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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So HOW Old Is Captain America’s Girlfriend?!?

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The following issue, we learn that it is PEGGY Carter, the gal from Cap’s past! Englehart explains all…

Their big reunion…

Later, after the bad guys are all defeated…

So that was the set-up for years. Peggy was Sharon’s older sister and Peggy became a supporting character in Cap’s book and in the Avengers. She served as a SHIELD agent had a relationship with Gabe Jones (an interracial relationship – impressive, Marvel!) and she eventually worked as a support staff for the Avengers.

It was not a major issue when Sharon Carter was presumed dead (see this Abandoned An’ Forsaked for more information), but when she is back and still the same age as Cap, it got to be kind of weird when we were now fifty, sixty and seventy years away from World War II.

The way it was handled for years was by just not using Peggy Carter. She sort of just vanished after Sharon returned. She was not used from the mid-90s until just a few years ago, when Ed Brubaker deftly abandoned an’ forsaked the whole sister angle and the two are now niece and aunt…

Brubaker later showed Peggy suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, likely explaining where she disappeared to for all those years.

Of course, the presumption is that while Sharon is calling her “aunt” she is really Sharon’s GRAND-Aunt, as 2011’s Captain America #1 by Brubaker and Steve McNiven (holy crap, how awesome is this McNiven art?) shows us Cap reflecting on how it is sometimes easy to forget that he is a man from the past until, of course, one of his old friends dies. Here, Peggy passes away as a 91-year-old….

So the odds are that Sharon is too young to have a 91-year-old aunt. More likely she was Sharon’s grand-aunt.

If you have a suggestion for a future Abandoned an’ Forsaked, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

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38 Comments

Incidentally, have reprints fouled up the hair colors of these women? In the first scan above, Sharon Carter has strawberry blonde hair or reddish blonde hair or light red hair. Later on, she has Flash Gordon blonde hair.

(Of course, naturally red haired women seem to often color their hair blonde. Nicole Kidman, Dreama Walker, et al.)

In a few years, something similar is going to have to be done about US Agent having a brother that died in Vietnam.

I’ve liked many retcons Brubaker did in his long run in Captain American, mostly because they were simple and elegant and made sense.

But there was one exception – exactly this one!

It would be simpler to say that Sharon Carter had been drinking the Infinite Formula just as the others in SHIELD’s Inner Circle. Or, at least, the same soviet counterpart used by Black Widow and Winter Soldier.

No need to “update chronology”, as it was also done with Iron Man.

Oh, well… the “resurrection” of Steve Rogers for the Heroic Age (after his death in the Civil War aftermath) would be simpler if Brubaker had used the old LMD pattern…

Not mentioning X-Men: Deadly Genesis… hehe

Sometimes (or many times), the simplest solutions are the best.

Can anyone point me to a comic that explicitly states that dum-dum and other older SHIELD members have been taking the infinity formula alongside Nick? I know that a lot of fans hold to that idea and at least one editor has mentioned it but I have never seen anything in the comics that makes that claim.

Wow, Peggy’s death was completely under my radar! I had no idea she had died.

PM, the problem is that Sharon is less than 35 years old. Her having a sister over 55 years older than her raises problems.

Charles, I thought the same thing–though as I read fewer books now, I could easily have missed it.
Part of what made the Gabe/Peggy relationship memorable was the way the Skull freaked out on seeing them together. I think it was the first time in the Marvel Age he was shown taking the Master Race myth seriously, rather than just treating his Nazism as a kind of generic evilness.
The newsreel angle makes good sense–even if Peggy had known Steve as Steve, it’s hard to imagine giving such a detailed description Sharon could recognize him. Especially when Peggy was amnesiac.As you say, Brian it’s like a mini-retcon–did Stan change direction midway through (it happened often enough back in the day, like the early treatment of the Inhumans in FF).
I’ve always thought the romance in the Girl From Cap’s Past issue was played up more strongly than most of the series–Hohn Romita’s influence, after year’s of romance comics? Or am I imagining it?

PM, to clarify, what I meant was that Nick only joined SHIELD’s inner circle a few months Marvel time before Sharon first appeared. Sharon would have been in her fifties at least when Nick first joined.
As for the Soviet counterpart, how could Sharon get it without being a Soviet spy?

charles knight;”Can anyone point me to a comic that explicitly states that dum-dum and other older SHIELD members have been taking the infinity formula alongside Nick? I know that a lot of fans hold to that idea and at least one editor has mentioned it but I have never seen anything in the comics that makes that claim.”

