What is Vibranium? Vibranium is a very important element (quite literally) in Black Panther’s story. It’s what allowed Wakanda to become the most powerful nation on Earth and gives the Black Panther their powers. Its unique properties make the secretive nation a prime target for any Marvel villain looking to make a name for themselves.
As Black Panther 2 is about to hit theatres, we thought it would be helpful to remind you of Vibraniums origins, explain what it does, and drill down into exactly how valuable this special metal is. Here’s everything you need to know about Vibranium.
What is Vibranium?
Vibranium is an extremely rare and powerful metal that crash-landed on Earth — in what would become the nation of Wakanda — thousands of years ago.
The Wakandans then used the metal to become the most powerful nation on Earth, inventing incredible technologies, medicines, and other wonderful things.
What makes Vibranium so unique?
Vibranium has several unique properties that make it a very special metal. It’s incredibly durable — comparable to adamantium from the X-Men movies — and lightweight, but its greatest attribute is its ability to absorb kinetic energy.
The metal can absorb huge amounts of kinetic energy, strengthening the Vibranium in the process. This makes it a perfect material to make armour and weapons from. We’ve seen things made from Vibranium, like Captain America’s shield and Ultron, take blows from Thor’s hammer and even the Hulk.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that despite its strength, Vibranium is not unbreakable. Thanos could smash open Vision’s Vibranium noggin with relative ease to get the Mind Stone, and he later destroyed Cap’s Vibranium alloy shield.
We see in the first Black Panther movie that Vibranium can also expel energy the energy it absorbs, with explosive results. Aside from this, Vibranium is also slightly radioactive, and this seems to have a beneficial effect on living things.
T’Challa once used a Vibranium ball to stabilise Everett Ross after he was shot, and the radiation also created the Heart-Shaped Herb, a unique plant that gives the Black Panther their abilities.
How valuable is Vibranium?
Vibranium is exceptionally valuable. In the comics, Vibranium is said to be worth 10,000 per gram which sounds outlandish but is actually relatively good value compared to some real-world substances.
Tritium, for example — the material Doctor Octopus is after in the second Spider-Man movie — is reportedly worth $30,000 a gram and the most expensive material known to man, antimatter, is worth $62.5 trillion a gram (according to Interesting Engineering).
In the MCU, we see Ultron pay Ulysses Klae billions for the Vibranium he stole from Wakanda, but no specific figure is given for the value of the metal.
Is Wakanda the only country in the world with Vibranium?
We were initially led to believe that Wakanda was the only country in the world with Vibranium. However, more recent Black Panther 2 teasers have suggested that’s not the case. Namor is described as being “covered in Vibranium” in at least one teaser, which implies his people, the Talokans, also have access to the metal.
If you want to know more about the future of the MCU, check out our guide to Black Panther 3, which will presumably come after Marvel’s Phase 5, or we have an article on the best MCU characters.
We also have guides to two major Black Panther characters, Shuri and Ironheart, or we’ve done a deep dive into the Black Panther cast if you want to know more about the actors who bring these superheroes to life.