Movie Reviews

I Know The Best Way Captain America 4 Can Solve Phase 4's Most Hated Marvel Twist

Summary

  • I’m still confused about Sharon Carter’s evolution into the Power Broker in
    The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
    .
  • Captain America: Brave New World
    has the perfect opportunity to resolve Sharon Carter’s controversial Power Broker storyline, turning her back into a hero.
  • There is precedence in Marvel Comics for Sharon Carter having been brainwashed into becoming the Power Broker in the MCU.



One MCU Phase 4 twist has become one of the franchise’s most hated, but I know a way that Captain America: Brave New World can solve this annoying mystery. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios’ second MCU-set TV show, explored a grounded storyline for Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes in the wake of Avengers: Endgame. Despite being more down-to-Earth than many recent MCU projects, however, the six-part series still included some major twists, but one made me very confused.

As well as marking the return of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes as the titular Falcon (later Captain America) and Winter Soldier, respectively, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also brought back Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter. Peggy Carter’s niece first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and developed a controversial romance with Steve Rogers before disappearing after Civil War. She had always been depicted as a staunch ally to Captain America and a dedicated SHIELD agent, so The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s twist ending for Carter felt really out-of-place.


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I’m Still Not Over Phase 4’s Power Broker Twist Ending

Sharon Carter being pardoned in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced the Power Broker as a mysterious villain, with their identity being kept hidden until the series’ explosive finale. Sharon Carter was revealed to be the Power Broker, orchestrating nefarious events behind the scenes throughout The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but this made very little sense for her character. I still haven’t quite figured out why Carter would transform into a villain, even after relocating to Madripoor as a fugitive from the United States government following Civil War.


As the Power Broker, Carter used her influence and connections in Madripoor to build a criminal empire. She funded Wilfred Nagel’s super-soldier serum experiments, sold his functional serum to Karli Morgenthau and the Flag Smashers, and is now infiltrating the United States government following her pardon. This is a far-cry from her days as a heroic SHIELD agent, and I’m among many who have expressed concern about this direction, but I know how Sam Wilson’s return in Captain America: Brave New World can put this storyline to rest.

Emily VanCamp’s MCU Appearances

Role

Year

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Sharon Carter’s Agent 13

2014

Captain America: Civil War

Sharon Carter

2016

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sharon Carter’s Power Broker

2021

What If…? Season 1, Episode 5, “What If… Zombies?!”

Sharon Carter (Voice)

2021


Captain America’s Brainwashing Scene Can Fix The MCU’s Power Broker Issue

From the details of the first-look footage of Captain America: Brave New World, we know that Sam Wilson’s Captain America will be going up against brainwashed super-soldiers, including Isaiah Bradley. These brainwashed characters, presumably under the control of Samuel Sterns’ Leader, will be attempting to assassinate the new President Ross, now portrayed by Harrison Ford. The same brainwashing technology might have already been seen in the MCU, however, and this could easily explain why Sharon Carter became the Power Broker.


I think revealing Sharon Carter to have been brainwashed by the Leader would be a much more satisfying explanation than just having her become the Power Broker for no good reason. Tim Blake Nelson first appeared as Samuel Sterns back in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which marked his transformation into the Leader, so it’s very possible he’s been pulling strings and manipulating events for the last 16 years. This would give even more weight to Sharon Carter’s twist in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as she may not be the only hero turned bad by the Leader.

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Sharon Carter’s Marvel Comics Story Had A Brain-Washing Parallel

Sharon Carter shooting Captain America in Marvel Comics


Under Doctor Faustus’ hypnotic suggestion, Sharon Carter seemingly killed Captain America.

One of the main reasons I found Sharon Carter’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier reveal to be so jarring is the fact that she has always been a steadfast hero in Marvel Comics. Originally a valued SHIELD agent, then Steve Rogers’ love-interest, brief Director of SHIELD, and later member of the Secret Avengers and the Daughters of Liberty, Sharon Carter is clearly not a villain whatsoever. However, one moment in Carter’s Marvel Comics history means the Leader brainwashing her in the MCU makes complete sense.


Back in 1999’s Captain America (Vol. 3) #25, Sharon Carter was brainwashed by Red Skull and Doctor Faustus to eliminate Steve Rogers. Under Doctor Faustus’ hypnotic suggestion, Sharon Carter seemingly killed Captain America with three shots to the abdomen. Carter being brainwashed to become the Power Broker in the MCU would be a brilliant reflection of this storyline, and I’d be interested in seeing the emotional moments this creates: if she breaks free from the Leader’s control in Captain America: Brave New World, she would need to deal with the impact of her villainous actions.


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