It's been just shy of a year since Avengers: Endgame hit theaters and put a big, epic punctuation mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first three phases. As one can imagine, a lot of ideas were floated behind the scenes before the movie that we saw made its way to theaters. Now, thanks to artist Ryan Meinerding, we have a look at a couple of those ideas. Specifically, new ways in which Thanos could have broke Captain America's shield. Or in this case, shattered it.

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Unused shield breaking idea from Avengers: Endgame!

A post shared by Ryan Meinerding (@ryan_meinerding_art) on

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Ryan Meinerding is the head of Marvel Studios' visual department. Over the past couple of days, the artist has shared a couple of unused ideas for the scene during Avengers: Endgame's climax, in which, Captain America's weapon of choice is broken by the Mad Titan. The difference in these images is, as opposed to being cracked into several pieces, the shield has been straight-up shattered. Meinerding captioned the first two photos with the following.

"Unused shield breaking idea from Avengers: Endgame!"

The first idea, as we see, was to have Thanos punch right through the middle of the shield, shattering it, with his fist then moving on to Cap's chest in what looks to be a devastating blow, both physically and emotionally. The second bit of art takes a similar approach, but sees Thanos coming down on the shield with both of his fists as Cap holds it over his head, kneeling down at a serious disadvantage. In the caption provided with this image, Meinerding provided some of the thinking that went into precisely how Thanos was able to destroy Steve's mighty weapon.

"Another shield shattering image! I had imagined that Thanos weakened the shield by a consistent barrage of crazy strong blows and the Vibranium finally couldn't absorb any more energy and shatters."

It's a reasonable thing to wonder. That shield had gone through an awful lot before the events of Avengers: Endgame without hardly ever taking a scratch. Save for when Black Panther got his claws on it in Civil War. Not even Ultron could put a dent in it. The might of Thor and his trusty hammer Mjolnir just created one heck of a shockwave in The Avengers. So yes, Thanos would have to be exceedingly strong and play things exactly right to break it.

Directed by Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame served as the conclusion to more than a decade of interconnected cinematic storytelling and wound up becoming a shared pop culture moment the likes of which we've never seen. The experiment paid off handsomely too, as the movie grossed $2.8 billion at the global box office, making it the highest-grossing movie of all time. And, luckily, thanks to the beauty of time travel, Cap's shield lives on in the MCU in Falcon's hands. Be sure to check out the art from Ryan Meinerding's Instagram for yourself.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott