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Who is Sharon Carter? Falcon and Winter Soldier character explained

One of Captain America's closest allies is back – but life hasn't been easy for her lately.

Emily VanCamp plays Sharon Carter in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Disney Plus series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier features a number of returning faces from earlier MCU entries, one of whom has had a particularly tough time over the last five years.

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Sharon Carter was a major player in the Captain America trilogy, making her debut in 2014’s The Winter Soldier and sticking around as the Avengers became embroiled in their so-called Civil War.

She sided with Steve Rogers in his fight against the Sokovia Accords, but in doing so was forced to abandon her job as a CIA agent and go on the run.

We haven’t seen her since and it’s possible that she might harbour some resentment for the way she was essentially abandoned by the other MCU heroes, including an epic ghosting by her one-time kissing partner Captain America.

Read on for everything you need to know about Sharon Carter, ahead of her long-awaited return in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney Plus.

Who is Sharon Carter?

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sharon Carter was introduced in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a SHIELD agent tasked with keeping an eye on Steve Rogers, living in the apartment opposite his.

When SHIELD was exposed as being a front for the terrorist organisation HYDRA, she proved herself as one of the many agents unaware of the evil plot by taking a stand against the crooked Brock Rumlow.

After Captain America and his allies put an end to Project Insight, bringing SHIELD down in the process, she got a job at the CIA where she was stationed at the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre in Berlin.

Captain America: Civil War recap

Emily VanCamp and Martin Freeman in Captain America: Civil War
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During the events of Civil War, Sharon and Steve grew closer after the death of Peggy Carter, her great aunt and his wartime love – which influenced her decision to side with him in the conflict that followed.

When Steve went on the run with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, she secretly met up with the group to return the equipment that had been confiscated from them following their arrest.

It was at this point that Steve and Sharon finally shared a kiss, but their budding romance was not given a chance to bloom as they were both forced to go on the run.

The events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame saw Sharon “snapped” out of existence by Thanos, while Captain America travelled back in time to live out his days with her great aunt, Peggy.

It’s unclear if she’s aware that her superhero fling ended on such incredibly awkward terms, but her troubled recent past will certainly have left a mark on her.

“When we find Sharon, she’s in a pretty dark place,” said Emily VanCamp. “When we first see her, there’s a little bit of anger. She’s tougher, a little raw and rough around the edges — a totally different version of Sharon than what we’ve seen in the films. That’s really interesting to explore.”

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier continues Fridays exclusively on Disney Plus. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now. Check out the rest of our Sci-fi and Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.