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Vibranium first appeared in Daredevil #13 (February 1966), by Stan Lee and John Romita which became known as the Antarctic Variety of Vibranium, otherwise known as Anti-Metal. Later in Fantastic Four #53 (August 1966), by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, a new vibranium was introduced which later became known as the Wakandan Variety of Vibranium.
The first documented discovery of Vibranium was during a human expedition to Antarctica where the Vibranium was dubbed "Anti-Metal" due to its unique properties. However, Vibranium had been around for over 10,000 years, as a large meteorite of it crashed in Wakanda though this Vibranium was of a different variety and absorbed sound instead. Soon after its arrival to Wakanda some of its people began to mutate, though the native Wakanda's looked at these people as demons which caused the creation of the Black Panther Cult and the very first Black Panther, Bashenga. Fast forward to when T'Chaka, father of the current Black Panther T'Challa was king when the Vibranium mound was discovered underground. Knowing that others would attempt to manipulate and dominate Wakanda for this rare and valuable resource, T'Chaka concealed his country from the outside world though he sold off minute amounts of the valuable metal while sending the country's best scholars to study abroad causing Wakanda to turn into one of the world's most technologically advanced nations.
During the early 1940s, a small amount of Wakandan Vibranium which was rumored at the time to exist came into the possession of the young scientist Dr. Myron MacLain. He used the material while experimenting on iron alloys for use as tank armor which resulted in the accidental creation of the ultra-resilient Vibranium-iron alloy that was later used in the construction of Captain America's Shield.
Sometime later the renegade scientist Ulysses Klaw, who had believed the rumors of Vibranium were true, found the great sacred mound of Vibranium in Wakanda. The chieftains of the Wakandans had guarded the mound for generations as a sacred trust causing Klaw to fail in his attempt to steal Vibranium from the mound but he still managed to kill the chieftain T'Chaka. T'Chaka's son T'Challa soon became the new king of the Wakandans and adopted the sacred mantel of the Black Panther. Now as king, T'Challa strove to end Wakanda's isolation from the rest of the world making the existence of Vibranium known to the outside world around the mid 1980s and sold small quantities of it to foreigners whom he believed would not use it to harmful ends. T'Challa used the profits of this to enrich and modernize his nation.
Around this time, British nobleman Robert Plunder, in searching for Vibranium, found his way to Antarctica, aka, the Savage Land. When back in England, Plunder was threatened by those who coveted his secret and he returned to the Savage Land with his nine-year-old son Kevin, who soon was orphaned when Robert was slain by the Man-Ape Maa-Gor.
In the present day, it has been discovered that rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents enslaved natives of the Savage Land to mine Anti-Metal. It should be noted that over the years many have tried to obtain or effect the mound of Vibranium at Wakanda, but for the most part they have kept it in their safe capable hands, becoming quite powerful in the process.
Properties and Known Abilities
In the Marvel Comics Universe, Vibranium is a rare, naturally occurring metallic substance theorized to be of extraterrestrial origin which exist in two forms:
Wakandan Vibranium, often referred to as Vibranium as it's the most commonly known of the two varieties of Vibranium, is a rare substance native to the 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 the substance up. As a result the more energy Vibranium absorbs the tougher it becomes.
There are limits to the capacity of the energy that can be stored, however, and although the exact limitations are unknown as of now 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 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. Another ability exhibited by this variety of Vibranium has been the ability to mutate humans, which caused the creation of the Black Panther Cult ages ago as they saw these people as demons. Its radiation has also permeated much of Wakanda's flora and fauna, including the Heart-Shaped Herb eaten by members of the Black Panther Cult and the flesh of the White Gorilla eaten by the members of the White Gorilla Cult which both give super human abilities to whoever eats them.
Better known as Anti-Metal, this isotope is native to the artificially created Antarctica jungle known as the Savage Land. Unlike the Vibranium of Wakanda that absorbs vibrations, it produces vibrations. When this form of vibranium is found in sufficient quantities, these vibrations produce a specific wavelength that breaks down the molecular bonds in other metals resulting in their liquification. This effect extends to the otherwise indestructible metal known as Adamantium. If huge quantities of Anti-Metal were gathered together and accumulated, the vibrations given off by the entire mass would increase logarithmically as more was added. Theoretically, if the enormous mound of Wakandan Vibranium were composed of Anti-Metal instead, the resulting vibrations would liquefy metals throughout Africa and possibly beyond. Anti-Metal is also known for being able to become an artificial and unstable form of the Wakandan variety of Vibranium through certain particle bombardments on it. Supposedly the opposite is also true, as a fraction of the sacred mound of Wakandan Vibranium was apparently converted to Antarctic Vibranium by particle bombardment.
