I just watched Iron Man 1&2 the other day. I'm new to the entire story.

In IM2 we learn that his blood is being poisoned and that he has tried every combination of every existing element as a cure - unsuccessfully. Then he deducts "the key" from the Expo park's plans which saves him.

What is that key? What element had he not tried?

I realize that the movie story has to be simplified, compared to the original story, so there are probably story elements that I have completely missed because they're only in the original works. We also saw that in LOTR.


Wikipedia says that:

Although unnamed in the film itself, the movie's novelization identifies the element as vibranium, so named by Stark because it shares characteristics with uranium and has similar transgenic properties to another fictional element named "vibernum".

  • I didn't think that Iron Man would be in the Wikipedia but now that you mention it, why shouldn't he be? Thank you! Also, it figures that the magic element is a fictional one. Hadn't thought of that either! Sep 4 '12 at 18:28
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    This doesn't make any sense to me. Vibranium was a well-known element at that point - Captain America's shield is made out of it, and that shield was made by Tony Stark's father. He should have known to try it sooner!
    – hairboat
    Nov 19 '12 at 15:56
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    @AbbyT.Miller The problem is that there was no way to synthesize vibranium. Howard Stark himself says in the Captain America movie that the shield was made of the only vibranium in the world, implying that they couldn't synthesize more.
    – Steam
    Jan 3 '13 at 17:19
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    @Steam He said it was the only vibranium they had. In context, "they" most likely meant "our side," since there's plenty of Vibranium in the country of Wakanda.
    – user867
    Jul 29 '15 at 7:55
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    @hairboat You're correct, Wikipedia was wrong here and has since removed that section. See my answer for the correct name of the element.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Aug 14 '20 at 8:23


This can be seen in Marvel's The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week Volume 8:

Marvel's The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week_ Volume 8 panel, Fury, Clint and someone else talk; relevant section quoted below

Fury: He's working on a patent for "Badassium," but has encountered several bureaucratic obstacles.

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