Yeah, the “aging problem” of Fury’s Howler buddies (Dugan, Pinkerton, Gabe Jones, etc) has always bugged me. Does anyone have any explicit evidence regarding them taking the infinity formula?

Funny how Sharon gets miffed at Nick’s use of the word “broad” but giving their (Cap’s, Peggy’s, Nick’s and Dum Dum’s) WW II era and early 20th century upbringing he used it properly as a sign of respect – as in a woman that’s considered (by men) an equal to a man.

Did Englehart ever raise the possibility that Cap would have to decide between staying with Sharon or going back to Peggy as a romantic partner? Or was it just assumed that Cap would move on from Peggy because she was, like, old? I think it’d be understandable if Cap did make that choice, but I’m not sure how you can write that story without making him look like a jerk.

Re: trajan23 — I think the closest explanation has been offered in the handbooks, which suggested that the Howling Commandos received doses of the Infinity Serum via blood transfusions from Nick Fury during the war (some, like Dugan and Jones more than others, apparently). Personally I always favored the idea that the Yellow (Golden) Claw prolonged Dugan’s life for some sort of Atlas scheme having to do with the Claw saving Dugan’s life back in the late 80s Nick Fury series. If I ever make it to the pros, that’s something in my back pocket to draw on.

Have a good day.
G Morrow

tdsacomic.com

with dum dum’s comment phrased the way it is, how old does that make him?!

I think however nick’s use of the formula was a secret for decades after the war?

Darren, it was never suggested that he felt the same way for Peggy he did in WW II–he’d moved on, and Sharon was the love of his life–I’d say that was all there was to it. Understandable since as far as he knew, he’d lost her forever and that was 10-12 years ago (from Cap’s suspend animation viewpoint).

knew marvel likes to play fast and lose with their time line to keep their characters from ageing too much including cap from becoming too old. but to not only have peggy change from older sister to great aunt of sharon who is suppose to be caps love . then the story line of sharon age being abandonded by stan lee himself just proves even love in the marvel universe can change on a whim.and also relationships of two ladies who are special to some one like cap

@Michael

A 55-year difference between siblings is not impossible… if the father remarried a younger wife (or two). I believe that my dad’s half-siblings were upwards of 45 years older.

” In a few years, something similar is going to have to be done about US Agent having a brother that died in Vietnam. ”

Iraq or Afghanistan, take your pick. Problem, unfortunately, solved.

I’ll have to check this, but I’d swear Peggy became Sharon’s aunt some time before Brubaker came along. I became a regular reader of the series not long after the pages shown above, with the Yellow Claw four-parter. I was stunned at reading here that they were originally billed as sisters!

G Morrow:”Re: trajan23 — I think the closest explanation has been offered in the handbooks, which suggested that the Howling Commandos received doses of the Infinity Serum via blood transfusions from Nick Fury during the war (some, like Dugan and Jones more than others, apparently). Personally I always favored the idea that the Yellow (Golden) Claw prolonged Dugan’s life for some sort of Atlas scheme having to do with the Claw saving Dugan’s life back in the late 80s Nick Fury series. If I ever make it to the pros, that’s something in my back pocket to draw on.

Have a good day.
G Morrow”

Thanks for the info. However, that does seem to indicate that the problem has never been addressed in an actual story (as opposed to a HANDBOOK entry).Plus, frankly, the idea that they have all received blood transfusions from Fury strikes me as lacking in elegance (the Howlers all have compatible blood types with Fury?).

Like It’s Me here, I thought that Peggy and Sharon had been changed to aunt/niece before Bru. Perhaps because it’s something that “works” well, it seems like it was the case before that? Like, duh, of course they’re related that way.

In fact, I didn’t realize they’d been sisters before that, now that I think about it. Huh.

Cuz even in the ’60s the age difference seems to be fairly big (Peggy looks to be in WW2 about the age that Sharon is 15 or so years later, which obviously isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but is certainly a big age gap).

It’s Me, I started reading Cap at the same time and it was clear they were sisters then. So the change must have come after that (if it did indeed precede Brubaker).

Mr. Cronin, this reminds me of the Hangman (Harlan Krueger). The early Werewolf by Night stories featuring Krueger established him as a WWII veteran-kind of odd, since he debuted in the early 1970’s. That would place him around 43 or so. Since vigilantes with World War II backgrounds stand as a tad rare in adventure thrillers (compared to those who served in World War I and the Vietnam conflict), this merits attention.

Interesting, but the degree to which you user illustrations seems really excessive. In some cases, it’s practically entire stories, both here and in Comic Books Legends Revealed. This goes WAY beyond fair use.

