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This article is about the character from the Netflix series. You may be looking for the classic character.

Carmen Sandiego, is a master thief Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, approximately 20 years.

She is the self-titled protagonist of the 2019 Netflix animated series Carmen Sandiego and is voiced by actress Gina Rodriguez.

History

Early Life

When she was a baby in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was found by Shadowsan, a member of the high council of V.I.L.E. and was taken to the Isle of V.I.L.E. along with a set of Matryoshka dolls which she identifies as her first belongings.

Her real name is unknown, and when she was growing up, she went by the name Black Sheep since everyone who lives on the Isle of V.I.L.E. is only identified by their first name or their code name. Unlike the other students Black Sheep did not choose her nickname. It was given to her.

As a child, Black Sheep was raised by a series of nannies from around the world, who would teach her how to read, write, and learn things about the world, including the geography, languages, and cultures that her temporary caretakers were from. Black Sheep liked to pull pranks, using her pick-pocketing skills to swipe belts or tease the Cleaning Crew. Every year on December 1st, V.I.L.E.'s accountant Cookie Booker would arrive on the Island with her boat's Captain. Black Sheep would greet the visitors by throwing water balloons at them.

One year, when Ms. Booker and the Captain visited, the Captain had enough and chased Black Sheep into V.I.L.E. Academy, when Black Sheep slipped on the floor. Just when the Captain was about to finally discipline the child for years of torment, Coach Brunt grabbed him and punched him so hard that his smartphone flew out of his pocket. Intrigued by the device, Black Sheep took the phone for herself, and hid it in her largest doll since V.I.L.E. Academy has a strict "No Cell Phones" policy.

Time would pass and teenage Black Sheep began to realize how boring life was on the island and wanted to see the world which a lot of the graduates from V.I.L.E. Academy got to do once they learned how to become international master thieves.

One day, the phone Black Sheep stole from the captain vibrated with a text message from a stranger who said that he had infiltrated the phone's security. Black Sheep texted back asking who was this stranger. The phone then rang, to which Black Sheep picked up the phone and asked who it was. This was the first time Black Sheep spoke to Player. Player identified that he was a young computer White Hat hacker from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. For Black Sheep, this was the first time she actually spoke to someone outside the island not affiliated with V.I.L.E., forming a new friendship and motivated Black Sheep to enroll at V.I.L.E. Academy.

Black sheep
Black sheep 2

Enrollment

Black Sheep consulted the V.I.L.E. Faculty. Coach Brunt, Dr. Maelstrom, Countess Cleo, and Professor Sarah Bellum approved of Black Sheep's request to enroll, but Shadowsan did not claiming she was not mature enough. Regardless of Shadowsan's objections, majority rule allowed for Black Sheep to enroll with the next class of recruits.

Despite being the youngest person in her class, Black Sheep would make friends with Antonio, Jean Paul, Gray, and a silent classmate whose name was unknown, but would make new rivals like Sheena.

Black Sheep excelled at all her classes, proving herself to be part of the team. She even got the team in trouble on the day that Ms. Booker and the Captain came to visit, which they almost got expelled when Black Sheep showed them the annual prank she used to pull. However, Gray vouched for the team and apologized on their behalf much to Sheena's dismay, and the group spent the day in detention, where they spent the time thinking up their code names.

Gray would become Crackle. Jean Paul would choose Le Chevre (which in French means "The Goat"). Antonio would choose El Topo (which in Spanish means "The Mole"). Sheena would choose Tigress. The silent classmate, who was into pantomime used a game of Charades to indicate that his code name would be "Mime Bomb". But Black Sheep still had not decided what her code name would be.

The time came for Final Exams, which in addition to all the other tests, there was one final test that would be required to graduate that Shadowsan administered. Shadowsan would put on a jacket that had many pocket on it where in one of the pockets was a one dollar bill. If the student could pick his pockets within two minutes while dodging his martial arts defense techniques, they would pass.

Sheena being an expert cat burglar was able to get the dollar within seconds. The group of students was able to find the dollar bill, except for Black Sheep who despite being an expert pickpocket and martial arts practitioner herself could not find the dollar bill. Black Sheep was convinced that Shadowsan did not put the money in his jacket when she attempted to find it.

Her suspicions were confirmed when on the day graduates were posted everyone except her passed. Angry that she was the only one who did not pass, she confronted Shadowsan who denied he didn't hide the dollar in the jacket but accused Black Sheep of still being too immature to graduate.

First Field Trip

When Black Sheep saw her classmates were about to go on her first mission, she sneaked on to their helicopter with only her smartphone because she wanted to travel light. However, she wasn't aware that Mime Bomb had been tailing her as she had walked through the main sewer and pushed open a grate to get to the tarmac. She almost got busted when after take off, Player called her to say that now that she was off the island which had been armed by anti-GPS technology, he knew where she was. Black Sheep asked him to call back later.

The chopper was at its destination when the new graduates were to jump off the helicopter, but Black Sheep forgot to pack a parachute so after the other except for Gray jumped off, she grabbed on to him.

