How Peggy Carter’s MCU Success Led to Her Marvel Universe Resurrection

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Today, we look at how Peggy Carter’s Marvel Cinematic Universe success ultimately brought her back to life in the Marvel Universe.

In Death is not the End, we spotlight the outlandish explanations for comic book characters (mostly super-villains) surviving seeming certain death.

This is a follow-up to a post I did recently about how Marvel changed Peggy Carter’s status in the Marvel Universe from being the older sister of Sharon Carter to then being her aunt (with the implication being that she was Sharon’s GRAND-Aunt). I mentioned then how I would explain how Peggy eventually returned to the Marvel Universe, and, well, this is that! First, of course, we’ll need to recap.

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When Captain America first received his ongoing feature in Tales of Suspense, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby quickly decided that the book should be set during World War II, so that fans could read modern stories with Captain America in the Avengers and then classic World War II tales with Captain America and Bucky set in World War II. That did not last too long and soon, Captain America’s stories were set in the present. After a couple of modern day adventures, Cap lamented all the people he lost from the war, including, for the first time, a revelation of a gal left behind begins in Tales of Suspense #75 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers and John Tartaglione)…

Later in the issue, Cap notices a woman…

He doesn’t know it, but she is a SHIELD agent. When they part, there is an interesting moment where the SHIELD agent notes that she recognizes Steve Rogers, as well…

The next issue Cap learns that she is Agent 13. He saves her life.

The following issue (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Romita and Frank Giacoia) is a flashback telling us the history between Cap and his gal. Here, Stan Lee pulls out a mini-Abandoned An’ Forsaked. The girl mentioned that her sister’s beau was Steve Rogers. Here, though, it is clear that her sister knew Cap as Cap and specifically NOT as Steve Rogers (unless we were doing some Hal Jordan/Green Lantern/Carol Ferris love triangle type stuff)…

She, of course, runs right into and danger and she ends up in a prison camp. Cap leads an attack to save her. She, meanwhile, is not waiting to be saved and she breaks free from the camp, but losing her memory in the process..

Yes, tragically, they were so close to each other and yet so far away! That was pretty much it for Peggy for YEARS.

In Captain America #162 by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema and John Verpoorten, we discover where Peggy has been all of these years…

Here is Cap’s big reunion with Peggy after the bad guys are defeated…

Peggy then became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as you can see here in Captain America #188 (by John Warner, Sal Buscema and Vince Colleta)…

She then became a member of the Avengers support staff. Here she is being supportive of Cap going out on a date with Diamondback in Captain America #371 (by Mark Gruenwald, Ron Lim and Danny Bulanadi) (she believed that Sharon Carter was dead at the time)…

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In Captain America #49 (by Ed Brubaker, Luke Ross, Rick Magyar and Frank D’Armata), we learn that Sharon’s Aunt Peggy (as she had been retconned into being back in Captain America #25) is suffering from dementia…

In 2011’s Captain America #1 by Brubaker, Steve McNiven, Mark Morales and Justin Ponsor shows us Cap reflecting on how it is sometimes easy to forget that he is a man from the past until, of course, one of his old friends dies. Here, Peggy passes away as a 91-year-old….

However, 2011 was also when Peggy made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: The First Avenger and hilariously, while she was dead in the comics, she was becoming quite a popular figure in the MCU, including her own TV series, Agent Carter…

In the 2018 Captain America series launch, Captain America was framed for murder. In Captain America #9 (by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adam Kubert and Frank Martin), we see a mysterious group called the Daughters of Liberty plan on freeing Cap. Their leader is known as Dryad…

We later see Dryad in action, as she kicks some butt trying to get to the man who framed Captain America for murder…

In Captain America #12 (by Coates, Kubert and Matt Milla), we see Dryad working with Winter Soldier and the two of them are apparently old friends and Bucky wants to know why they won’t tell Steve Rogers what’s up with Dryad…

In the next issue (by Coates, Jason Masters, Sean Izaakse and Milla) we learn that Dryad is, of course, Peggy Carter, somehow alive and young again…

In Captain America #19 (by Coates, Masters, Bob Quinn, Lucas Werneck and Milla), Steve and Peggy meet up for the first time…

And we then learn that Sam Wilson was also in on Peggy’s return, but he also kept it a secret from Steve…

Finally, in Captain America #26 (by Coates, Leonard Kirk and Milla), we learn that Peggy returned to life by the same Cosmic Cube situation that made Steve Rogers young again while also creating an evil version of Steve Roger that had always been a member of Hydra since he was a boy. A sort of “everything has a cost” type of deal…

During the Secret Empire stuff, Peggy had been working behind the scenes against Hydra-Cap, but now she is back and is in charge of the Daughters of Liberty, so she can be a big part of the comics going forward (although Sharon Carter also got her youth back, so she and Cap are still the romantic pairing in the comics. They actually were even when Sharon was much older, but it obviously makes things easier now that they’re the same age again).

If anyone else has a suggestion for a future Death is not the End, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

KEEP READING: Suicide Squad: How Rick Flag Was Resurrected in the Comics

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