With the release of Black Panther back in 2018, Marvel fans found a new favorite in the titular character. Of course, T’Challa’s badassery is undeniable, but old-school Marvel fans scoff at the idea of the King of Wakanda. Surely, his vibranium suit is no match for Wolverine’s adamantium claws!
Yes, these two metals have featured elsewhere in the Marvel comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Captain America’s shield is made from Vibranium, while Ultron is covered in Adamantium), but no two characters represent these exotic materials more than Black Panther and Wolverine: Black Panther’s suit (known as the Panther Habit) is made up of pure vibranium woven into fabric. It’s been worn by the King of Wakanda since the time of Wakanda’s first King, Bashenga. In the modern world, the Panther Habit has been upgraded with the finest Wakandan tech, making it both a cultural and technological marvel of Wakanda.
Meanwhile, Wolverine’s Adamantium claws are a result of his extended experimentation by the notorious Weapon X program, wherein his entire skeletal structure was replaced with an Adamantium framework, making him virtually indestructible. Wolverine (real name Logan…or is it?) was chosen for this project because of his rare mutant power of healing, making him the only person who can survive the excruciating procedure.
So what would happen if the Wakandan King takes on Weapon X in a fight to the death? Will Wakanda’s pride and joy resist the indestructible claws of Logan? We won’t see it anytime soon (thanks to the X-Men being owned by Sony, while Disney owns the rest of Marvel), but it’s something we’re always thinking about. Let’s break down both to see who would win this claw fight.
What is Vibranium?
Vibranium is an exotic metal that landed on Earth approximately 10,000 years ago. While a few scrap pieces fell in other parts of the world, the plenary majority of Vibranium can only be found in one place on Earth: Wakanda.
The exotic alien metal virtually shaped Wakandan culture thanks to its completely unique properties: vibranium has multiple abilities, including the absorption of all kinds of vibrations, from kinetic energy to sound waves. Through this absorption, vibranium becomes even stronger, approaching indestructibility. A rare type of vibranium isotope, found in Antarctica, was also known as ‘anti-metal’, thanks to its ability to dissolve all other forms of metal it comes into contact with.
Vibranium isn’t just essential to Wakanda, Wakanda wouldn’t even exist without Vibranium. Pretty much everything about Wakandan culture has been shaped by vibranium, especially its technology. The presence of Vibranium turned Wakanda from a simple, tribal society into the most technologically-advanced nation in the world. Virtually all pieces of Wakandan tech incorporates, or at least draws from, vibranium and its properties. The Wakandans are masters of manipulating vibranium, processing it in different ways as to leverage its individual properties and using it in everything from architecture and weaponry to creating advanced artificial intelligence and defense systems.
What is Adamantium?
Meanwhile, Adamantium is a man-made allow that’s made from Vibranium, Steel, and an unknown catalyst. First created by Dr. Myron McClain in World War II, Adamantium is best known as being a virtually indestructible material.
There are two primary kinds of Adamantium: Proto-Adamantium and True Adamantium. Proto-Adamantium was the original Adamantium created by Dr. McClain in his laboratory. He was unable to recreate this type of Adamantium because of the unknown catalyst that fused the Vibranium with Steel. As we see in the first Marvel movie, this is the material that Captain America’s shield is made of, and it is the stronger of the two types of Adamantium.
The second type of Adamantium is called True Adamantium. Much like Proto-Adamantium, True Adamantium is virtually indestructible and is made by fusing Vibranium and other types of chemical resins, the exact recipe for which is a closely-guarded secret by the American Government. This is the Adamantium that is used in the Weapon X program, of which Wolverine was a product.
Note, however, that we say it’s “virtually” indestructible: Adamantium has actually been damaged or destroyed a few times in the Marvel comic books, usually by Magneto (obviously), God-like beings (like Thor or Thanos), or by those with the power to manipulate matter at the molecular level (like Molecule Man). Even Hulk was known to damage Adamantium during his battle with Ultron.
Black Panther’s Vibranium Suit
The Panther Habit was created in the time of Bashenga, Wakanda’s first King. After the Wakandans realized the immense power that vibranium holds, they found a way to weave it into a near-indestructible suit that only the Kings of Wakanda were allowed to wear, turning them into the Black Panther, protector of Wakanda.
In modern times, T’Challa, the current King of Wakanda, leveraged his nation’s deep understanding of Vibranium and its properties to augment the ancient Vibranium suit with high-tech weaponry, including, but not limited to:
- Cloaking technology
- Anti-metal Claws/Adamantium Claws
- Wrist-mounted Blasters
- Energized Gauntlets
- Energy-dampening Boots
There are various other types of Panther Habit’s across the Marvel comic books, but one thing is the same: the suit isn’t just ceremonial regalia, it’s a complete battle-suit that’s designed to withstand punishment from various types of energy sources and deal damage to various kinds of foes.
Wolverine’s Adamantium Claws
Despite being one of Wolverine’s defining characteristics, his claws aren’t actually his mutant power; rather, it’s his unique healing factor that sets him a cut above the rest (get it, cut? Never mind…) of the Marvel universe. Out of all the other mutants, aliens, and even some Gods, Wolverine’s healing factor is one to be envied: it allows him to survive gunshots, stabs to the heart, old age, nuclear blasts, even a steamroller (yes, like a cartoon). Sure, there are limitations (like being exposed to large amounts of anesthetic at a given time), but these are very few, very far in between, and usually temporary.
This is why he was chosen for the Weapon X program: in their quest to create the ultimate warrior, the United States government asked the question: what if we just straight-up replaced a person’s skeleton with adamantium? Which is exactly what they tried to do, with just one hiccup: the people they chose tend to die, very quickly and very painfully.
Even if a subject survived having their bones ripped out and replacing it with the adamantium transplant, there’s one more thing about adamantium: it’s extremely toxic. Enter, Wolverine. Not only could he survive the procedure, but his healing factor somehow bonded with the adamantium and changed its molecular structure in such a way that he basically became immune to its toxic properties.
Now that we’re all caught up on vibranium and adamantium, who would win?
Vibranium Vs. Adamantium
So is Adamantium stronger than Vibranium? Yep, it is.
There’s no question that Adamantium can rip Vibranium to shreds. As a composite alloy, Adamantium is made up of both Vibranium and other extremely-strong materials that make it practically immune to vibranium’s anti-metal and energy absorption powers. Yes, it is much harder to damage Vibranium than Adamantium, but due to Adamantium’s sheer density, not to mention Wolverine’s claws being designed to cut (which it does using as little kinetic energy as possible), it’s extremely possible that Adamantium claws would pretty much slice through the Panther Habit like scissors on paper.
Despite how many Marvel movies out there (23 films, to be exact), we’ve yet to see Wolverine in the mainstream MCU (thanks to the whole Disney vs. Sony kerfuffle), so a head-to-head between either Wolverine and Black Panther or Wolverine and Captain America won’t be in the cards anytime soon, but if it did, you can be sure that T’Challa would probably not survive a Berserker Barrage from old man Logan.
Yes, X-men is Marvel, but until the bigwigs at Disney and Sony put aside their selfishness, we geeks aren’t going to see a BPxWolverine showdown anytime soon. Needless to say, though, if we did, it would be a very short, very bloody, fight.
So there you have it: Adamantium beats Vibranium, and Wolverine can kick T’Challa’s ass, not to mention break Captain America’s shield in half. Fight me in the comments.