Captain America has been known to possess one of the most indestructible weapons in the Marvel narrative. His proficiency with the vibranium shield has bent all laws of physics to his will, and in many cases a lot of bad guys as well. However, with the risk of accomplishing impossible feats, one also becomes highly susceptible to encountering individuals who can also achieve the impossible. Something on the lines of breaking/shattering /disintegrating/melting Steve Rogers indestructible vibranium shield. Although in the MCU there has been just one noticeable incident that witnessed the indestructible shield being shattered or being chipped away. But in the Marvel comics universe there have been several incidents where the shield has suffered serious structural integrity, but somehow managed to make a comeback much stronger and sturdier than ever before. It’s just like some Marvel characters that, certain inanimate objects are also capable of making a return in the Marvel comics narrative. Here is a list of times Captain America’s shield was destroyed in Marvel comics.
The Living Laser
In ‘Avengers #35 (1966)’ Arthur Park aka the Living Laser in a futile attempt to woo The Wasp, set up a trap to entrap Captain America and Hawkeye in a laser field with a shrinking radius. Captain America certain that his shield would be able to protect them. Jammed his shield into the laser field, only to watch it melt away. It was later clarified that Tony Stark had borrowed the real shield that day and Captain was working with a steel replica.
The Molecule Man
The ‘Avengers #215 (1982)’ witnessed Owen Reece aka The Molecule Man, achieve something which a lot of the readers thought was not possible by him because of his short stature. But in this particular issue, the audience witnessed a new side of the Molecule Man. With his powers of being able to restructure the molecular integrity of any object, the molecule man disintegrated Mjolnir, Iron Man’s Armor, Silver Surfers board, and Captain America’s shield. Later on, after being calmed down by Tigra, he returns the iconic objects to their former glory, before professing his faith in working towards the good of humanity.
Thanos + Infinity Gauntlet
In ‘Infinity Gauntlet #4 (1991)’ the mad titan Thanos, is seeing toying around the Avengers. Unlike the MCU version where Thanos uses his dual-edged blade to chip away at Captain America’s shield, in the Marvel comics narrative Thanos just uses the infinity gauntlet embedded with the infinity stones to pulverize caps shield into dust. Which was later undone by the mad titan’s daughter Nebula.
In ‘Fear Itself #5 (2011)’, readers witnessed the arrival of Cul Borson aka The Serpent and the Asgardian God of Fear. Cul was Odin’s more villainous half was kept in captivity, due to a prophecy that claimed that Cul would kill Odin’s son. In the issue we witnessed the God of fear unleash his wrath on Thor, for now, known purposes. Steve Rogers intervened in the battle and hurled the shield towards the god, The Serpent caught the shield with his enormous hands and snapped the shield into numerous pieces. Later on, Tony took the shattered pieces to Nidavellir and put them back together to create a shield, much more powerful than ever before.
In the ‘Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 (1985)’ the conniving villain from the marvel comics narrative, took over the cosmic reign of power of the Beyonder. The moment he got hold of the cosmic powers, he ended the lives of the Avengers who dared oppose him from very far. Among the aftermath of Doctor Doom’s wrath was the broken shield of Captain America which lay among the ruins, with a huge chunk of metal that seemed missing.
In ‘Thor Vol. 2 #73 (2004)’, the readers witnessed the arrival of Lord Thor, witnessed the arrival of the Norse god in one of the possible future timelines of earth called Earth-3515. This alternate future witnessed the ruthless version of Thor, who was older and more powerful, with very few moral codes in his bag of good deeds. The battle between the Avengers and Lord Thor witnessed, Lord Thor, shoot out beams of Odin force from his eyes and melt away Captain America’s face and the shield in just one hit.
In the ‘Captain America Vol. 3 #13 (1998)’ witnessed the first avenger drop his shield in the Atlantic, in the spur of the battle. Months later Rhodes in collaboration with a salvaging company can find the once lost shield from the bottom of the Atlantic. Only for a crew of the ship to accidentally lose it from his grip and the shield taking a nice drop to the deck of the ship and shattering into several pieces. However, the real reason for the damage was revealed later in the narrative.
