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Vibranium (//) is a fictional metal appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, noted for its extraordinary abilities to absorb, store, and release large amounts of kinetic energy. Mined only in Wakanda, the metal is associated with Black Panther, who wears a suit of vibranium, and with Captain America, who bears a vibranium/steel alloy shield. A synthetic version of the material is called Antarctic Vibranium or Anti-Metal.
|First appearance||Daredevil #13 (February 1966)|
|Created by||Stan Lee|
John Romita Sr.
|In story information|
|Element of stories featuring||Black Panther|
Vibranium first appeared in Daredevil #13 (February 1966), which was written by Stan Lee and illustrated by John Romita. Here, vibranium was seen to be an unusual metallic element with decidedly strange properties. Since that point in Marvel continuity, it has been established that there are a few variations of this element which can be found in isolated regions all around the world. The variation first introduced in Daredevil #13 eventually became known as Anti-Metal. This variation's unique attribute is that it can cut through any known metal. In the Marvel Universe, Anti-Metal can traditionally be found only in Antarctica. Later in Fantastic Four #53 (August 1966), by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, a new variation of vibranium was introduced in the isolated nation of Wakanda. This variation had the unique attribute of being able to absorb sound. This is the variation which is most often identified in continuity as simply "vibranium".
In the Marvel Universe, vibranium was first deposited on Earth by a meteorite 10,000 years ago. In the comics, the first documented discovery of vibranium was during a human expedition to Antarctica. This particular isotope of vibranium was called "Anti-Metal" due to its property of dissolving other metals.
In the comics, a different variety of vibranium found in Wakanda absorbs sound waves and other vibrations, including kinetic energy. Absorbing sound waves, vibrations, and kinetic energy makes this metal stronger. It was discovered by the Wakandan ancestors. To protect this resource, they concealed their country from the outside world. T'Chaka funded his country's education by occasionally selling off minuscule quantities of the metal. As a result, Wakanda is one of the world's most technologically advanced nations.
During the early 1940s, a small amount of Wakandan vibranium came into the possession of the scientist Myron MacLain. He tried to combine vibranium with iron to form a new tank armor, but was unable to fuse the elements. One morning, he found that the two materials had bonded on their own in an unknown manner. The ultra-resilient alloy was used to create Captain America's shield. MacLain worked for decades (without success) to duplicate the accident. However, during an experiment in the 1960s, he developed the virtually indestructible metal adamantium.[volume & issue needed]
When T'Challa became king of Wakanda, he strove to end his country's isolation from the rest of the world. Making the existence of vibranium known to the outside world around the mid-1980s, he sold small quantities of it to foreigners who, he believed, would not use it to harmful ends. T'Challa used the profits to enrich and modernize his nation.
Over the years, many have tried to obtain or affect the mound of vibranium at Wakanda, but for the most part Wakanda has kept it safe, and become quite powerful in the process.
During their Secret Invasion of Earth, the Skrulls assumed the identity of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and enslaved natives of the Savage Land to mine Anti-Metal. They also invaded Wakanda. The Wakandans successfully repelled the attack.
When Wakanda was politically taken over by the xenophobic Desturi, they granted Doctor Doom access to the country's vibranium vaults. Fearing Doom would use it to amplify his mystical energies, T'Challa activated a failsafe he had developed that rendered all processed vibranium inert.
The rumors about its alien origin had later been proven true, as while most of earth's vibranium had been all but liquidated, certain planetary systems carry an ample supply of the element deep within certain extraterrestrial biospheres, as was the case with a refugee planet that the Spartax Empire tried reclaiming during Captain Marvel's space travels. In the wake of the continuity-wide spanning reboot of the Marvel multiverse called Secret Wars: Battleworld, vibranium's abundance in Wakanda and beyond has re-flourished to sizable quantities and mutant criminal Vanisher was making off with and selling Wakandan vibranium in the black market in New York City.
Properties and known abilitiesEdit
In the Marvel Comics Universe, vibranium is a rare metallic substance of extraterrestrial origin. It exists in many forms:
Wakandan Vibranium is the most common variety, and is often referred to simply as "vibranium". It is a rare substance native only to the fictional small African nation of Wakanda.
