There is a lot to digest from the first teaser trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. Between Thanos assembling the Infinity gauntlet to a horde of his minions attempting to overthrow the nation of Wakanda, Earth's Mightiest Heroes have their hands full. During our multiple viewings of the trailer, one of the final scenes in Wakanda caught our eye, and it has to do with Captain America's choice of weapon for combat. Instead of his typical circular shield, we believe T'Challa arms Cap with the version of his shield used in Captain America: Steve Rogers.
Around the 1:18 mark, King T'Challa begins to address his loyal soldiers: "Evacuate the city. Engage all defenses. And get this man a shield," pointing off screen to who we can assume is Steve Rogers. The camera then cuts to Rogers stepping out of the shadows to reveal a slightly different look than how he appeared in Captain America: Civil War. Gone is the clean-shaven sentinel of liberty, replaced with a more rugged look and a full beard.
Also gone is Cap's original shield, which he left with Tony Stark after their brutal battle in Civil War. Of course, the shield doesn't make the man, and Captain America is more than capable of fighting for justice without it. A popular theory is that Steve will adopt the moniker of Nomad, a persona he went by in the comics (who happened to be shield-less), for Infinity War. This may prove to be true, but with an "all hands on deck" type of situation with an invading alien army, any type of weapon is greatly appreciated.
Near the end of the trailer, we see two charging forces headed straight towards one another: Thanos' evil crew of aliens, and Wakandan soldiers joined by Cap and flanked by the Winter Soldier, Black Widow (sporting blonde hair instead of her usual red color), Hulk, Okoye of the Dora Milaje (debuting in next year's Black Panther) and Black Panther himself, with air support provided by War Machine (who has possibly recovered from his injuries in Civil War) and Falcon.
What's easily missed in the impressive moment is what's on Cap's wrists. He appears to have a gauntlet of some kind on each forearm, shaped like a small triangle. If T'Challa called for someone to get Cap a shield, why doesn't he have it here? Well, what if he does, and it's the two wrist gauntlets. If you pair them together, they form a modified shield, just like the one he recently used in Captain America: Steve Rogers.
Once Steve Rogers regained his super-soldier serum after the events of the 2016 story arc "Avengers: Standoff!," he decided to let his replacement, Sam Wilson, keep the original circular shield while he adopted a new shield. One upside of this new shield was that Steve could separate it into two smaller pieces, which he used in combat to deflect attacks and also propel at opponents.
Another piece of evidence that points to it being the modified shield from the comics is that the gauntlets are painted black, presumably to match the Black Panther's color scheme. Plus, if anyone could reproduce another Vibranium shield, it's the nation that holds the rare metal.
Updating Captain America's look and shield would follow the pattern of slightly modifying a character's visual appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We've seen it before in the many different armors Iron Man has suited up with, Spider-Man going from his homemade suit to the one worn in Civil War and now the Iron Spider armor first introduced in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and updates to Black Panther's armor first seen in his second movie trailer.
Though we don't get to see it in action, we're pretty sure we did catch a glimpse of it, and there's no doubt we'll get some pretty cool visuals of Captain America using his new shield, whatever form it takes, in Avengers: Infinity War.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film opens May 4, 2018.