Long before Falcon and Winter Soldier, Captain America’s partner Sharon Carter once replaced Nick Fury as head of SHIELD.
Disney + The Falcon and the Winter Soldier brings together many of Captain America’s greatest characters, including Steve Rogers’ partner Sharon Carter. Unlike her MCU counterpart, Sharon Carter from the Marvel Universe operated as Agent 13 of SHIELD for decades.
Sharon is a world-class field agent and is one of the few people on the planet who can keep up with Steve Rogers in both fights and espionage. However, during a particularly tumultuous period, their relationship was strained when she became his boss after being promoted to SHIELD’s new boss.
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His new promotion was announced in the late 2000s. Captain America # 31 by Dan Jurgens and Andy Kubert. Most of the problem featured her and Captain America fighting in the Savage Land while Sharon acted cold towards Steve. He had recently confessed his love to her, and even though he apparently shared these feelings, she rejected him. At the end of the issue, they finally seemed to resolve their differences and were about to kiss when Nick Fury appeared, interrupting them. Back in New York, he confirmed that Sharon was filling in for him as head of SHIELD while he took care of some personal matters. It seems this new job was the true which is why Sharon refused to return Steve’s affection.
His tenure as the leader of SHIELD was during a difficult time for the agency. Red Skull had stolen their helicopter, limiting the spy agency’s ability to respond to global threats. Additionally, AIM was developing new biological weapons as part of a war against Hydra. AIM also resurrected a man named Clinton McIntyre who had died in the 1940s after receiving a faulty version of the Super Soldier serum. McIntire became a new villain, Protocide, who was much stronger and more cruel than Steve Rogers.
Protocolide proved to be the biggest new threat to emerge during this time. The villain killed two SHIELD agents and nearly beat up USAgent to death. When Protocide and Steve fought in an AIM facility, Protocide threw him into a chamber filled with radioactive energy. SHIELD agents rescued Steve and Sharon ordered him to seek medical attention. He openly defied her orders. Following the Protocol, he stole a SHIELD vehicle and one of the world’s most dangerous biological weapons, the Omega Compound, a single drop of which could destroy New York. During their final conflict, Protocide was killed and the Omega Compound was destroyed. But that Steve Rogers stole such a dangerous weapon while disobeying direct orders from the SHIELD boss said it all. He might love Sharon, but he didn’t respect her, something he even admitted to himself.
Beyond threats from supervillains, bioweapons, and criminal organizations, Steve Rogers’ personal life was also a drag on the agency. After being rejected by Sharon, he stepped up his relationship with a defense attorney named Connie Ferrari. Steve withheld his identity from her, despite their greater intimacy, something that caused tension as Sharon seemed to repeatedly interrupt her appointments with pressing matters that Steve never explained. To further complicate matters, Connie’s brother had died while in the military, or so she believed. In truth, he had been a SHIELD agent who went rogue and faked his own death. Things got tense when Captain America arrested the leader of AIM and Connie defended the criminal in court. When the defense seemed likely to win, Steve and Sharon teamed up to obtain more evidence against AIM’s operations.
Things came to a head when Nick Fury located Connie’s brother, rogue agent David Ferrari. Steve helped stop David and prevented him from starting a global nuclear war. However, Connie eventually realized that Captain America was actually her partner Steve Rogers, who had lied to her for months. Unsurprisingly, she left him. Around the same time, Nick Fury returned to take on his role as SHIELD’s boss, forcing Sharon out even though she technically had more authority than he did while in that role. The two most important men in Sharon Carter’s life were WWII heroes with old-fashioned attitudes, and in the end, neither of them treated her with the respect she deserved.
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