The Wakandan isotope possesses the ability to absorb all vibrations in the vicinity as well as kinetic energy directed at it. The energy absorbed is stored within the bonds between the molecules that make up the substance. As a result, kinetic energy is dissipated within the bonds instead. There are limits to the capacity of the energy that can be stored, and although the exact limitations are not yet known, there have been a few examples. One such instance was when the oil conglomerate Roxxon discovered that a small island in the South Atlantic had a foundation composed of vibranium. Due to this, Roxxon found it necessary to destroy the island and so blew it up with bombs. Unable to absorb the force of the explosions, the vibranium was destroyed, but it did succeed in entirely absorbing the sound made by the explosion, preventing damage to the surrounding area.
This variety of vibranium is a powerful mutagen. Vibranium exposure led to the mutation of many Wakandan natives.[volume & issue needed] Its radiation has also permeated much of Wakanda's flora and fauna, including the Heart-Shaped Herb eaten by members of the Black Panther Tribe and the flesh of the White Gorilla eaten by the members of the White Gorilla Tribe. Both give superhuman abilities to whoever eats them.[volume & issue needed]
It is also believed to dramatically enhance mystical energies.
Better known as Anti-Metal, this isotope is native to the Savage Land. The variation produces vibrations of a specific wavelength that break down the molecular bonds in other metals, causing them to liquefy. It was first discovered by the famous explorer named Robert Plunder; the father of Kevin and Parnival Plunder during his initial jaunt in the primordial environment untouched by time.
His more villainous son, who went on to become The Plunderer, would seek to find his father who dubbed the Plunder Stone and all recorded knowledge of the family relic only accessible through his inherited medallion fashioned from the stone, to pillage and terrorize the world by liquidating all armaments used against him. Wakandan vibranium is able to become an artificial and unstable form of the Anti-Metal variety of vibranium through certain particle bombardments on it. If huge quantities of Anti-Metal are gathered together, the vibrations increase exponentially. One such case occurred with the most stable reactionary transformation baryon beam bombardment.
Much like natural Wakandan vibranium, Antarctic vibranium can cause human mutations. One person who donned an Anti-Metal full body suit for protection against Moon Knight and his arsenal began to emit the same metal-melting radiation he had intended to weaponize.
There are at least two forms of man made Vibranium created outside of Wakanda through various means. The first variant is called NuForm which featured in the Vibranium Vendetta event of Marvel Comics imprint, created by the Roxxon Corporation for unknown reasons, It was an alchemic blend made through the combination of organic and mineral elements, the properties of this Vibranium brand mimicked natural Vibranium but had the tendency to degrade into Antarctic Vibranium unless tempered through use of Microwave bombardment, and even then that was only a temporary solution.
The second is a particularly dangerous artificial brand created at Horizon Labs by Professor Sajani Jaffrey called Reverbium.
Unlike standard Vibranium this faux material rapidly amplifies and projects sound and vibratory energy in pulse waves which would only strengthen over time before violently detonating. Max Modell, head scientist of Horizon at the time, ordered its immediate dissolution given how dangerous it was but Sajani held on to some of it without her team's knowledge. Reverbium would turn up again in the hands of A.I.M Scientists under the influence of Klaw, who'd used it in a new scheme against Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda; the faux vibranium also had the effect of enhancing his sonic powers to unknown degrees.
Famed Wakandan scientist and Wakanda University professor Obinna Nwabueze discovered a new form of vibranium. Testing its subatomic structure, he concluded that the metal had a sort of sentience.
The naturally occurring sentient metal came from the echo caves of the Dora Milaje, the king's personal guard. Each recruit who entered the caves imprinted upon the Living Vibranium; each trainee took some into their bodies. The metal would sometimes take the form of visitors. The Dora fashioned weapons to control Living Vibranium, including the Talking Drum to guide a devastating weapon called the Mimic-27.
As well as the treated Living Vibranium in special spears they wield to better bond with and access the domain which stores their special Vibranium's sentience.
Other properties include, but are not limited to, having a natural symbiosis with both its contents and the environment around it. Being capable of causing all manner of disruptive geological phenomena like earthquakes and sending local wildlife into a frenzy. As well as other effects like emitting carrier waves which allow it to sync with other vibranium caches to activate or depower it, show the recipient users visions of their future, as well as emit vibrations instead of absorbing them for the purpose of entering and exiting a separate dimension where the Mimic's conscious mind awaits those who seek its use. The metal itself is incredibly volatile because of this, coming with the risk of running rampant and causing all manner of havoc and devastation if improperly handled or making contact with an errant character template.
