(Shannon Carter) (2020 version) (part #1)
American Dream is — visibly — a Marvel Comics character. She first appeared in 1998.
She exists in a possible future of the Marvel Universe, rather than Earth-616The main Marvel Comics version of Earth. We thus suggest that you first read the profile for Spider-Girl (May “Mayday” Parker). This is where we keep our notes about this future, the MC2 timeline.
Spider-Girl was by far the most popular MC2 character. However, a few others got a little bit of following and returns. American Dream is on that list.
We have two profiles for American Dream. The first was written by our contributor Jay Myers in 2001. It is kept online in Jay’s memory.
The second one — this here profile — was done in 2019. It thus covers a lot of material that was published after Jay’s article. It’s also angled to avoid covering too much of the same ground.
Since this second profile is over our max length threshold, it is presented in two halves. For convenience for folks on smartphones, slower readers, etc.. The second half is there.
- Real Name: Shannon Carter.
- Other Aliases: “La Americana”, “Captain Amerigirl”, “Liberty Lady”.
- Former Aliases: Nomad.
- Known Relatives: Peggy Carter (first cousin, once removed), unidentified parents (deceased), Sharon Carter (first cousin, once removed).
- Group Affiliation: Avengers, Dream Team.
- Base of Operations: New York City of Earth-982.
- Height: 5’11” (1.80m). Weight: 155 lbs. (70 Kg.).
- Eyes: Blue. Hair: Blonde (a lot).
Powers & Abilities
Much like Gravedigger (Ulysses Hazzard), Shannon Carter went from being wheelchair-bound to being a world-class athlete, acrobat and fighter.
As can be imagined, she also possesses exceptional discipline and willpower. And kickass genetics. Her day starts at 6 A.M. with an intensive two-hour workout routine.
(Presumably, she rises later than The Rock because she was on nocturnal patrol.)
American Dream demonstrates an intense presence, and is a powerful orator. She doesn’t spontaneously hog the spotlight, though. Her charisma is only used when necessary.
She’s an expert at the fighting styles (unarmed and shield-based) used by Captain America (Steve Rogers). Not being as heavy, she puts a bit more emphasis on the acrobatics than on the punching.
She’s also seen wielding a staff whilst training and once used (in specific circumstances) a machine pistol. She’s presumably familiarised with a vast array of weaponry, even those she doesn’t expect to ever use.
Ms. Carter possesses an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the Avengers and Captain America. Plus a deep knowledge of Sharon Carter’s biography, quite possibly including classified details.
She’s a trained stunt motorcyclist. A week where she doesn’t get to make her entrance by crashing her bike through a second-floor window is a bad week.
She also can fly the Avengers’ aircrafts.
Shannon rides an armoured, custom hypersport bike – the Dream Machine.
There aren’t too many US manufacturers who could build this, so my guesses would be a Lightning or a MTT custom model with a price tag in the six figures. Both would mean an unconventional engine.
Of course, she always has a helmet on while she rides. That’s the law !
The Machine is also equipped with an ejector under the seat. It can launch her in the air.
American Dream’s bracers can launch weighted, aerodynamic metal discs. These projectiles are derived from the stun disks once used by Nomad (Jack Monroe). She just calls them the disk launchers.
Each of the disks visible on her uniform seems to actually be a stack of projectiles – four discs or so. So that’s four discs ready to go on each wrist, eight in reserve on her forearms, and 16 in reserve on her calves. If my estimate is correct.
Her big boots include one (maybe two) secret compartment in the heels. There’s a variety of small blades and other escape artistry tools, plus lockpicks. Mind, her costume is so tight that it’s about the only place where she could hide anything.
Our game stats assume minor protective capabilities for her costume. But this wasn’t clearly demonstrated in the material. It is speculative and based on Captain America’s costume being armoured.
Shannon apparently uses an indestructible formulation of red nail polish.
American Dream uses the shield originally wielded by Captain America (Steve Rogers) of Earth-9907. It is the classic tricolour metal disc design.
It apparently uses some form of the accidental McLain alloy, like the Earth-616’s Captain America shield. This metal is essentially indestructible.
However, Shannon’s shield is observably not as good at absorbing vibration. For instance, if she gets bashed by a superhumanly strong opponent while braced behind her shield, she’s much more likely to be knocked back. We also never see it absorbing the energy of a fall.
Perhaps, on Earth-9907, the alloy had less vibraniumA Marvel Comics metal that controls vibrations. in it. Or it was a steel/proto-adamantiumAn indestructible metal in Marvel comics alloy.
American Dream uses it like Captain America does. That includes all the throwing techniques with the complex, eerily accurate ricochets.
The shield was once used to reflect Ion Man’s ionic blast. What forms of energy can thus be reflected is unclear. It doesn’t seem feasible against most energy attacks.
Obviously, The Star Spangled Banner is out of the ruling due to being a TERRIBLE AND BAD composition.
So as an old hippie, I’m totally going with this.
Shannon Carter lived in a small Midwestern town. Her father was a cop, and her mother taught second grade.
However, her parents were killed in a car accident when she was young. The crash also left her legs paralysed.
She went to live with her father’s cousin Peggy Carter. The retired Peggy used to work for the Avengers. She told Shannon inspiring stories about Captain America (Steve Rogers), and about Peggy’s sister Sharon Carter. Shannon also devoured the entire pile of the late Sharon’s diaries.
(In the main Marvel Universe — Earth-616 — Peggy was retconnedMaking changes to a character or story after the fact as Sharon’s aunt due to sliding time malarkey. This is not the case in the MC2 continuity, where Sharon is still stated to be Peggy’s younger sister in a 2008 story).
