Marvel Comics’ nearly indestructible alloy, adamantium, is most famous for being the stuff covering Wolverine’s skeleton and making him even less mortal than he was before. But the metal isn’t exclusive to Logan. Since the substance debuted in the pages of Avengers more than than 40 years ago, heroes and villains alike have used it to construct their equipment, weapons, and, in some cases, their bodies.
In fact, adamantium is so widely used in such a huge array of applications that we’ve started to wonder if the wonder-metal is as rare or difficult to work with as everyone says it is.
Here are 15 Things Made Of Adamantium – not including Wolverine’s claws.
Despite what the second Avengers movie says, in the comics, the evil robot Ultron decked out his body not with vibranium – which is what Captain America’s shield is made of – but with adamantium. In fact, this was the material’s first appearance.
Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, built Ultron, and the creation went full-on evil almost immediately. He becomes capable of modifying himself to gain more power and abilities, and the big leap comes in a 1969 story arc. That plotline has the sixth version building a new shell from adamantium, which is exactly the sort of thing you don’t want an insane, robotic supervillain to have.
Well, that and a “molecular rearranger” capable of molding his new body into whatever form he wants. He gets one of those, too, and gives himself the super-modest new name Ultimate Ultron.
The Avengers trick The Unbreakable Ultron into blowing himself up by implanting the thought “Thou shalt not kill” into his metal brain, and that’s a pretty neat trick. He’s far from the last incarnation of the murderbot, but by introducing adamantium into canon, he is basically the one we have to thank for X-Men Origins: Wolverine existing – a true villain.
14. Ultimate Captain America’s shield
Usually, when Captain America throws his mighty shield, he’s flinging a disc of pure vibranium. This is, itself, a nearly indestructible material known for its ability to absorb both impacts and vibrations, but it apparently wasn’t enough for Marvel’s revamped Ultimate line, which premiered in 2000. Ultimate Marvel provides much of the basis for the ongoing cinematic universe, including a version of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury who looks an awful lot like like Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the character in the films.
But the main thing is that Ultimate Steve Rogers, who first appeared in 2002, has a shield that is not just made of vibranium but a combination of that and adamantium. We aren’t sure why just straight-up vibranium wasn’t enough for this version of the iconic weapon, but as Ultron-6 taught us back in the ’60s, nothing is worth the title of “Ultimate” until you throw some adamantium in there.
13. Underworld’s bullets
Ultimate Captain America isn’t the only guy rocking both adamantium and Super Soldier Serum. Super-powered assassin Underworld sports some gear that would make it ridiculously easy to murder people even if he didn’t have Wolverine-style healing abilities and artificially-induced peak human strength and endurance.
Among these are some sunglasses that let him see his opponents’ weak points and give him perfect vision in the dark. Those work in concert with his custom guns which fire adamantium ammo capable of penetrating any material. And as if that weren’t enough, the glasses can actually tell the bullets where to go, turning them into essentially unstoppable, guided projectiles that can get through anything.
We’d say that all of this is overkill, but that’s basically his business. We just have to admire his thoroughness. We’re actually surprised that he went with titanium for his body armor instead of more adamantium, since apparently he has a line on enough of a supply of the stuff that he can constantly shoot it away.
12. Bullseye’s spinal column
Bullseye is another Marvel assassin, and while he doesn’t have Underworld’s superhuman abilities, he can use basically anything as a weapon and has uncanny aim.
He suffered a setback after a fight with his arch-enemy, Daredevil, ends with Bullseye taking a huge fall, breaking his back, and incurring paralysis. Mobility is a pretty good quality for an assassin to have, so it looked like his career was over. But because everyone in the Marvel universe can get their hands on the strongest metal ever conceived, he got a second chance.
Lord Dark Wind, the awesomely named inventor of the adamantium bonding process, made Bullseye a deal: He would reinforce his spine with the magic metal and restore his various functions, and Bullseye would come to work with him.
Unfortunately, it turns out that guys who build their lives off of taking others’ are exceedingly unreliable, so Bullseye didn’t hold up his end. He still demanded payment for work, life-saving favor aside, and used his newly restored legs to walk out on his benefactor.
11. Doctor Octopus’ claws and harness
Dr. Otto Octavius first developed his trademark metal claws for handling hazardous materials in his lab, and an explosion fused them to his body. And then, depending on which origin story you’re reading, the once non-mad scientist turned to a life of crime either because the accident damaged his mind, rendering him insane, or because he weighed his options and decided that it was really the only sensible thing to do with four extra limbs.
Not every version of Otto Octavius’ trademark snappy arms are made of adamantium; that would be ridiculous. But he did manage to build a single set out of the material that he used to wreak havoc on his enemies. They were so powerful, in fact, that he used them to defeat the Hulk in a straight fight. And he beat Iron Man so badly that poor Tony Stark almost relapsed into alcoholism because he was so upset about how thoroughly he’d lost the fight.
