WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Exiles #3 by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodríguez, in stores now.
Late in February, the Marvel solicits for the month of May revealed that fan-favorite character Peggy "Agent" Carter would suit up as Captain America in the third issue of the new Exiles series. While this Peggy isn't the main continuity version of the character, the issue actually marks Captain Carter's comic book debut after being originally introduced in Marvel's Puzzle Quest mobile game.
The news was well-received by many fans of the character, who have long known that this Agent is just as valuable a character as any other in the Marvel library. For some, Peggy's evolution into Captain America seems a perfect fit, a natural progression for the character following her rise to popularity thanks both Captain America: The First Avengers and ABC's Agent Carter television series.
But other fans who are perhaps a bit more protective of the Captain America mantle pointed out the obvious question: Why would a British character wear the stars and stripes? Well, in Exiles #3, that very question is brought to the forefront, and answered -- albeit, not entirely in-story.
In true Exiles fashion, Blink and her team of reality-hopping misfit superheroes are transported to a parallel world where World War II is still raging. In this reality, Bucky Barnes is a woman, and she is the sidekick of Captain America, aka Peggy Carter. When she first meets the Exiles, Carter is quick to point out that their modern era wardrobe is quite strange. However, she quickly adds that she has nothing to say on the subject matter, given that she's a Brit wearing the flag of the United States of America into combat.
As soon as she appears, Agent Carter makes it clear that even she recognizes the dichotomy of her character. She may not be from America, but she fights in the country's colors. In the backmatter of the issue, an interview with the Marvel Puzzle Quest video game creative team discusses the origins of Captain Carter, revealing that in this reality, Steve Rogers and Professor Erksine were both assassinated, and Peggy was the one to take Steve's place in Project Rebirth.
This version of the character is greatly inspired by the one seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it shows. Peggy's fire and spirit is on full display, and her bravery is unmatched. She may be English, but even she recognizes that Captain America is not a person representing a single country so much as it's a symbol of hope and freedom for everyone. And that is why she is even more of a hero for assuming the mantle; in a sense, she forsakes her country and her identity for the good of all people, to help lead the free world out of the shadows of tyranny.
Such characteristics makes it easy to understand why Agent Carter has such a strong and devoted fanbase. This is who she is, and this is who we should all strive to be. Like Steve Rogers, she is a role model for what the best man (or woman) has to offer.