Sharon Carter was created by Stan “The Man” Lee and “Jolly” Jack Kirby way back in 1966. Her first appearance was Tales of Suspense #75, but good luck getting a copy of that issue in mint condish.
Her aunt was none other than Agent Peggy Carter, and inspired by the adventurous life of her Aunt Peggy, Sharon joins SHIELD, going by the codename Agent 13, developing great skill at espionage and hand-to-hand combat. By this time, Steve Rogers, you know, Captain America, had been thawed out of the hunk of ice he found himself in.
Speaking of hunks, Steve Rogers and Agent 13 crossed paths on several early adventures, the best of which involved Batroc the Leaper, because he’s everyone’s favorite mustachioed French kickboxing villain.
Sharon and Rogers eventually fall in love. And the two worked great as a couple, with the cynical Carter balancing out the idealistic Rogers.
Agent 13 and Captain America had a some great moments in the comics, the one that will perhaps make junior high girls most swoon would be when she and Steve shared their first kiss in Tales of Suspense #95.
Other significant moments were when she shared her real name with Steve Rogers in Captain America #103 and when her family connection was revealed in Captain America #162.
But maybe the best of all was when she and Steve were united, years after she was thought killed in action while battling a white supremacist group known as National Force. The story of their reunion is found in Captain America: Reborn #6 and Captain America (2012) #25.
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But it is comics, so the couple has been put through the wringer, of course. As mentioned above, Agent 13’s first apparent death was in Captain America #237, but it turns out the death was faked by Nick Fury she Agent 13 could be sent on a secret mission. That’s a retcon, folks.
On par with Sharon’s death was the assassination of Steve Rogers in Captain America (2004) #25. A sniper shoots Steve Rogers in the shoulder while he walks up the steps to the Federal Court, following the events of Civil War. In the ensuing chaos, he is shot three more times in the gut, and later appears to die of his injuries. It was a plan was orchestrated by the Red Skull. The sniper was Crossbones and the person who shot Steve in the gut was none other than….Sharon Carter, while under mind control!
She was pregnant with Steve’s baby during this time, but she loses the baby during a fight with the Red Skull’s daughter Sin during an attempt to escape control. She is again mind controlled and made to forget about her pregnancy, but Iron Man and Falcon decide to tell her about her pregnancy at a later date, after sufficient recovery time. As a result, she leaves SHIELD to take a little time to get her head right.
A few years later, Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers re-kindled her romance, and both served as a part of his Secret Avengers team. Sharon proposed marriage to Steve Rogers, but before he could answer, Captain America was stranded in Dimension Z for some time, turning him into a runaway bride. Agent 13 eventually found a way to rescue Captain America, but to do so, it required her to sacrifice herself to Dimension Z, where she spent years.
Comics are tough on couples, folks. But there is hope for these two lovebirds. On the big screen, Agent 13 makes an appearance in Captain America: Winter Soldier, played by the magnificently wonderful Emily VanCamp.
The movie had Agent 13 working undercover, posing as nurse Kate, Steve Rogers’ neighbor. She turned down his offer for coffee in that film, but Agent 13 will be back for Captain America: Civil War, and I’m guessing there will be a little smoochie-smoochie involved.
She’s a great character and a great agent of SHIELD. Even better she has always shown to be a good equal and partner for Steve Rogers, despite the fact that comics just can’t love last.
A great first place to find her in the comics is her run in Secret Avengers or in the Death of Captain America.