10. Most of The Russian
The Russian was already pretty tough the first time he fought The Punisher back in 2000 (and in the underrated 2004 film adaptation starring Thomas Jane), but that didn’t stop the antihero from taking him out in one (or two) of the most ridiculous deaths in comic-book history.
The fight between the bad bad guy and the good bad guy goes mostly in favor of the Russian at first thanks to his near invincibility and ridiculous strength. He rips a toilet just right out of the floor and uses it as a weapon, and we’d be hard-pressed to move a toilet with a free afternoon and all of the proper tools.
The Punisher eventually manages to wound his opponent with both a stove and an incredibly hot pizza that his overweight neighbor, Mr. Bumpo, was enjoying before an insane vigilante and an overpowered lunatic brought their deathmatch into his apartment. While the Russian is distracted with all of that scalding cheese, the Punisher knocks him over and then uses Bumpo like a huge, living pillow to smother him.
Seemingly because this character’s story wasn’t already crazy enough, rogue General Kreigkopf (whose name means “war head” because comic books) recovers the Russian’s body and rebuilds it as an adamantium-based cyborg to serve as his ultimate assassin. This process also includes replacement organs that originally belonged to animals and some stabilizing hormone treatments that caused him to grow breasts and start cross-dressing.
Despite his unbreakable construction, the Punisher ultimately kills the upgraded Russian by chaining him to an atomic bomb, dropping it out of a plane, and detonating it over Grand Nixon Island. This happens to also take out Kreigkopf’s army of 2,000 mercenaries, so we assume Frank felt pretty satisfied with his own productivity that day.
9. Tiger Shark’s teeth
Both Marvel and DC have supervillains named Tiger Shark. While the one who fights Batman is just a guy with a diving/tiger theme, Marvel’s version is the genetic combination of paralyzed Olympic swimmer Todd Arliss, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and an actual tiger shark. We honestly can’t decide which is sillier.
The process turns Arliss into a supervillain with enhanced strength, speed, swimming ability, and healing. But all of his abilities depend on his being exposed to water, which means that when he ventures onto land, he needs a special suit that contains a thin layer of liquid to keep his powers intact.
A 2009 storyline puts Tiger Shark in with a bad-guy supergroup called The Offenders along with Red Hulk, alien a-hole Terrax the Tamer, and evil sorcerer Baron Mordo. They fight The Defenders, who in this arc are Hulk, Namor, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer. Sometime before this, Tiger Shark managed to get a shiny adamantium veneer on his already razor-sharp teeth, but the writers never bothered to explain how or why that happened.
It ultimately doesn’t matter, however, since Red Hulk ends up getting all of the powers and disintegrating him.
8. Agent Zero’s knife
Here we have yet another assassin with connections to adamantium, but, like Bullseye, we at least understand his connection to the stuff.
Christoph Nord, later David North, joined Team X (the secret government agency that ultimately gave Wolverine his super-skeleton and dude-stabbers) and engaged in all manner of shady stuff. After a few career transitions and another name change or two, Nord returned to the Weapon X program as Agent Zero. His first mission gave him the unenviable – and likely impossible – task of hunting down and killing his former teammate, Wolverine.
Part of his equipment for this task included a knife made of adamantium, presumably because that’s one of the only things one could use to hurt a guy whose body is crammed full of the stuff. Why Zero’s bosses didn’t follow Underworld’s lead and go for the option that doesn’t involve engaging a nearly invincible superhero in a knife fight, we don’t know, but nobody asked us.
7. Constrictor’s wrist-mounted tentacles
If you’re a villain whose primary weapons are a set of coils that you can fire and wrap around things to squeeze them, we suppose you could do worse for a name than Constrictor. But not much.
Industrialist inventor and Iron Man rival Justin Hammer created the devices, which are electrified and can extend about 30 feet. A couple versions existed, the first of which were made of adamantium. Those. like Doctor Octopus’ super-powerful arms, could subdue the Hulk and even pick him up. And that second feat sounds like it would be more indicative of the wearer’s strength than the cables’, but physics just work differently in comics.
Ultimately, X-Man Gambit, the prince of “t’ieves,” stole the adamantium set, and Constrictor had to have get a new pair made of vibranium. Those ones had the super-weird ability to dampen sound, but we don’t know how well they fared at Hulk-lifting.
6. Hammerhead’s … head
You would expect that a villain named Hammerhead would follow a similar theme to Tiger Shark, but comics take a lot of twists and turns. Instead, this gangster takes his name from a movie poster, and he just happens to end up with a metal skull later on that makes his head like a hammer. In fact, his favorite fighting move is to just run straight at people and ram them like an angry goat.
