X-Men: How strong is Colossus’ skin?
The metallic-skinned mutant Colossus is one of the strongest members of the X-Men, but how strong is his organic steel skin?
When you consider the powers of the Marvel Universe, characters like Hulk, The Thing, and Thor immediately come to mind. But there are other heroes who possess immense strength and the X-Men Colossus Resident Powerhouse is one of them. What really sets Colossus apart from other super powerful heroes is his metal skin, which gives him a look like no other. But just how tough is it exactly, and how does it compare to the durability of other Marvel metals?
Piotr Rasputin, aka Colossus, has been described as having an organic steel body upon activation of his mutant transformation. In this metal-coated form, Colossus gains incredibly high strength and resistance to damage. To specify exactly what it transforms into, Colossus’ body soaks up real-world metallic osmium, which is the densest stable element, about twice as much as lead. It is essentially as hard as diamond and its melting point is around 5491 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire Colossus body has these properties. Combine all of this with his superhuman strength and it becomes evident very quickly how powerful he really is.
The problem with the Marvel Universe, however, is that there is always greater power. Compared to the average street hero like Daredevil or Moon Knight, Colossus lives up to its name. But compared to incredibly powerful beings like the Hulk, the proverbial cracks in his armor begin to show. In the years 2007 World War Hulk: X-Men by Chris Gage, Andrea Divito and Laura Villari, Colossus confronts the Hulk and suffers a terrible injury. While locked up hand in hand, the Hulk painfully folds the mutant’s arms. And in the 2010s X-Men Second Coming # 2 by Zeb Wells, Ibraim Roberson and Matt Milla Colossus suffered almost the same injury when a swarm of Nimrod robots smashed his arm at the elbow. Colossus’ metal body is strong, but he’s not completely invulnerable to damage.
While osmium can be impressive in the real world, there are many amazing metals found only in the Marvel Universe, each with their own levels of strength and durability. Some metals are found in space while others are magically enhanced, such as Thor’s Uru hammer and vibranium (deposits found on Earth are of extraterrestrial origin); there are metals that are made on Earth such as adamantium and its variations (Wolverine’s skeleton and Ultron shell are made of it), carbonadium (an imitation of adamantium, which includes Omega’s tentacles Red), and alloy fusions and upgrades like Iron Man’s Many Armors.
Compared to all of these metals, Colossus ranks quite low. Wolverine’s adamantium claws damaged both Thor and Thanos, so Colossus would certainly take damage; Black Panther’s claws, made from vibranium, are said to be effective in cutting the skin of Colossus; and Captain America’s shield, also made from vibranium, would be able to cut Colossus if thrown with enough force. The main difference between Colossus Metallic Skin and all other metals is that Colossus possesses the ability to heal itself while the others are much more difficult to repair.
Regardless, Colossus is still a formidable opponent and one of the most powerful members of the X-Men. But his osmium skin just doesn’t put him on the same level as those who wield vibranium, adamantium, or uru. The fact that Colossus can last as long as he does in direct one-on-one fights against the Hulk and Gladiator is enough proof of his enormous power. Though he doesn’t have the same impressive invulnerability as Ultron, Colossus makes up for his lower power rank with his unwavering loyalty, courage, and sense of justice. Colossus might not be the strongest hero, but he’s definitely one of the bravest.
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