Why can't adamantium cut through vibranium?
In Avengers vs. X-Men #3, Wolverine's claws meet up with Captain America's shield.
It's always been my understanding that Wolverine's adamantium claws can cut through anything, but also Captain America's shield is made of vibranium, which absorbs vibrations. So why did Wolverine's claws not cut through vibranium?
It doesn't make any sense I know. If it can't be cut by adamantium then surely it must be cut by another vibranium tool or else nothing could be fashioned out of vibranium, least of all a shield.
While it would be difficult to _finish_ the shield (ie - removing burrs, polishing, etc), I assume you could **cast** the shield; that is, pour it as molten metal. The likelyhood of any (refined) metal (naturally) occurring in a block large enough to be shaved down to size is less than the probability of some of the characters powers working...
The shield is not made ONLY of vibranium. It was an alloy resin, cast and shaped. Once it was solidified, it could not be reshaped or transformed. Since the process was unknown, we cannot know how it was finished. Blame Marvel's early writers for not considering the ramifications of creating their super metal without explaining effectively how you MAKE it into stuff.
Given the curvature of the shield, and the perceived angle of Wolvy's strike, it doesn't appear as if it's his claws that 'meet up' with the shield.
To specifically answer the question: Adamantium CAN cut through Vibranium. Adamantium is an order of magnitude more indestructible than Vibranium. There has been confusion since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the generally known origin of Captain America's shield.
In the Canon Marvel Universe, Earth-616: Captain America's shield is made of proto-Adamantium, an alloyed mixture of Adamantium and Vibranium, unique to Marvel Earth. Arguably one of the most indestructible items ever created by humanity.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Earth-199999: Captain America's shield is composed of a Vibranium-alloy with remarkable properties of durability and energy redirection. While it is not as indestructible as Captain America's Earth-616 version, it can take a strike from Mjolnir and survive.
Vibranium is an extraterrestrial metal of unknown origin. There are two types of Vibranium:
- Wakandan Vibranium, which absorbs vibration and dispels kinetic energy
- Antartic Vibranium which disrupts metallic structures, including Adamantium and is known by another name: anti-metal
Adamantium is a synthetically created metal alloy discovered in an effort to recreate Captain America's shield's uniquely indestructible nature.
- While the scientists were unable to recreate what was dubbed proto-adamantium, they did discover the next best thing, Adamantium, the most indestructible metal ever synthesized on Earth.
- Wolverine's claws are composed of Adamantium and able to cut through almost any known material.
The image depicts Captain America's shield versus Wolverine's claws. Cap's shield is proto-Adamantium and Wolverine's claws are made of only beta Adamantium. (Wolverine was initially created with True Adamantium, but after interacting with his healing factor the metal degraded to beta Adamantium.)
Captain America's shield in the comics is not made only of Wakandan Vibranium unlike the MCU version which IS.
In the comic Marvel Earth-616, his shield is an alloy of proto-Adamantium, a unique and never again duplicated mixture of Adamantium and Vibranium, making it even stronger than pure Adamantium and giving it special properties neither metal seems to possess, singularly.
In the most recent storylines of the Avengers comics, his shield was broken and repaired by Asgardian smiths who added a bit of Uru metal to the mixture, thus making it even more unique with a potential to be enchanted.
Thus in this circumstance, Cap's shield is stronger than Wolverine's claws.
You must also consider the angle of the cut - Wolverine's strike in the picture doesn't look like it'd be ideal to cut the shield deeply - even if the shield weren't stronger, it wouldn't have suffered much damage.
I attribute that to bad art and let it go. I assume that both Cap is making an effort to ensure Wolverine's strike is as off balance as possible, since that is the nature of his fighting style and that Wolverine is doing the best he can to make a clean and powerful cut. If the artist can't carry that, my imagination just has to do the heavy lifting.
Looking at the art and the angle of that hand, who's to say that fist is Cap's? It might be the lesser known Avenger, The Floating Red Fist.
And in the original writing Wolverine was infused with True Adamantium. It became secondary Adamantium after interacting with his healing process.
@X-Zero It looks like he's got it in his right (strongest) arm, and is swinging round, batting Wolverine off of him. Sensible move and choice of arm if you ask me.
It was my understanding that vibranium doesn't just absorb vibration per se, but kinetic energy directed against it. If that's the case, Wolverine's strikes would effectively make the shield stronger. Even if the adamantium could cut through the vibranium under ideal conditions, in combat the additional force would likely neutralize that advantage. Plus, we have no idea of knowing how much pressure is required to cut vibranium with adamantatium, and/or if Wolverine is capable of exerting enough force to do so.