Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why Captain America's Shield?


We've already covered the man himself here at Thought Balloons, but the fact remains that Captain America's shield is an integral part of who he is.

Superheroes are iconic.  And I don't know if there's any more recognizable part of comic book lore than Cap's trusty vibranium buckler.  Some might argue that Batman's batarangs could fit the bill, but while those little guys are easily identifiable, they aren't nearly as unique or central to the Dark Knight as the shield is to America's premier Super Soldier.  That thing has been on Cap's arm or back pretty much since he first burst onto the comic book scene, and it certainly won't be leaving any time soon.

Every character who has filled-in for Steve Rogers has used the shield.  It's as much a part of who Captain America is as the man who wields it.

Every single adventure that he's gone on, the shield has been along for the ride.  I imagine that that would add up to a good number of untold stories.

I think it's time we tell some of them.

I'd also like to point out that I'm pretty sure that there aren't any other comic book accessories currently hanging on Stephen Colbert's wall, which I think we all know counts for a lot.

And that's The Word.

8 comments:

  1. Captain America's Shield in... The Right Tool For The Job

    Layout up to the artist, and it would be nice if the art in the flashback panels fit the time periods mentioned.

    Panel 1: Hank McCoy, The Beast, here seen in the more feline form introduced in New X-Men, is examining the shield. He is less than happy, to say the least.

    McCoy: MY GOD, MAN! THE WAY YOU'VE TREATED THIS IS SIMPLY MONSTROUS!

    Panel 2: Steve Rogers looking nervous, with a thought balloon taking up most of the panel. Within the thought balloon is a flashback in the period before Tales of Suspense was renamed Captain America, wherein Cap is whacking the Red Skull on top of his head with his shield, holding the shield in both hands, preferably swinging it straight up and down.

    Caption(McCoy): THERE ARE DENTS...

    Panel 3: The flashbacks now fill the panel. Steve is fixing a jeep in WWII, using the shield as a makeshift screwdriver

    SFX: SQUEEKY-SQUEEKY

    Caption(McCoy): ...THERE'S SOME SEVERE SCORING ALONG THE EDGES...

    Panel 4: Flashback is now in the mid-Eighties. Captain America, sitting on the couch, good posture(his mother did not raise him in a barn), watching TV. He has the shield propped up as a sort of tray, on which he has a plate of steak and mashed potatoes, which he has finished. He is chuckling happily.

    TV: YOU EVER NOTICE THE OUTLANDISH COSTUMES ON THESE SUPER-HERO TYPES?

    Rogers: AH, ANDY ROONEY, FUNNY AS ALWAYS.

    Caption(McCoy):AND WHAT'S THIS? FOOD STAINS? AND A PARTICULARLY LOW GRADE OF STEAK SAUCE, TO BOOT.

    Panel 5: Out of flashback. Steve is somewhat hurt, and McCoy is focusing on the shield.

    Rogers: WELL, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE QUITE SO RUDE ABOUT THAT!

    McCoy:I'M STILL WAITING ON AN EXPLANATION HERE.

    Panel 6: Focus on Steve. He is sheepish, but still exudes confidence.

    Rogers: WELL, WHAT CAN I SAY?
    Rogers: I USED THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB.

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    Replies
    1. I dug the panel descriptions on this page and the way you took all the glamour and mystery out of the shield. This was loads of fun. Good stuff.

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  2. "What If... There Had Been More Vibranium During WW2?"

    Double-page spread of a WW2 battlefield. As authentic as possible; dirty, grim, intense. A US platoon charges a Nazi one, the Americans the clear victors.

    Every one of the US soldiers carries a shield, all different shapes and sizes (none painted, instead a dull grey). The Nazi bullets hit them and fall to the ground. Some soldiers are "slinging" their shields. Tanks (also make of vibranium) are in the background.

    In the middle of this is Captain America, still with his trademark shield. He is the only one not actively fighting (although he should still look dynamic), instead he looks on with pride.

    NO TEXT.

    END OF PAGE.

    Not sure if double-page spreads are in the rules (it's still technically one page OF SCRIPT) but I couldn't resist. The idea comes from a throwaway line in the Captain America film about the shields not being standard issue. Obviously, the idea is ripe for exploration, in an alternate history kinda way.

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    Replies
    1. This is just really fun mate. A nice visual page. Also ill let you off the double page splash, mainly because my Loki was one. haha

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. (Darn, forgot that deleting a post leaves behind a ghost of it)

    If we want to get technical, yeah, maybe you're breaking the one-page rule, but I think that considering it's a giant splash page that is, at it's core, just one page that works best with a little extra room, I personally don't think you're doing anything wrong or the like.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BRAINIAC 5 and COSMIC BOY in "The Great Darkness Returns"

    For 5 and a half issues the LEGION OF SUPERHEROES have been fighting wave after wave of PARADAEMON incursions, until now, with the latest wave on Earth.