Wanting to become a heroine like Sharon, Shannon worked to overcome her injuries and regained use of her legs. She later trained as a gymnast and hoped to become a hero.
Blind archer’s dream
While Shannon was still in high school, Peggy contacted her friend Clint Barton.
Having been blinded in battle, Barton had retired his Hawkeye identity. This was but one of the many casualties the Avengers had endured during a transdimensionalSomething that goes across two or more universes expedition. Captain America (Steve Rogers), in particular, had been missing in action for years.
Barton was operating a dojo. He discreetly trained a special class to become a new generation of Avengers :
- Nomad (Shannon Carter).
- Bluestreak (Blue Kelso).
- Freebooter (Brandon Cross).
- Crimson Curse (Aerika Harkness).
(This roster is a close equivalent of “Cap’s Kooky Quartet”, back in 1965. Namely Captain America (Steve Rogers), Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff). Nomad is an identity that Steve Rogers briefly used during the mid-1970s.)
The star-spangled maiden
But Shannon specifically wanted to take up Cap’s legacy. Though she was warned that it would put her at grave risk, she was adamant about it.
Her costume and code name were thus soon changed to “American Dream”. Inspired by her willpower and charisma, the youths called themselves the Dream Team.
As soon as Shannon graduated out of high school, Peggy got her a job as one of the Avengers’ Mansion tour guide. Shannon worked directly with Peggy’s friend Edwin Jarvis, helping him run the place.
The Mansion was also under the protection of Mainframe. Mainframe secretly was a Tony Stark-built robot/android. It had activated after Stark was lost in action. Peggy and Edwin kept him informed of the progress of the Dream Team.
New Avenger generation
As the Dream Team was finishing its training, an automated Avengers alert was triggered by Loki’s latest scheme. Some reservists and some randos responded :
- Jubilee (Jubilation Lee). The leader of the X-People had briefly been an Avenger years before.
- Jolt (Hallie Takahama). Hallie had retired from the Avengers years before to raise her kids.
- Stinger (Cassandra Lang), whose equipment picked up the signal.
- J2 (Zane Yama) and Speedball (Robert Baldwin), who simply saw the commotion.
- Thunderstrike (Kevin Masterson), who was Loki’s target.
(Remember, the MC2 is an alternate future diverging in the late 1990s. So in this timeline, Cassie Lang never became Stature.)
Jubilee, Jolt and Speedball returned to their lives once the crisis was over.
However, Jubes soon visited to help Mainframe evaluate the Dream Team’s readiness. To J2, Stinger and Thunderstrike’s surprise, the unknown quartet was greenlighted to join the Avengers.
Avengers Assemble !
The Avengers responded to an attack by the Sons of the Serpent on a Wakandan diplomatic delegation. In the heat of the battle, Shannon naturally took command.
As she saved T’Chaka son of T’Challa from a hidden gunman, she delivered an impassioned speech about her patriotic values. Though it was just meant to reject the bigoted, xenophobic view of America held by the Sons, it was caught on live TV and went viral.
Another unintended result was that the US government would only approve of the Avengers if American Dream was permanently on the team. This didn’t help soothe the tensions between the three young founders and the four newcomers.
Shadows of the past
The Avengers then responded to a situation in Latveria. Doctor Doom was reportedly back.
They discovered that it was actually Kristoff Vernard. He was destroying Doom’s weapons so they wouldn’t fall in the wrong hands.
Shannon kept this a secret, so he could continue his work. That made the nascent Avengers look like fools, but she was willing to pay that price.
The team then located Hercules, son of Zeus. However, he was still traumatised by the fall of the Avengers years before. Still, with the information they obtained, the young Avengers could investigate their predecessors’ fate.
They opened a portal to Earth-9907, where the old team had met its doom.
The younger Avengers learned there that Captain America (Steve Rogers) was still alive. He had remained behind to lead Earth-9907’s resistance.
In this reality, the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt) had assassinated Hitler. He then took over the Reich and led the Axis to victory.
Shmidt also adopted the young Victor von Doom as his heir. But the youth murdered him to take over.
Under von Doom’s iron fist, Earth-9907 became a permanent war economy. It attacked other planets and realities.
However, the attack by the original Avengers of the MC2 reality had crippled his power base. Hundreds of von Doom’s superhuman enforcers had been killed. The Cap-led resistance was now sufficient to keep him in check.
As they ran into remaining superhumans of Earth-9907, the younger Avengers realised why the battle had been so harrowing for their predecessors. Von Doom’s Thunder Guard were warped versions of themselves, their friends and their relatives.
Though Captain America dismissed them, American Dream and the rest refused to leave.
Once the dust settled, the Crimson Curse had vanished and taken Doom with her.
Thunderstrike chose to remain on Earth-9907, where his father Eric Masterson was still alive.
In the fray, Cap had liberated the shield of the Captain America of Earth-9907. This shield had been kept as a trophy by the Red Skull when he killed that Captain America. From there it had been used for propaganda purposes by von Doom.
Rogers threw the shield to Carter, who used it to defeat SS Agent – Earth-9907’s John Walker. Cap then encouraged Dream to keep it, in memory of the Captain America of Earth-9907.
To be continued !
The rest of this American profile is in another American castle.
Source of Character: MC2 comics.
Helper(s): Darci. Jayer Myer’s profile. For convenience I’m using the Earth numerical designations from the Marvel Fandom. I’m never quite sure which ones are legit, though their TRN system seems to have cleared up most of the mess.
Writeup completed on the 29th of December, 2019.