origins: Captain America: The First Avenger, the 2011 film as part of the Greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also known as Earth-199999 because Marvel picks weird numbers.
played by: Tomato
contact: TheTomatoSays @ AIM
Captain America: The First Avenger is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, alongside Iron Man + IM2, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor. Which means there’s often crazy science and magic that is actually explained through legit science and technologies that might not be quite possible in comparison to the real world. It is still Earth, just tweaked for a superhero universe with slightly more advanced technology. However, Captain America is a much earlier setting than its modern day movie counterparts; 99% of the movie is set during the Second World War in the 1940s, both in the United States and Europe.
This does not, though, retract from the crazy science. The Norse Gods are real, but are essentially aliens, beings involved in an interspace war that visited Earth in the 900s—the Vikings mistook them for gods and their super advanced science for magic (as shown in the movie Thor). As a mythology, few people over the centuries actually believed they existed, but one such man was Johann Schmidt, leader of HYDRA (the Nazi deep science division) and the Secret Bad Guys of the war. HYDRA was basically an organization dedicated to science and weaponry, initially under the control of the Nazis and overseen by Schmidt.
Johann Schmidt is too evil for the Nazis, which tells you quite a bit already. Tracking down a tesseract cube in Norway, a power he believed the Asgardians left behind from their time on earth, he uses its power to equip HYDRA’s soldiers with extremely advanced weapons. HYDRA would eventually come to part ways with the Nazis when Schmidt was deemed too out of control and out of his mind (for the Nazis—think about that); he himself triggered the split. Schmidt takes complete control over HYDRA in his quest to transcend humanity into something much stronger, and in his case, much more evil. He wanted to conquer the world, leaving the Nazis behind.
Schmidt is the only other person to take the serum injections that changed skinny Steve Rogers into Captain America. Where it amplified the good in Steve, it amplified the evil in Schmidt, turning him into Red Skull. The serum was initially developed by Abraham Erksine, a German scientist who had worked for HYDRA, only to be busted out and rescued by Agent Peggy Carter, who brought both him, the serum, and research about it back to the SSR.
Peggy is involved in and is a member of the SSR—Strategic Science Reserve—a division loyal to the Allies, made of the same countries we think of when we think WWII, although it mostly involves American and British citizens and agents for the movie. The SSR is specifically assigned to combat HYDRA; they have their own advanced technologies, developed by genius inventor Howard Stark (father of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man), although not quite as advanced as that belonging to HYDRA. It’s World War II, but with SUPER SCIENCE. With the help of Erksine, and under the supervision of Colonel Phillips and Peggy Carter, the SRR develops the Super Soldier project, designed to turn ordinary men… into super soldiers: extra strength, stamina, and a hopeful boost to help the Allies win the war (and of course defeat HYRDA, the latter of which arguably is their primary concern). Peggy is heavily involved in the process, from choosing potential candidates and helping to train them. That is how she meets Steve Rogers, the asthmatic, sickly skinny kid chosen as the first (and only) test subject for the super soldier serum, which would transform him into Captain America.
The SSR spends the war fighting back against HYDRA in Europe, often in covert missions that the general public remains unaware of. Captain America comes to be involved in these missions, and although famous and idolized, his connections to the SSR are left out of the propaganda. He’s simply a figure fighting the good fight for the Allied Forces and America. While the Allies and Axis powers go head to head on the frontlines, the SSR spends the war locating and destroying all of HYDRA’s bases before they advance enough to completely take over the world.
It’s Earth, but with mostly technological differences. Like secret science battles during world wars.
Also to be noted is that SHIELD—Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division—the organization so famously involved in the lives of everyone throughout the other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, is a direct evolution of the SSR, and they work in similar ways, like a super advanced but not as corrupt CIA.
Peggy Carter is a British agent, a military woman assigned to the SSR; it’s the Second World War, and women are not exactly at equal status with men. Her position is a high one, and she worked viciously hard to get there. In one of her first conversations with Steve, she makes a reference to institutional sexism and getting “doors slammed in her face.” She has been at an enormous disadvantage, and to some extent she still very much is, but she struggled and fought her way through it, knowing full well her chances of failure were high.
As a woman in her position, she has been greeted with skepticism and sexism, and she will always have to face these things. But she will not take it at face value when confronted with it. When a recruit makes a jab and belittles her, she calls him forward and punches him in the face. It is, apparently, a common recurrence, as her superior officer Colonel Phillips notes that she is “breaking in the new recruits,” and there is no punishment for her actions. She is heavily involved in the training, giving orders and partaking in missions; she is essentially Colonel Phillips’s right hand woman within the SSR.