When a small sub-molecular imperfection was introduced into Captain America's shield, each impact over the years spread to neighboring molecules. It grew until the molecular bonds of the shield were completely broken down, shattering the shield. The shattering effect continued to spread to other vibranium, unconnected to the shield. This created a vibranium "cancer", a shock wave propagating throughout the world. It violently detonated any vibranium it found, from mineral deposits to components of ships or equipment. The shock wave was traveling to the "Great Vibranium Mound" in Wakanda, where the resulting explosion could destroy the world. With the unwitting aid of the villain Klaw, Captain America was able to stop the cancer and restore his shield.
Vibranium appears frequently in the Marvel Universe.
- It is most known for being used in the construction of Captain America's Shield, the vibranium was of an ultra-resilient vibranium-iron alloy created by Dr. Myron MacLain. The formula has never been reproduced despite numerous attempts.
- After Steve Rogers resigned as Captain America, the Black Panther sent him a new, pure vibranium shield. When Rogers resumed his role as Captain America, the vibranium shield was given to U.S. Agent.
- As U.S. Agent, John Walker has also used two other vibranium shields: the "eagle shield" he used as a member of the Jury, and the "star shield" he used as a member of the New Invaders.
- The Black Panther uses vibranium in a micro weave mesh in his uniform that robs incoming objects of their momentum. He also cannot be stabbed, although the costume and the Black Panther can be cut if the attacker slashes along the uniform's grain. Beyond that he uses vibranium in the soles of his boots that allows him to survive a fall of several stories and, if given enough momentum, the Panther can also scale walls or skim across water. The field can also be used offensively to shatter or weaken objects, such as kicking something with the boots. He also used the other variety Anti-Metal, in retractable claws.
Incidents involving vibraniumEdit
- By 1915, human expeditions discovered Anti-Metal in Antarctica.
- The story "Flags of Our Fathers", which happens during World War II, tells how Black Panther, Captain America, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos fight the Nazis who want to steal vibranium from the Wakandans.
- Skrulls enslaved Savage Land natives to mine Anti-Metal.
- Dr. Myron MacLain created "true" adamantium in an attempt to reproduce the vibranium alloy he had made for Captain America's shield.
- Parnival Plunder, the villainous brother of Ka-Zar, planned to use vibranium to make weapons with which to take over the world.
- Diablo became the ruler of Tierra del Maiz, a South American country known for its large deposits of vibranium. While the United Nations had decided not to get involved in the internal affairs of the country, Canada thought differently and sent Alpha Flight to intervene.
- When Dr. Doom gained access to Wakanda's stores of vibranium, T'Challa activated a fail-safe that rendered all processed vibranium inert.
- Both Vibranium compounds were processed by Jack O Lantern and Crime Master, then given to Nrosvekistanian weapons manufacturer in Eastern Europe for arsenalization purposes.
- Captain Marvel discovered Vibranium is in fact alien in origin during a Spartax lethally poisoning Mining & smuggling Op.
- Vibranium in Wakanda and worldwide has been restored after events of Battleworld.
In other mediaEdit
- In an episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends entitled "The X-Men Adventure" the villain Cyberiad captures the X-Men in their own Danger Room with traps designed to utilize their greatest weaknesses. When Cyberiad traps the newest X-Man Kitty Pryde, he locks her in a room made of vibranium, leaving her helpless. Pryde's mutant power is the ability to "phase" or walk through solid matter, but the properties of the "vibranium room" seemed to prevent her from using her powers to escape. She was eventually rescued and she later helped defeat Cyberiad.
- The episode of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, "Panther's Prey" is centered on Iron Man and the Black Panther working to stop Moses Magnum from selling A.I.M. a piece of stolen vibranium to give MODOK "life" as stated by the Scientist Supreme. It is depicted as a dark grey metal constantly buzzing with light green lightning. It is later used to complete Justin Hammer's Project: TITANIUM, as described by Mr. Fix as the only way to make it whole.
- Vibranium plays a central role in many episodes of Black Panther: The Animated Series produced by Marvel Animation and BET Entertainment.
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "The Well", the Bus's interrogation room is stated to have walls lined with a vibranium alloy. In the episodes "Love in the Time of HYDRA", "One Door Closes" and "Afterlife", Bruce Banner made a cabin for S.H.I.E.L.D. called Retreat which is made out of vibranium for order to temporarily house gifted individuals. It was also revealed in "One Door Closes" that Fury's Toolbox which was given to Phil Coulson is also made out of vibranium.
