As much as Steve Rogers may claim that the shield of Captain America belongs to whoever currently holds the title, in reality the iconic weapon will always belong to the original Cap. The heroic mantle of Captain America is one of the most prestigious and coveted titles in all of Marvel Comics. From Steve Rogers to Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, Isaiah Bradley, and countless others, the Captain America moniker has remained a constant, but the hero’s famed red, white, and blue shield has remained the longest with Steve.
Along with the potent formula known as the super soldier serum, Captain America’s most valuable piece of equipment is the hero’s nearly impenetrable vibranium shield, which has remained an essential component of the character for decades. This shield has switched hands between several worthy owners throughout the years. However, the shield always finds a way to return to the hands of Rogers, which further reinforces the prevailing belief that there may be only one Captain to lead them all. There is no greater indication of this than 2008’s superhero folk tale Avengers Fairytales #1 from current Marvel Editor-in-Chief C. B. Cebulski (Ultimate X-Men) and artist Joao Lemos (Wolverine: The Dust From Above).
Set against the backdrop of a classic children‘s storybook adventure, Cebulski and Lemos’ Avengers Fairytales #1 features a familiar array of Avengers members Quicksilver (Pietro), Scarlet Witch, Wasp, Hawkeye (Hawk), Iron Man (Shellhead), Black Panther (Panther), Thor and Captain America (The Captain). Rather than full-fledged adults, these Avengers are youngsters based on characters from the world of Peter Pan. Steve inhabits the role of Peter Pan himself, while Wasp takes on the role of the friendly fairy Tinker Bell right alongside Iron Man, Black Panther, Thor, and Hawkeye acting as Pan’s faithful companions the Lost Boys. Connecting with the imaginative nature of the story, this Captain America does not retain a physical shield but an ethereal shadow, which acts as its own sentient being. Cap’s shadow shield proves to be a major asset in the Lost Boys’ final battle against the nefarious Klaw and his vicious band of pirates.
Captain America’s Shield Is a Literal Part of Him
The direction of Captain America’s shield may differ quite significantly from its main Earth-616 counterpart, but the general integrity of the property remains the same. The multiverse reality of Avengers Fairytales features Steve Rogers as the one and only bearer of the handy weapon. Even in this alternate reality, the shield remains as integral to the character of Steve Rogers, perhaps even more so in the fact that it is a literal reflection of the character. Wherever Rogers goes, the shadow shield can be found close behind ready to aid and defend its user.
By physically tying Steve Rogers to the shield itself, Avengers Fairytales makes it clear that even though other Captains America may borrow it from time to time, it really belongs to him. It has never been the shield that defines the Captain America moniker, but the man behind the shield and Marvel Comics seems to imply that the only one capable of holding onto that shield for an extended duration is Steve Rogers.
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