When Captain America comes out of hiding in Avengers: Infinity War, it isn’t just his bearded look that surprises. The first Avenger is also without his shield. How in the heck did this happen?

Cap’s vibranium shield has been part of his persona from the beginning. The two are inseparable, like a referee and his whistle. But following a major falling out with Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War, Cap gave the shield up—and with it his superhero image.

It’s a significant moment and showed where his allegiances lie: With Bucky, not Tony.

The scene comes at the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War as Cap is walking away with an injured Bucky. Barely able to speak, Tony shouts to Cap in anger.

“That shield doesn’t belong to you,” Tony screams. “You don’t deserve it. My father made that shield.”

Without even a second thought, Cap drops the shield, leaving it and Tony behind. Since then, Cap has been on the run without it. But it isn’t long until he gets a new weapon.

As Wakanda is being invaded in Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers on the scene spring into action, but not before Cap is given an upgrade.

“Evacuate the city, engage all defenses, and get this man a shield,” demands T’Challa, giving a stern nod to Cap.

His new shield is less of a shield and more like gauntlets that extend from his hands to his elbows. It’s a more fearsome weapon, because he has more protection while being able to use both hands for combat. They also match his darker suit, completing his stealthy look.

The only difference is Cap isn’t able to fling the shield at his enemies the way he could his old shield, which often came back to him like a boomerang.

What’s cool, however, is that the new shield can be sleek and agile or thick and powerful, with the ability to expand with the press of a button. We see this functionality in action when Thanos arrives on Wakanda.

Unfortunately, they’re no match for Thanos, who brushes Cap aside using the Power Stone before punching his lights out.

When Avengers 4 comes around, you have to think that Cap and Tony Stark will be forced to reconcile, which means it’s just a matter of time before Cap is reunited with his shield. With Chris Evans hinting that he’s done with the character for good, it wouldn’t be right for him to go out without his trusty shield at his side.