Captain Craig wrote:
Shaw's death: Every time I've seen it I've been so caught up in the personal connection of the death(not to mention excellent execution of the lines) that another thought occurred to me last night. Not sure if I've ever seen this thought mentioned but here goes. Shaw absorbs kinetic energy thus not allowing for physical bodily harm. We've seen it when even fists were thrown at him. The coin HAS to move at a nearly non negligible speed. Otherwise any energy the coin creates would just be absorbed/deflected even with Charles freezing him.
The coin has to have some KE or it can't move into Shaw's brain when he absorbs nuclear energy. (Although it is quite unclear how his body handles gamma radiation, which is electromagnetic, not material, and therefore has no KE.) There seems to be some sort of borrowing from the shields in Dune (and in Poul Anderson's novel Shield and SG1) in which the shield only deflects high KE objects. Unfortunately it is established that Shaw can deflect low KE objects such as alpha rays and beta rays. Each of these particles has a relatively low KE because they are so tiny. Yet, like a lady's stiletto heels they are quite damaging.
In terms of what's on screen there is no plausible way for Shaw to have been killed by Magneto alone. It must have been Xavier if the scene is to be possible by the movie's premises. Yet the scenes simply do not play as if Xavier was equally responsible, which is why I regard First Class as just another sequel inferior to the original.