- In the Marvel Anime series "Blade", it is mentioned that Blade's katana is composed of a silver-vibranium alloy.
- In the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Iron Vulture", Harry takes Peter Parker and Miles Morales to a safe room away from Iron Vulture and he says the room is made of Vibranium.
- In Marvel's Spider-Man, one of Horizon High's machines is made up of vibranium which was sabotaged by Alistair Smythe.
- In Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, vibranium is depicted as a purple metal that vibrates when sound is applied to it as well as glow brighter and brighter as it absorbs sounds. It does have a limit on what it can absorb before it explodes. It does have a mutagenic property as it turned Klaw into a being of pure sound energy. It is mined from a large cave in a mountain near the Wakandan capital.
- In Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, vibranium appears as a metal used by the Chitauri. It is used primarily in their spacecraft hulls and personal armor. Later, one of their ships is salvaged by S.H.I.E.L.D. and used to construct Captain America's shield (which also was constructed with adamantium though in the comics in the Ultimate Universe, his shield is only composed of adamantium) and other items such as vibranium-tipped bullets and knives. In the movie, S.H.I.E.L.D. developed a satellite dubbed Shield 1 that was capable of locating vibranium on Earth. This was done in an effort to find the Chitauri and though it worked, the Chitauri soon destroyed it after its introduction in the movie. According to the movie the only thing S.H.I.E.L.D. knew capable of penetrating vibranium was a nuclear blast or vibranium itself.
- In Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther, vibranium serves as a bigger plot device than the previous movie as the reason for the Chitauri invasion on Wakanda is Wakanda's massive underground supply of vibranium. In the movie, vibranium is shown as a substantial power source, as condensed vibranium cubes serve as the power source for the Chitauri spaceships. Vibranium also is seen as the principal component of many weapons used in Wakanda, which made them quite powerful though not powerful enough to withstand the Chitauri's attack. Vibranium is also shown to be weakened when exposed to gamma radiation in the movie, thus making it destructible by the Hulk because he releases a blast of it whenever he attacks.
- Vibranium (also known as Isipho) appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is first named on-screen in the feature film Captain America: The First Avenger. Howard Stark states that vibranium is stronger than steel, weighs only one third as much, and is completely vibration-absorbent. All the vibranium available to Stark was used to make Captain America's shield. In The Avengers, Captain America's shield proves strong enough to absorb and repel an attack from Thor's mystical hammer Mjölnir, and in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the shield is also shown to be able to cushion falls from great heights. In the film Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron uses vibranium obtained from Ulysses Klaue for multiple purposes, including the creation of the android Vision. In the film Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther's entire suit is composed of a vibranium weave with retractable claws. In the film Black Panther, it is revealed that Black Panther's home nation of Wakanda was built atop the crash site of a vibranium meteor centuries ago, with the metal being used to create and power the nation's advanced technology. Vibranium also has an effect on organic life, as it is used to stabilize Everett Ross' gunshot wound and is what gives the Heart Shaped Herb its potency. In Avengers: Infinity War, T'Challa gives Bucky a new prosthetic arm which is made completely from vibranium.
- Vibranium is referenced in the 2019 single Take Me Back to London by Ed Sheeran (featuring Stormzy) in verse 3, where Stormzy raps "I drink super-malts and vibranium / I got an RM11 titanium".
In the computer game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 the nanite artificial intelligence known as "the Fold" attempts to harvest vibranium in Wakanda in order to construct communication towers around the world, spreading its control signal globally. While the heroes of the game manage to thwart the invasion, they are too late to prevent the construction of enough towers to make the Fold a worldwide threat.
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In 2016, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies developed a real-world smart composite material that they named Vibranium. The lightweight carbon fiber material for the Hyperloop pods is reported to provide the passengers double protection against damage to the exterior. The company says that its Vibranium is 8 times lighter than aluminum and 10 times stronger than steel alternatives. The smart material can transmit critical information regarding temperature, stability, integrity and more, wirelessly and virtually instantly.
Journalists have drawn parallels between Wakanda's vibranium reserves and the mining of coltan in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Coltan is an ore containing niobium and tantalum, two rare and valuable metals, and its exploitation is linked with child labour, systematic exploitation of the population by governments or militant groups, exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazards; see coltan mining and ethics. Historian Thomas F. McDow draws a parallel to uranium, found in the mine Shinkolobwe in Haut-Katanga Province, also in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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