Warning, possible Avengers: Age of Ultron spoilers below:
Of all the big reveals to hit at this years San Diego Comic-Con, one of the most intriguing wasn't all that much of a reveal at all. Wonder Woman may have a new costume, but there's something even bigger afoot:
Somebody broke Captain America's shield.
And there is absolutely no way that is a good thing for our heroes.
You've probably already read all about the brand new Avengers: Age of Ultron footage that screened at Comic-Con (and if you didn't, why not? It sounded awesome!) - so you're most likely well aware that included within it was a shot of Cap's iconic shield - shattered into tiny pieces.
Which, as the above image shows, was not exactly being kept quiet by Marvel, who placed a seriously cracked version of the weapon on display at their booth over the weekend.
What, though, does this mean for the movie?
Well, just take a look at the last time someone broke Captain America's shield - and whaddaya know - it was in a comic-book crossover called...Age of Ultron, released last year...
Probably the most iconic image from the series? That'd be this one...
Captain America, broken, sitting next to his equally decimated shield.
The Age of Ultron of the comics, though, is an alternative reality - a timeline in which Ultron has taken over the world, and Earth's mightiest heroes are on the run.
Now, the chances of us seeing that as a major plot point in Avengers: Age of Ultron are about as likely as Spider-Man, Wolverine and The Thing popping in for a quick cameo - but the chances of a certain red-clothed magic user showing the heroes a glimpse of a possible future in which everyone gets killed?
That's totally still on the table.
Either that, or the whole thing's just a metaphor for the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and nothing bad is going to happen to any of the heroes throughout the whole film.
Yay! Two hours of logistics and administration, starring Agent Coulson and H.E.R.B.I.E.
Or, y'know, Thanos:
Bonus implication: if the final battle with Ultron does happen to go on to destroy Cap's shield once again, there's only one obvious destination for them to get that thing fixed:
Wakanda, home of - you guessed it - The Black Panther.
Impending post-credits tease, anyone?
[The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) is set for release May 1, 2015 - meaning Cap has less than a year to enjoy that shield...
What do you guys think? What does Cap's broken shield mean?