The Importance of Peggy Carter: Hayley Atwell and That Civil War Scene

Hayley Atwell next to Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger

The relationship between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter (aka “Steggy“) is a fandom romance for the ages. However, Steve’s actions during Captain America: Civil War seem to diminish what they’ve established. Earlier this month, Hayley Atwell commented on that one scene and Peggy Carter’s impact on Steve’s life. Peggy Carter is a Marvel character that deserves more respect.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America’s (Chris Evans) specific behavior involves his kiss between Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) in Civil War. That scene felt rather awkward. Why? Because Agent 13 is Sharon Carter. Peggy Carter’s (Hayley Atwell) niece. This interaction between them in Civil War flew in the face of the well-written relationship that began in The First AvengerWinter Soldier introduces Sharon as “Kate”, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent posing as a nurse assigned to protect SteveIt isn’t until Civil War and Peggy’s funeral that Rogers learns about Sharon’s connection to Peggy.

IGN reported Hayley Atwell’s perspective about this uncomfortable family tied romance when she attended the Dallas Comic Con Fan Expo last weekend:

“Well, first of all she’d be turning over in her grave,” Atwell said, with a grin. “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 just feel that, you know – 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!”

AtHayley Atwell as Agent Carter shooting Cap's Shieldwell added that Peggy would also look out for her niece Sharon:

“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,” she said, referring to the new controversial Cap arc from the comics. “So on all levels, it’s just a big fat no.”

The Steve-Sharon relationship exists within the comics, and I acknowledge and respect the various other fandom ships involving Cap (ex: Stucky, Stony, etc.). However, there should’ve been more time to MOURN Peggy. ANY blossoming love interest Cap has in the MCU feels like it’s too soon, especially a kiss with Peggy’s niece right after her death.  It tarnishes everything regarding Steve and Peggy had since The First Avenger. Whether it be the giddiness we felt during their first interactions, the feels that we experienced when Steve met with an elderly Peggy in Winter Soldier, to the heartbreak after Steve received the text notifying him of her passing and her funeral in Civil War. Steve always needed Peggy; she was his rock, his compass that always guided him to stay true to himself and his beliefs, and her departure from his life should create a hole in his life that would take significant time to heal.

Agent Peggy Carter and Captain America

The MCU’s decision to push the Steve-Sharon romance right after Peggy died — during the same movie — comes off as inconsiderate to her memory. He should mourn, and mourn for a while. Unfortunately the the MCU seemingly decided the story needed a new and immediate romance arc without thinking things through properly. “Steggy” represents the love that two established characters have for each other. Even if time pulls them apart, their love is real and Peggy deserves more respect (and that includes bringing back Agent Carter).

What do you think? Is it too soon, or the right time to introduce a Steve-Sharon romance arc in the MCU, or any romantic arc for Cap?


Author: Apollo

Seneca is a proud 4’1 (the best things come in small packages) progressive sociopolitical activist. He loves science fiction, video games, fantasy, and satire from the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. He writes various opinion/recommendation and news articles on the fandoms that he loves for the Geekiary.

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4 thoughts on “The Importance of Peggy Carter: Hayley Atwell and That Civil War Scene

  1. I find this post infuriating. Is Steve not allowed to move on? If you flipped the argument around onto Peggy you’d seen how asinine the above post is. What, was Peggy not allowed to move on and find love with someone else (Daniel Sousa) start a family and found SHIELD? No, she was. So why on earth can’t Steve move on. And in regards to him not mourning Peggy, he’s been mourning the loss of his relationship with Peggy since he came out of the ice. That is four years to work through that pain and difficulty of it. And at the end of the day, he and Peggy were never allowed the chance for a relationship, but was always a ‘what-if’ scenario. The whole point of Civil War is Steve reclaiming parts of himself away from Captain America and doing things for himself, such as reconnecting with Bucky, dropping his shield and pursuing his feelings for Sharon (someone he had years to get to know as she posed as his neighbor). So, no, I don’t believe Steve needs to spend any more time mourning Peggy than he already has, and him pursuing a life for himself has nothing to do with her.

  2. Steve’s been mourning what he could have had with Peggy for at least 5 years. How long does he have to live under her shadow before fandom decides he’s allowed to do what she did and move on? And, to be 100 percent honest, Hayley is really, really not engendering feelings of support in me for her character with the way she has been handling the Sharon question. She point blank said that she didn’t think Sharon’s character should be expanded on (and no, I wont take it as a joke). Not to mention that she claims Steve/Sharon is disrespectful to Peggy and then says she’d wants to wear a blond wig and play Sharon and that she’d play Sharon if she had the opportunity to play any other character. So, what? Is Steve/Sharon only disrespectful because she’s not playing Sharon?

  3. What would you do if a former squeeze of one of your relatives hit on you right after that relative died? It’s not okay. Give Steve a special someone… just not one who’s related to a former love interest. Any way you slice it, that’s creepy.

    1. Maybe Sharon didn’t know that Steve and Peggy had a thing (which frankly never went beyond a kiss), maybe Peggy didn’t tell her beyond her knowing Steve and maybe in Sharon’s eyes the person that held Peggy’s heart in the end was her grand uncle or whoever Peggy ended up settling down with in the end (because Peggy did move on from Steve).

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