Sources differ on whether or not Hammerhead’s plate is made of adamantium, vibranium, or regular steel, but it stands up to some shots from Underworld’s special ammo, so we’re inclined to believe he isn’t just carrying a manhole cover in there.
Regardless, those injuries caused him severe brain damage, and the only logical solution was to transplant his gray matter into an adamantium robot skeleton.
This served him pretty well until Spider-Man realized that as a member of his own rogues gallery, Hammerhead was completely ridiculous, and he took advantage of his poorly designed, top-heavy new body to defeat him by basically tripping him.
5. Doom 2099’s armor
The Marvel 2099 series imagined dystopian-future versions of characters including Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Ghost Rider. And in Doom’s case, this means materializing after a century-long absence with partial amnesia. And he may not even be the “real” Doctor Doom, but that’s a long story full of brainwashing, implanted memories, and a whole lot of other plot elements straight out of soap operas.
The relevant part, however, is that the first thing Doom learns upon reaching the future is that his existing equipment is pretty much garbage, and he loses a fight almost immediately. He regroups with the help of some friends, who give him powerful new abilities. They also help him build some new armor partially out of adamantium because in the future, apparently even the downtrodden masses suffering under a totalitarian regime can get ahold of the stuff.
4. Stilt-Man’s suit
Comics are full of silly characters with ridiculous gimmicks, and Stilt-Man is definitely among that group.
Wilbur Day is a small-time crook who’s smart enough to build a super-strong suit of armor with telescoping legs but not clever enough to use those incredible skills for anything other than stealing things from really tall buildings. He also decided that this qualified him to take on Daredevil, which went about as well as you’d expect.
During some of his other escapades, he received a new suit made of adamantium, which also came equipped with some weapons because while stilts might be both fun and functional, they have very few offensive capabilities. The new functionality didn’t help him against Thor, however. Nor did it protect him from Turk Bennett, another thief with an even bigger character flaw than being Stilt-Man: aspiring to be Stilt-Man.
3. Cyber’s skin
Perhaps the only comic-book villain with a more on-the-nose everyday name than Edward Nigma (The Riddler), Silas Burr becomes an evil version of the X-Men’s iron giant, Colossus, after an ancient supervillain named Romulus bonds adamantium to his skin.
Cyber also has venomous, Wolverine-style retractable claws that he can use to either kill people or make them go crazy with hallucinations. And instead of becoming a supervillain in his own right, he works as an enforcer for a drug cartel and an agent for a death cult.
All of this feels like a massive waste of potential, especially since the guy regularly and thoroughly beats up Wolverine. Ultimately, his adamantium skin is all that remains of the squandered villain after Apocalypse’s minions feed him alive to flesh-eating beetles. And then he comes back in spirit form and rebuilds himself through arcane methods, but someone else just kills him again later.
2. Bucky Barnes’ Captain America costume
Ultimate Captain America wasn’t the only version of the iconic character to know the value of adamantium. When he took over the mantle following Steve Rogers’ apparent death, former sidekick Bucky built a new uniform lined with the metal. We assume that this was because he wanted to avoid getting shot like his predecessor. That’s just good thinking.
Bucky’s first major mission in his new guise had him taking on a third Captain America, this one a Steve Rogers impersonator from the ’50s. It was a whole thing, and suspended animation was involved, but it all worked out alright eventually.
The new Captain America remains until Steve Rogers’ return. It turns out that the bullet that had “killed” him had just been quantum-leaping him through time to relive his biggest battles. After a six-issue arc that has the original Captain coming back, Bucky steps down. We don’t know what happened to the adamantium-laced uniform, but Rogers would have done well to take some notes on that. It would have saved everyone a ton of trouble.
1. A statue of the Hulk
The Marvel universe likes to play up how rare adamantium is and how difficult it can be to work with. And that makes it incredibly hard to believe that The Thing’s love interest, blind sculptor Alicia Masters, used the stuff to build a huge statue of the Hulk.
She created it to celebrate the Hulk receiving a pardon for destroying pretty much everything. Later, Earth’s heroes offered it to the people who live on the sentient planet K’ai, who worshipped the superhero after he arrived and murdered all of their monsters for them. They teleported the statue to the planet in exchange for the Hulk himself so that the K’aitians would have something to bow to while he was gone.
Masters carved the piece with a knife made of vibranium, which we suppose makes sense. But we’re not entirely sure where her reference material came from since we’re pretty sure you couldn’t get the Hulk to sit still long enough for sculpting to happen. And that would have ruined the surprise, anyway.
In Incredible Hulk #300, Hulk rips the statue out of the ground and uses it as a weapon against Thor because he’s an inconsiderate and unsentimental monster.