The Secret Power of Captain America’s Shield Is Dangerous (and Kinda Dumb)
In The United States of Captain America #4, a Marvel villain has just uncovered the secret power of the Sentinel of Liberty’s iconic shield.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for The United States of Captain America #4, available now from Marvel Comics.
Steve Rogers has been on a cross country journey to reclaim his iconic shield after seeing it fall into the hands of villains. With the help of Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and an entire underground network of fellow Captains, Steve has managed to stay only a step or two behind his enemies. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough to keep them from unveiling the hidden and arguably ludicrous power of the shield in The United States of Captain America #4 (by Christopher Cantwell, Ron Lim, Cam Smith, Scott Hanna and VC’s Joe Caramagna).
The trail has led Steve, Sam, and Bucky all the way to Colorado where they’ve linked up with a couple of the underground Captains. While the heroes still lag behind the villains, their most recent destructive attack is easy to follow. Sin, Speed Demon, and Warrior Woman have launched an assault on a NORAD facility, and between Cap’s shield and her hypnotic powers the villainous leader of the group is able to take control. That might not be particularly shocking considering the villainous super-soldier’s history, but the way she puts Captain America’s shield to bad use most certainly is.
Captain America’s shield was created from a unique Vibranium alloy called Proto-Adamantium, and has long been one of the most incredible weapons in the Marvel Universe. There have been plenty of other versions of the shield over the years, from that of the U.S. Agent to the energy shield that Steve Rogers carried in place of the original. However, despite any technical advancements, nothing has compared to Cap’s most iconic piece of hardware on the battlefield.
On a security level, however, the shield has been revealed to be a massive liability. Steve explains that the shield acts as a sort of skeleton key to the country’s most secure locations such as NORAD. For something that is specifically designed to be thrown across the battlefield directly at his enemies, the idea that it would also provide easy entrance to top secret and highly secure facilities is absolutely horrifying. Even worse, Warrior Woman is able to use the shield to release the original Hate-Monger from his imprisonment within the facility. This isn’t just a matter of her opening a door, but the specialized cell where he is being held.
Although Captain America and his shield has been around for decades, being able to use it in such a way is ludicrous, and doesn’t hold up very well in today’s world. While this is likely some sort of holdover from the early days of comics when superheroes were regularly outfitted with cartoonish accoutrements with over the top capabilities, it is the sort of thing that just doesn’t make sense.
The United States of Captain America has been a great sendup of many classic tropes, as well as the perfect way to spotlight just how they can be weaponized with little to no effort. At the very least, this will force the powers that be to rethink the nation’s security protocols, and bring them more up to date with today’s society.
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