In the ‘Captain America Vol. 3 #21(1999)’, we witnessed Steve Rogers take his shield to Tony for repair, right after its recovery from the Atlantic, post which we saw the shield break into several pieces. On closer inspection by Tony, it was deduced that somehow Captain America’s shield had experienced a very rare flaw called the “Vibranium Cancer”. This sub-molecular imperfection resulted in one molecule being out of place and becoming the reason for the shield’s poor structural integrity. However, Captain continued using the shield by taping the shield together, but even then, even the slightest hint of kinetic energy would accelerate the vibranium cancer to the other molecules. However, in one incident with Ulysses Klaw, a sonic blast from Klaw’s arm weapon fixed the Shield’s flaw and it returned to its former glory.
Thor + Mjolnir
In the ‘Avengers Vol. 3 #63 (2003)’ we witnessed a new religion based on the worship of Thor, which popped up in the fictional nation of Slokovia, which the local authorities tried to subdue with ruthlessness. Thor in light of the new events took a part of the Asgardian army and headed to earth. Demanding that his worshippers be allowed to follow and practice their faith in peace. While Iron Man and Captain America arrived at the scene to persuade Thor out of the international incident. Enraged by the change of events and that Tony, who himself was donning a mystical armor carved out of Uru. Thor started laying a beat down on the armored avenger. When Captain America tried to intervene, Thor lunged the Mjolnir with so much force that he caused a dent on Captain’s shield. But what also happened was that the sound created by the clash of the two mystical weapons, Thor was snapped out of his rage. Thor took a few steps back and apologized for his behavior, and even offered to help Captain hammer his shield back in shape.
The ‘Age Of Ultron #1 (2013)’ witnessed the Ultron from a distant future called Earth-61112. In this future, Ultron rules over the earth with an adamantium fist, while keeping the onslaughts by a few of the surviving heroes to a bare minimum. It is in this issue the readers are welcomed to a Captain America, who is sitting with his head bowed down and pieces of his shield scattered around his feet. It is no surprise that this is Ultron’s doing and has left a devastating impact on the shield and the Captain. Eventually, with Wolverine’s time-traveling escapades, Wolverine can save the timeline from imminent doom.
The Ultimate Valkyrie
The ‘New Ultimates #2 (2010)’ narrative witnessed the story of the Ultimate Valkyrie, who hailed from alternate earth called Earth-1610 and was played by a teenager called Barbara Norriss. Norriss had a crush on Thor and when Mjolnir was robbed by a group called defenders, The Ultimate Captain who was a far more misogynistic version of his former self blamed Barbara for the theft. Barbara lost control and attacked the Ultimate Captain with her signature Golden Blade and broke the shield into two halves. Later however the shield is revived to its former glory by the dwarves of Nidavellir on a request from Thor.
Tony’s Twin Evil brother
In the ‘Ultimate Avengers Vs. New Ultimates #6 (2011)’ the readers experienced the arrival of Gregory, who hails from the alternate version of Earth-1610 and is Tony Stark’s older twin brother. Although similar to Tony in terms of intellect and genius, Gregory has worked as Nick Fury’s right hand and has admired the way S.H.E.I.L.D operates itself nationwide. But in the narrative, Gregory seems to overdo it by imbuing himself with nanites technology and which makes him extremely powerful. He becomes so powerful that he knocks the Mjolnir out of Thor’s hands and uses the mystical hammer to shatter Captain’s shield in the process. Later on, Tony can subdue him by using an EMP and rendering all the nanites useless.
In ‘Exiles #23 (2003)’ we witness the arrival of Emperor Stark or Iron Doom, who is from another multiverse named Earth-42777. In this timeline Tony pairs up with Magneto as the latter is engaged in a war between mutants and humans, only to betray Magneto and have himself declared the Emperor of Earth, for as long as he lives. Several heroes and villains who opposed him were slaughtered in cold blood, one of whom was supposedly Captain America. A battle between the two was not put on papers, but Captain’s shield with a repulsor-melted hole in the center was enough to point out the culprit.
In ‘Exiles #39 (2004)’ the readers were brought to the Earth-94831, which is yet another alternate timeline within the Marvel Multiverse. This alternate version witnessed the US government announce a full-fledged purge against the mutants, and when the Avengers stood up to defend them. They were also termed as ‘Race traitors’, and had to bear the complete force of the sentinel program. The attack by the sentinels destroyed thousands of superheroes, including Captain America and his shield broken apparently by the sentinels. By the time the Exiles reached Earth-94831, most of it had been destroyed and they could only watch in horror, as the vengeful Magneto hurled a giant asteroid at Earth-94831 in retaliation. And destroy anyone still unfortunate enough to still occupy it.