Two of Marvel’s most beloved characters, Wolverine and Black Panther, are both dependent on exotic metals to aid them with their powers. For Black Panther, his vibranium suit is essential to his success and for Wolverine, adamantium is crucial to his indestructibility.
Both metals are used elsewhere in the Marvel universe, like Captain America’s shield, which is made partly from vibranium, and Ultron’s body, which is coated in adamantium in the comics, but they are most closely associated with Black Panther and Wolverine.
So with vibranium vs. adamantium, which is the more power metal? Which is more indestructible? What would happen if the two most powerful metals in the universe were used by their heroes against each other? There are some slight differences between the comic universe and the MCU, so we’ll highlight that a little bit as well. Let’s break them down and figure it out.
Black Panther’s Vibranium Suit
Vibranium is a rare metal found in very limited quantities around the globe, including and especially in a large stockpile in Black Panther’s home, Wakanda. It’s a virtually indestructible metal that landed in Wakanda on a meteor millions of years ago and has shaped life in the region ever since. Its presence there has had an enormous impact on the country and its citizens in all kinds of ways.
The most notable way it has affected Wakandans is their use of it to become the most technologically advanced county in the world. Vibranium's unique qualities have made it essentially in Wakandan life. Not only that, but in the comics, Wakanda's citizens have occasionally sold off small amounts for huge amounts of money to help them build their technology.
One of vibranium’s most important characteristics, besides its indestructibility, is its ability to absorb energy of almost any kind. This characteristic is especially important in Black Panther’s suit, called his “Panther Habit,” and in Captain America’s shield. If you ever wondered how Cap could absorb a mighty strike from Thor’s hammer, your answer is found in the vibranium used by Howard Stark to forge the shield.
The forging of Captain America’s shield is slightly different in the comics. In the comics, a scientist named Myron MacLain obtained a small amount of vibranium and tried to create an alloy to make an indestructible armor. Instead, after failing to meld vibranium with iron, and by accident, he created a small amount of an alloy that he then used to create the shield. Interestingly, in the comic universe, adamantium was also invented by Myron MacLain when he tried to replicate the process unsuccessfully, so the metals are clearly related. This, however, they have not been connected in the MCU, though maybe that will change with the Disney/Fox merger and the possibility of more X-Men in the MCU.
The second important way that vibranium is used in Wakanda is in Black Panther’s suit. The Panther Habit is a suit weaved from vibranium that has been worn by kings and princes of Wakanda for hundreds of years when they become Blank Panther. Currently, it’s worn by T’Challa, the current Black Panther.
The suit a huge part of what makes Black Panther Black Panther. Sure, he’s trained from a young age to be a general, a warrior and an expert in hand to hand battle, and he takes the Heart-Shaped Herb to to enhance his physical attributes. Still, without the suit, it'd be a lot harder for him to be a superhero. The vibranium suit and its ability to defuse energy allows him to take punches, stabs, bullets and just about anything else that an enemy could through at him in a fight. But could it protect him from a swipe from Wolverine’s adadmantium claws?
Wolverine’s Adamantium Claws
Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton and claws are not his super power. It’s his superpower that allowed him to survive the surgery that covered his skeleton (including the claws) with adamantium. It was Wolverine’s super healing powers that allowed the scientist at Weapon X to coat his skeleton in the nearly indestructible metal.
The metallic recipe to make adamantium is a closely guarded government secret in the comics and in the movies, but as we mentioned, it is known, at least in the comics, to be an alloy that includes steel and vibranium. In the comics, there are also a bunch of different kinds of adamantium but for arguments sake, we’re going to stick with the kind that Wolverine originally had covering his bones. In the comics, it’s called “True adamantium,” since there is no specific designation in the movie.
Since there isn’t much more in the movies, sticking with the comic version of adamantium, we know that Adamantium is the strongest metal in the world. Which leads us to the big matchup...
Vibranium Vs. Adamantium
In a head to head battle, there really is no contest. In the comics, it’s clear that despite vibranium’s ability to defuse energy, Black Panther wouldn’t be able to keep Wolverine’s adamantium claws from slicing the Panther Habit and himself to ribbons. In the comics, there are a few times when it is show that the vibranium suit is not effective in repelling slices. When faced with slices from Wolverine’s adamantium claws, it wouldn’t stand a chance.
But that doesn’t mean that Black Panter’s vibranium suit wouldn’t be useful in other respects against adamantium. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, William Stryker shoots Logan with adamantium bullets, rendering him unconscious and with memory loss. Because of the energy absorbing properties of vibranium, it’s likely that Blank Pather’s suit would absorb all the power from the bullet and defuse it like it does any other bullet. The metal makeup of the bullet would be irrelevant.
Vibranium would be more or less useless against Wolverine’s adamantium body as well. It is not as strong and would probably shatter if it hit the adamantium with enough force. There simply isn’t a stronger metal in the Marvel Universe. That means that the takeaway from it all it is that adamantium, the stronger metal alloy, and the right superhero with it, namely Wolverine, would be able to defeat Black Panther and his vibranium suit.
Let us know your thoughts on the vibranium vs. adamantium matchup in the comments below, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more news on the cinematic futures of Wolverine, Black Panther and all the other Marvel heroes.