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Everyone knows that vibranium is the unbreakable material in the Marvel Universe, but Superman is one of the most powerful comic characters.

Given that the Marvel and DC universes have crossed over on several occasions, is there any evidence indicating whether Superman could break Captain America’s shield?

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

closed as primarily opinion-based by BCdotWEB, Moogle, Aegon, Adamant, Ankur Rathee Jul 27 '16 at 19:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I don't think the shield is classed as unbreakable, Captain America's shield has been broken plenty of times in the comics. Whether or not Superman has the strength to do it, I am not sure if that has been shown. – G.James Jul 27 '16 at 10:05
  • @pauldwaite - good save! :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 27 '16 at 10:51
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    @DVK-in-exile: aw cheers, I dunno though — I reckon these cross-universe questions are on shaky ground. We did get a good answer to yesterday’s Superman/adamantium question though. – Paul D. Waite Jul 27 '16 at 10:52
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    The "unbreakable" vibranium shield has been broken plenty of times before – phantom42 Jul 27 '16 at 10:56
  • In pretty much all of the crossovers it's Thor vs Superman while Cap battles Batman (it's a power level equivalence thing!)...it'd say it's, at least, possible, – Paulie_D Jul 27 '16 at 11:10
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The only people in the comics to have broken Cap's shield can be classed as cosmic/deity level figures. Thor imbued with Odinforce, Thanos in control of the Infinity Gauntlet and the Serpent (with power comparable to the All-Father).

Superman is not on that level. In the DC vs Marvel crossover he is shown to be comparably matched with the Hulk in strength level, only just being able to defeat him. Hulk has never been able to break Captain America's shield, it stands to reason Superman wouldn't be able to achieve that feat either. enter image description here

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    Supes has also beaten Thor. – Paulie_D Jul 27 '16 at 11:18
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    @Paulie_D: Thor alone can't break the shield, it's Thor with the OdinForce (as "Thor fused with Odin's power"), which mean a level power nearing the "so huge number don't mean anything anymore" that could. – DrakaSAN Jul 27 '16 at 13:25
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The way that Vibranium works is by absorbing incoming energy and then allowing it to be dispersed through redirection.

Superman's Strength is variable but ranges from around a few tons to infinite.

Assuming material sciences still apply to Vibranium the energy is being stored in the shield as moving atoms. It can then be assumed that the Vibranium is just capable of holding its shape at higher heat ranges than other metals and that there is some key in releasing it in a given direction.

There are 2 stategies that Superman can apply to break the shield...
1. Differential heating and cooling. The differences in the atoms could theoretically cause fractures and shatter the shield.
2. Just keep hitting it or heat vision it. Eventually the capacity to "hold" the energy will be too much and the shield will melt/be destroyed.

The first method may not work just because the redirecting and taking in the energy implies an ability to transfer energy quickly and so it would either take a massive difference or it just would never be enough.

The second method depends on the maximum capacities of the shield and Superman. Superman's heat vision can get through his invulnerability which means it is producing extreme heat, because Superman can live inside stars. Can Vibranium take the heat of stars or greater? I don't think it can, but I don't think there was ever a stated limit, but there are examples of it being destroyed with less than Nuclear force. Superman can produce Nuclear forces thus he can destroy Vibranium. So can a lot of other Superheroes.

Hypothetically, it could be possibly to prevent destruction though if one were fast enough and able to release the energy faster than it built up to its limit. So Flash with the Shield could make it impossible to destroy, but under normal conditions, a lot of superheroes could easily destroy it despite what a lot of authors want to write in various comics ^.^

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    Too opinion based. Make it more objective, can you? – Mindwin Jul 27 '16 at 14:24
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    This is not "opinion" based. What this is, is conjecture based on what is known, shown, and can be assumed, ie objective. – Durakken Jul 27 '16 at 14:57
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While Superman has never been shown directly punching Cap's Shield, or indeed anything made from Vibranium, he has been shown in the JLA/Avengers crossover, wielding Cap's Shield and Thor's Hammer simultaneously. So although we can't say that a punch from Superman or something like his heat vision could without a doubt penetrate a Vibranium object, we can say that it can withstand being swung around by Superman at various foes.

JLA/Avengers #4 Cover

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    Do we ever actually see him throwing the shield, or does he just use it as a shield? I'm not really sure how this answers the question. Cool picture though. – Kevin Workman Jul 27 '16 at 12:41
  • Keep in mind that Superman generally isn't fighting at max capacity and is fast enough that he could possibly release the energy before it overloads the shield even if he were. – Durakken Jul 27 '16 at 13:14
  • Wait, so potentially, because of Vibranium's properties, if Superman wielded the shield and fought an alternate version of himself, Alternate Supes wouldn't be able to break the shield, but when it's in the hands of Captain America, Prime Supes could well pull it off, maybe, under the right circumstances? I think Spidey put it best in MCU's Civil War. "Dude, that thing does not obey the laws of physics at all." – DisturbedNeo Jul 28 '16 at 8:57

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