Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.
Reader Randy H. wrote in to ask if there was some actual comic book reason for why Captain America’s shield famously ricochets back to him after Captain America throws his mighty shield?
Read on for the answer!
The interesting thing is that during the Golden Age, Captain America didn’t really throw his shield. It was just a nice shield that he used as, you know, a shield.
Or to hit people with.
He DID throw it in a short story written by Stan Lee, thus making Lee the inventor of Captain America throwing his shield.
When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought Captain America back, they promptly had Cap throwing the shield as soon as he came out of suspended animation in Avengers #4…
(Note that Kirby hadn’t drawn Cap in almost two decades before his Silver Age return!)
And Lee and Kirby likely felt that they had to explain this new deal with Cap’s shield, as logically, a shield should not be able to be throw and ricochet back to Captain America.
And so if you asked Stan Lee in the early to mid-60s how something was able to do something seemingly fantastical, he had an easy answer for you. Clearly, it was the work of transistors!!
So in Avengers #6 (by Lee, Kirby and Chic Stone)…
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…
Nicely written out!
But wait, NOW how do you explain how the shield returns to Cap?
Go to the next page for the best answer that you’re ever going to get…
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