Inspired by her aunt’s adventures in the French Resistance alongside Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, Sharon Carter joins espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and often goes deep undercover to protect her country.
Born into a wealthy Virginia family, Sharon grows up hearing stories of Captain America from her aunt Margaret “Peggy” Carter, AKA Peggy Carter, who, as the French Resistance fighter Mademoiselle, had fought alongside and romanced the Super Soldier. Her aunt’s stories about her adventures with Cap inspire the idealistic Sharon to join the recently formed international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
During an early mission against Hydra, the mercenary Georges Batroc, AKA Batroc, attacks Sharon, who was in the middle of delivering the powerful explosive Inferno 42. Batroc absconds with the explosive; Captain America, again active after surviving in suspended animation, aids Sharon in preventing the explosive’s misuse. Despite being haunted by her strong resemblance to Peggy, he initially knows her only as Agent 13. Cap works alongside Sharon on several subsequent missions, such as infiltrating Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) to learn about its new leader George Tarleton, AKA M.O.D.O.K., and preventing Johann Shmidt, AKA the Red Skull, from destroying the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, among others.
Sharon Carter is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, martial artist, athlete, and markswoman. She is a highly trained espionage agent, fluent in several languages, and an expert with weapons and computers. As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., she has access to a wide array of advanced technology.
As a spy for S.H.I.E.L.D., their enemies are her enemies. As such, Sharon often goes up against the Nazis Red Skull, Arnim Zola, and Hydra agents, Baron Heinrich Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo, Machinesmith, and the Fear Lord Nightmare, to name a few.
She also faces Doctor Faustus, the same corrupt psychiatrist that treats her aunt Peggy, making her relive her wartime battles to learn more about Captain America. Carter defeats him and his Hydra agent allies.
Tried and Tested
Hearing her aunt Peggy’s stories of the war and her brief romance with Cap, Sharon ultimately idolizes her, who proves to be a greater influence than Sharon’s own parents. Sharon’s father never forgives Peggy for that, especially after Sharon joins S.H.I.E.L.D. Sharon tries to emulate her aunt’s past as a woman of action, and she also hopes working with S.H.I.E.L.D. might lead to working with Captain America, who had then-recently revived from suspended animation.
Sure enough, she was right. She went on several missions with Cap and romantic feelings develop between the pair with Cap proposing marriage, but Sharon declines due to her responsibilities to S.H.I.E.L.D. Her refusals stemmed from a feeling of disloyalty towards her aunt. Their relationship continues to be on- and off-again and eventually Sharon reveals her real name to him, but leaves out that she’s related to Peggy.
Sharon also joins the Femme Force, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s all-women squad, and later Captain America’s Secret Avengers. She often works closely with S.H.I.E.L.D. allies Nick Fury Sr., Dum Dum Dugan, and Maria Hill as well as Avenger Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon (later Captain America), and Bucky Barnes, AKA Winter Soldier.
An Agent’s Debrief
Once Sharon refused Cap’s marriage proposal, a rift developed between the two. While impersonating German spy Irma Kruhl, Sharon rescued Cap during a clash with would-be conqueror Franz Gruber (then impersonating Baron Heinrich Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo), and the pair reconciled, continuing their romance. Following their defeat of the Red Skull’s Fourth Sleeper, Sharon told Cap her real name, although she did not reveal her familial relationship to his former flame Peggy Carter.
Concerned for Sharon’s safety, Cap convinced her to transfer from S.H.I.E.L.D. field operations to support staff, but when Cap was endangered by the A.I.M. operative called Cyborg, she quickly returned to action to save him. Her unwillingness to stay out of combat troubled Cap for a time, but the couple reconciled following Cap’s battle with Dr. Gorbo, aka the Monster Ape. While heading S.H.I.E.L.D.’s specially outfitted Femme Force, Sharon assisted Cap and his crime-fighting partner Falcon in undermining Hydra’s Las Vegas activities, which proved to be a front by the Red Skull to lure them into the gigantic Fifth Sleeper’s range of attack. Cap defeated both Skull and Sleeper, but when he subsequently quarreled with S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury Sr., he forbade all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, particularly Sharon, from associating with Cap. Although Fury Sr. soon recanted his orders, Sharon, perhaps thinking that life as Captain America’s girlfriend provided enough adventure on its own, resigned from S.H.I.E.L.D. and accompanied Cap on a vacation, one that was interrupted by a battle with the two madmen who had used the identities of Captain America and Bucky in the 1950s.
Following a clash with the Cowled Commander’s Crime Wave, Sharon’s new life at Cap’s side was quickly interrupted when word reached her of a decline in Peggy Carter’s condition. Departing New York without explanation, she traveled to the Carter family home and was captured by criminal psychiatrist Dr. Faustus, who was manipulating her family to lure Cap and Falcon into a trap to drive them mad. Sharon and her friends resisted Faustus’ mind-control efforts and freed Peggy, who emerged from her decades-long illness upon her reunion with Cap. Initially, Peggy had little concept of how much time had passed, and she sought to again join Cap in action, but he and Sharon dissuaded her, and Peggy instead joined S.H.I.E.L.D., her position now oddly reversed with Sharon’s. Sharon resumed her relationship with Cap but concealed it from Peggy, so as not to set back her mental recovery.
