capture Gentleman Ghost. Green Arrow is shown to have Nth metal tipped arrows. As shown in the animated Justice League, Nth metal can be used against supernatural beings, but is vulnerable to direct magical spells, as is seen when Equinox mystically melts Batman's Nth metal handcuffs.

The Flash[edit]

In The Flash episode, "Legends of Today," Vandal Savage obtains the Staff of Horus, which is made from a strange, otherworldly material, which Cisco Ramon calls an "Nth metal," and starts developing gloves that can counteract the Staff's energy.

Arrow[edit]

In the Arrow episode, "Legends of Yesterday," after Vandal Savage kills Prince Khufu and Priestess Chay-Ara, a meteor storm of Nth metal meteors rain down on Egypt, granting Hath-Set immortality and Khufu and Chay-Ara the power of reincarnation. When their first attempt to stop Savage fails, The Flash runs back in time and helps Cisco improve the gloves to counteract Savage's staff. After they defeat Savage, Cisco makes a distress communicator out of Nth metal for Kendra and Carter.

Legends of Tomorrow[edit]

In the Legends of Tomorrow episode, "Night of the Hawk," a strange meteor made of Nth metal crashes down in Harmony Falls, Oregon in 1958, which Vandal Savage recovers. At the crash site, he also finds a group of teenagers that crashed and captures them, where he experiments on them at a mental hospital with the Nth metal and transforms them into Hawk-like creatures, along with the various other victims he's captured. Jefferson "Jax" Jackson is then captured and sent to the mental hospital, where Vandal injects him with a serum made from the Nth metal that transforms him into a Hawk creature. Later, after the team manages to stop Savage, Professor Martin Stein and Gideon are able to create a serum to counteract the Nth metal's effects and cure Jax and the other victims.

Supergirl[edit]

In the Supergirl episode, "The Darkest Place", Supergirl and Mon-El were captured by Project Cadmus and imprisoned in cages made from Nth metal. When Supergirl attempts to break the Nth metal cages, Mon-El claims that "they're unbreakable", and mentions that this material is from Thanagar.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Justice League Unlimited, Season 1, Episode 21
  2. ^ Hawkman (Vol. 4) #21
  3. ^ Savage Hawkman Vol 1 #0
  4. ^ Dark Nights: Metal #2 (2017)
  5. ^ Green Arrow Vol 6 #32 (2017)
  6. ^ Justice League: Starcrossed
  7. ^ Justice League: The Terror Beyond