How does it bounce off walls?

#1 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

My friend asked me this question, and I couldn't give him a reasonable explanation:

"If Captain America's shield is made of Vibranium, and Vibranium absorbs vibrations, how can Cap's shield bounce off walls? If he threw it against a wall, it would just fall down since the Vibranium would catch the impact."

So... any thoughts? Cause I'm drawing a blank, lol.

#2 Posted by sesquipedalophobe (4764 posts) - - Show Bio

Effing magic.

#3 Posted by Deranged Midget (17723 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic book science prevails bro, it's obvious.

Moderator
#4 Posted by celestialheroin (349 posts) - - Show Bio

The only real explanation i could think of would be that the outer rim,like where the shield actually hits to bounce off is lined or covered with something else,allowing the outsides to create the bounce but still keeping the middle to protect.Like i said,kind of a stretch,but besides that id have no idea

#5 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

If I were to create a comic book science-y theory, I'd say that the impact on the wall doesn't make it lose its kinetic energy (significantly. )

#6 Posted by Sumnerus (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024:I remember reading somewhere that the outer edges of the shield arent Vibranium, the unknown alloy that's mixed in with it reflects the stored kinetic energy causes by impact, hence the "bounce"..

or maybe he just wishes reeaally hard.. :)

#7 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

See, I tried giving a BS explanation by telling him that:

"Since the shield is made from a Vibrainium/Steel alloy, it takes on new properties altogether," but that's me just making something up on the fly. I just wanna know if there's an actual reason, lol.

#8 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: Don't know if its actually been explained.

#9 Posted by Deranged Midget (17723 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: I don't think there's legit logical reason as to why the shield doesn't just drop when it hits another object. It just works.

Moderator
#10 Posted by Sumnerus (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: You pretty much nailed it. I'm a big Cap fan and i havent heard another explanation so far

#11 Posted by pingclang (290 posts) - - Show Bio

If you go by the old days explanation he was just that good at calculating where and how to throw it to send it on a return trajectory. Also, it is balanced perfectly to allow for the tosses he tends to be known for. It's steadily gotten more insane what he does with the tosses but I still stick with him being that good.

#12 Posted by Sumnerus (26 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't Thor/Hulk/some big bugger once throw the shield in battle? i wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of that... and i bet THAT didnt bounce :)

#13 Posted by Illuminatus (9510 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sumnerus said:

Didn't Thor/Hulk/some big bugger once throw the shield in battle? i wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of that... and i bet THAT didnt bounce :)

I know Ultimate Hulk threw it at some guy once and it cut his hands clean off.

#14 Posted by Sumnerus (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@Illuminatus:Sounds familiar.. i have an image in my head of the shield slicing clean through a Kree battleship or something.

might have been Ron Lim artwork..

this ringing any one elses's bells guys?

#15 Posted by Illuminatus (9510 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sumnerus: Kree battleship? O_o

#16 Posted by Lvenger (20782 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic book science. An attempt of scientifically answering that question was something that I was thinking about a while back and upon searching for some answers came across the question being asked in a physics forum. Some of the suggestions being made were that Cap's shield might be capable of retaining its kinetic energy upon collision with a wall as the contact the shield makes are usually two different masses so the shield retains almost all of its initial energy. Here's the link I found it at: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=eff4ad35533a143f9054c65effcd673d&t=382610

#17 Posted by Sumnerus (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@Illuminatus: Yeah, it was hovering a hundred feet up..i bloody know i've read this somewhere..grr!

#18 Posted by The Man of Yesteryear (5502 posts) - - Show Bio

If Vibranium absorbs kinetic energy why would the energy dissipate into the wall, wouldn't the shield retain it? In elastic collisions momentum and kinetic energy are both conserved.

#19 Posted by ExtraLarge (243 posts) - - Show Bio

When Cap was first thawed out, Iron Man gave him magnets or some such thing in his gloves that allowed him to control his shield when he threw it. I don't think thats been mentioned again in over 40 years, but that was the original answer. Maybe he got the magnets implanted into his hands and he didn't tell anybody because he wants the world to think he's just an awesome shield thrower. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

#20 Edited by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

My friend asked me this question, and I couldn't give him a reasonable explanation:

"If Captain America's shield is made of Vibranium, and Vibranium absorbs vibrations, how can Cap's shield bounce off walls? If he threw it against a wall, it would just fall down since the Vibranium would catch the impact."

