From Academic Kids

Adamantium is a fictional metal alloy in a number of fictional settings, notably the Marvel Universe. The name is derived from the word adamant. Created by Dr. Myron MacLain, the iron-based alloy is malleable in its molten state, but is virtually indestructible once cooled. Variants include carbonadium, a malleable form used by the villain Omega Red, and Captain America's shield, which is made of an unknown vibranium-based alloy that was reverse-engineered to create adamantium, and is the only man-made substance known to be more durable in the Marvel Universe. Adamantium is apparently astronomically expensive to create and the process unreliable often resulting in an inferior grade. As a result supervillains almost never try to create it but seek instead to harvest it from existing sources and simply rearrange it on a molecular level, such as when Apocalypse harvested the adamantium from Sabretooth and Genesis harvested the adamantium from Cyber.

True adamantium is used as the key component in several characters' equipment, including:

Uses in other works include:

Types of Adamantium

Captain America's shield: The process that created this shield was never duplicated and is not understood. It is made of an alloy that includes Wakandan vibranium. It was somehow molecularly altered to reach its current state. It is essentially indestructible, and is even stronger than any known form of adamantium. A mistake often assumed by readers is that Captain America's shield is made entirely of adamantium, or of vibranium. It is not; it is derived from it but has radically different properties resulting in far, far greater resilience. A mistake made in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and repeated many times since is the suggestion that the shield is simply an adamantium-vibranium alloy. It is not; as revealed via retcon, adamantium was created in an attempt to duplicate the material of the shield.

Adamantium: Pure adamantium is created through the mixing of certain chemical resins whose composition is a government secret. This process is extremely expensive, and as a result true Adamantium is very rare. It was discovered in attempt to duplicate Captain America's shield and resembles Captain America's shield on a molecular level, yet it contains no vibranium. Adamantium is indestructible to the degree that it could withstand a nuclear detonation. Only precise molecular rearrangement, or cosmic-level power such as that of the Infinity Gauntlet, can scratch or dent it.

Secondary adamantium: 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, but at the expense of quality and durability. For all practical purposes, secondary adamantium is indestructible. Conventional weapons, such as ballistic missiles, have no effect on it; it is far stronger than any type of steel. However, extraordinary blunt force (such as a punch from a character with vast superhuman strength) can warp or break it. Unconventional or alien forms of energy discharges have also been known to warp or damage secondary adamantium. Writers created secondary adamantium to deal with supposedly indestructible adamantium having been damaged or destroyed in the past: all such instances were appearances of secondary adamantium.

Carbonadium: Carbonadium is a resilient, unstable metal that is far stronger than steel but more flexible than adamantium. It has been implied by writers that it is molecularly similar to or even a variant of adamantium, but the extent of the relation has not been revealed. The process to create carbonadium is apparently even more difficult and expensive than that required to produce adamantium as there is only one Carbonadium synthesizer in the world. It is unlikely that carbonadium is as durable as adamantium due to its malleability. It may or may not have the unique property of stabilizing the condition of life force vampires so that they no longer have to absorb the life forces of living beings to survive.

See also

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