    While the LEGION is trying to defend their tower in Metropolis of the 30th century, BRAINIAC 5 has finally finished his Dimensional Jumpgate. Cautious about sending someone through, he searches out for a weapons signature, and gets COSMIC BOY to try to pull it out.

    Panel 1: BRAINY is at his workstation, wires attatched to the 3 nodes on his forehead. The screen reads "154". COS stands at the Jumpgate, which looks thrown together last minute. Cables are strewn from every part of the room, connecting to it. The gate itself is an oval ring with chip panels and circuitry covering it. The flux energy in the ring looks almost fluid.

    BRAINY: We are out of time. I need you to focus your pull into the flux.

    Panel 2: COS focuses a tight stream of magnetic energy into the flux of the jumpgate, which is illuminating his face. Behind him, BRAINY is adjusting his dials, the screen says "308".

    COS: Kinda like fishing back on Braal.

    BRAINY: Concentrate, 01101 it!

    Panel 3: COS, in profile, hands forward, face straining, trying to pull something from inside the flux with his powers.

    COS: Hey! Brainy! I think I got something!

    Panel 4: Same as Panel 3, except COS's face is confused, as he draws out CAPTAIN AMERICA'S SHIELD.

    COS: ?

    Panel 5: Same as above, but COS has gone from confused to surprised, as the head and arms of VANCE ASTRO, MAJOR VICTORY of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, poke out of the flux, his hands grabbing the shield. He's trying to be polite.

    COS: !

    VANCE: Hi. Look, we're in the middle of something over here on our side. Do you mind if I take this back? Thanks!

    Panel 6: Same as Panel 5, but Vance and the shield disappear back into the flux, which resembles a drop hitting a puddle, but tipped sideways.

    COS: !

    SoundFX: YOInk!

    Panel 7: BRAINY at his computer, frustrated, pulling cables. The computer screen reads "616". Behnd him we see COS, still pumping magnetic energy into the flux, calling out over his shoulder. Another monitor shows Legionaires getting overrun by Paradaemons.

    COS: ...um...I, uh, lost it. Try again!

    BRAINY: (small lettering, mumbling to himself) Try again, he says...our fearless leader's a marvel, he is...

    ...To Be Cont'd...

    ReplyDelete
  5. DC-MARVEL CROSSOVER OUTTAKES!

    30th Century Metropolis is under attack! While the Legion of Superheroes is defending the city, BRAINIAC 5 and COSMIC BOY try a last-ditch attempt to find a weapon to turn the tide of battle!

    Setting: BRAINY's lab, cables and circuitry everywhere. Two focal points - Brainy at his computer console, and Cos standing before an open, and a hastily-cobbled-together Dimensional Jumpgate (the energy flux should look like illuminated water).

    Panel 1 - Brainy is jacking cables into the nodes on his forehead. Behind him is Cos, standing at the ready in front of the Jumpgate. A computer monitor reads "154"

    BRAINY: Weapon signatures are locked. Focus a tight magnetic wave into the flux...NOW!

    Panel 2 - Cos fires a slender leash of magnetic energy into the flux, his face showing his concentration. Behind him, Brainy is frantically making adjustments. Computer monitor now reading "308".

    COS: Just like fishing on Braal...

    BRAINY: Oh, for 01101's sake, everything reminds you of Braal. Focus!

    Panel 3 - Cos, seen from profile, hands forward, thrusting his powers into the flux. He calls over his shoulder.

    COS: Hey, Brainy, I think I caught something...

    Panel 4 - same as Panel 3, except he looks confused as he has pulled CAPTAIN AMERICA'S SHIELD from the Jumpgate flux.

    COS: ?

    Panel 5 - Same as Panel 4, except Cos is surprised when VANCE ASTRO (Major Victory of the original Guardians of the Galaxy) pops his head and arms out of the flux, grabbing the shield, trying to be polite.

    COS: !

    VANCE: Hi. Listen, we've got a thing going on the other side, do you mind if I take this back? Thanks.

    Panel 6 - Same as Panel 4, except the shield is gone, the flux rippling back leaving a couple of energy drops behind.

    COS: *

    Panel 7 - Brainy is trying to put out a fire at his workstation. His computer screen now reads "616". Behind him Cos is still firing into the flux, calling over his shoulder apologetically.

    COS: ...um, I, uh...I think I lost the shield...

    BRAINY: (small lettering) a shield...marvelous.

    BRAINY: (normal lettering) Is it to hard for you to find a Shooter?!?

    (rimshot)

    ReplyDelete

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