So... any thoughts? Cause I'm drawing a blank, lol.

I have my own personal fanon for this: Vibranium doesn't just negate kinetic energy, it absorbs it. Meaning there's a whole bunch of stored energy within the shield from blocking bullets, god-like blows from the likes of Thor and Hulk, and the like. And so, when swung or thrown with sufficient force, any impact along the rim of the shield (or anywhere on it but usually the rim as it's easier to throw it that way) releases its stored energy, increasing the force of the blow or propelling the shield across a room.

Of course, none of that is official, I just made it up, but it helps me sleep at night.

#21 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg said:

@Gambit1024 said:

My friend asked me this question, and I couldn't give him a reasonable explanation:

"If Captain America's shield is made of Vibranium, and Vibranium absorbs vibrations, how can Cap's shield bounce off walls? If he threw it against a wall, it would just fall down since the Vibranium would catch the impact."

So... any thoughts? Cause I'm drawing a blank, lol.

I have my own personal fanon for this: Vibranium doesn't just negate kinetic energy, it absorbs it. Meaning there's a whole bunch of stored energy within the shield from blocking bullets, god-like blows from the likes of Thor and Hulk, and the like. And so, when swung or thrown with sufficient force, any impact along the rim (or anywhere on it but usually the rim as it's easier to throw it that way) of the shield releases it's stored energy, increasing the force of the blow or propelling the shield across a room.

Of course, none of that is official, I just made it up, but it helps me sleep at night.

I actually really like this theory, lol. So by this logic, if Thor were to smash Cap's shield before he threw it, it'd be "extra bouncy?"

#22 Posted by War Killer (20343 posts) - - Show Bio
@fodigg said:

@Gambit1024 said:

My friend asked me this question, and I couldn't give him a reasonable explanation:

"If Captain America's shield is made of Vibranium, and Vibranium absorbs vibrations, how can Cap's shield bounce off walls? If he threw it against a wall, it would just fall down since the Vibranium would catch the impact."

So... any thoughts? Cause I'm drawing a blank, lol.

I have my own personal fanon for this: Vibranium doesn't just negate kinetic energy, it absorbs it. Meaning there's a whole bunch of stored energy within the shield from blocking bullets, god-like blows from the likes of Thor and Hulk, and the like. And so, when swung or thrown with sufficient force, any impact along the rim (or anywhere on it but usually the rim as it's easier to throw it that way) of the shield releases it's stored energy, increasing the force of the blow or propelling the shield across a room.

Of course, none of that is official, I just made it up, but it helps me sleep at night.

I like this theory and actually support it. Good explanation to me.
#23 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

@fodigg said:

@Gambit1024 said:

My friend asked me this question, and I couldn't give him a reasonable explanation:

"If Captain America's shield is made of Vibranium, and Vibranium absorbs vibrations, how can Cap's shield bounce off walls? If he threw it against a wall, it would just fall down since the Vibranium would catch the impact."

So... any thoughts? Cause I'm drawing a blank, lol.

I have my own personal fanon for this: Vibranium doesn't just negate kinetic energy, it absorbs it. Meaning there's a whole bunch of stored energy within the shield from blocking bullets, god-like blows from the likes of Thor and Hulk, and the like. And so, when swung or thrown with sufficient force, any impact along the rim (or anywhere on it but usually the rim as it's easier to throw it that way) of the shield releases it's stored energy, increasing the force of the blow or propelling the shield across a room.

Of course, none of that is official, I just made it up, but it helps me sleep at night.

I actually really like this theory, lol. So by this logic, if Thor were to smash Cap's shield before he threw it, it'd be "extra bouncy?"

Sure, why not? Although if you go with that route, that would actually make his shield a pretty powerful offensive weapon too as if he were fighting hulk, hulk would be constantly making Cap's blows more powerful every time he hit the shield. Which would make the hulk angrier. Which would make him hit the shield harder.

I guess to avoid the eternal feedback loop it'd be more in keeping with the comics to just say the energy output is relatively constant, or at least, dependent on the force of the swing/throw, and not on how much "charge" it has.

#24 Posted by hoangnguyen12796 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I might be wrong but I think Cap's Shield ability to absorb VIBRATION make it bounce even better. Since the Shield absorbs vibration, on hitting the wall (or just anything), if it is hard enough it will bounce back immediately and bounce stronger there is no compression time (action and reaction force). :v

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.