Adamantium vs Vibranium: Which Marvel Comics metal is stronger?

Christopher Baggett
Black Panther and Wolverine

Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton and Black Panther’s vibranium claws are two of Marvel’s most iconic and powerful weapons, but which of the two is stronger continues to be hotly debated. 

There are two big metals that rule the Marvel Universe: Adamantium and Vibranium. Though there are other metals, like the X-Men’s reality-defying Mysterium or the powerful Uru that makes up Mjolnir, Adamantium and Vibranium continue to dominate the conversation. 

Adamantium, an artificially created metal alloy, was the go-to, unbreakable metal for years. It was used to coat Wolverine’s skeleton, and the assassin Bullseye had his spine coated with adamantium. Its counterpoint is Vibranium, a naturally mined resource in the kingdom of Wakanda, said to be found in the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs. 

Both metals have their strengths and weaknesses, but one has to be stronger than the other. However, it may end up being that they simply balance out their strengths against their weaknesses. 

Adamantium is stronger than Vibranium

Pound for pound, Adamantium is presented as a much stronger metal. Adamantium and Vibranium have similar properties, but Adamantium is the go-to for weapons and defensive structures. 

Wolverine faces off against the Hulk
Wolverine’s unbreakable Adamantium skeleton is durable as hell, but the metal itself can be hard to produce.

A lot of this does have to do with availability. Vibranium is difficult to procure and fiercely protected by Wakanda. While Adamantium was once incredibly rare, it and its various, weaker variants have become increasingly more common.

Still, while it’s reached a point that Beast has an Adamantium vat for when X-Men like Wolverine are revived, it doesn’t change the fact that actually making the Adamantium alloy is a difficult process.

There’s also still a threshold to which Adamantium can be manipulated by heating it or other means (like Magneto ripping Wolverine’s adamantium off his bones), and weaker Beta variants of Adamantium lack the strength of its pure variants. But compared to Vibranium, the pure form of Adamantium is the stronger material for making weapons.

Vibranium’s properties make it a better defensive material

That same strength that makes Adamantium preferable for weapons is what makes it less useful in other applications. It’s rigid and unyielding, but that means it doesn’t offer a lot of give when used defensively. 

ea black panther game
Black Panther’s Vibranium lacks Adamantium’s durability but can disperse energy better.

Vibranium shines here, though. It has a natural ability to store and disperse kinetic energy, meaning any blows it takes are dissipated via the metal, not the wielder. This is the unique property that makes Captain America’s shield, which is made from a combination of vibranium and an unknown metal, so effective. 

Vibranium does still get its due as an offensive metal. Black Panther makes use of it in his claws, and they’ve proven to be sufficiently capable of feats like scratching Cap’s shield. As an outright weapon, though, its composition pales in comparison to adamantium’s durability. 

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