During the Secret Wars, Captain America's shield was partially destroyed by Doctor Doom who had stolen the power of Beyonder. When the Beyonder reclaimed its power, a temporary side effect granted the desires of the heroes on a small scale. Rogers used this to reconstruct his shield, although this would have repercussions. Years later, after his shield was lost in the Atlantic Ocean for months, Tony Stark managed to recover it from the ocean floor but when it was dropped on the deck of the ship, it shattered into dozens of pieces. After examining the pieces, Rogers and Stark discovered that when the Beyonder's power reconstituted the shield, a small sub-molecular imperfection was introduced into the Vibranium and one solitary molecule was left out of alignment. With each additional impact over the years, the misalignment spread to neighboring molecules, growing until the molecular bonds of the shield were completely broken down, shattering the shield. However, the consequences were far more grave than the loss of the shield: The shattering effect continued to spread. This created a Vibranium "cancer", a shock wave propagating throughout the world, violently detonating any Vibranium it found in any form 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. To prevent this catastrophic event from happening Rogers traveled to Wakanda with the pieces of the shield taped together, prepared to sacrifice what remained of it in an attempt to absorb the shock wave. However, the villain Klaw had reached Wakanda ahead of him. Klaw stood in the path of the shock wave, absorbing it himself and increasing his own powers considerably. When Klaw next attacked Rogers, he instinctively raised the taped-together shield in defense and when Klaw struck the shield his shock-wave-augmented powers realigned its molecules and restored the shield. Rogers then defeated Klaw soon after the restoration of his shield.
Due to the nature of Vibranium it is found in use of many in the Marvel Universe including: (Note: Wakandan Variety Vibranium is referred to as Vibranium and Antarctic Variety Vibranium is referred to as Anti-Metal)
- 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. It should be noted that formula has never been able to be reproduced despite the numerous attempts making it unique.
- Ultron was defeated by Henry Pym using Anti-Metal provided to him by fellow Avenger, Justice. This resulted in the complete disintegration of Ultron and in turn deactivated all of its drone units.
- The Tri-Sentinel was defeated when Spider-Man opened a container of the Anti-Metal causing it to melt.
- Vibranium is used in the creation of one of Hawkeye's "Trick Arrows", the arrows deaden kinetic and vibratory energies.
- Kasper Cole, the third White Tiger used Vibranium to construct a micro-weave body suit capable of stopping blunt force objects including bullets and for constructing Vibranium-alloy boot soles for scaling vertical surfaces and landing safely from great heights. He also uses Anti Metal in his claws.
- Queen Divine Justice had her boots outfitted with Vibranium to enable her to walk up walls and travel silently.
- Vibranium is currently used in the construction of the Constrictor's primary weapon which is a pair of electrified prehensile, wrist-mounted metal coils. The Vibranium coils have a contact based aura that suppresses sound making it so while the coils are wrapped around a target's throat, the victim's voice cannot be heard.
- In Earth X, Reed Richards constructed a worldwide network of Vibranium power centers to solve the looming energy crisis, but the experiment failed when one of Reed's scientists fell into the reactor which caused a worldwide explosive chain reaction. Later it was converted into "Human Torches", in hopes to burn the Terrigen Mists and restore Earth's human population.
- In Earth X, the scientist who fell into the reaction causing the failure of Reed Richards worldwide network of Vibranium power centers was encased in Vibranium becoming Iron Maiden and developing the ability to manipulate it.
- In Earth X, the Absorbing Man after being convinced by Loki and Iron Maiden absorbed Vibranium to save the planet by using his mass to stabilize the planet's fluctuating orbit and polarity which was caused by the previous removal of all Vibranium on Earth.
- Agent Zero currently wears a Vibranium-weave body armor that makes him completely silent as he moves.
- Doctor Doom's robot Hawk Scanner, which first appeared in Astonishing Tales [Vol. 1] no.6 was constructed with the ability to detect various minerals and metals including Vibranium.
- In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, the Tinkerer who is Elijah Stern in this universe discovered a way to use Vibranium as a power source.
- Misty Knight's new arm was built by Stark Industries out of Anti-Metal and Diamond, at close range it can liquefy all known metals including Adamantium.
- Warpath uses a pair of Vibranium daggers given to him by Storm, which he is capable of using with great expertise.
- The U.S. Agent uses Vibranium for both a disk he uses as a shield and a Star Shield.
- The Black Panther uses Vibranium in a micro weave mesh in his uniform that robs incoming objects of their momentum making bullets simply fall to the ground when they come in contact with the weave. He also cannot be stabbed, however 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 be also 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.
- In Heroes Reborn, Rebecca Barnes used a Vibranium-powered triangular energy shield.
