One of the coolest aspects of the upcoming Black Panther film is the costume the title hero wears. The costume is made out of a special ore that is found pretty much only in Black Panther’s home country of Wakanda (it comes from a meteor that landed there in the distant past). Called Vibranium, it gets its name because it literally absorbs any vibratory or kinetic energy into itself. This is what allows Black Panther to do so many of the amazing stunts that we saw in Captain America: Civil War and in the trailers for Black Panther.
The Vibranium mesh that makes up his costume absorbs all of the impact, which allows him to be, in effect, bulletproof and able to fall from great heights without injuring himself. So Vibranium is an amazing metal. The question, though, is just how amazing is Vibranium? How does it compare against the other most famous metal in the Marvel Universe — Adamantium?
First off, it should be noted that when we talk about Vibranium, there are confusingly two different types of Vibranium, which have distinctly different attributes. This is mostly chalked up to the fact that Stan Lee liked to use certain words over and over again, so that you would have something like Doctor Strange invoke “Dormammu” when he needs help in a spell but then have Dormammu show up as a villain later on.
So in Daredevil #13, we saw the first metal referred to as Vibranium, which was found in the Savage Land…
This metal specifically vibrated and caused metal to destroy itself. This Vibranium appeared only in the Savage Land. Then, a year later, in Fantastic Four #53, we met the Wakanda variety…
Nowadays, the Wakanda version is known as “Vibranium,” while the Savage Land version is referred to as “Anti-Metal.”
Adamantium, meanwhile, was introduced in Avengers #66…
Adamantium, generally speaking, is THE most durable metal in the Marvel Universe. Even more durable than Vibranium. This can be considered confusing for a number of reasons, most of all is the fact that Captain America’s shield is made out of a Vibranium-steel alloy (as shown in Captain America #303)…
So what’s the deal? How can Captain America’s shield be made out of Vibranium and have it NOT be the strongest metal in the Marvel Universe? After all, isn’t Captain America’s shield the most indestructible weapon in the Marvel Universe? Well, you probably would not find it surprising to learn that the history of Captain America’s shield, and Adamantium in general, is very confusing.
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