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I was reading about Adamantium on the marvel.wikia

Proto-Adamantium
This is the original Adamantium created by Dr. MacLain. Proto-Adamantium is the official name for the metal that makes up Captain America's Shield. It has never been recreated and is the absolute most invulnerable item in all of existence.

This lead me to read about Captain America's Shield

The true shield was once slightly dented by an enraged Odinforce empowered Thor, using Mjolnir, but he later reconciled and pounded out the small dent.

Was the dent caused by Odinforce or Thor's Hammer? Is Mjolnir or Captain America's Shield "the absolute most invulnerable item in all of existence"?

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That's what happens when an unstoppable force hits an unbreakable object.. it leaves a dent –  Gortron Apr 12 '12 at 16:14
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@Gortron: exactly the line I was going to add! –  Wikis Apr 12 '12 at 19:26
    
@Gortron - Actually no, what should happen is that the unstoppable object should stop and the velocity should move into the unbreakable object; upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/… –  Richard Jul 13 at 6:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 39 down vote accepted

Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, cannot by itself destroy Captain America's shield. It cannot even dent Captain America's shield.

Mjolnir is a magical weapon, imbued with incredible physical and magical properties but none of those powers can destroy Adamantium. Thor for all of his physical might has never managed to do anything to Cap's shield until the introduction of the Odinforce to Thor's arsenal.

Despite Mjolnir's pedigree, forged of uru metal by Dwarven blacksmiths with the energy of a star, and having almost no equals in Asgard, save the Spear of Odin, Gungnir. Captain America's shield is composed of Proto Admantium (a never duplicated variant of vibranium and true adamantium) has resisted attacks from Thor's hammer (and almost anything else the Marvel Earth-616 has thrown at it) for most of the career of the two characters.

On Marvel Earth-616, Captain America's shield has been broken 6 times in its history (Marvel makes sure anytime Cap's shield has been broken by less than extraordinary means, those instances were retconned out by "replicas.") In all circumstances where the actual shield was destroyed, it was by beings whose powers exceeded mere physical strength and was coupled with extreme levels of sorcery-enhanced might, energy manipulation, or reality alteration.

Destruction of the shield

As of 2011, Wikipedia lists that the the shield has been damaged or destroyed several times within the confines of the Earth-616 continuity. On each of these occasions, the shield was subjected to a cosmically powerful force capable of reshaping matter on a massive scale. Specifically, the powers that affected the shield are:

  1. In The Avengers #215–216, the Molecule Man used his total control over matter to disintegrate the shield, along with Thor's hammer, Iron Man's armor, and the Silver Surfer's board. After he does so, he comments that the board's molecules are "weird", and while there are "odd forces interweaving" among the hammer's molecules, the shield is "weirdest of all". He later reassembles these items, with the exception of the armor, as the electronic circuits are too complicated for him to understand.
  2. During the 1984-1985 Secret Wars limited series, the shield is partially destroyed by Doctor Doom, who has stolen the power of the godlike being known as the Beyonder. Even broken, Rogers is able to wield what is left as an effective weapon, with the shield largely retaining its balance when thrown. When the Beyonder reclaims its power, the heroes are temporarily granted the ability to realize their wishes. Rogers uses this to reconstruct the shield. It later shatters into dozens of pieces, due to a sub-molecular imperfection introduced into the vibranium. Rogers has the pieces taped back together, and during a battle with the villain Klaw, Klaw's shock wave–augmented power realigns the shield's vibranium molecules and restores the shield.
  3. During the 1991 miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos, who possesses near-omnipotence via the Infinity Gauntlet, shatters the shield with a blow of his fist while in combat with Captain America. The shield is soon restored by Thanos' alleged granddaughter, Nebula, when she obtains the Gauntlet and uses it to undo the events of Thanos's temporary godhood, resulting in her erasing the death and destruction that Thanos had caused over the previous 24 hours.
  4. In Avengers Vol. 3 #63 (March 2003), the Odinforce, wielded by an enraged Thor, dents the shield. Thor later repairs it.
  5. In "Thor" Vol. 2 #73 (January 2004), the Odinforce, again wielded by an enraged Thor, destroyed the shield, killing Steve Rogers with it. This timeline was later erased in "Thor" Vol. 2 #79.
  6. During the 2011 miniseries Fear Itself, the Serpent, the Asgardian god of fear and brother to Odin, breaks it in half with his bare hands. After the battle, the shield is repaired by Asgardian dwarves with added Asgardian uru-infused enhancements to make it stronger, though a noticeable scar on the surface is visible, which Captain America elects to keep to give character to the shield.

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It is the Odinforce that allows Thor to dent and later destroy the shield of Captain America. The Odinforce is amazingly powerful and with it, Thor was exponentially more powerful than he was without it, literally the equal of Odin, who should be able to destroy the shield with sufficient expenditure of molecular manipulation.

...the Odinforce - a powerful source of energy - for a number of purposes, including energy projection; creation of illusions and force fields; levitation; molecular manipulation, communicating telepathically with other Asgardians even if they be on Earth and he in Asgard, hypnotizing humans; channelling lightning to Earth from Asgard, controlling the lifeforces of all Asgardians, and teleportation.

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Also, in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, season 1 episode 26 - A Day Unlike Any Other, Loki uses the Odinforce to destroy Captain America's shield. –  sunpech Oct 16 '12 at 3:36

It's possible that it was Mjolnir itself that dented the shield. It's a very impressive weapon, and as Gorton says: It's an unstoppable force.

Odin, chief of the Norse gods, ordered the dwarfs to forge Mjolnir. The blacksmiths Eitri, Brok, and Buri used the core of a star as the mold. In the process the star exploded and almost took Midgard (Earth) with it.

Not only was it's construction impressive, it can also take a pounding:

it has contained energy sufficient enough to destroy an entire galaxy and even energy sufficient enough to destroy one fifth of the Universe.

So if it can contain that much energy, it should be able to withstand denting making it more indestructible than Capt's shield. In fact Thor:

claimed that no power in the universe but the All-Father's could affect Mjolnir

It also has a variety of enchantments on on it. Here are some I think that may have been crucial to denting the shield:

Energy Absorption and Redirection

Matter Manipulation

With those it would be possible to either redirect some previously tapped energy source and redirect it into the shield, or simply manipulate the matter in the shield to cause it to buckle (or transform a small part of the hammer into Arctic vibranium, adamantium's evil twin capable of damaging adamantium).

However, the hammer may not be that effective against true adamantium, or simply when thrown:

Thor throws Mjolnir at the robot Ultron with no effect in Avengers #68

It's debatable whether this is due the enchantments needing skin contact, or Thor just wasn't trying hard enough.

However this is mostly guesswork as the Odinforce is so powerful I'd say it border's on reality control.

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Logic. Thor is a demigod who uses magic, which can defy laws of nature. Thor could dent Captain America's shield since he isn't human.

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