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Can Wonder Woman’s Sword Cut Through Captain America’s Shield?

Today, we look at whether Captain America’s shield can withstand an attack by Wonder Woman’s atom-splicing sword.

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Hunter S. routinely sends in interesting questions that typically have to do with the strongest metals in the Marvel and DC Universes. This is one he actually sent a while back that has to do with BOTH universes. He asked, “Can Wonder Woman’s sword cut through Captain America’s shield? The sword of Wonder Woman is said to be so sharp it can carve an electron off an atom. Has the virtually indestructible shield of Steve Rogers withstand anything like that?”

Let’s take a look!

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One of the more compelling character conflicts in the future world of Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s epic miniseries, Kingdom Come, was between Wonder Woman and Superman. Superman had been in exile for years after the public embraced the violent vigilante, Magog, who had murdered the Joker after the villain had killed the Daily Planet’s staff, including Lois Lane. Superman could withstand the death of his beloved Lois, he just couldn’t deal with society embracing Magog. Wonder Woman convinced him to come out of retirement, but eventually he learned that her views on the world are colored by the fact that the increased violence in the world had led to Wonder Woman being exiled by her fellow Amazon sisters for “failing” in her mission to bring peace to Man’s World. Wonder Woman repeatedly took more aggressive reactions to conflicts than Superman, as seen in the penultimate issue of the series…

When the superhero prison that the retuned superheroes had built started a revolt, Wonder Woman got out her strongest weaponry, including a now-famous suit of armor, but she also debuted a sword that can slice through atoms. It is so strong that Superman even cuts himself on it!

The idea of an “Atom-splitting” sword is a bit curious, considering there are atoms around us constantly, so if she started swinging the sword in the air, would it start slicing the atoms in the air around her?

Years later, in Superman/Wonder Woman #6 (by Charles Soule, Tony Daniel, Matt Banning, Sandu Florea and Tomeu Morey), we learned that Wonder Woman basically needs to SEE the atoms to actually cut them with the sword and she cannot see atoms. However, her then boyfriend, Superman, COULD, and after they had suffered a beatdown by some bad guys, Superman convinces her that their only way out of captivity is to slice an atom in half and cause an atomic explosion. He would guide the sword with his special vision. She agreed to do it…

and, well, the results were explosive (pun obviously intended)…

Okay, so that’s one powerful sword, right? But is it powerful enough to cut through Captain America’s shield?

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Whenever I talk about Captain America’s shield, I can’t help but think of the song, “Frosty the Snowman,” specifically the part where the kids put a hat on their snowman, Frosty, and the song notes “there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, for when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around.” I mention it because that really sort of is the answer to how Captain America’s shield was formed, right? A scientist was working on trying to bond Vibranium and a steel alloy and overnight, there must have been some magic in that old vat of molten metal, because it formed to create Captain America’s shield and it seems to have almost magical properties.

Because of that, it’s sometimes hard to even think about the logistics of the shield, since it’s basically magic. However, there are SOME things that we can actually answer based on examples within the comics (that give us SOME guidelines), but that gets harder when you’re talking different comic book universes like this.

Luckily, though, there actually is a perfect counterpart to Wonder Woman’s special sword in the Marvel Universe.

During the Infinity crossover, Jonathan Hickman, Jimmy Cheung, Mark Morales and Justin Ponsor introduced Thanos’ top lieutenant, Corvus Glaive, who, appropriately enough, had an amazing glaive (a glaive is basically a pole with a blade at the end of it) that he used to chop the arm off of the superhero protector of an alien world…

In the final issue of the main Infinity miniseries (by Hickman, Chueng, Morales, Ponsor and about seventeen other inkers), we learn the limits of Corvus Glavie’s glaive when he is sent to kill the Hulk and he notes that he should be able to slice through the Hulk’s skin because his glaive can cut through atoms, just like Wonder Woman’s sword!

Luckily for the Hulk, the other Avengers show up at just the right time to save the Jade Giant and the heroes collide with Thanos’ minions, the Black Order, and sure enough, Corvus Glaive is shown using his glaive on Captain America’s shield and guess what, it didn’t have any effect!

So I think that that is a fair enough comparison to suggest that Captain America’s shield works in a sort of way that it prevents the atomic structure of the shield to be messed with by an attack of a weapon, even a magical one like Wonder Woman’s. Or not, as obviously there does not appear to be any plans for an Avengers/Justice League crossover any time soon, so I guess we’ll never know for absolute certain, but I’m pretty confident that this answer is he correct one.

Thanks for the question, Hunter! Keep ’em coming! If anyone else has a comic book question, drop me a line at!

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