Wakandan’s Shield for Captain America: Why No Proper Shield?

Here’s why Wakanda didn’t offer Captain America a proper shield in Infinity War:

Arguably, the two shields that Wakanda provided to Captain America in Infinity War were more than proper.

He used them to very good effect in the final battle of the movie.

Only Thanos with all of the Infinity Stones was able to overcome Captain America with his two shields, and they were clearly well-made.

So if you want to learn all about why Captain America didn’t get a proper shield from Wakanda in Infinity War, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Wakandan’s Shield for Captain America: Why No Proper Shield?

Why Doesn’t Captain America Have His Own Shield?

In order to talk about the shield in Infinity War, I’m going to set the stage and explain why he even needed a shield.

To do that, I have to discuss plot points.

Infinity War came out more than a few years ago, but if by some chance you haven’t seen it or the movies that lead up to it, then here is your spoiler warning.

I’m going to completely spoil plot points in both Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

If you’re trying to avoid spoilers for either of those movies, then you should stop now.

Otherwise, feel free to keep reading.

So, Captain America’s story in Infinity War is set in motion during Civil War.

At the end of Civil War, he goes against the international orders and the rules of the U.S. government.

Upon making that decision, he leaves his signature shield behind.

This is partially in agreement with Tony Stark’s request.

After they fight, Stark suggests that Captain America no longer has the right to carry the shield, so he leaves it behind.

In Infinity War, Captain America still has not resolved any of these issues, so he is still without his shield.

Why Doesn’t Wakanda Give Captain America a Proper Shield?

Despite being shieldless, Captain America finds himself in an intense combat situation at the end of Infinity War.

Thanos’s entire army is coming, and Wakanda needs all the help it can get to stop that army.

As the heroes run off to fight the big battle, Black Panther says to his entourage, “Someone get this man a shield.”

Naturally, he’s referring to Captain America.

It happens off screen, but Captain America is supplied with a Wakandan shield.

In fact, he has two shields, one strapped to each arm.

These shields are considerably different from the disc he carried before, but calling them improper shields is a stretch at best.

Since they’re in Wakanda, and Wakanda is known for vibranium technology, it’s safe to assume that these shields are also made from vibranium.

That is never stated explicitly in the movie, but based on how the shields fare in the battle, it’s a safe assumption.

This means that in terms of physical properties, these two shields are a match for what Captain America used to carry.

They’re different, sure, but they’re more than suitable for the battle in the movie.

Why Are the Wakandan Shields Different? (5 Reasons)

Even though the shields are well made and suit Captain America just fine in that battle, they are definitely not the same as what we usually see.

If you feel like seeing the traditional tools of the trade is a bit of a gip for Captain America in this movie, I can’t help you with that.

But, there are very good reasons within the story for why Captain America uses these Wakandan shields instead of his traditional tool.

I can explain why the shields look different, why they function differently, why those are good things, and why it really would not have made sense for Captain America to use any other shield or shields in this part of the movie.

#1 Color

The shields in Infinity War are dark gray in color.

They look a lot like much of the Wakanda combat technology, and since they weren’t built specifically for Captain America, all of that makes sense.

So, why didn’t Wakanda give him shields with colors more fitting to his name?

There are a few reasons.

First, why would Wakanda have shields colored with the American flag on them?

That doesn’t really make any sense.

But, even if they were going to take the time to paint the shields for Captain America, there’s another reason why they wouldn’t.

At this point in time, he actually isn’t Captain America anymore.

He’s still Steve Rogers.

He’s still the same guy, but he’s an American fugitive.

In the comics, he became known as the Nomad at this point in time.

That isn’t emphasized in the movies, but based on his appearance, it’s clear that they were drawing on the Nomad as visual inspiration for this portrayal of Steve Rogers.

To put it simply, Steve wasn’t fighting on behalf of America in this movie.

He was fighting on behalf of everyone, and the star-spangled colors weren’t necessary for that.

In fact, their absence was a subtle nod to this fact.

#2 Size

One of the best arguments you could make that the Wakanda shields weren’t proper shields is their size.

Each of them is much smaller than Captain America’s traditional shield.

In fact, put together, they might offer less area of coverage than the one shield we normally see him carry.

So, why did Wakanda give him these smaller shields?

Mostly, it’s because they weren’t designed for Steve Rogers.

They were designed for Wakanda combat, and they do things differently.

With all of their advanced technology, they typically use large energy shields for general defense.

The smaller arm shields that they give to Captain America are designed more for offense than defense.

They are still made from vibranium, so they do offer excellent defense.

But, they’re mostly designed for utility, and the smaller size is a part of that.

#3 Shape

Further emphasizing the importance of offense is the shape of the shields.

Captain America’s traditional shield is a perfect disc.

That makes it easy to use for blocking attacks and weapons.

The shields he wears in Infinity War are oblong, shaped almost like large, flat footballs.

More importantly, they have sharp points.

In the hands of someone like Captain America, a sharp object can already be an effective weapon, but these are vibranium.

That means that they are nigh unbreakable.

Those points at the end of each shield are incredibly effective weapons.

Combine them with Captain America’s superhuman abilities, and they can do a lot of work.

And, that’s exactly what we see in Infinity War.

In the major battle at the end of the movie, Captain America uses the shields very effectively to take down large numbers of enemies.

#4 Combat Effectiveness

Ultimately, for the type of combat that we see at the end of the movie, the shields provided by Wakanda are more effective than Captain America’s traditional shield would have been.

Captain America likes to throw his shield and enemies and bounce them around.

That is usually effective, but superhuman characters are often able to catch the shield.

While the foot soldiers in the final battle probably would not have caught the shield, Thanos’s children were very likely capable of doing so.

Instead of that fighting style, Captain America has two smaller shields that are securely strapped to his arms.

He doesn’t have to think carefully to manage them.

They simply add huge potential to any punching motion he wants to make.

They can still absorb hits, but because of their size, shape, and function, he can move faster and engage a larger number of enemies.

Really, they’re just about ideal for how he prefers to fight when engaging an entire army of powerful aliens.

#5 Practicality

But, if none of the answers above satisfy you, then here’s the final answer. 

Conceivably, Wakanda had sufficient technology to forge Captain America a new shield.

Maybe for any of the reasons previously mentioned, they wouldn’t color it with the American flag, but it could still be a vibranium shield of the size and weight that he normally uses.

You might even argue that he’s better off with the shield he favors since he’s already so proficient with it.

Even in the face of all of that, there’s an easy reason why this didn’t happen. 

It was impractical.

Sure, Wakanda could have made a special shield for Captain America, but there were three reasons why that wasn’t necessary or practical.

First, they already had plenty of shields that were already made.

It was much easier and faster to grab a pair of them for Captain America when he needed him, and that’s exactly what happened.

Second, Captain America didn’t need a shield for the vast majority of time that he spent in Wakanda.

Wakanda is a very safe place, and they offered him refuge while he was a fugitive.

There was no fighting to do, so it was fine that he didn’t have a shield.

But, eventually, Thanos’s army did come to Wakanda, and then Captain America did have use for a shield.

This brings us to the third reason.

By the time he needed the shield, it would have been a waste of resources to try to make one especially for him.

Things were moving quickly and urgently, so sending an expert like Suri to make him a shield was something they didn’t have the time or resources to spare.

It was just impractical to make a special shield when they already had excellent options available.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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