Margaret "Peggy" Carter is a Marvel Comics character that originally appeared as a supporting character in the comic books featuring Captain America. She was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and introduced in the Marvel Universe in Tales of Suspense #77 in 1966.
She first appeared, unnamed, as a wartime love interest of Steve Rogers in Tales of Suspense #75 (single panel) and #77 (May 1966). She appeared again as the older sister of Sharon Carter in Captain America #161 (May 1973). She was later retconned as Sharon's aunt.
When Peggy was only a teenager, she joined the French Resistance during World War II. She proved to be a valiant and highly capable agent with the Resistance and served on several Resistance operations alongside the hero Captain America. Carter and Captain America fell in love with each other.
When she heard the rumor that Captain America had apparently been killed just before the end of the war in Europe, Peggy withdrew from the world, refusing to speak, dressing in mourning garb, and requiring hospitalization. She began treatments from the criminal Doctor Faustus. After Captain America resurfaced many years after the war, he learned of Peggy's whereabouts when he freed her and others from Faustus' clutches. Peggy eventually regained her mental bearings, and initially kept her love for Captain America to herself. Eventually any romantic feelings between the two subsided, but she formed a new romance with Gabe Jones of the Howling Commandos, one of the first interracial relationships in the comics. Peggy worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers Support Staff until she retired, passing away sometime in 2011.
After so many years only appearing as a Satellite Love Interest for the Sentinel of Liberty, Peggy finally became a central character in the new series Operation S.I.N. (a tie-in to Original Sin, apparently). In this series, she also co-stars with Howard Stark (father of Tony Stark). It was first released in January 2015, mirroring the debut of the Agent Carter television series, which also features Peggy and Howard as major characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The event in Operation S.I.N. is set during The '50s.
Nearly a decade after her death, Peggy made a surprise return in Ta-Nehisi Coates' Captain America, apparently with her youth restored (and a new nose ring). Under the assumed alias Dryad, she lead Sharon and a team of fellow female superheroes, named the Daughters of Liberty, in an effort to rescue Steve from an unjust imprisonment.
An alternate universe version of herself as Captain America also appeared in the 2018 run of Exiles, from a past where Steve Rogers was assassinated and Peggy took up the mantle as the good Captain, joined by Gender Flipped sidekick Becky Barnes.
Notable Comic Book Appearances
- The Avengers
- Captain America
- Captain America and the First Thirteen
- Captain America: Peggy Carter, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. — a trade paperback collecting various Captain America stories featuring Peggy
- Operation S.I.N. (2015)
- Tales of Suspense
- Exiles (2018)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe: Portrayed by Hayley Atwell (page):
- Action Girl: Peggy was dedicated to end Nazi oppression and joined the French Resistance while she was still a teenager.
- Action Heroine: Throwing punches and shooting guns are her preferred ways of beating her enemies.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Blonde in the comics, brunette in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Adaptational Nationality: She was American in the comics, but is British in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is much likely because her actress, Hayley Atwell, is a British-American.
- Amnesiac Lover: Peggy was captured by the Gestapo and was being held captive in Paris when it was liberated by the Allies. However, a shell exploded near her during the battle that freed the city, and the shock gave her amnesia. She was found and identified by Resistance colleagues and sent home to her parents in Virginia. When she began to recover from her amnesia, she was suffering from mental and emotional distress, and kept calling for Captain America.
- Ascended Extra: In the comics, Peggy is, at best, an important footnote to Steve and his primary love interest, Sharon Carter. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though, she's become one of the most prominent supporting characters, even after First Avenger seemingly concluded any more adventures in the 40s. The first issue of the 2011 Captain America series even uses her death from old age as a jumping-off point specifically because she'd now be familiar to audiences.
- Back from the Dead: In Ta-Nehisi Coates' run of Captain America.
- Badass Normal: Unlike the captain, she's a normal human without superpowers.
- Battle Couple: With Captain America◊, during the war◊.
- Breakout Character: When Peggy Carter debuted in the comics, it was to be a Temporary Love Interest to Captain America during his time in World War II, but she debuted in The '60s, long after Cap's regular WWII war stories were over. At first she appeared only in Flashbacks (in her first story she wasn't even named!). Under these circumstances, she's rarely been anything more than a Satellite Love Interest in the comics. But when Captain America: The First Avenger came out, since 99% of the film takes place during the War, she naturally had a much bigger role. She took center stage in the one-shot Agent Carter, which was such a huge hit that it spun off into her own regular TV series. It's worth noting that the filmmakers have tried to use Peggy in every single (Earth-bound) MCU vehicle after The First Avenger. Joss Whedon wrote a scene for her in The Avengers, and she has cameos in The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man.
- Character Death: In the modern-day of mainstream comics universe, she has passed away. Her death is shown in Captain America vol. 6 #1, which is released in July 2011, around the same time of Captain America: The First Avenger's release.
- ... and then undone after the release of Avengers: Endgame.
- Comic-Book Time: An aversion since, like Captain America, her backstory is tied into the Second World War. This makes her one of few characters of note to die of old age in mainstream comics.
- Composite Character: In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly Captain America: The First Avenger, she combines elements of Peggy Carter (Action Girl-ness and the name and relationship to Sharon Carter) with Lt. Cynthia Glass from the Sentinel of Liberty Miniseries (who had the same look and was also Phillips' aide).
- Cool Aunt: For Sharon. Peggy is the one who inspires Sharon to become an Action Girl and secret agent in her own rights.
- Expy: In her original appearances, she was one for Golden Age Captain America's Love Interest, Betsy Ross.
- First Love: To Steve Rogers in the MCU. In the mainstream comics, his first love was Lt. Cynthia Glass, the Project Rebirth aid.
- Generation Xerox: Peggy Carter was a heroine of World War II and in a romance with Captain America. Her niece Sharon grew up to become a hero in her own right and got involved in a romance with the same long-lived hero.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Steve prefers to use only his shield when in combat while Peggy is quite the crack shot.
- Heartbroken Badass: When she heard the rumor that Captain America had apparently been killed just before the end of the war in Europe, Peggy withdrew from the world, refusing to speak, dressing in mourning, and requiring hospitalization.
- Jumped at the Call: See the quote above. She dedicated to end Nazi oppression and joined French Resistance.
- La Résistance: She was member of French Resistance during the war against Nazi.
- Lady of War: A competent Action Girl who also manages to be composed, even in battle.
- Legacy Character: Peggy Carter was first known as Agent 13, before her niece, Sharon Carter.
- Nice Hat: An army beret during the war. Agent Carter had a red fedora as her emblem.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: When informally addressed, people refer to her as Peggy instead of Margaret.
- Peggy Carter Is About to Shoot You: In the cover◊ for first issue of Operation S.I.N..
- Related in the Adaptation:
- Retcon: She was once introduced as much older sister of Sharon, later retconned into becoming her aunt.
- Strong Family Resemblance: As a young girl, she looks a lot like her modern-day niece, Sharon.
- You Are Number 6: "Agent 13" was previously her codename before it's used by her niece.