Marvel’s Greatest Plothole: Captain America’s Shield

Captain America is my s***. That red, white, & blue vigilante is the refreshing, anachronistic WWII hero that our now overly complicated world desperately needs. Modern convoluted issues like “Is SHIELD an ethical organization?” or “Should we hire that Black Widow chick. You know, since she killed a bunch of our allies when she was a Russian spy?” look like the tangled web of a drunken spider next to Cap’s typical “I’m gonna totally punch Hitler in the face” mantra. Steve Roger’s has a one track mind: be good. Do good deeds. Oh yeah, and be honest!

Well, Cap’s transparent nature was put to the test in the Russo Brothers’ latest Marvel flick CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Besides creating the greatest Marvel Studios flick ever (and quite possibly the greatest superhero flick ever, sorry The Dark Knight), the Brothers Russo introduced a massive curveball. Some of you may have missed it, and there may be some of you who deem it more of a “plothole” than a “curveball” (I know I certainly do).

But… did you notice that Captain America’s shield kinda picks and chooses when it’s going to work? In Cap’s origin flick The First Avenger, Howard Stark created the vibranium armament with the sole purpose of absorbing every proverbial ounce of kinetic energy that an opponent could inflict. The shield worked flawlessy against Hydra troops, who wielded Tesseract powered rifles that packed a whollop. If they were anything like the Chitauri’s own alien rifles, which they certainly seemed to be, then those firearms have enough punch to knock the wind out of Thor’s cape. But it was no big deal to Captain America. He held his shield high, absorbed the force of the mysterious blue projectiles, and kept on swinging.

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Even in The Avengers, when Captain America shields himself from Thor’s mighty Mjolnir, the super soldier survives the impact with absolutely no injuries. That hammer was forged in the heart of a dying sun!!! It has no rival, whether with its ability to build or it’s power to destroy! Errr… or something like that. I can never fully remember Odin’s monologue. He kinda gushed on and on and on and on about Mjolnir. Pretty weird.

In any case… in these movies Captain America moments he uses his shield to survive Cosmic level weapons. So it absolutely makes no sense (SPOILERS!!!) in THE WINTER SOLDIER when Steve Rogers’s shield fails to absorb the impact of a grenade. You know the scene I’m talking about? After Cap and the gang kidnap Agent Sitwell, and they carpool on the interstate heading towards the Triskellion… They were ambushed by The Winter Soldier, and at some point in the fight that metal armed baddie shoots a grenade at Cap. The patriotic do-gooder of course grabs his shield to absorb the blow, but for some mysterious reason, he doesn’t! Instead, Captain America is launched off the interstate into the underpass below.

In all fairness, it was a pretty badass scene, but it makes no sense! How could a shield that’s meant to absorb everything (as it has with Mjolnir and Tesseract powered weapons) fail to withstand a measly grenade explosion?

It makes no sense to me! And for that reason, Captain America’s “I Might Deflect This Attack, but I Might Not” shield is Marvel’s greatest plothole!

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