Pierce came out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy a qualified top caliber field agent, majoring in integrated civilian surveillance and decoding high level HYDRA dispatches. However, he receded into the 'sleeper' status and was living practically a civilian life in the Soho district of Manhattan when he was drafted into Fury's efforts to reclaim his organization from the vast conspiracy eating away at S.H.I.E.L.D.
Alexander Pierce was created by Bob Harras and Paul Neary in the Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. limited series in 1988.
Major Story Arcs
The Deltite Affair
Pierce's idealism and belief in S.H.I.E.L.D. made him the perfect match for Fury in this trying time. After some transition time, Pierce quickly shed pounds and even displayed a killer instinct that would spell consequences for the future. Driven by a desire to live up to his potential, Pierce launched a mad frontal attack on the HYDRA base commanded by the Hong Kong Supreme Hydra, Madame Viper. Pierce’s bravura was such that Viper's warped warrior code ignited a bizarre obsession with him.
Following the hearings in the aftermath of the Deltite Affair and the demise of the agency, Pierce was assigned as custodian to S.H.I.E.L.D. Central. During this time, Pierce began receiving love letters from Viper, who was incarcerated. These notes left him psychologically scarred, believing himself capable of horrible things. Pierce was never aware the last Delta LMD, Red, had escaped the S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite and hidden herself in the abandoned complex.
After attacks by the Death’s Head Commandos, former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent the Contessa Valentina Allegro De Fontaine and Al MacKenzie called on Pierce to learn where Fury was. Afraid that Fury would be next on their list, Pierce joined their party in seeking out Fury. Following their mission, Val helped convince Nick Fury to return and lead a new S.H.I.E.L.D., and Pierce was among the first agents in the new agency. The early months of this stripped down and smaller scale S.H.I.E.L.D. placed Pierce in direct combat with several villains, including Leviathan and Lohan.
The escape of Viper from prison ignited Pierce's awkward feelings for the femme fatale. Pierce was kidnapped and subsequently brainwashed by Viper, who was part of a new HYDRA lead by the Yellow Claw. Pierce broke the conditioning and watched the Viper blow herself up.
The HYDRA Affair
As the new S.H.I.E.L.D. grew, Pierce became one of its most viable operatives, seen in actions involving Deathlok, the Punisher, Damage Control, and the rogue mutant team, X-Force. The return of Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker and HYDRA's massacre of 15,000 graduating S.H.I.E.L.D. agents struck a serious blow to the agency and Pierce was among the lead operatives in the new fight against HYDRA.
Standing as one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best operatives, Pierce harbored a fierce loyalty to Fury, to whom he owed his new lease on life.
When Fury when underground to wage a secret war against both HYDRA and
Leviathan, Pierce was one of the trusted operatives he brought in to form his Secret Warriors. Pierce was given command of Team Black, consisting of the most dangerous and unruly recruits from Fury's Caterpillar list of young superhumans. This team was tasked with gathering intelligence on HYDRA.
Pierce brought his team in for a joint attack with the Howling Commandos on Hell's Heaven, a secret HYDRA stronghold deep within China. The mission was successful, but after Pierce pulled Team Black out, additional HYDRA forces attacked and wiped out the Howling Commandos.
Pierce and his team survived to see the end of Furys secret war. They were all folded into an new, U.N.-sanction organization created by Fury and run by Daisy Johnson.
Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998)
For further information:
Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Alexander Pierce's character was featured in the Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. television movie, where he was portrayed by Neil Roberts
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Alexander Pierce appears as the main antagonist in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the film, he is depicted as a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and the close friend of Nick Fury. Pierce turns out to be a double agent working for HYDRA, and tasks the Winter Soldier with assassinating Fury after Fury begins to realize something is amiss.
He plans to conquer the world through the use of Project Insight, a scheme involving the use of several Helicarriers that will strategically target and kill millions of people who have the potential to cause trouble for HYDRA. After the Helicarriers are destroyed by Captain America and the Falcon, Pierce is shot and killed by Fury, muttering "Hail Hydra" with his last breath.
Pierce was portrayed by Academy Award winning actor and filmmaker Robert Redford.