When Thanos broke Captain America‘s shield in Avengers: Endgame, it came as a shock to film audiences, but not so much to comic book fans. It is surprising to see something as strong as Captain America’s vibranium shield break, but it’s actually happened a few times in the comics.
A fair number of villains, and heroes, have shattered, quite literally, the myth of invincibility surrounding the shield. But who would do such a thing, and why? Who hates red, white, and blue so much? Here are ten characters who have broken Captain America’s shield in the comic books, ranked.
10 Molecule Man
Molecule Man is a Silver Age villain who gets in his best shot against Captain America early in the 80s. Back in Avengers #215, Molecule Man and his enormous hat come back out of their hiatus after the Silver Surfer chances across his wand.
Word to the wise: never pick up strange wands. Feeling his oats, Molecule Man does what he does best, controls molecules, and delivers a staggering blow. Not only does he shatter Captain America’s shield, but he also breaks the Surfer’s board and Mjolnir as well.
9 Living Laser
The Living Laser gets in his first and best shot against Captain America right after his debut in Avengers #34. Arthur Parks ended up becoming more of an Iron Man villain, but early on he got in his licks against Steve Rogers.
A lot of people did; while Cap’s powers were fairly well established, the exact nature of the shield wasn’t. As a result, it kept breaking in the early stories. It was only later that its vibranium-alloy composition, and near-invulnerability, were established.
8 Ultimate Valkyrie
Things were a little different in the Ultimate Universe. Alternate realities generally are (it’s most of the fun). Captain America was maybe a little bit more gung-ho than he was otherwise.
One thing that wasn’t different was Valkyrie remained a powerhouse. She proved that when she broke Captain America’s shield in a brutal fight. It wasn’t entirely her fault. Enchantress cast a spell and possessed Valkyrie, pitting her against the people she normally sided with. Valkyrie snapped out of it and Captain America got the shield fixed up.
7 The Serpent
The Serpent is another long-standing Marvel villain who finally got his moment in Fear Itself. Brother of Odin, and uncle of Thor and Loki, The Serpent is the Norse God of Fear. Another Marvel character’s familial relation, Red Skull’s daughter Sin, frees him from his prison and The Serpent starts spreading fear around the world.
When the Avengers show up to politely ask him to stop, The Serpent proves his Asgardian bona fides by breaking Captain America’s shield with his bare hands. That’s a pretty serious first impression. Thor later kills The Serpent, but of course, he comes back and tries his might against Jane Foster as Thor. It didn’t work, though.
6 King Thor
There have been many different versions of Captain America and also his shield. One of them got taken out by King Thor, at least the version from the early 2000s. Looking ahead into a then future 2020, we discover Odin has died and Thor has inherited the throne of Asgard.
Naturally, all the power goes a little bit to his head and the Avengers step in to stop their friend and ally from bringing Asgardian rule to Earth. It doesn’t go well for anybody, and King Thor breaks Captain America’s shield after he gets hit in the face with it.
5 Plain Old, Regular Thor
This is more of a big dent. In 2003, the country of Slokovia outlawed the Church of Thor and killed many of its followers. Understandably upset, Thor makes a visit to the country and starts swinging around his hammer.
The Avengers show up to try and reason with him, but there’s little reasoning with an angry god. Thor hands the Avengers their butts and in the course of battling Captain America, pounds a massive dent into the shield with his trusted hammer, Mjolnir.
Ultron is a long-standing Avengers villain, born of their own founding member, Hank Pym, who has taken his pound of flesh from the team time and again. In the comic book version of Age of Ultron, the maniacal android has taken over the earth (basically a lot of alternate realities are where someone has taken over the world) and his robot armies sweep the globe in search of the Avengers.
We don’t know who destroyed Cap’s shield in this reality, only that it was broken. One can fill in the blanks, though.
3 Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom is always looking for an angle. He finds a pretty cosmic one in the 80s mega-crossover Secret Wars when he and all the other Marvel heroes and villains are transported to Battleworld by the mysterious entity known as the Beyonder.
Doom manages to steal the Beyonder’s cosmic power and with one massive blast of energy blows away the assembled heroes trying to stop him. In the rubble, we see the remains of Captain America’s broken shield. Things got better once the Beyonder got his power back.
Superman could break the shield if he really wanted to (certainly, Wonder Woman could) so it makes sense that Superman homage Hyperion would be able to. This incident also occurs in an alternate reality, this one visited by the dimension-hopping crew from Exiles.
In this reality, Hyperion declared himself ruler of earth (never a good sign) and then killed all the superheroes who tried to stop him. When Captain America tried to, the shield ended up in pieces and so did he.
The story starts where the film Infinity War ends. Thanos snaps his fingers and erases half of all life in the universe. The surviving superheroes show up to beat some justice into him, but with the gauntlet, Thanos is a god. He makes quick work of them, and despite Cap’s resolve, bests him and destroys the shield.
In spite of the incredible strength of Captain America's shield, some have been able to break it. Here are the 10 strongest to do so, ranked.