Art by Adam Kubert

Mar 30, 2020

Discovering Nth Metal by Tim Board

Art by Adam Kubert
Thoughts on the Nth Metal!

We've always heard about the Nth Metal and how it gives Hawkman the power to fly. But how fast? How does he control it? What other abilities does it give him? These sorts of questions are always bugging me so I've been digging around.

Art by Ed Coutts
First, on the DC Database, it says:
1. It allows a person who is wearing it to fly.
2. It protects the wearer from the elements.
3. It speeds the healing of wounds.
4. It increases their strength
5. It protects them from extremes in temperature.
6. It also has been implied that the apparently "magical" abilities of the Thanagarian supervillain, Onimar Synn, all stem from his unique mastery of the properties of Nth metal. so there are magical abilities that are made possible by the metal as well.
7. Exposure to the metal also triggered Hawkman/Hawkgirl's reincarnation cycle.
8. Carter and Shiera's son, Hector Hall made a suit of Nth metal armor made of Nth metal. The suit provided him with protection from attacks, allowed him to fly and to project solar energy blasts, and let him lift great weights.

There are also some clues about the metal when we look at the Legion of Super-Heroes flight rings. This ring was invented by Braniac 5 and Invisible Kid or Mon-El by using an alloy of the Nth Metal called Valorium. So what does a flight ring do for the wearer?
1. The rings are activated by conscious will power.
2. The speed of flight depends on the wearer's willpower.
3. The wearer will remain suspended in flight if they are unconscious.
4. Some possibly apocryphal sources claim that wearers of the Flight Ring can “link” together and travel at the speed of the fastest linked character, allowing them to keep up with characters with superspeed.
5. The ring allows flight at supersonic speeds. Need and willpower can trigger a proportionate response from the ring, allowing even greater speeds for a short period of time.
6. Skilled and determined users can use the ring’s anti-gravity field to lighten the force of gravity on objects they touch, allowing the lifting of great weights.

7. It has the capacity to destabilize magic and all things wrought of it. Hawkgirl was the only one who could defeat Solomon Grundy who was controlled by magic.
From Captain America: Civil War
There's a discussion on Comic Vine comparing Nth Metal with Promethium (Deathstroke's sword), Adamantium (Captain America's shield and Wolverine's claws) and Vibranium (Black Panther's claws).
Here are some points some of the posters made:
1. The most versatile super-metal is Nth Metal.
2. Gives you super-strength.
3. Gives you accelerated healing.
4. Gives you the ability to fly faster than sound.
5. Gives you the ability to survive in space or below the "Light Line" of the oceans for 5-10 minutes before explosive decompression.
6. Gives you animal-like senses.
7. Not as impervious as Promethium and Adamantium, it is nevertheless still very durable, resisting the blows of some of the DCU strongest beings before showing the slightest signs of wear or metal fatigue.
8. Some said the Nth Metal is DC's Adamantium.
9. Nth Metal is the one metal that can channel magic.
10. Nth Metal gives you a full set of superpowers.…/vibranium-vs-promethium-vs…/

From TV's Justice League
Another Comic Vine thread titled: "Nth Metal-Defining its Properties and Applications"
1. Exceptionally durable (bordering on indestructible).
2. Disrupts and negates magic.
3. Pierces lesser quality metals (steel, iron, etc).
4. Can be electrically charged to varying levels at will by the wielder.
5. It can also be used to make anything from personal armor to bullets and guns. Its applications are limited by the ability of the person forging it.
6. Nth Metal immediately negates any magic it comes in contact with.
7. It will destroy magical barriers and end magical spells.
8. When forged into armor essentially renders its wearer immune to the magical castings of others. Regardless of its power, no spell or magical effect will penetrate Nth Metal.
9. Nth Metal is essentially indestructible once it has been forged. The material can only be damaged by other similar materials such as Adamantium.
10. Nth Metal is immune to excessive heat with the exception of temperatures equal to those found inside of a star.…/nth-metal-defining-its-pro…/
From Omnipedia:
1. It is psycho-receptive and is capable of controlling the fundamental forces of the universe.
2. The abilities possessed by it meant that some considered it a mystical element.
From Torchwood Institute:
1. It possessed innate anti-magic properties, immune to any spell or magical effect leveled against it. No matter the strength of the magic-user nor the effects the spell might have on objects, it will not affect it.
2. In weapon form, it is highly potent, strong enough to do harm to even Elder Gods and Old Ones.
From DCAU Resource:
Nth Metal a transuranic iron, with an atomic number of 676, native to the planet Thanagar. Its clearly defined ferrous properties are able to govern the four fundamental forces of the universe: strong, weak, gravitational, and electromagnetic. Its anti-gravitational aspect can cause users to levitate and fly. It also has the properties of hyperconductivity and meson-graviton inversion. The first known use of Nth Metal was to forge weapons capable of repelling magic and fighting those associated with it, namely Icthultu. The Thanagarians then utilized Nth Metal for space travel and all of their technology. One such vessel crash-landed in ancient Egypt circa 6600 B.C. and centuries later, Nth Metal is still used on Earth where it was found to be useful against force fields, for resuscitation, and fighting metahumans with the power of intangibility. Somehow, it interferes with the dimensional shifting aspect of the power.
How fast can Hawkman fly?
As we've seen before the abilities of the Nth Metal depend on the person wearing the metal. In the Trinity series (2008), we have this panel.
From Trinity No. 6 (2008)
From Hawkman Vol. 2 No. 9
Hawkman himself has said that he can dive bomb at 500 mph/800 kph. His flying speed has been calculated to be anywhere between 200 mph to Mach 4 or 3080 mph/4760 kph. If Mach 4 was possible, Hawkman could fly around the Earth in just over an hour.
There have been feats (too numerous to list) that Hawkman has done, but in order to accomplish them, he would have to be incredibly fast. There have been some suggestions that Hawkman is the premier flier, and capable of incredibly fast speeds, but only for short bursts. The mental and physical strain of sustaining that speed would be incredible. We have seen him dodge lightning bolts, laser beams, machine-gun bullets, and other projectiles. To do this he would have to have super-vision, super-reflexes, and of course super-speed flight.
In the Justice League of America series (2013), Savage Hawkman was shown flying through space. It's not revealed what he is doing, but it appears that he is capable of space flight, and also protected by the Nth Metal during flight. This is just one writer's (Matt Kindt) version but it bears mentioning.

From Justice League of America No. 14 (2013)
Simply put, Hawkman's Nth Metal is one of the most amazing and powerful weapons in the DC Universe. Together with Hawkman's experience, mental and physical strength, and knowledge, Nth Metal clearly makes Hawkman the premier aerial warrior of the DC Universe! 

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