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The Avengers: Endgame Director Joe Russo Finally Explains How Thanos Broke Captain America's Shield

One of the biggest lingering MCU questions has been answered.
IMAGE MARVEL STUDIOS
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Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's often left to the fans to argue about the hierarchy of strength when it comes to the many superheroes and their superpowers and weapons. Fans often discuss who would win in a fight: The Hulk or Captain Marvel? Or, if not characters, what is the most powerful weapon? Is it Captain America's shield or Thor's hammer? But, going into this year's Avengers: Endgame, the big question was: Who was strong enough to defeat Thanos, the most powerful being in the universe?

In the final climactic battle between the Avengers and Thanos, something happened that fans didn't entirely expect. Cap picks up Mjölnir and his shield and fights Thanos one-on-one. But, during their battle, Thanos strikes Cap's shield and breaks it in half. It's something we've never seen in the MCU—unheard of. How was Thanos's sword able to cut through Cap's Vibranium shield, the strongest material in the universe? Previously, we've seen the shield be able to withstand attacks from Iron Man's beams and Mjölnir. As the Marvel wiki explains:

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Made from vibranium, it is able to absorb and reflect kinetic energy, enabling it to withstand impacts that would break a shield made of any other material. The shield's center is also highly deflective, able to redirect flying projectiles- as demonstrated when Rogers was able to ricochet a concentrated fire of high caliber bullets from a minigun back at his enemies- and also reflect the impact of Mjølnir to cause a massive shock wave. It was also discovered to be incredibly effective at deflecting or diffusing attacks from energy-based firearms such as those developed by HYDRA, Iron Man's repulsor beams, or the guns used by the Chitauri. The vibranium shield also demonstrated that it can be used to cushion falls from great heights. Made from vibranium, it is able to absorb and reflect kinetic energy, enabling it to withstand impacts that would break a shield made of any other material. The shield's center is also highly deflective, able to redirect flying projectiles- as demonstrated when Rogers was able to ricochet a concentrated fire of high caliber bullets from a minigun back at his enemies- and also reflect the impact of Mjølnir to cause a massive shock wave. It was also discovered to be incredibly effective at deflecting or diffusing attacks from energy-based firearms such as those developed by HYDRA, Iron Man's repulsor beams, or the guns used by the Chitauri. The vibranium shield also demonstrated that it can be used to cushion falls from great heights.

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So, since the film's release, fans have been trying to figure out how Thanos's sword was able to break Cap's shield. And, in a new interview with Comicbook.com, Endgame director Joe Russo explained how this was able to happen:

Clearly Thanos is a thousand-year-old character who has fought everyone in the universe and is the greatest: He's the Genghis Khan of the universe, so he would have the greatest weapon. He knows of Eitri, he's been to Eitri to have his glove created. Did he have them create his blade as well? Potentially. But it's interesting that it could destroy the shield.

Who he's referring to here is Peter Dinklage's character, the king of the Dwarves on Nidavellir. They're the greatest craftsmen in the universe, the ones who actually created Mjølnir. So, this explanation makes sense, that if anyone could make something stronger than Captain America's shield it would be Eitri.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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