1941: FDR and Captain America’s Shield

Stern Byrne - Captain America vol 1 no 255 (March 1981) (1)  Stern Byrne - Captain America vol 1 no 255 (March 1981) (1)

Stern Byrne - Captain America vol 1 no 255 (March 1981) (3)

Stern Byrne - Captain America vol 1 no 255 (March 1981) (4)

Captain America recieving his trademark circular shield from FDR in June, 1941. From Captain America #255 (March, 1981) (Roger Stern, writer; John Byrne, artist).

Pep Comics No 1 (Jan 1940) - The ShieldStern Byrne - Captain America vol 1 no 255 (March 1981) (2)The shield’s history developed slowly. Originally, in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), Cap carried a heraldic-style shield made of steel. By issue #2, it had been replacedwithout explanationwith the now-familiar circular design. In reality, the change had come about as a result of copyright issues; another comic book company had complained that Cap and his shield were a rip-off of a character called simply The Shield.

In 1981, it was revealed that the circular shield had been presented to Captain America by FDR in the Oval Office. Its creator was a metallurgist named Myron MacLain. While the original shield had simply been made of steel, MacLain’s was composed of an alloy of steel and the near-indestructable metal vibranium.

In a 2001 story, King T’Chaka of Wakanda meets Captain America in early 1941 and gives him the sample of vibranium from which the shield is made. A 2010 storyline presents a different version: Captain America and Nick Fury meet T’Chaka and his father during World War II, andafter the Red Skull crushes Cap’s triangular shield in a battleT’Chaka loans Cap a circular vibranium shield that inspires Cap to replace the destroyed shield permanently with a circular one.

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