Before the events of the Civil War, Sharon Carter and Iron Man fought side by side with none other than Captain America. Cap's death shattered their fellowship. Sharon Carter, wracked with guilt over the hero's assassination, resigned as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and went underground. Despite her training and strength of will, she fell victim to the machinations of Dr. Faustus and the Red Skull. Meanwhile, Iron Man, struggling to hold S.H.I.E.L.D. together as it was rocked by the loss of many good agents and a string of crises, searched desperately for Carter. His hope was to bring her back into S.H.I.E.L.D., where her training could do the greatest good.