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5 Characters Used to Hold the Captain’s Shield In The MCU

5 Characters Used to Hold the Captain’s Shield In The MCU

Sam Wilson will definitely hate me for talking about this, but: he and Steve Rogers are NOT the only ones who have owned Captain America’s Vibranium Shield.

In the MCU, this shield is often closely associated with the title of Captain America. However, there are others who have legitimately owned the shield.

To give you a better perspective, we are going to explore the ownership timeline of this iconic Vibranium shield.

Let’s get into it!

Howard Stark (1943)

Definitely, the first owner should be the one who created it: Tony Stark’s father, Howard Stark. 

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Howard Stark created the shield in 1943, utilizing the only supply of vibranium available to him at the time, which was also the only supply the United States Army had. 

Given that vibranium was ‘the rarest metal they got,’ Howard Stark initially crafted the shield into a frisbee shape rather than a typical shield shape, then he threw it away somewhere in the S.S.R. base for a while. 

When tasked with upgrading Captain America’s weaponry, Howard Stark presented several different prototypes. 

However, Rogers bypassed those and chose the one that was stored on a shelf under the table. That’s our frisbee.

Like any other invention, the Vibranium shield in Howard’s memory is essentially just a brief description of the product’s origins and physical features.

Steve Rogers Gets Vibranium Shield - Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Movie Clip HD

Noting that it was the right weight and size, Stark tried to convince Rogers it wouldn’t suit his needs, but Rogers insisted he had found the shield he wanted.

Steve Rogers (1943 – 2016)

The next owner of the shield, of course, was Captain America himself, who wielded it from 1943 to 2016. He used the shield for the longest period in the MCU, far longer than anyone else could hope to.

Despite its “old-fashion” origins, the shield remained relevant in the modern era, thanks to Steve, the Starks, and most importantly, the die-hard Vibranium.

Moreover, Steve Rogers was probably the first and the only one who can engage the shield into the battle perfectly.

Captain America Shield Throwing and Catching Compilation [IMAX/Open Matte HD]

He demonstrated that the shield could be used not only for defense but also as a weapon, throwing it at enemies much like a boomerang.

Under Steve Rogers, the Captain’s Shield underwent significant enhancements, including the addition of magnetic technology that allowed it to attach to his forearm, facilitating smoother catch-and-throw movements.

However, following the “big fight” between Iron Man and Captain America in 2016, Iron Man retained possession of the shield.

Iron Man vs Captain America - Final Battle Scene - Captain America: Civil War (2016) Movie CLIP HD

Tony Stark (2016 – 2023)

After the fight with Captain America in Civil War, Tony Stark insists on taking the shield back—and he does it. This makes Iron Man the third owner of the shield from 2016 to 2023. 

Interestingly, there was an Easter egg in Iron Man 2 that provoked some theories, showing Tony grabbing a prototype of Cap’s shield. This is remarkable because he hadn’t met Steve in action yet. 

캡틴 아메리카 방패(Captain America's shield in Iron Man 2)

Back to the time when Tony gets the shield back, he never attempts to use it as Cap did but instead throws it into the back trunk of his BMW. 

While he may be a genius, his treatment of the shield is… kind of childish, I would say.

Eventually, Steve and Tony reconciled, and he returned the shield to where it truly belonged. How adorable is that!

Tony Gives Steve His Shield Back Scene - Avengers: Endgame (2019) Movie Clip 4K

Sam Wilson

One of the most powerful moments with the shield occurred not during a battle, but when Steve Rogers passed the shield on to Sam Wilson. 

Avengers Endgame (2019) Captain America Gives Shield to Falcon - Best Movie Scene

This moment, filled with respect and honor, was akin to passing a torch through generations… until Sam handed it back to the government!?

Indeed, Falcon held onto the shield for a few months before ultimately donating it to the Smithsonian. 

Sam Wilson Gives Up The Shield Scene -The Falcon And The Winter Soldier EP-1||English


Bucky Barnes expressed his frustration clearly, stating, “Steve believed in you. He trusted you. He gave you that shield for a reason. That shield, that is… that is everything he stood for.”

It wasn’t until after he and Bucky reclaimed the shield from John Walker, a new “Captain,” that Sam truly stepped into the role of the true Captain America and began using the shield.

While Sam had used the shield in the past, his mastery reached an entirely new level after training. He and Bucky engaged in multiple drills, repeatedly honing their skills with the shield.

Sam tries Cap's shield for the first time 1080p | The Falcon & The Winter Solider E05

Eventually, Sam formally took up the mantle of Captain America. Needless to say, the shield now rightfully belongs to him, and we are eager to see how he wields it in the upcoming Captain America sequels.

Sam Wilson "I'm Captain America" - The Falcon and The Winter Soldier S1E6

John Walker (2024)

In 2024, following Steve Rogers’ retirement and disappearance (maybe on the moon), U.S. soldier John Walker was chosen by the government as the new Captain America. 

Shortly after the formal retirement of the shield, it was brought out of retirement and entrusted to Walker, the government’s hand-picked successor.

Walker demonstrated considerable skill with the shield, as highlighted in his training video on “Good Morning America.” 

Captain America (John Walker) interview - Scene | Falcon and the Winter Soldier | 1x02 | Disney+

However, his tenure as Captain America was short-lived. After a highly publicized incident where he killed a member of the Flag-Smashers in broad daylight, he was stripped of both the title and the shield.

The final time Walker possessed the real shield ended dramatically: Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes took it from him, brutally by force. 

Sam and Bucky vs. John Walker Fight Scene [No BGM] | The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Bonus: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson (But It’s Just A Prototype)

If I were to choose someone who truly deserves to wield Captain America’s shield at least once in his life, it would be Agent Phil Coulson. 

Notably, Coulson was the first to bring a prototype of Captain America’s shield into a non-Captain America movie, appearing with it in “Iron Man 2.” 

This shield was likely an attempt by Stark to replicate or improve upon the shield Howard Stark originally made for Steve, minus the vibranium.

As a devoted fan of Captain America, Agent Coulson was visibly disappointed when Stark used it merely as a prop to level out his collider. 

캡틴 아메리카 방패(Captain America's shield in Iron Man 2)

Phil Coulson’s admiration for Steve Rogers isn’t just about the superhero; he also embodies Steve Rogers’ role model qualities perfectly, representing what it means to be a dedicated and pure human agent.

Despite lacking superhuman abilities, Coulson bravely confronted Loki, who easily overpowered him. This exemplifies the kind of courage John Walker referred to as “the guts Captain always had.”

Agent Phil Coulson Death Scene - The Avengers movie scene

Interestingly, while Captain America famously said, “Avengers, assemble” in “Endgame,” it was actually Phil Coulson who initially brought the team together from 2008 to 2012.

We Finally Understand Phil Coulson's Entire Marvel Backstory

So please, Sam. Give this man the shield, even just once!

What do you guys think? Is there any other Avenger who deserves Captain America’s Vibranium Shield? Share your thoughts!

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