American Icon – The Shield

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Written By Elie Hajjar

This year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of Captain America,The First Avenger.
He was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby,and was introduced to us on March 1941 in Captain America Comics #1. Since his first appearance till now, Cap still holds a strong influence in comics, right from his life as a soldier in WWII through to his more recent period as the leader of the Avengers. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe is ready for their epic movie Captain America: Civil War, it seems that the rational thing to do is to talk about the Captain himself. But this time we are not talking about his act of heroism over the 75 years, nor about his morals or his american way for justice. No. We are talking about the ICON that has defined the LEGEND behind it. The SHIELD of Captain America.

Captain America’s Shield is his primary weapon. This disc shaped shield is composed of vabranium, steel and an unknown third component. Cap uses it against his enemy in an offensive and defensive mode, throwing it at villains with its capability to rebound off objects with minimal loss of angular momentum. ‘She’ can absorb a great deal of energy from impact due to its makeup, especially that of its vibranium content. It can even take a pounding from the Hulk and Thor’s Mjlonir, without of course, hurting Cap.

The Shield wasn’t created in the disk shape as we know it, but originally it was a shape that resembled the shield found in the United States seal. It was constructed from simple hard shield.

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Then came Dr. Myron MacLain who started to experiment with the indestructible alloy of Vabranium, a material that is extracted from within the kingdom of Wakanda, home of the Black Panther. He was trying to fuse alloy steel with the vabranium to use within American war machines during WWII. This he hoped would give the troops a superior advantage in the field. Tired, the doctor fell asleep, thus an unknown factor caused the metals to bond. In turn, Dr. MacLain was never able to duplicate the Shield.

The new alloy was poured into the shape of discus because Dr.MacLain, according to some resources, preferred this design due to its versatility. Others say that he was simply trying to design a hatch to fit a tank. Then it was painted in its familiar pattern, the red ,white and blue using titanium oxide paint. The disc shaped shield was then presented to Cap by President Roosevelt himself.

When Cap was revived by the Avengers from his suspended state of being in the arctic, the shield was granted ,by Tony Stark aka IRONMAN, several magnetic improvements allowing Cap to control it in flight.

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Through the years, Captain America used different versions of the shield. Just to name a few:

  • A disc shaped Shield was used by Cap in combat against agents of Hydra due to the lost of the Original one in the Atlantic. It was finally destroyed against the Kree.
  • After that, Tony Stark found the lost Shield at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. In turn he started to analyze it in order to try and duplicate it. In the meantime Cap was using a number of steel replicas in his missions.
  • Tony failed to duplicate the shield so he forge one from pure adamantium.
  • Steve Rogers used this disc shaped shield given to him by Tony Stark for a while. After returning the adamantium shield, Cap used a Wakandan, vabranium Shield given to him by the Black Panther. Though the shield was labeled ‘indestructible’, it has had its fair share of destruction and restoration.

So, some of the toughest foes to face the brunt of Cap’s shield:

1 – Molecule Man: the super villain, who can control molecules, did destroy Cap’s shield.

2 – Doctor Doom: in the Secret Wars series, a Godlike being ‘the Beyonder’ transported all the superheroes and super-villains onto a distant world to fight each other. When Doctor Doom stole the Beyonder’s power, he incinerated all the superheroes with an energy blast, just to see Cap’ Shield being destroyed.

3 – King Thor: Thor become the king of Asgard after the death of his father Odin.
This infused him with the Odin force giving him infinite powers and a bad temper in the process. In an act of rage King Thor killed Captain America and destroyed the Shield. Then, as usual, King Thor goes back in time and undoes this horrible event.

4 – The Serpent: the Asgardian god of fear who tries to overthrow Odin. In his fight against the Avengers, he catches Cap’s Shield and breaks it into pieces with his bare hands!!! After the Serpent’s defeat, the Asgardian dwarves repaired the shield leaving a scar on Her surface.

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Specifications:
Dimensions: concave disc 2.5 feet in diameter.
Weight: 12 lbs.
Official name: Captain America’s Shield.
Alias: She.
Wielders: just to name a few.
Captain America (Sam Wilson).
Bucky Barnes.
John Walker.
Steve Rogers.
Nomad (Ian Rogers).
Happy Birthday Cap.

#weareteamcap @eliehajjar07

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