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When Captain America throws his mighty shield, does it hit things with a razor-sharp edge that can cut or a blunt edge that can bludgeon/bruise? Or is it some sort of modified edge that could do one or the other depending on how he throws it?

I'm interested in the mainstream comics universe (Earth-616, or whatever it calls itself these days), although other universes are interesting supplementary material.

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    I'm torn. Is that being really sharp, or blunt on such a small surface it effectively cuts it? (of course the first instance I'd find wouldn't be an easy one, where's the fun in that?) EDIT: though I'd settle for blunt, since Cap doesn't get his hand cut off. – Jenayah Aug 4 '18 at 1:17
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    IRL, constantly-exposed edges would be dangerous (which is why knives are shielded). – RonJohn Aug 4 '18 at 11:41
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    Of course, since the shield absorbs vibration, it should not be able to bludgeon at all. – Patrick Stevens Aug 4 '18 at 19:21
  • @Jenayah "Sharp" means that the surface is so small that it cuts, so I don't understand what distinction you're trying to make. – David Richerby Aug 5 '18 at 17:35
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    Blunt, the shield knocks people over, doesn't cut them in half. – ggdx Aug 6 '18 at 9:23
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Per the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Vol 2 (Deluxe Edition) #2, Cap's shield has a blunt, rounded edge.

Cap's shield from OHOTMUDE #2

Granted, that source is 30-something years old by now, but I'm not aware of anything that really contradicts it since. There are a couple of cases of him using the edge to cut heads off (as mentioned in other answers) but I don't think that necessarily means the edge is sharp; blunt force directed through a basically indestructible object like the shield would work just as well.

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    +1 for a handbook answer. Nice to see the official line" – Valorum Aug 4 '18 at 8:42
9

The shield can be used for cutting or smashing.

In Avengers #500 (I think) Captain America slices his shield through Ultron's neck (which is apparently made of Adamantium):

I didn't read the comic, but the Wiki says it takes place on Earth-61108 and Earth-616, but I'm not sure which is depicted there.

Another image (I'm not sure what comic, nor what earth) depicts the shield going in one side and out the other of a missile.


In another comic, somewhere in Civil War Nos. 1-7 (2006-07), he smashes Iron Man's helmet open (in the middle panel he's clearly using the edge of the shield):

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    The last image suggests "blunt" to me. In the third panel it looks like he's hitting Iron Man's helmet with the blunt edge, smashing him into the ground. If he were cutting at that angle, he would've cut Tony's head in half. (Of course, this could mean that it is sharp, it simply isn't sharp enough to cut Iron Man's armor.) – Cadence Aug 4 '18 at 4:16
8

For the film version, the edges are definitely not sharp. That can be seen from the way the shield bounces off the people Cap throws it at in this clip.

It bounces back without slicing them up and with no blood on it. In fact, there is even a clear view of the shield's rim at 1:32, and it can be seen not to be sharpened, but rather squared off.

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    As stated in the question, I'm interested in Earth-616, so I wouldn't consider accepting this answer unless you add it, but this is useful supplementary info. – Thunderforge Aug 4 '18 at 1:21
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I doubt if it has been consistent over the years but in Captain America #254, Cap used his shield to cut off a vampire's head.

enter image description here

On the other hand, he has (repeatedly) hit foes in the face with it before, which argues it would be blunt.

1

It does not have a sharp edge. It is merely narrow, IMHO. Its indestructibility and the speed with which it strikes Cap's targets concentrates all of that force in a very narrow band. A polyethylene cutting board dropped edge-first will concentrate all its force on a bare foot and may cause a pressure cut, at the very least it would leave a nasty bruise.

Imagine the shield's edge striking with the force of a "mighty" throw.

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    Could you edit in some comics elements (panels etc) to back up your point? :) – Jenayah Aug 5 '18 at 0:19
  • I'm not in a position to buy comics any longer. I rely on you to view your own collection. But you could pick up a dinner plate, hold it up with a tilt and view the curve. You can easily see that while the edge seems to have a sharp arc, it really is blunt. Such a characteristic is hard to capture in a drawn image. – Ring Aug 5 '18 at 10:10
  • There's always Marvel Unlimited, which has a tremendous backlog of comics in digital form that make for easy screen captures. – Thunderforge Aug 5 '18 at 15:02

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