Despite being a soldier, and quite often one of the boys—given she is a lone female presence in a very large group of men—Peggy has not lost her femininity. She can shoot a gun with the best of them (maybe even better than them), but she keeps her lipstick immaculate and her nails perfectly polished. She is a woman and not afraid to show it (albeit not in an overly sexualized manner—this is the 1940s, after all). She’s classy, somewhat reserved and subtle, but very much a woman. It’s part of who she is. Often, the stereotypical action girl must throw aside that aspect of herself to stay on top, but for Peggy that is not the case. Sure, she yells and shouts and punches people, but not because she is manly or was forced to act like a man—her aggressive side is still a side to her, and given how much effort she needed to put into reaching her position, it’s no surprise that she feels no hesitance at standing up for herself when belittled. She is aggressive because that’s who she is. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and put people into their place.
Because of her sex and the difficulties it has brought her throughout her career, Peggy has felt a double need to prove herself. She knows she can, but very few people in the world believe that. She’s a woman after all. She has to try extra hard because the barriers are often doubly stacked against her. But she has an enormous amount of determination and is completely dedicated to her work and winning the war. She doesn’t give up and throws herself 150% into the task at hand.
Having grown up throughout the 1920s and 1930s in Great Britain, she knows a thing or two about not having many wants. The 1920s were not so roaring for Europe as the United States, and her own country spent the decade attempting to pay back debts to the good ol’ U.S of A until the onslaught of the Great Depression. Which wasn’t good for anyone. And at the start of the Second World War, rationing was immediate in Britain. Her entire life was likely spent in only basic human needs, but she has never shown bitterness over it. That’s just how life is. Because of this, she’s the furthest thing from a selfish person and is quite an adept survivor.
She believes in the greater good, but not at the cost of innocent lives. Sacrificing herself, however, is something she is more than willing to do; she was one of only two people to jump for a grenade in an attempt to stop the explosion from hitting more people (the grenade was a dummy; the other person, Steve). The mission and the war come first in all things, even relationships. Which brings up a matter of Steve Rogers. Beyond the obligatory romantic interest, the two of them are kindred spirits and quite close friends. In a world of constant sexism and thought of as lesser, Steve treats Peggy as an equal, and they are very alike in their push to prove themselves and in being completely selfless people. When he chooses to put down the plane at the end of the movie to save New York, she completely understands his decision, because she would have chosen to do the same; no matter how strong their feelings were for the other, saving people and stopping the bombs from detonating were more important than their own happiness.
This doesn’t stop her from being fiercely independent; she hates the idea of being rescued and knows full well she’s capable of saving herself. And that doesn’t mean she’s a loner—she has teammates and allies that she trusts, would not hesitate to fall back on if needed, and she would not hesitate to defend them herself, but she draws a line and refuses to be seen as helpless. Peggy is stubborn and strong; she sticks to her guns (literally and metaphorically). She’s proud; proud of herself, her position, her sex, and her confidence is quite prevalent, as she makes no attempts to hide it.
When she’s angry, you know it. In a brief bout of jealousy and anger, she picks up a gun and shoots at Steve—under the guise of testing his shield, but of course, it’s quite obvious that she was not happy to find him kissing another woman. She has a bit of a temper, but her frustrations are also quick to fade, and she’s ill likely to hold a grudge; the exchange with Steve is quickly forgotten, and shooting at his shield was a quick way to relieve and get dispose of her annoyance. There are more important things to worry about than getting worked up over what she deems petty and pointless; target practice is an outlet for letting for letting go of anger and calming herself, as she hates when her temper gets the better of her. She always looks to the bigger context and is really quite a rational woman. She just has little patience for minor trivialities and will not hesitate to tell people off for them. But she is understanding and will always recognize a situation for what it truly is. Underneath what certainly comes across as a cross and distant demeanor, Peggy is genuinely quite kind and caring, very concerned for both the war effort and those around her who come to earn her respect. It just might take a while for someone to earn it.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
Peggy’s most prominent skill is her expertise with firearms. She’s a damn good shot, and she knows it. Whether a simple pistol or a machine gun, she’s quite adept, successfully taking out the driver of a moving vehicle with a .20. Give her a gun, and she can use it. Having trained as a soldier, she is also capable of completing physically demanding tasks, but nothing super-human.
She has no special abilities; she is a human woman, a bit physically stronger than your average housewife because of her training, but she’s no legitimate super soldier like Captain America. While it doesn’t hinder her ability to accomplish what she sets out for, it does leave her susceptible to the usual human weaknesses, like death, injury, and sickness. She has no power that needs to be limited. She’s an ordinary soldier.
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