Marvel’s What If…? episode 2 made it clear that the villains of the MCU hold Captain America’s shield in very high regard in terms of what its capabilities are. The trademark weapon of the Sentinel of Liberty was featured as one of several MCU Easter eggs in What If…?‘s episode 2, a story that focused on how different the universe would be if T’Challa had been taken by the Ravagers instead of Peter Quill.
Captain America’s shield is easily one of the most iconic and recognizable weapons in the superhero genre. In Marvel Comics, the disc-shaped shield has gotten Steve Rogers through a number of challenging encounters and has also enhanced his ability to hold his own against super-powered opponents. Like its comic book counterpart, the shield is both a symbol and a valuable asset on the battlefield. Though Steve (Chris Evans) was one of Marvel’s most formidable fighters even without it, the shield made him even more dangerous in combat. In his hands, the shield felled countless foes in the fights against Hydra, the Chitauri, Ultron, and Thanos.
The shield made a brief appearance in Marvel’s What If…? episode 2 as a weapon in the impressive arsenal of the Collector. The character kept it in a case with Hela’s headpiece, a Necrosword, Mjolnir, the dagger of Thor: The Dark World’s Malekith, and a number of unidentified weapons. The dagger, Necrosword, and Mjolnir are all magical artifacts possessing supreme power, which means that the others could have similar enchantments. The shield, on the other hand, has no mystical qualities of any kind. Even so, it being in the company of powerful objects like Mjolnir and Hela’s sword hints at just how much how respect it gets from villains like the Collector.
The Collector has a long-held reputation for seeking out and acquiring things that he finds particularly unique and noteworthy. Since his search has extended to so many different corners of the universe, it really speaks to the value of an object if he expresses an interest in it and goes to the effort of obtaining it. A character like the Collector wouldn’t trouble himself with anything trivial or ordinary, and given his ego, he certainly wouldn’t show off or display any item that he wouldn’t see as one-of-a-kind or at the very least, incredibly special.
The shield’s inclusion in this scene is a sign that the Collector views it as a weapon of equal or greater power to the others in the case. That’s interesting, considering that it was shredded to pieces by Thanos’ sword in Avengers: Endgame, thus demonstrating that it was never truly invulnerable. Plus, it’s a bit less unique to the comic book version of the shield. In the MCU, it’s made out of vibranium, while in the comics it was constructed from a vibranium-adamantium alloy that scientists have never been able to replicate. Regardless, Marvel’s What If…? indicates Captain America’s shield is still one of the most distinguished and sought-after weapons in the MCU.