Yang & Romita, Jr. Discuss the "Truth" Behind Superman's Big Change
In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today we take a look at the strange history of Captain America’s shield, from being “just” a cool metal shield to being indestructible (with a stop-off at “able to be controlled through magnets” in between)…
Here’s a crazy fact that is kind of hard to believe. The idea of Captain America having an indestructible shield was NOT something that was around during the Golden Age and even upon Captain America’s return during the Silver Age. It was certainly a strong shield, but nothing more than a strong shield.
So that was likely why in the spring of 1964, soon after Cap returned to the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee figured it would be a good idea to try to make Cap’s shield something a bit more special. His first idea was to do what Stan Lee liked to do with most things, throw some transistors into it!
Of course, as you can see later in the issue, Cap’s magnetic attachments were never going to be visible unless they felt like making them visible…
The next issue referred to the current status quo…
But that was it for the rest of the year. No mention in the Avengers or anywhere until late in 1964, when Lee and Kirby addressed the situation in Tales of Suspense #62, where Cap is taken prisoner at a prison as the prisoners intend to use the gizmos in his shield to help escape…
Okay, so fair enough. Nicely written out, Stan!
However, Lee obviously thought that he should still do SOMEthing with Cap’s shield, so in 1967’s Tales of Suspense #93, we got that idea – Cap’s shield was now retconned to be indestructible!
Obviously it could not have been the same shield that Iron Man opened up to put gizmos in, hence the retcon. When you think about it, it’s pretty much one of the best retcons of all-time, since EVERYone digs Cap’s indestructible shield, right?
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