Thursday, February 25, 2016

What's Stronger - Adamantium or Captain America's Shield?

via Comic Book Resources

Comic Book Questions Answered – Is Captain America’s Shield Stronger Than Adamantium?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

Reader Steve S. wrote in to ask:

Ran across this last night and was wondering if it has ever been addressed. In Captain America #303 Cap’s shield has been stolen and a scientist at Stane International is trying to recreate the formula for the metal. The scientist says that the closest he’s come has been a substance called adamantium but that’s still not as strong as Cap’s shield. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this mentioned and to my knowledge adamantium has always been regarded as the strongest metal ever in the Marvel Universe.

Read on for the answer!

I sort of went into this same topic a while back when someone asked what Captain America’s shield was made out of, exactly, as it once was referred to as a mixture of adamantium and vibranium. However, Kurt Busiek answered the questions people had in Avengers Annual 2001…



So you see, adamantium was designed to match the metal that was Captain America’s shield – it came close, but the mysterious alloy that makes up Captain America’s shield is still the tops in the Marvel Universe. Not even enchanted uru (which is enough to dent adamantium…



can dent Captain America’s shield (although someone as powerful as Odin CAN break it, as seen in Fear Itself, when Odin’s predecessor as All-Father, the Serpent, breaks Cap’s shield).

So Captain America’s shield seems like it’s numero uno at Marvel (and of course, even then, it has been destroyed on numerous occasions).

Thanks for the question, Steve! If anyone else has a question, drop me a line at


Busiek was behind the big thing that the Shield wasn’t the first adamantium bonded with the properties of vibranium too. Don’t know anyone considered it anything but adamantium/vibranium before that. Of course, he was also on the kick that adamantium was truly indestructible, and anything that had been damaged or dented before was only secondary admantium. (Then had the other vibranium destroy it and Ultron in Avengers.)

But Cap’s shield has always been more. Even the Molecule Man thought it was weirder than Thor’s hammer or he Surfer’s board. (In the Marvel RPG it was Class 3000 material, and admantium “only” Class 1000).

What issue of The Avengers is that Barry Smith work from? Looks great!

where does Carbonadium come into it?

rick69g, it is from The Avengers 69.

Err. sorry,I ment The Avengers 66

Rick, Avengers #66.

Curse you, Manar!

I believe Cap’s shield was erroneously referred to as adamantium in one of the early handbooks.
Even though the shield predates the invention of adamantium by decades it’s an understandable confusion given that what exactly is the distinction between the two metals? One is indestructible… but the other one is REALLY indestructible!!

That Mike Zeck cover nevee gets old.

” Not even enchanted uru (which is enough to dent adamantium…)can dent Captain America’s shield.”

Well, except for that time it did, thanks to Jurgens and Johns, in the Avengers story “Standoff”
Right? Although this story might have been a What If…? or eliminated by time travel because it was part of Jurgens’s King Thor story, which I think is non-cannon. I am not sure.

Wasn’t that an Odinpowered Thor though? Would change things a bit.

Yes. So it’s safe to say that Thor can’t damage the shield, but Odin can. Seems reasonable to me.

Busiek was behind the big thing that the Shield wasn’t the first adamantium bonded with the properties of vibranium too. Don’t know anyone considered it anything but adamantium/vibranium before that.

As covered in the earlier post Brian mentions above, Mike Carlin (likely with considerable guidance from Mark Gruenwald) had established the shield’s “not Adamantium, but a mysterious other alloy” thing back in Captain America #303, and before that we had some hints of it in Captain America #255.

Yes, that story had Thor with the Odinpower.

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