The MCU said goodbye to Peggy Carter in CIVIL WAR when she died in her sleep. But the former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest of Captain America leaves the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a worthy predecessor: Sharon Carter.

In WINTER SOLDIER, Sharon goes undercover as Rogers’ neighbor, Kate. Then in CIVIL WAR, Agent Carter’s funeral reveals that Sharon happens to be Peggy’s niece. In both films, Sharon proves her capability as an agent, scene after scene. So with our last ‘Agent Carter’ possibly gone for good, could Sharon Carter takes over her aunt Peggy’s role in the MCU?

sharon carter
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

A Sharon Carter Comic Book Recap

Much like how she’s depicted in the films, the comic book version of Sharon Carter tends to put her job as an agent before anything else. So much so, in fact, that she goes as far as to fake her death in order to deploy on a secret mission of Nick Fury’s. Sharon even hides this mission from Captain America, who mourns the death of the woman he loves. Yes – Cap and Sharon are romantic in the comics, too. Similar to the way Cap and Sharon are flirty in WINTER SOLDIER, the romantic tension between the two characters is omnipresent, despite being together or not.

Cap and Sharon eventually form a Secret Avengers force. The subdivision specifically acts to clean up the aftermath of H.A.M.M.E.R. and S.H.I.E.L.D. after Cap steps in for Norman Osborn as the leader. Later, Cap suggests that Sharon become promoted to Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in place of Maria Hill (who is found guilty on trial for a botched prison incident). But Sharon turns down this job offer in the midst of growing trouble with HYDRA.

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Keeping Up with the Carters

The most recent film Peggy Carter appears in is ANT-MAN when the Pym Particle is discussed in the opening scene. Since then, Peggy has only made one other appearance: in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (a TV series). Her on-screen absence could mean that the “Peggy Carter” era is over. The fact that her solo TV series, AGENT CARTER fell through in 2016 especially supports this.

Aside from Phil Coulson, Peggy Carter remains the only other character to hover between film and television in the MCU. Since this practice is so uncommon, it’s likely that Peggy’s role in the MCU from here on out will be solely flashback cameos, similar to the one in ANT-MAN. That is unless she appears in movies that actually take place in the past, such as CAPTAIN MARVEL.

From here on out, Peggy Carter will probably appear on-screen as often (if not, less often) as Howard Stark. But before we discuss the role that Sharon Carter could fulfill in the MCU, there’s one other technical implication that might affect her future in the franchise: Chris Evan’s contract with Marvel.

Though Evans may extend his contract, he’s currently only required to make two more films. Presumably, these will be INFINITY WAR and its sequel, the UNTITLED AVENGERS FILM. In my opinion, the Captain America movies only get progressively better, so Evans’ contract extension isn’t implausible in the slightest. But if he chooses not to extend, then Cap-centered narratives like Peggy’s and Sharon’s might dissolve.

sharon carter
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

WINTER SOLDIER: Sharon Carter Begins

In WINTER SOLDIER, Sharon Carter is a skillful agent, and therefore a capable replacement for Peggy going forward. Sharon goes undercover as an innocent nurse, Kate, who lives across the hall from Cap. Cap tells her that she’s welcome to use his laundry machine for the cost of, “a cup of coffee.” But Sharon respectfully declines. She says,

“You really don’t want my scrubs in your machine. I just finished a rotation in the infectious disease room.”

Either (1) Sharon Carter prepares for any and all questions ahead of time, or (2) she’s just plain quick on her feet when it comes to thinking up an alibi. Either way, Peggy would be proud.

It’s not until Nick Fury is shot that Sharon Carter reveals who she truly is: an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. She quickly radios for help. Later on in the film, Sharon Carter stands her ground when a HYDRA gunman orders someone to deploy ships. Despite a stab wound in the leg, Sharon picks herself up and continues to shoot at the gunman.

Sharon Carter is tough, fearless, and fast-acting: all qualities of a respectable agent. Also, at the end of the film, Sharon is at the CIA gun range shooting multiple bullseyes. For a minor character in WINTER SOLDIER, Sharon Carter proves again and again that she is more than just a pretty face.

sharon carter
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

CIVIL WAR: The Rise of Sharon Carter

Though her identity as Sharon Carter may be exposed, Sharon still proves to be extremely good at keeping secrets in CIVIL WAR. Right from the start, this is illustrated when Cap is surprised to learn Sharon is Peggy’s niece.

“My mom tried to stop my from enlisting. But, um… Not aunt Peggy. She bought me my first thigh holster.”

Sharon also admits how she never told Peggy about her undercover mission with Cap (the one from WINTER SOLDIER). Clearly, Sharon won’t let the emotions of anyone, including her own, get in the way of a mission. The only time she compromises this fact is when she gives Cap his shield and suit near the end of the film. However, I believe this to be her depiction of, “doing the right thing,” rather than just, “helping out her boyfriend.”

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Additionally, Sharon seems to have even more responsibilities in CIVIL WAR than she does in WINTER SOLDIER. When the explosion at the Sokovia Accords happens, she immediately says, “I have to go to work,” and rushes to the crime scene. Sharon is obviously in a high position of power with the CIA, because she barks out orders about, “getting forensics,” and, “moving quickly.”

The next time we see Sharon Carter, she even attempts to help the others fight Bucky. While the love story between her and Cap is largely intertwined with the plot of CIVIL WAR, Sharon Carter still acts as the strong, independent female figure Marvel builds her up to be in WINTER SOLDIER.

sharon carter
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Return of an ‘Agent Carter’

At this point in the MCU, Sharon Carter is a highly fertile character to explore. Not to mention, she fits into the correct timeline of the MCU (unlike Peggy). If the Captain America films come to a close, it’s likely that Sharon Carter would cease to be such a relevant character in the franchise. However, I hope Marvel makes good use of the character in future films while they have the chance.

Oh, and a side note: in the comics, Sharon is constantly searching for the “World’s Greatest Hamburger.” I personally think this just adds to her list of highly likable character traits. Sharon Carter’s love affair with Captain America does not define her, which is such a refreshing concept for a superhero storyline.

Carter has her own abilities and dedication to her job, even putting herself in the line of danger for the greater good. Maybe we’ll continue to see her post-Captain America films, as a higher-up in S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside director Maria Hill. Or, maybe we’ll see her in the future if Marvel utilizes a Secret Avengers plot from the comics. There are a lot of ways the MCU could go with Sharon Carter. Maybe so many, that someday, she becomes an even more recognizable name than her aunt Peggy.

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