Weeks later, after Sharon and Cap accompanied Ben Grimm, AKA the Thing, to the future era of Earth-691 and assisted the Guardians of the Galaxy against the invading Badoon, Cap, deeply troubled by a recent encounter with the Secret Empire, again gave up his costumed identity, its associations with corrupt government officials more than he could bear. While many of his friends were angered by his decision, the supportive Sharon remained by his side, but his Avengers teammate Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, convinced him to take a new costumed identity. Disappointed, Sharon returned to the Carter home and remained in relative isolation during Cap’s brief career as Nomad. When the Red Skull murdered Cap’s would-be replacement Roscoe, Cap resumed his traditional identity and avenged his imitator.
Despite quarrels over Cap’s growing reluctance to live any sort of civilian life, Cap and Sharon continued their relationship, but matters were further complicated when Sharon rejoined S.H.I.E.L.D. at the request of Regional Director Kurt B. Jacobson. Her investigations uncovered the Red Skull’s role in the upsurge of worldwide monster activity, orchestrated by Arnim Zola. Although Sharon helped Cap escape his enemies, her renewed field agent status resurrected their earlier differences and strained their relationship further.
Eventually, Sharon was assigned as S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to the NYC Police Department while both agencies were investigating the racist and terroristic National Force, secretly led by her enemies Dr. Faustus and the 1950s Captain America, now the Force’s Grand Director. Supposedly affected by mind-influencing gas when a Central Park rally turned violent, Sharon infiltrated the National Force, participating in attacks on New York citizenry and putting Harlem to the torch under the Grand Director’s orders. When confronted by the National Guard, she and her Force cohorts apparently incinerated themselves via the self-destruct device in their uniforms. Himself brainwashed by the National Force for a time, Cap overcame Faustus’ control and ended the Force’s activities, only to learn about Sharon’s apparent death days after the fact. Cap mourned his lover’s death for years but ultimately moved on with his life, dating Bernadette “Bernie” Rosenthal and Rachel Leighton, AKA Diamondback.
Neither Cap nor any of Sharon’s other Super Hero allies suspected that her death was a ruse by S.H.I.E.L.D., which, having faked her incineration, sent her on a top-secret mission, its details unrevealed to this day. Following the mission’s completion, Sharon failed to rendezvous with S.H.I.E.L.D. at her predetermined extraction point, and her fellow agents, including Fury Sr., believed her killed in the line of duty, but this too was a misapprehension, for Sharon remained alive, though imprisoned. Abandoned in enemy territory, Sharon spent months being held under inhumane conditions in the dictatorship of Tap-Kwai. Finally escaping and incorrectly believing S.H.I.E.L.D. had simply abandoned her, she spent the next few years as a mercenary, her assignments often forcing her into violent or degrading activity. Operating outside the law, she cooperated with various criminal figures, including Frank Castle, AKA the Punisher’s right-hand man Microchip and the misanthropic robot Ultron. These years weighed heavily upon Sharon, robbing her of the idealism that had drawn her to S.H.I.E.L.D. and later to Cap, and she grew hardened and embittered.
Eventually infiltrating an organization known as the Kubekult, Sharon learned of its plans to resurrect the cloned persona of Adolf Hitler, aka the Hate-Monger, via the Cosmic Cube, and she became the unlikely ally of the Red Skull, who opposed the cult’s efforts to conquer the world before he could. To aid their mission, the Skull revived the temporarily comatose Cap, who was stunned to learn of Sharon’s survival. After defeating both Kubekult and the Skull, Sharon, still scarred by her experiences, attempted to keep her former lover at a distance, but when Cap was exiled from the U.S. due to machinations by Samuel Saxon, AKA Machinesmith, Sharon followed, ultimately preventing Machinesmith from crashing S.H.I.E.L.D.’s current Helicarrier.
She soon rejoined S.H.I.E.L.D. and sought information on Fury Sr., supposedly slain by the Punisher; learning Fury Sr. had faked his death, she rescued him from imprisonment in a pocket dimension, which his subconscious had remade into a WWII battlefield where he trod alongside his former unit, the Howling Commandos. Fury Sr. remained off duty for a time, during which Sharon served as S.H.I.E.L.D. director, working alongside Cap against such opponents as Nightmare and the Red Skull, briefly wielding the Cosmic Cube.
