We keep looking for an unknown agent but we must look at the fact:

Dr. Myron MacLain used an experimental Steel alloy and Vibranium; He did numerous test using different setting and combination (amount of components, different pressures and temperatures) all of them were obviously recorded. During one of those tests he fall asleep while waiting for the metal to "heat up".

So what was responsible for the Proto-Adamantium formation since we know all the main component of the shield?


  • Answer:

The fact is that Marvel set what allowed the Proto-Adamantium to exist a total unknown. It is a mystery and will probably stay that way. We can only speculate on what was this unknown factor.

  • Theory:

I believe that the unknown factor/catalyst responsible for the creation of Proto-Adamantium was the duration the mixture remained in its liquid state.

We don't know how much time was required to "heat up" each subsequent tested mixture and most importantly we don't know how long MacLain was asleep.

An alloy is successfully created once its multiple components are heated and melted together at their common melting point and have successfully bonded. The mixture is then poured into a casing and allowed to cool.

When the components are melted there is no gain at leaving the mixture in a liquid state any longer.

During his experiments, MacLain combined Vibranium with a steel alloy he was working with. While asleep, as a result of his exhaustion, an unknown factor caused the metals he was working with to bond. MacLain was never able to duplicate the process due to his inability to identify a still unknown factor that played a role in it. (Captain America Vol 1 #303)

With all the varius components only one was susceptible to cause an unknown factor in the experiment, Vibranium. It is possible that Vibranium, which is extraterrestrial in origin, didn't behave like any other metal know to man. It could have changed over time in its liquid state and begun a molecular reaction with the experimental steel alloy and others components resulting into what is known as Proto-Adamantium.

This process requiring a significant amount of time to occur, could have allowed the molecular structure of the Proto-Adamantium to stabilize as the mixture remained at its melting point longer than intended.

As a scientist, in an attempt to replicate the shield alloy MacLain must had recreated the experiment methodically and logistically without leaving the mixture in its liquid state longer than necessary. It is possible that he never thought about leaving the mixture in its liquid state for a prolonged, since for all he knew couldn't make any difference and instead logically reproduced the experiment without trying any unorthodox methods.

This scenario could be the reason behind the formation of Proto-Adamantium and why it was never duplicated.

  • “the true secret behind the Proto-Adamantium was never published and probably never will” — you do know that comics aren’t documentaries, right? – Paul D. Waite Mar 16 '15 at 9:29
  • 2
    Generally speaking we don't like speculative answers on this site; your answer is reasonable and seems valid but it would benefit from some more direct references from the source material. – KutuluMike Mar 16 '15 at 13:26
  • I am with Michael on this. You need some basis for your assertion, whether it's evidence from the comics, a comment from one of the people who worked on the series, or an appeal to metallurgical principles. That said, it's a good start at an answer. – FuzzyBoots Mar 16 '15 at 13:34
  • @PaulD.Waite I know, English isn't my native language and published was the most suitable words at that time. – Xainfinen Mar 17 '15 at 5:59
  • @MichaelEdenfield My reasoning directly from what as been said in the comics. The fact is the answer was never given to us by marvel. At which point does a theory is accepted as answer? I'll do my best to put more details. – Xainfinen Mar 17 '15 at 6:55

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