Who is Sharon Carter? Agent 13 is one of Captain America‘s most important allies – and love partners in the comics. The niece of Peggy Carter emerged as a powerful agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and was present at major events in the life (and death) of the Sentinel of Liberty.
With many stories being carried over to the movies, the character returned in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and it’s only fair to trace some of her origin and history in the comics. So here are 10 things you need to know about Sharon Carter!
First Appearance and Creators
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, with the assistance of Dick Ayers, Sharon Carter‘s first appearance in Marvel Comics was in March 1966, in the seventy-fifth issue of Tales of Suspense. Although the title is known for being where Iron Man first came into existence, there was a period when the Golden Avenger shared his story with Captain America.
And it was precisely in a Sentinel of Liberty story that Sharon was introduced. The character soon turned into a recurring sidekick in Captain’s comics, even becoming his girlfriend.
In the original Marvel Comics, Sharon Carter is thought to be Margaret “Peggy” Carter‘s niece. Peggy was an agent during World War II and, after the supposed “death” of Captain America, went to live with Sharon’s parents.
Peggy would tell her niece various stories from the war era, especially regarding her adventures involving Steve Rogers. Sharon grew up obsessed with the idea of becoming a fighter, just like her aunt, which caused her to soon enlist for a major organization.
Thus, she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. On her first mission, she has given the codename Agent 13. It was precisely on her first adventure, in which she had to intercept stolen HYDRA cargo, that she met Captain America, who in turn was stunned.
Steve Rogers thought he was standing in front of Peggy Carter, but only later did Sharon reveal her story to him. Over the next few years, she became a high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, being assigned to various missions alongside the Sentinel of Liberty. During this period, they fell in love.
The Death of a Dream
However, everything came to an abrupt end during the epilogue of the Civil War saga. Sharon ends up having her mind controlled by Doctor Faustus at Red Skull‘s behest and murders Steve Rogers while being taken to court to be tried for his actions, where he stood against the Superhuman Registration Act.
Later, she could free herself from mind control and even discovered that she was pregnant with Steve Rogers – but lost the baby in a conflict. Eventually, she also found that Steve had not died but was displaced in time, as the weapon she used was a temporal device.
Working alongside Bucky, who has become the new Captain America in Steve’s absence, Sharon is instrumental in rescuing Steve and restoring him to life in the present day – a common theme in Steve’s life and his relationship with Sharon.
Trapped on Dimension Z
After Steve Rogers‘ return, the two rekindled their romantic relationship and formed the Secret Avengers team.
Later, the Sentinel of Liberty was eventually imprisoned in Dimension Z – an alternate reality ruled by one of his greatest enemies, Arnim Zola. Sharon Carter also ended up in this dimension and was imprisoned there for quite some time, aging naturally. She is later rescued by Steve, who also ends up being aged by losing the Super Soldier Serum.
Leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Years later, after Secret Wars, the until then leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Maria Hill – ended up being the center of a fiasco when it was revealed to the world what was happening at Pleasant Hill prison. She had to step down as director of the organization – and Sharon Carter took over.
Steve Rogers had his body restored by Kobik – a sentient cosmic cube, who secretly transformed him into a HYDRA agent. During this period, Sharon didn’t even suspect the modification, as he increasingly infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.
Later, Sharon Carter – still unaware of Steve Rogers’ moral alignment – suggested that the Sentinel of Liberty become the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. The “hero” accepted but began to use his influence to cause worldwide crises that favored the new rise of HYDRA.
When the Secret Empire was established, Sharon tried her best to stop Captain America but was arrested. When reality was restored, she returned to fight alongside Captain America, and the two continue together to this day on missions around the world.
Despite being a skilled warrior, Sharon Carter does not possess any superhuman powers. All of her abilities arise from her arduous training for S.H.I.E.L.D. Because of this, she knows various martial arts.
Furthermore, she has experience with firearms of various types. She prefers to use guns and revolvers in combat, going mano-a-mano only as a last option. It is worth mentioning that her costume was developed by none other than Tony Stark.
In the Gaming World…
Sharon Carter is a popular character outside of the comics, although not so much in the spotlight. Still, she has appeared in several Marvel games. She is in Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel Heroes as an NPC.
In addition, she can also be played in games like LEGO Marvel’s Avengers and Future Fight (not to be confused with Sharon Rogers, Steve and Peggy’s daughter in an alternate reality). She was also available in the now-defunct Marvel’s Avengers Academy and Avengers Alliance 2.
In the MCU
Sharon (Emily Vancamp) was introduced into the Captain America franchise as Peggy Carter‘s niece and almost a supposed romance of Steve Rogers. She was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who, after helping Steve and Sam by giving them the shield and wings, was accused of violating the Sokovia Accords. Sharon lost everything, and her family had her last name slandered by the US government.
In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we find out where she was all this time. Sharon traveled to Madripoor, where she consolidated an absolute reign. The last episode brought the confirmation that everyone already knew: Sharon is the Merchant of Power, the criminal leader of Madripoor, responsible for leading all the bandits and criminals. She ordered the production of the supersoldier serum, which led to the formation of the Stateless People.
During the last episode, Sharon assists Bucky and Sam in their fight against Karli Morgenthau‘s group. However, her goal was different. She wanted revenge on the girl who stole her stock of serum. She succeeded in her intentions and took Karli’s life with a revolver. Sharon also kills Batroc, who threatens to reveal her real identity.
We see Sharon standing before a courtroom during the post-credits scene, receiving what she has always dreamed of: the official pardon from the government. She is offered back her position as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., something she accepts. Just when we thought the character would be back in the MCU on the good guys’ side, Sharon reveals that she has officially become a villain.