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How Captain America’s Shield Is More Powerful In Phase 4

By Mabel Judith Andrady
February 8,2022

When it comes to the MCU’s Phase 4, Captain America’s shield is more essential and potent than it has ever been. This is all thanks to the identity and parochial ideological conflicts illustrated in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Here, Sam Wilson is seen struggling with the legacy of the shield and the nation that it is supposed to represent. Captain America, Steve Rogers, assumed his role in the 1940s amid World War II; Sam must deal with a much more contemporary crisis as his legacy unfolds. Steve first became Captain America during World War II; now, people are divided in more complex and ambiguous ways after the Blip from Avengers: Endgame. Furthermore, neither Steve nor Bucky comprehended that it would imply for Sam to take on the role of Captain America as a Black person in a country with a long history of racial injustice.

Sam Wilson In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson as Captain America

Sam Wilson as Captain America

Sam’s journey to accept Captain America’s shield, as well as its many ambiguities can be seen in this Disney+ show. When it comes to examining and debating the shield’s ideological significance, this series is the first to do so. A homage to Steve Rogers’ legacy, the shield is given to the Smithsonian in episode 1, “New World Order.” Sam is unable to separate the shield from his friend’s memory. John Walker, a white man, is given the Captain America title and shield by the U.S. government, and he brutally bludgeons a man to death.

It becomes clear that Captain America’s symbolism extends beyond Steve and that the earth sorely needs a leader like Sam. This ultimately convinced him to accept the role he had previously resisted. He realizes that the mythology Steve created can be used to help people and that its impact is too great to enable it to be squandered or mishandled. He sets out to do this. While the shield has been passed down through the generations, it has also signified a shift in the meaning of the term “Captain America” from an individual into one that can be passed on to future generations.

Captain America’s Shield Is Unlike Before

Captain America

Chris Evans as Captain America in Avengers: Endgame

The Captain America shield has a long and complicated history, as the show makes clear. Isaiah Bradley sees the flag as a symbol of a country that utterly deceives him. Meanwhile, Sam sees it as a reminder of his old friend. For someone like MCU’s Bucky Barnes, the shield represents “the closest thing I’ve got left to a family”. There are very few symbols, either in the MCU or in the real world, that carry that weight for many. This further creates the symbol of the shield extraordinarily powerful. Having lost Steve, it has taken on a greater significance because of the strength it draws from his memory.

Captain America’s shield is made of Vibranium, a rare and powerful content that refuses to leave Wakanda. This makes the shield extremely strong in terms of physical power. When it comes to the shield, Vibranium has a long and rich cultural history.

In as much as it was about Sam, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it was about Captain America’s shield. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of the first MCU Phase 4 projects to be released, and it set the tone for what would come next for Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Phase 5. By contrast, Phase 4 spent six episodes showing how the shield’s power is stronger than ever. Finally, this only adds to the intrigue of what comes next.

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