Captain America: Civil War was rather well received by fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (check our review out here) but one sub-plot that didn't quite receive universal praise was the burgeoning romance between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp).
Cap's first 2011 outing, Captain America: The First Avenger, established a sweet, old-fashioned relationship between the titular hero and the strong-willed, feisty Strategic Scientific Reserve officer Peggy Carter, and the duo's final exchange before Rogers takes an extended holiday in the Arctic is nothing short of heartbreaking. Because of this, fans were a little shocked when, in this year's Civil War, Steve discovers that the blonde agent assigned to keep an eye on him in The Winter Soldier is actually the great niece of his recently deceased old flame.
Despite this revelation, Cap and Sharon share a passionate kiss (much to the approval of the onlooking Bucky and Falcon) later in the movie, perhaps assuming that Peggy would want the pair to be happy and move on, etc. Now the woman behind Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell herself, has waded into the debate whilst speaking at Dallas Comic Con last week and it seems that Captain America's new relationship doesn't exactly have her blessing. IGN quotes Atwell as saying (mostly tongue-in-cheek):
"First of all she'd be turning over in her grave, she'd be like 'no.' And she'd inject herself with the blue serum and become a super villain. She'd break out of her coffin and ground [Sharon]. She'd ground her. Then she'd kick Steve's ass as well.... I wouldn't want to date my Great Aunt's guy. It just feels like it crosses an incestuous boundary. And Peggy just died. That's even more disrespectful, right? It's like, 'don't touch that'. You can't tap that!"
Of course, Steve Rogers has been no stranger to controversy as of late, with the comics recently revealing the patriotic super-soldier to have been secretly working for arch enemies Hydra, and Atwell points to this as another reason Sharon should stay away, stating, "She'd want the best for her and she'd want her dating a good guy. And now with this whole 'Hail Hydra' business, I don't know if Steve's good enough for her, so on all levels, it's just a big fat 'no'."
Whilst you can argue that Steve and Sharon make a good on-screen pairing, both understanding the others' demanding occupations, Atwell echoes the sentiments of many Marvel fans who believe Cap should have waited a little longer between burying Peggy and making-out with her relative. After all, he was probably already on his last chance after Peggy found him kissing Natalie Dormer in The First Avenger.
The Agent Carter star has been speaking frequently following the cancellation of her spin-off series and has expressed an interest in continuing with the show, although there have been no official signs of interest from channels or streaming services as of yet.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.