Captain America is known for throwing his mighty shield. Throughout his film appearances, Captain America has cleverly used the shield to thwart enemies and prevent himself from taking damage. With all the different things that his vibranium shield can do, it makes us wonder if it obeys the rules of science or not.
Looking back at Cap's MCU appearances, there are plenty of times that the shield doesn't make sense. Here are 10 crazy ways that Captain America's shield bends the rules of science. As Spider-Man said in Captain America: Civil War, "That thing does not obey the laws of physics at all."
Captain America, from the very start, figured out a way to get the drop on enemies just by throwing his shield. He can bounce it off multiple walls to hit enemies at an angle, then return to him.
It's difficult to understand exactly how that bouncing works. It would be difficult to predict such a thing in real life, as the various surfaces that the shield hits would be more than enough to throw it off course. Perhaps this has something to do with Captain America's faster level of processing information than most people. Either way, it's not explained in the movies.
9 BLOCKING THOR'S HAMMER
Captain America's shield is made of vibranium, one of the strongest metals on Earth. Move outside of Earth, and there are some materials that have proven to be stronger. Take Mjolnir for example, a hammer forged in the heart of a dying star. It was arguably one of the most powerful weapons in the MCU.
In The Avengers, Thor takes a massive swing at Captain America, who blocks it with his shield. Thor is the only one who took any damage, leaving Cap unscathed. That seems a bit hard to believe considering not only Mjolnir's strength, but Thor's as well.
8 CUTTING SPIDER-MAN'S WEB
The airport battle in Captain America: Civil War was one of the best sequences in the MCU. Seeing those heroes use their unique powers to battle each other was unadulterated bliss. It also featured the introduction of Spider-Man, who went toe to toe with Captain America.
There was one moment where Spider-Man is swinging toward Cap, who just throws his shield and instantly cuts the web. It would've been more likely if the shield simply pushed the web around it, considering that the shield is a circle. Nonetheless, it leads to an entertaining quip from Spider-Man about how the shield doesn't obey physics.
7 RECALLING THE SHIELD
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America had technology in his suit that allowed him to recall the shield from a distance. This seems to be some sort of electromagnet attached to his arm, which would make sense, but only in specific circumstances. The electromagnet would only work at a short distance, rather than recalling after being thrown several yards at a time.
It's convenient to allow to the shield to come back to Cap like that, but that sort of technology doesn't really exist. It would require an extremely powerful magnet and, theoretically, hurt the user's arm whenever it returned.
6 NOT KILLING PEOPLE
Vibranium is one of the strongest metals in the MCU, and Captain America is one of the strongest people. Knowing that he has the ability to stop helicopters from taking off and survive long falls, it's amazing that he doesn't take any lives when he's fighting people.
The reality is that most people who get hit with the shield should be dead. Recall how hard Baron Strucker is hit with Cap's shield at the start of Age of Ultron. A hit like that knocked him out, but it should've been lethal. There is so much strength behind Cap that many people should've died.
5 PERFECTLY RETURNING TO CAP
While Age of Ultron introduced an organic way for the shield to return to Captain America, that wasn't originally the case. In Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, Cap will bounce his shield in battle.
However, regardless of how many objects it hits, including Nazi soldiers, it would often return right to his hand, where he would simply snatch it out of the air and keep moving. The amount of precision this would take is astronomical. Keep in mind that there's no way to consistently get this result when bouncing the shield off of moving people.
4 BUSTING PLANE PROPELLORS
Captain America: The Winter Soldier remains one of the best MCU films, but there's no denying that it doesn't always obey the rules of science. When Captain America is breaking out of the SHIELD compound, he is stopped by a jet that prepares to fire on him.
He jumps over it and tosses the shield, causing it to bounce and take down both propellors before catching it mid-air and landing on the ground safely. It would require a lot of force to bust a plane propellor just by throwing a shield as well as getting it to bounce at a sharp 90 degrees to bust the other one.
3 DEFLECTING BULLETS
It's not always clear whether Captain America's shield will Deflect or stop bullets in their tracks. When it first appears in Captain America: The First Avenger, it stopped Peggy Carter's shots on impact. However, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap was seen using the shield as a way to deflect bullets.
He even learned to aim those deflected bullets to take down some of the guys that were giving him trouble. The shield can't decide whether it deflects or stops bullets. While that's probably as big a nitpick as one can find, it can be annoying to those who notice.
2 NEVER LOSING ALTITUDE
Captain America's shield does look like a flying disc, so it makes sense that it'd be able to fly much easier than other shields. However, we never see the shield losing altitude during a throw. This could be attributed to the strong throws of Captain America, but it's ridiculous to suggest that he always throws it perfectly.
Everyone knows that if you throw a flying disc slightly off-center, then it'll go its own direction. Furthermore, the various bouncing does nothing to make the shield lose altitude either. At least Captain America isn't constantly throwing long distances, or this would be much more noticeable.
1 SAVING HIM FROM A FALL
Just after the elevator fight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap has to think fast to get out of harm's way. He busts through the side of the elevator and falls down all the way to the SHIELD lobby. He breaks his fall by landing primarily on the shield. However, he likely should've had some injuries outside of that.
While the shield absorbed most of the impact, Captain America still would've taken some serious injuries due to going from a high velocity to stopping instantly. Perhaps he would've suffered from some whiplash as well. To be fair, it was some impressive quick-thinking on his part.