Captain America’s shield is a lot like Mjolnir, only the worthy can carry it. From Sam Wilson in Nick Spencer’s comic Captain America: Sam Wilson, to the hint that Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’s daughter Danielle will eventually carry the shield as Captain America in the upcoming U.S. Avengers comic book. To the brief most recent stint of Misty Knight taking over one of Sam’s cases in Captain America: Sam Wilson (see image above.) The Captain America legend is represented by the shield. Having characters carry it embodies all that Captain America should be, the underrepresented in America becoming it’s biggest defenders just like America is the self-appointed defender of the under-represented.
The comics have provided an incredible framework for the adaptations in the MCU. One of the things I’d like to see happen is the passing on of Captain America’s shield, and so far the MCU has delivered.
In the MCU so far the only people who have carried the shield are Steve (obviously), Howard Stark (by proxy as it’s designer) Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff in Agent of Ultron, Peggy Carter (In a dream sequence.) and most obviously Spider-Man. That got me thinking. Who else deserves to handle this iconic piece of machinery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it progresses? As much as the world loves Chris Evans he can’t carry it forever. The wealth and depth of how many people have carried the shield is exciting. Who else should carry the shield into the new year and into the cinematic universe?
When I saw Misty Knight holding Captain America’s shield on the cover of Sam Wilson: Captain America issue #5, I felt pride, interest, and excitement. That image (and her story) was inspiring. It inspired this post and inspired me to look at the nature of such an iconic piece of Marvel History.
Seeing the picture of Misty with the shield was what inspired this entire article. There have been so many characters in the MCU and the comics universe who have been taken to entirely new exciting places. Misty carrying the shield (and her relationship with Sam Wilson) is a highlight of Spencer’s books and a much needed piece of joy during these difficult times. Particularly her story arc during this book (she breaks up a LMD sex ring, no further details needed) is awesome. Since Danielle Cage is a long way off and Black Women have taken up multiple mantles of leadership in communities it seems only fair they get the status and recognition they deserve.
Picture This – Castle is doing his thing, destroying the bad guys and punishing those who deserve it. Steve, who has never in any current universe sees eye to eye with Frank Castle is wounded in the battle against Thanos. Frank, in a moment of compassion for the hero picks up the shield, shoots two people and hands Steve the shield back. There’s a moment where the camera focuses on him, the fallen patriot working with other patriots. Even better, he uses the shield to defend Cap before dragging him back to a safe space. The shield is a symbol of patriotism, and Frank Castle carrying it would mean he’d achieved the heroic recognition that he’s never had in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Agent Daisy Johnson
In some ways Daisy Johnson is the ultimate redemption story. She went from having no name save one she gave herself to finding a name, a place, and a family within SHIELD. She’s dedicated her life to the organization which has been both best friend and potential danger to her. She’s embraced all of the challenges, demonstrating a true avenger’s spirit. While her father figure, Phil Coulson, got his own shield during the third season of Agents of SHIELD, Daisy has yet to get a weapon. While it can be argued she’s a weapon in and of herself, she’s a weapon used for defense, something that Coulson respects. Phil is a father figure and a mentor, he’s also a huge Captain America fan. Shield is linked to Captain America, both in terms of weaponry and history, ideals and Passing her Captain America’s Shield, in the course of a battle or a fight or even just in discussion would be a way of passing on a legacy she’s earned, not just with an organization or by asking her to fight – but confirming her as a member of the shield family, as a part of shield’s legacy.
Yo-Yo has put guns back in people’s hands, fought criminals, and rescued her cast mates. She’s spunky and just plain fun and she’s rapidly becoming a popular fan favorite. Elena is also another one of those people whose presence just makes everything better. She’s one of the marginalized people that Cap should protect and to have her carry the shield is indescribably cool. It’s a great way to introduce the character to the MCU. While Daisy screams SHIELD, and will most likely be standing with Coulson imagine the jokes, one liners, and quips that could be brought in with Yo-Yo dropping Cap’s shield off and bolting away into the distance to do battle. Elena is a surprise pick but one of my favorites. Inhuman carrying shield, being Latina. We derive the name America – North America from the Americas. We’re a part of the Americas. He’s not just a Captain of America – he’s a Captain of the Americas and Elena could carry that torch.
This is a personal dream that would involve a lot of work on the part of lawyers and a possible crossover, but after everything Luke Cage has been through in canon he deserves a chance to be seen as a hero not just to Harlem but to everybody. His dedication and caring to people, his desire to help others despite everything that he’s gone through he needs to be seen as a hero. So much was done with the MCU as far as making Luke a Black Hero and reinventing how things were seen I’d like to see Mike Colter hold the shield and redefine what it stands for. If anything else, it might be a nice nod to the eventual comics era kid with Jessica Jones. If Danielle doesn’t exist in this universe then giving her shield to her father would be a worthy tribute to both characters- people who went through hell to become truly extraordinary people. Danielle appears as Captain America in the new US Avengers out now on comic stands.
While we don’t know what Danielle Cage is doing in our time, or what brought her to the path of becoming Captain America. However, she wields the shield with pride in the comics universe. It’s pride that each of the characters carried into the MCU, all the more reason that other people should be allowed to share in what it represents. Even if she never makes it to the MCU what she represents must be represented, and continue.
Honorable Mentions: Robbie Reyes (come on, shield on fire? heck yes) Melinda May, Trish ‘Patsy’ Walker, Jessica Jones, The Runaways Cast, Cloak or Dagger, Medusa of the Inhumans..
There’s a TON of honorable mentions. While the storyline of Cap turning out to be HYDRA is uncomfortable on multiple levels, the idea of other people picking up Steve’s legacy besides the soldiers is a powerful one. Anyone can be Captain America and the films have gradually shown that. No one can play Steve forever, and we look forward to the next generation of leaders who will embody and protect American ideals.
Either way, the shield, and the legacy it represents continues to change hands in the Marvel Comics universe. Let’s hope it continues to represent nobility
Who’s your pic for Captain America’s successor, someone who might want to hold the SHIELD? Who would you want to see do it period? Tell us in the comments below.