Despite Sharon’s cynicism, her continued association with Cap, alongside whom she fought Count Nefaria and Protocide, awoke the idealism that had led her to first join S.H.I.E.L.D.. Following the defeat of the latest partnership between the Red Skull and the Hate-Monger, the two men who had ultimately reunited Sharon and Cap to begin with, the couple renewed their romance. Unfortunately, their relationship again became strained when Cap learned of her reluctant involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s anti-mutant Contingency, and the couple again parted ways. For a time, Sharon dated another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Neal Tapper, but he was soon killed by a bomb set by Bucky Barnes, AKA the Winter Solder, formerly Cap’s wartime partner Bucky who was a brainwashed agent of Aleksander Lukin.
When the Winter Soldier regained his memories, Sharon accompanied Cap in searching for him, she and Cap rekindling their romance in the process. Tragically, Sharon was brainwashed by Dr. Faustus under the Red Skull’s orders, and following the so-called “Civil War” of Super Heroes, she covertly shot Cap at point-blank range, supposedly killing him but unknowingly sending his consciousness back in time, and somehow temporally linking him to her. After Sharon discovered she was pregnant, her brainwashing reactivated. She joined Faustus’ forces, but after the Red Skull captured Winter Soldier, Sharon freed him, supposedly to distract heroes pursuing Faustus’ forces. After Sharon miscarried during battle, Faustus inexplicably removed her memories of being pregnant and helped her escape. The Skull later used Sharon’s temporal link to retrieve Cap, whose body he intended to possess, but Cap overcame the Skull’s influence and fully recovered. After ceding the Captain America identity to Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers asked Sharon to join a secret faction of the Avengers and they rekindled their romance.
Sharon then attended her aunt Peggy’s funeral in Paris, France with Rogers, Dum Dum Dugan, and Nick Fury Sr. who all reminisced about their fallen friend. Suddenly they were ambushed by an unseen shooter, except Rogers ran after him. The shooter was former ally super-spy Codename: Bravo who had not been seen since 1944. The troop investigated and found an elderly Jimmy Jankovicz, AKA Jimmy Jupiter, who used his ability to enter an alternate reality or “dream state” known as the Land of Nowhere to help WWII. But he was injured in the mission, trapping himself, Bravo, and other enemy agents in the dream world. But the catatonic Jimmy was kidnapped a rogue Hydra cell led by Queen Hydra who was in league with Bravo and Baron Zemo! Sharon then had realistic dreams of Bravo and woke up to Rogers being grabbed through a window by Ameridroid and ultimately ended up trapped in the dream world. Meanwhile, Bravo and his wife, Queen Hydra, planned to use Jupiter’s ability to broadcast his dreamworld across the country. Sharon, Fury Sr., and the Flacon tried to shut down a broadcast. They succeeded and Rogers defeated Bravo who was arrested. Zemo and Queen Hydra remained in the wind.
Sharon proposed to Rogers but then he became stranded in Dimension Z, and in saving him from Arnim Zola’s mutates inside the dimension, she sacrificed herself, again apparently perishing in the process. Though she was actually stuck in Dimension Z, and as time passed differently there, she aged rapidly. While there, she took in Zola’s son Ian as her own. When Arnim attacked New York City, Falcon found Sharon in his captivity and was then rescued by Ian and returned to her world.
After an incident at Pleasant Hill, the secret superhuman prison, indirectly caused by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill, Sharon became the shadow interim director. Cap supported her appointment to the World Security Council but when offered the position and considering Hydra was again a growing threat, she declined and encouraged Cap to become it’s leader instead. At this time, she did not know that Rogers was actually a different version of himself, a Hydra sleeper agent created by the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik. As director, he ushered in a new era with Hydra and took over the United States.
He also attempted to convince Carter to join him but not believing he was the real Rogers, she tried to assassinate him, unsuccessfully. She was imprisoned but Cap was determined and had Faustus attempt to brainwash her into becoming an agent for Hydra. Little did they know that Carter had protected herself from his brainwashing and tricked him into thinking she was on their side. Ever the double agent always siding with S.H.I.E.L.D. This deception allowed her to take over Hydra’s Helicarriers and crash it, thus aiding the other heroes who were attacking Hydra simultaneously. The real Cap returned after Hydra fell, and he and Sharon reunited, going on missions together. She was then contacted by General Thunderbolt Ross who needed help investigating terrorist attacks coordinated by Nuke clones.
Sharon later allied with the Daughters of Liberty when the Power Elite framed and imprisoned Rogers for the murder of Ross. The Power Elite’s leader was Peggy Carter, long thought dead. Peggy revealed that Selene of the Power Elite stole a bit of Sharon’s soul and they needed to take it back before it was too late. Rogers, Falcon, and Winter Soldier went undercover in Adamsville, Ohio where Selene was based who was feeding off the souls of men using the power of the Blood-Marine. The Daughters of Liberty then discovered Ross alive and Rogers with his allies blew their cover and tried to stop Selene who sent her enthralled men after them. One of Earth’s most powerful witches Agatha Harkness, Wakanda’s Princess Shuri, and Sharon, wearing the Iron Patriot armor, arrived to help. They defeated Selene and restored Sharon’s soul and her youth as well.