I dd some looking … yeah, they’re sisters in the stuff I read early on. Peggy shows up in the Faustus/Grand Director story that “killed” Sharon off for a while, but my glancing through it didn’t reveal a reference to their relatedness beyond having the same last name. But I’d swear I’ve thought of them as aunt & niece for years, and I was late coming to Brubaker’s Cap (it’s been a long time since I’ve followed Marvel closely) and I think I’ve only seen him deal with Peggy by giving her a funeral! Now I’m really wanting to know what issue it was, Bru or not.

Now I’m really wanting to know what issue it was, Bru or not.

Captain America #25, as shown in the piece.

It’s Me- Sharon is referred to as Peggy’s sister in Gruenwald’s run (e.g. Captain America 351). Maybe Peggy was retconned into being Sharon’s neice sometime after Gru passed away but before Brubaker’s run, but Peggy was hardly ever mentioned in that period, so I doubt it.

Were it up to me, I would have the Shaper of Worlds cross path with Nick’s friends in some kind of untold tale. That is the most elegant solution to the dilemma of their apparent ages I can think of.

Well, until and unless someone decides to go all the way and decree that Marvel (and DC) aging simply does not work similarly to that of our world. It is obviously true, it might as well be stated.

The age difference between my oldest and youngest siblings is 25 years, same mother.

Up to a 30 years difference between full siblings (both parents the same), while rare, isn’t unheard of – especially for persons born before WWII (it was still common in many parts of the nation for women to marry at 13-16).

On the other hand, if they only shared a father, the range can be much greater. I have a 40 year old friend that has an illegitimate great-uncle younger than she is, that her great-grandfather fathered when in his 90s.

trajan23: “the Howlers all have compatible blood types with Fury?”

Maybe Fury has an O negative blood type.

Just read a news story about a 74-year man who’s third wife is pregnant with his 7th child leading to a 51 year gap between the ages of half-siblings so this can happen but is considered newsworthy..maybe more attention than a spy really wants (unless they are going for “hiding in plain sight”..)

To be honest, I think this is a fairly elegant solution to the difficulties of floating timelines in a fictional universe. Yes, it changes these two characters relationship, but still keeps them related and makes it so that Sharon can be inspired by Peggy.

And this retcon didn’t have to alter either character’s relationship to Cap. Peggy was still his love during WWII, Sharon is his modern love with loose ties to his past.

I mean, if Sharon had actually been taking infinity formula for 40 years and had been a spy all that time, wouldn’t that fundamentally change the character and her dynamic to Cap? She’d be much wiser, less modern and very different.

It also allows these relatively realistic characters to remain that way, as their origins don’t have to be tampered with in some fantastic way.

And it’s very simple. “Sharon is Peggy’s niece,” is way easier than “Sharon is Peggy’s sister who was put in suspended animation for 30 years due to being poisoned by post WWII Nazi Zombies. Once a cure was found for Nazi Zombie Poison we thawed her out, but fearing that the shock of too much time passing would collapse her feeble mind, we put in memory implants so that she would think she was born in the modern age…though she would remember her sister and family…”

trajan23: “the Howlers all have compatible blood types with Fury?”

Maybe Fury has an O negative blood type.

I think we all know that Nick Fury’s blood simply pummels any other blood it meets into submission.

Is it true that a random female ‘Agent 13′ appears in the original Captain America #1 (Golden Age)? This character was later retconned into Peggy…I’d love to see a scan of that…I LOVE the richness of Marvel’s history and how so many of these characters–even the supporting casts–are so detailed and interesting.

I wasn’t aware of the Peggy/Gabe relationship.

Pieces falling into place for connective tissue between Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. We know that Agent Triplett’s grandfather was a Howling Commando, with many assuming it was Gabe. Could Peggy be his grandmother?

The impossible can be reality: I’m 28. My older sister? 50. Nearly a 22 year difference. The youngest sister is 33. I have seven sisters and one brother, there’s nine of us in total. My brother is the baby, technically(he’s 25).

You can have a 25 or even a 30 year difference. I sometimes go along and call my sister my grandma when people see me with her. Lol

Nah. JK. She will kill me if I said that.

marshall rex fury

May 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Is it true that a random female ‘Agent 13? appears in the original Captain America #1 (Golden Age)? This character was later retconned into Peggy…I’d love to see a scan of that…I LOVE the richness of Marvel’s history and how so many of these characters–even the supporting casts–are so detailed and interesting.

That would be Captain America Comics #1 (March, 1941), page 4 panel 3 of the first story. An army official says:
” The young lady behind the rubber mask is X-13, one of our most trusted agents!”
Best,
Marshall Rex

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