Towards the end of Avengers: Endgame, we see Thor, Captain America and Iron Man fight Thanos, who has a particular bladed weapon.

At the start of this fight, we see Iron Man form some sort of blade with his suit, which he then uses to deflect several blows from Thanos' blade. But then later we see Thanos partially destroy Captain America's shield. This item is meant to be extremely durable, being made of Vibranium, a metal which is established as the strongest substance we have access to on earth.

My quarrel is not with this, but the fact that, as mentioned earlier, at the beginning of the fight Iron Man's suit manages to take several hits with minimal/no damage from the blade.

Even if Iron Man's suit is made of Vibranium, it is later established that the weapon in question is capable of tearing through Vibranium.

How can Iron Man take blows from Thanos with no problem, but Captain America's shield cannot?

  • 6
    It's been five years, and they have a spaceship now. Who knows what the nanosuit is made of now? May 30, 2019 at 22:06
  • 44
    It's made of plotanium.
    – chepner
    May 31, 2019 at 0:21
  • 24
    @Chepner, possibly an alloy of plotanium and handwavium, the strongest know alloy ever! May 31, 2019 at 6:07
  • 7
    Why do you think Iron Man's suit wasn't damaged? Remember, it can repair itself in real-time as long as he still has nanites in supply. It should also be noted that in a real fight, you don't hit as hard as possible - you need to keep your momentum and balance in check so you don't expose yourself to a counter attack. With the Captain, Thanos did have the luxury of using his full strength - the Cap is always using his shield to absorb attacks, rather than deflecting them and unbalancing the opponent.
    – Luaan
    May 31, 2019 at 7:24
  • 5
    It is a more literal take on plot armour.
    – josh
    May 31, 2019 at 10:57

1 Answer 1

  1. Thanos is enraged when he finally breaks the shield. Prior to his angry onslaught, we see the shield deflect the sword several times. It's not necessarily that Tony's blade is stronger than Steve's shield, but it isn't being hit as hard.
  2. Tony's blade is made up of his nanites, which are extremely durable. For example, We also see the nanites make a gauntlet capable of housing the infinity stones and harnessing their power (twice).
  • 50
    Another point of information - with each impact from the blade, the nanites are constantly reforming to repair any damaged sections of the armor - we see this in the end of endgame as more and more nanites are 'lost' and eventually tony is only able to cover part of his body with armor.
    – Cinderhaze
    May 30, 2019 at 14:35
  • 10
    @Cinderhaze: Yep. We also see it in Infinity War during the fight on Titan.
    – V2Blast
    May 31, 2019 at 6:04
  • 1
    tl;dr Tony should have made Cap's shield out of nanites. May 31, 2019 at 17:27
  • 1
    @PaulDraper Well, it was Howard Stark, not Tony, who made Cap's shield, so... May 31, 2019 at 17:40
  • #2 begs the question that I thought we'd be asking here.
    – Mazura
    Jun 1, 2019 at 18:40

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