- The Celestials constructed gigantic bodies of armor out of Vibranium for themselves. They also infused cores of planets with Vibranium to serve as the armor of the new born Celestials born of the planets.
- Though Impossible Man and Woman can rearrange their molecules as all Poppupians can, when changing into Vibranium they can not retain its special properties like with Thor's Hammer and the Silver Surfer's cosmic surfboard.
- Klaw leapt into his massive sonic converter device which was made with Vibranium he bought on the open market, hoping to gain superhuman powers to combat his foes. His gamble was successful as he was transformed into a creature whose body was composed of "living sound."
- Cardiac had his skin replaced with a Vibranium mesh alloy. The Vibranium allowed him to conduct the energy made by the reactor through his body.
- Charlie Weiderman is encased in a skinsuit of Vibranium making him fireproof, able to absorb blows rendering him virtually invulnerable as well as vibrate at frequencies that allow him to split diamonds and slough off Spider-Man's webbing.
- Every wall, both interior and exterior of the Avengers Tower is made of a Vibranium reinforced concrete.
- Teen Tony's Holo Armor has a built in Vibranium Psi-Shield which is designed to protect the heroes from Onslaught.
- Digger Argo, one of the Argonaut Armors created by Tony Stark, used an Anti-Metal Helmet.
- Jakarra, former Wakandan General, was mutated by Vibranium into a hulking purple brute. He in turn became a living generator of sonic vibrations allowing him to generate waves of vibratory force.
- Lord Karnaj used hand held Vibranium powered sonic disruptor's that fired destructive energy blasts.
- Vibrania, an African girl was exposed to radioactive Vibranium in her father's lab. This gave her the ability to release Vibranium powered blasts from her hands, which caused vibrations strong enough to rip apart concrete. She could also use the blast to shield herself and others from falling debris as well, but only for a short time.
- When transformed into Vibranium by Diablo, Baru the former king of Canaan became Vibranium. Now composed of Vibranium he could absorb all vibratory energy and apparently many other types of energy as well. By absorbing large amounts of energy he could grow in size and strength.
- Ivory, a Wakandan native whose body was saturated with Vibranium developed Vibranium based psionic powers.
It has also been used on Daken's claws.
Incidents Involving Vibranium
Throughout the Marvel Universe there have been a few incidents that resulted due to the presence of Vibranium including: (Note: Wakandan Variety Vibranium is referred to as Vibranium and Antarctic Variety Vibranium is referred to as Anti-Metal)
- By 1915, human expeditions discovered Anti-Metal in Antarctica.
- The Mole Man was destroyed by Doctor Doom for his stores of Vibranium in his kingdom.
- Diablo used his powers to transform Baru, the deposed king of Canaan into living Vibranium.
- The Mandarin schemed to turn the "Great Vibranium Mound of Wakanda" into Anti-Metal.
- Rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents enslaved natives of the Savage Land's to mine Anti-Metal.
- In an effort to reproduce the special Vibranium composition of Captain America's Shield, Dr. Myron MacLain, the maker of said composition created "True" Adamantium.
- Parnival Plunder, the villainous brother of the man known as Ka-Zar planned to use Vibranium to make weapons with which to take over the world.
- After Diablo and the Masters of Alchemy (Formerly the Elements of Doom) rebuilt their fusion reactor, they intended to use it to create an army of warriors composed of Vibranium.
- After a failed alliance attempt with Deathlok, Moses Magnum sent a squadron of Terrordomes to assault Wakanda's capitol in an effort to take the Vibranium by force.
- Diablo became the ruler of Tierra del Maiz, a South American country for its large deposits of Vibranium. While the United Nations had decided not to get involved in the internal affairs of the small country, Canada thought differently and sent Alpha Flight to intervene. With control over the country and Vibranium deposits he intended to auction the deposits off to various governments and to ensure that their purchase of Vibranium was not interfered with the US Agent was sent. However, Diablo was eventually defeated when a piece of his own cloak was thrown on him resulting in the chemicals within the cloak to explode on contact with Diablo, destroying his body.
Appearance In Other Media
- In The Colbert Report, following the death of Captain America, he beqeathed his vibranium shield to Stephen Colbert. It now rests on the wall of The Colbert Report set.
- In Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Vibranium is shown as a metal used by the Chitauri (the Ultimate Universe's versions of the Skrulls or rather a renegade group of the Skrulls). 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. It should also be noted that 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 invasion on Wakanda is their large mound 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 source 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.
Greg Cox's novel The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh (Volume 2) reveals that Khan's submarine, S.G.K. Kaur, was constructed from Vibranium.
- Dr. Myron MacLain
- Captain America
- Captain America's Shield
- Ultimate Avengers
- Ultimate Avengers 2
- Black Panther