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Captain America’s New Shield Upgrade Makes Him More Powerful Than Ever Before


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Summary

  • Captain America’s new shield, infused with the Eye of Agamotto, allows him to fight mystical beings and vanquish his first ever villain, Asmoday.
  • Defeating Asmoday upsets the power structure of Hell, potentially leading to a new Satan and a shift in cosmic balance.
  • Captain America’s role as a Change Agent becomes more significant as a new Nexus Event approaches, putting human advancement at stake and emphasizing his capacity to do good on a global level.


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Warning: contains spoilers for Captain America #6!As Captain America gets a major upgrade to his shield, Steve Rogers uses the power boost to totally upend the hierarchy of Marvel’s most dangerous demonic beings. Over the last few months, Marvel has been evolving Captain America’s purpose, tying Steve Rogers’ origin to a terrifying demonic being named Asmoday. So far, Cap hasn’t been able to hold his own against Asmoday’s henchman the Emissary – let alone the demon himself – but thanks to Doctor Strange, he just came out swinging.


After losing badly to the Emissary in their previous fight, Captain America #6 sees Steve Rogers finally get the weapon he needs to win. While fighting the Emissary – who attacks using demon fire that gradually makes Steve’s shield too hot to hold – Steve is contacted by Doctor Strange, who promises to send help. Just in the nick of time, that help arrives, as the iconic Eye of Agamotto fuses with Captain America’s shield.


captain america shield eye of agamotto doctor strange


The newly enhanced shield allows Captain America to fight the mystical being, and even to destroy Asmoday through prolonged contact with his host. Steve Rogers doesn’t hold back, and – even with Doctor Strange warning him to stop – disintegrates Asmoday with his new mystical energy.

Steve Rogers’ latest fight didn’t just save lives – it upset the power structure of Hell itself.


Captain America #6

captain america #6 steve rogers throws a shield with the eye of agamotto on it

  • Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
  • Artist: Lan Medina & Belardino Brabo
  • Colorist: Espen Grundetjern
  • Letterer: Joe Caramagna
  • Cover Artist: Taurin Clarke


Captain America’s New Shield Lets Him Fight Magic

Steve Rogers Finally Beat the First Villain He Ever Faced


The Eye of Agamotto is an ancient artifact gifted to each Sorcerer Supreme by the mystical trinity known as the Vishanti. It has various powers, such as dispelling illusions and tracking mystical energies, but also works to enhance beneficial magic and destroy malevolent spells and beings. Fusing Captain America’s unbreakable shield with the Eye finally puts Steve on the Emissary’s level, which is no small feat – the Emissary is a mystically empowered serial killer who has been enhanced with a lesser Super Soldier formula, a cybernetic fight suit, and Hulk’s gamma radiation. While Cap has taken on bigger foes in a physical sense, he has no expertise or ability to combat magic – at least he didn’t until now.


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Destroying Asmoday is a major win for Captain America – in fact, even more than he knows. Alongside Steve’s fight against the Emissary, the comic has been telling the story of his first truly impressive act of heroism: preventing the bombing of Madison Square Garden as a teenager, well before he gained his powers. While Steve doesn’t know it, this bombing was orchestrated by Asmoday, who has long held a grudge against him for his actions. Because of this, Captain America’s newly empowered shield just let him finally beat his first ever villain.

Captain America’s Mystic Shield Just Caused a Huge Cosmic Imbalance

Beating Asmoday Could Crown a New Satan


However, just because Captain America could destroy Asmoday doesn’t mean he should have. During the fight, Doctor Strange warns Steve that Asmoday is a “King of Hell,” telling him that there will be consequences for destroying him. Despite this warning, Cap is unwilling to spare such an absolute embodiment of evil and refuses to relent. It’s a moment of definitive heroism – Asmoday has been working to prevent an upcoming leap forward in human advancement, so he’s absolutely worth destroying – but one which will come at a cost.


In Marvel lore, there is no one true ‘Satan’ who embodies evil – instead, the name is a title for which many different demons are constantly in competition. In Kieron Gillen and Richard Elson’s Journey into Mystery #627, readers see the Devil’s Advocacy – a meeting where all Marvel’s Hell Lords get together to share information, gathering around Satan’s empty throne. While the Hell Lords express their power level by how close to the throne they sit, none actually dares take it, because they’d immediately be attacked by all their competitors. While some demons like Mephisto and Satannish are incredibly powerful, none are powerful enough to take on all their rivals, preventing Hell from ever falling under the control of one absolute ruler.


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However, many comics have emphasized how incredibly tenuous this balance actually is. Hell is made up of hundreds of fiefdoms, and whenever a Hell Lord falls, the others aggressively divide up his territory. Asmoday is suggested to be an incredibly old, incredibly powerful Hell Lord, which means that by destroying him, Captain America just put a lot of infernal real estate up for grabs. It’s likely that in the near future, an existing Hell Lord will grow in power due to Steve Rogers’ actions, and could even declare themself the new Satan.

Captain America is a Change Agent, with Asmoday branding him a major force for human advancement, especially as a new ‘Nexus Event’ approaches.

Captain America’s New Shield Isn’t Permanent, But His ‘Change Agent’ Status Is

Steve Rogers Has New Cosmic Significance Thanks to Upcoming ‘Nexus Event’


There’s no way Doctor Strange will allow Captain America to keep the Eye of Agamotto full-time, however it is possible that Marvel will reveal some of its power remains. It would make sense that by bonding with such a powerful magical item and destroying a Hell Lord, Cap’s shield now retains the ability to act on the supernatural. Either way, this upgrade is small beans compared to Steve Rogers’ reveal as a ‘Change Agent.’ In this new lore, human advancement is accomplished via Nexus Events – times in which humanity is primed to make a leap forward, with human Change Agents working to make sure it happens. This advancement is both cultural and moral, with Asmoday working against Nexus Events to benefit from humanity’s evil.

As a Change Agent, Steve is far, far more than his past accomplishments


The comic has revealed that – perhaps due to his original tangle with Asmoday – Captain America is a Change Agent, and is now considered the most dangerous one alive. Asmoday confirmed that a new Nexus Event is on the horizon, with the Emissary attempting to kill off any Change Agents who could rise to answer it. That leaves Captain America in the position of once again being able to safeguard human advancement, perhaps as drastically as he did during World War II. It’s a way of making Steve Rogers’ place in history more definitive, emphasizing his immense capacity to do good on a worldwide level.


For years, Captain America has been an uber-competent hero who other crime-fighters look to for inspiration and guidance. His past accomplishments made him a symbol of liberty and heroism, and motivated him to continue fighting the good fight. However, as a Change Agent, Steve is far, far more than his past accomplishments – there’s a day coming soon where human advancement will be on the line, and Captain America will be called on to ensure humanity’s better nature triumphs over evil. Cool as it is to see Captain America get a magically empowered new shield, this new status quo is far more consequential, as underlined by the fact that Steve Rogers’ latest fight didn’t just save lives – it upset the power structure of Hell itself.


Captain America #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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