WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANY SPOILERS FROM ‘THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER’ FINALE, DO NOT KEEP READING.
Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13 first appeared in Marvel Comics in March 1966 and for more than five decades she’s been a force for good who has worked closely with — and often been a love interest of — Steve Rogers (Captain America).
So Carter’s turn to evil on the Disney Plus series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has left many Marvel fans scratching their head. No, it wasn’t exactly a shocking reveal. The show dropped hints for weeks about Carter having ulterior motives while supposedly helping Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. Ever since episode three of the series — fittingly titled “Power Broker” — fans speculated that Carter was the secret villain of the show hiding in plain sight.
In a mid-credits scene following the finale, Carter was pardoned for her actions in Captain America: Civil War and reinstated as a government agent. She promptly got on the phone with an unseen person and told them to line up buyers now that she’ll have access to a bevy of weapons and classified intelligence.
While Carter’s reveal as the Power Broker was seen coming from a mile away by fans, it’s still hard to rationalize. The explanation given by the show is that the once idealistic and morally sound agent was so disillusioned by the betrayal of the United States government that she redefined her life while in the seedy underbelly of Madripoor.
But fans have a different theory to explain Carter’s sudden turn for the worse:
Is Sharon Carter a Skrull in Disguise?
In December 2020, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that a series titled Secret Invasion was in development for Disney Plus with Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn reprising their roles as Nick Fury and Talos.
The series borrows its name from a storyline in the Marvel Comics in which a sect of alien shapeshifters called Skrulls (introduced to the MCU in Captain Marvel) slowly and methodically infiltrate Earth over a period of several years. By the time an overt invasion occurs, the Avengers struggle to figure out who to trust, as many heroes have been secretly replaced.
With Secret Invasion set to premiere later in the MCU’s Phase 4 slate, it’d make sense if many recognizable characters are eventually revealed to be nefarious Skrulls. And many fans believe that’s exactly what happened with Carter.
If an invasion is in the works, impersonating a high-ranking government agent like Sharon Carter would be a valuable strategy for the Skrulls. On the other hand, Carter told her mystery phone call recipient to “line up buyers,” which suggests much more selfish motivations that are unrelated to an alien invasion.
Next up for Marvel is a time-traveling show called Loki, followed by a prequel film about Natasha Romanoff called Black Widow that’s set just after Captain America: Civil War. If Carter doesn’t appear in the latter, it could be a long time before she returns to the screen. Appearances also seem unlikely for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings or Eternals.
Marvel fans will likely be waiting a long time to learn more about Carter’s mysterious motivations.