Emily VanCamp will return as Sharon Carter in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, although when Kevin Feige announced this at D23, he made the mistake of calling the character Peggy. Of course, this has resurrected the contentious issue of Steve Rogers and his relationship with the Carter women.
In the original Captain America comics Peggy was a relatively minor character, retroactively depicted as Steve Rogers’ wartime love interest. His primary significant other in the present day actually was Sharon, with the pair having an on and off relationship over the years both professional and romantic, with Sharon being one of the first to know who was hidden under the star-spangled uniform. She was initially depicted as Peggy’s younger sister (as Steve’s original defrosting took place in the 1960s) before being later retconned as her niece as time marched ever forward with characters staying the same age, as is wont to happen in comics. The MCU however, flipped the script on the women. In The Winter Soldier, Sharon was a minor presence as an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent (as well as Peggy’s great-niece) assigned to watch over Steve by posing as his neighbor, then in Civil War helped Steve stay ahead of those hunting Bucky. Meanwhile, Peggy’s role in Captain America’s origin was heavily amplified, portraying her as an intelligent and capable woman who challenged him at every turn, with her very presence being a significant factor in his development into the soldier and man he became, and when being spurred on by someone as beautiful and fearless as her it’s easy to see why he fell for her.
Fans all remember the kiss between Steve and Sharon in Civil War, and how annoyed it made many of them. The whole non-issue of its potentially incestuous nature aside, Peggy was supposed to be the love of Steve’s life, his memory of her and the time they spent together never truly leaving him. The kiss with Sharon was probably, like many throwaway moments included in the MCU, intended as a nod to the events of the comics. Unfortunately in this case, its inclusion went against how Steve had thus far been portrayed, being counter to his loyalty and dedication to one woman, even one he would never see again as he remembered her, a part of what made him so admirable.
Despite Peggy’s role in the Captain America story proper ending with his being frozen in the arctic for nearly 70 years, the ever-expanding MCU wasn’t done with her, largely as a result of Hayley Atwell’s memorable and popular performance. The one-shot short Agent Carter led to a two-season series of the same name where Peggy rises in prominence in the S.S.R. (the precursor to S.H.I.E.L.D.), as well as two episodes of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during sections set in the Second World War, where she's depicted as a sometime member of the Howling Commandos. Even in the present day as an elderly woman, it’s made apparent that Steve hasn't gotten over her, the loss of the woman she was still emotionally raw for him.
Now that Endgame saw Steve finally getting his happy ending with the woman he loves, their time-fragmented relationship worked out in the end, and as neatly as is possible for the participants of a cosmic war surviving in its aftermath. However, the lingering issue of his kiss with Sharon and the implication of his not being quite as pure of heart as we’re supposed to believe remains a small taint on an otherwise unblemished character.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022