Miriam Sharpe

miriamsharpefilmIn Captain America: Civil War, after meeting the MIT students Tony Stark is confronted by an angry woman, Miriam Sharpe, who blames him for her son’s death. Portrayed by Alfre Woodard, Miriam had a son attending MIT, Charlie Spencer, a student who was killed in the Battle of Sokovia while he was there for charitable purposes: the woman’s words are the reason Stark accepts the Sokovia Accords for. In the comics, Miriam was slightly different, and not only for the umpteenth race swapping: first of all, her son was much younger than Charlie Spencer (but, we know, in Disney movies children are immortal), and above all she had a much more active role in everything concerning the Civil War between superheroes. Let’s see together.

Miriam’s life was a pretty normal one: she lived in the small city of Stamford, Connecticut, where she got married with a man named Sharpe, and where she had her son, Damian. Miriam’s world crumbled one day that started the same as everyone else: she brought Damian to Stamford Elementary School, and then went to work, without knowing she wouldn’t have seen her kid ever again. The New Warriors, a superhero team mainly composed of teenagers, was pursuing the supervillains Nitro, Cobalt ManColdheart and Speedfreek, and cornered them just in the middle of Stamford: with no escape route, Nitro used his powers to blow himself up, involving in the explosion all the nearby buildings…elementary school included. The blast killed most of the New Warriors, Nitro’s allies, and overall more than 600 bystanders, among which figured all the children present at school that day. Damian’s death completely changed Miriam’s life, and her goals and personality as well: determined to obtain justice for her kid, and committed body and soul to prevent other people to suffer the same way she did, Miriam joined the Pro-Registration Movement, the social mobilization that demanded for superheroes’ legal accountability of their actions and of the collateral damage they caused. With her character and wit, Miriam Sharpe soon became the public voice of the Movement, and one of the leaders and organizers of it: she gathered a crowd of thousands and led it in a march to miriamsharpecomics1the White House, to make pressures on the Congress and the President and to convince them to sign the Superhuman Registration Act, that would have forced all active superheroes to reveal their secret identities to the government and to become, de facto, public law enforcement, superhuman governmental agents. The people she had gathered were quite a force to be reckoned with, but Miriam knew she needed something else for her protest to be decisive: it had to be supported by the superhuman community as well…or at least, by a significant and influent part of it.

When Tony Stark, the Avengers‘ member and financier, appeared on television to speak against the Superhuman Registration Act, Miriam knew she had to be there. Stark spoke at a debate, and then attended to a memorial service for the victims of Stamford, where Miriam approached him and publicly slapped him in the face; she then gave him Damian’s favourite toy, an Iron Man action figure. She prompted him to stop “playing hero”, then left him. Miriam continued with her new life, and she founded Damian’s Gift, a non-profit organization that helped people who had lost someone in the Stamford tragedy. Her words to Stark, however, had reached their purpose, and the billionaire became the most promiment superhero to support the Superhuman Registration Act; he also recontacted Miriam, asking her help in convincing the public opinion to support the Act. That was exactly what Miriam wanted, and from that moment she accompanied Stark every time he publiclized the act; when Captain America rebelled to S.H.I.E.L.D. and formed a group of Secret Avengers to oppose the Superhuman Registration Act, she participated to the campaign of diffamation against him and the rogue heroes. She also stood by Tony Stark’s side when Spider-Man, to strenghten his support to the Act, unmasked himself in front of the nation’s televisions. At the end of the resulting Civil War, with Captain America’s death, Miriam Sharpe miriamsharpecomics2was with Stark, the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., helping him rethink the superhuman community after the Registration Act had become a reality; she also publicly thanked him and Mr. Fantastic for helping her believe in superheroes once again, and she was present when Stark inaugurated the memorial gardens for Stamford children. With Wolverine arresting Nitro and exposing businessman Walter Declun‘s role in the Stamford tragedy, Miriam Sharpe was finally able to see the world she had dreamt of taking shape, a world in which heroes were heroes, responsible for their actions, and not lawless vigilantes putting people in danger as much as the criminals they hunted down. When Tony Stark, however, started a relationship with Maya Hansen, the woman behind the Extremis project, whom Miriam considered a mass murderer, a new battle needed to be fought: apparently, not even Tony Stark had learnt the lesson.

Miriam Sharpe is a highly intelligent and determined woman, a focused political fighter who drains strength from the pain of losing her son. The tragedy that struck her life forced her to transform, and a brand new set of unexpected resources emerged: now Miriam is able and willing to speak on the same level with some of the most powerful people on the planet, a single strong voice for the uncountable people whose voice has never been heard. Miriam Sharpe fights the good fight of the common man in a world of gods and monsters, and she needs all the courage and the determination at her disposal to keep her ground…and win, obviously.


Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s