"Captain, somebody murdered my friend and i'm gonna find out why. Anyone gets in my way, they're going to regret it, Anyone."
- Alexander Pierce
"Let me ask you a question. What if Pakistan marched into Mumbai tomorrow, and you knew that they were going to drag your daughters into a soccer stadium for execution, and you could just... stop it. With a flick of this switch. Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you all?"
- Alexander Pierce
- Alexander Pierce uttering the famous HYDRA line
Alexander Goodwin Pierce is a major antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing as a major antagonist of Phase Two. He serves as the main antagonist of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and a minor antagonist of Avengers: Endgame.
He is the master of the Winter Soldier, a high-ranking member of the World Security Council, the Secretary of Defence of the US and secretly a high-ranking member of HYDRA. His "utopia justifies the means" plot to launch Project Insight was foiled by super-soldier veteran Captain America, combat-skilled Black Widow, the loyal Falcon and the loyal remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. He was eventually killed by longtime friend and colleague Nick Fury.
He was portrayed by Robert Redford.
Alexander Pierce was born in a military family, and grew up to serve in the army. During a hostage situation, which also resulted in the kidnapping of Pierce's daughter, Nick Fury, director of SHIELD, refused orders to negotiate and saved Pierce's daughter, but his actions resulted in the death of the remaining hostages. Soon, he was recruited by HYDRA, which had survived the events of World War II and heavily infiltrated SHIELD. He quickly became a high-ranking member of HYDRA, and when he turned down the Nobel Peace Prize out of feigning modesty, he earned Fury's trust and became his close friend.
He was eventually promoted to the US Secretary of Defence and head of the World Security Council. After the Battle of New York, which was an unsuccessful attempt by the alien prince Loki to steal the Tesseract (which had the Space Stone inside it), Pierce and a group of SHIELD agents(which were also secret fellow HYDRA agents) attempted to convince the Avengers to hand over Loki and the Tesseract to them, but failed, and Thor returned to Asgard with both the Tesseract and Loki. HYDRA developed Project Insight, which would make the Helicarrier ships eliminate people that the central computer of Arnim Zola deemed a threat to the wicked organization. SHIELD were aware of the project, but thought the Helicarrier were contacting satellites to protect the country.
When Georges Batroc hijacked the Lemurian Star ship, the World Security Council held a meeting, but Pierce dismissed this, stating that the Council are becoming to vulnerable to minor attacks. Later, Fury met Pierce and convinced him to delay Project Insight. Deeming Fury to be a threat, Pierce deployed the Winter Soldier, HYDRA's top assassin and original war veteran brainwashed, to kill the director. With Fury dead, Pierce talked to Captain America, and when he discovered he was hiding something about Fury the night he died, he sent a STRIKE team, which are subordinates of HYDRA, to finish him. The hero quickly escapes and goes into hiding alongside SHIELD agent Black Widow.
He learned the duo were in the same base where Zola's computer was located, and had the base exploded, although they escaped and Zola was destroyed. Pierce called the Winter Soldier to his house and ordered him to eliminate Cap and Widow once and for all. His cleaner, Renata, walked in, forcing Pierce to shoot her dead. Pierce and the Winter Solider tracked Cap and Widow to Washington D.C., and found out they had kidnapped one of HYDRA's pivotal agents, Jasper Sitwell. The Winter Soldier killed Sitwell before he could leak information and battled Cap and Widow, as well as their new ally Falcon.
The trio were captured, but SHIELD agent Maria Hill invaded their van and saved them. Pierce held another Council meeting at the Triskelion. HYDRA prepared to execute Project Insight when Cap and his allies attacked the Triskelion, and the SHIELD and HYDRA agents clashed. Pierce's STRIKE team entered the room and took the Council hostage, but Senator Hawley revealed herself to be Widow in disguise. Quickly, she defeat Pierce's team and held him at gunpoint. She began leaking all of HYRDA's secrets on the internet to show the whole world, and Nick Fury arrived, revealing himself alive. In a last-ditch attempt, Pierce exploded the Council members and threatened to explode Widow's bomb.
Suddenly, Cap managed to make the Helicarriers fire on each other, destroying Project Insight. Widow tasered herself unconscious to take out the bomb on her, allowing Fury to shoot Pierce in the chest twice. In his last moments, he muttered "Hail Hydra..." before dying. As a result, this blow crippled HYDRA, and allowed the Avengers and SHIELD to finally destroy the weakened organization.
When Thanos used the Infinity Stones and killed half of all life, in 2023, the Avengers desperately travelled back in time to take the Infinity Stones from different timeline and reverse his actions. As it happened, Pierce and the STRIKE team confronted the 2012 Avengers after the Battle of New York, but 2023 Ant-Man caused a distraction by tampering with 2012 Iron-Man's Arc Reactor, giving him a heart attack. 2012 Thor managed to save Iron-Man, but Pierce and everyone else were shocked at seeing the Tesseract disappear, having been taken by the 2012 Loki in all the confusion.