Meanwhile, Mime Bomb had reported Black Sheep the the Facility, which prompted Dr. Maelstrom to contact the Cleaners.

Gray was not happy that Black Sheep was along for their first mission and told Black Sheep to stay put until after the mission. However, this was Black Sheep's first time off the island and she wanted to see where she was. She discovered that the team had landed in Casablanca, Morocco.

Wanting to learn more about the area, Black Sheep encountered a local archaeologist. He inquired why a young girl was out so late at night. But Black Sheep was more interested in what he was doing. He replied that she was at a dig site and that he was part of a team of archaeologists looking for lost treasures, more specifically the Eye of Vishnu. Black Sheep asks the archaeologist if he is worried that somebody could try to steal it, but the archaeologist feels confident enough to say he is not worried, unbeknownst to Black Sheep and the archaeologist, that Black Sheep's classmates are about to raid the site.

Before the raid goes down, the archaeologist states that the theft of relics would rob the world of something more valuable than monetary gain, knowledge, which Black Sheep begins to feel some remorse, especially when she suddenly realizes that the dig site was going to be the site of the caper.

But it is too late, as Gray cut the power to site and the other members engage in their assault, knocking out what minimal security the site had as well as some of the other archaeologists.

El Topo finds the Eye of Vishnu but is surprised to see Black Sheep when he emerges from the tunnel he burrowed to get it. Gray tells Black Sheep to go back to the meeting point before she ruins the mission which leads the archaeologist to realize the site is being attacked by thieves and that Black Sheep is a thief.

El Topo reminds the team that they are to leave no witnesses, such that Gray now must kill the archaeologist with the electric weapon that Dr. Bellum provided. Gray shoots the device but Black Sheep knocks the weapon out of the way, allowing for the archaeologist to escape. Black Sheep struggles with Gray to disarm him. Tigress tries to assist him, but Black Sheep knocks her out with the weapon. Black Sheep demands Gray to tell her what just happened.

By this time the Cleaners, who were piloting the helicopter, show up and use chloroform to knock out Black Sheep.

The graduates would graduate knowing the true name of V.I.L.E. was not "Valuable Imports, Luxury Exports" but "Villains' International League of Evil." Meanwhile, Black Sheep was under an even more watchful eye by the Faculty which made her feel isolated. The Cleaners confiscated her phone which meant that she couldn't talk to Player. Being held back for another year, Black Sheep plotted a plan to escape from the Isle of V.I.L.E for good this time.

First Heist

Black sheep stealth suit 2

On December 1st, when Ms. Booker showed up, Black Sheep would execute her plan. First, acquiring her phone back from the Faculty. Once the phone was back in her hands, she called Player. She confesses that she was raised at a school for thieves. Just then, Ms. Booker enters the room with her V.I.L.E Hard Drive. She then hangs up a red Cordovan hat and red trench coat she was wearing as it was pouring rain outside.

Black sheep stealth suit

Black Sheep tales Ms. Booker who is headed to the server room with the hard drive, but along the way she stops a spying Mime Bomb from catching her in the act by beating him up and throwing him in a supply closet that had a toolbox about the same size and weight as the hard drive. Black Sheep takes it so that Mime Bomb can't pick the lock and escape from the closet.

Black Sheep quickly slips into the elevator bound for the server room, where she apologizes to Ms. Booker the years of torment she gave her. Booker accepts her apology, but offers Black Sheep some career advice to pursue white collar crime instead of classic thievery.

As the elevator closes, Black Sheep takes the elevator back upstairs while Ms. Booker wonders why the hard drive she stuck in the computer isn't working. It turns out, Black Sheep had executed a bait and switch trading the travel tool box for the hard drive.

Black Sheep now needed a way out of V.I.L.E. Academy before the alarm sounded (which it did). She though about escaping the same way she did the first time, but the sewer grate was now bolted shut. By this time the Faculty began to notice which of their students had caused the incident.

Ms. Booker was eager to leave, and demanded that even with heightened security, she be permitted to leave, which Dr. Maelstrom obliged. Black Sheep had eavesdropped on their conversation and used that as an opportunity to escape. She went back into the office where she picked the lock to get her phone. She took a set of training stilts and Ms. Booker's coat and hat and walked out the front door where the Cleaners were on guard. By the time she walked out the door, she was headed towards the dock, but by that time, Coach Brunt and Dr. Maelstrom found that Black Sheep had tied Ms. Booker up and tossed her into a file closet.

The Cleaners were about to use their chopper to stop the boat from leaving harbor, but the found the cables inside the engine were cut. Dr. Maelstrom radioed the Captain that the person approaching the ship was not Ms. Booker but by that time, Black Sheep had overpowered the Captain who was armed with a harpoon gun.

The only person left to stop her was Shadowsan who was running towards to dock with a sword in hand, but by that time, Black Sheep had pulled out far enough that he could not jump on the boat. The last words she spoke to him were "I pass. You fail." A reference to the final exam which she is still convinced was rigged the previous school year. As she drives the motorboat out to sea, she contacts Player, asks where she is. He determines she is located somewhere in the Canary Islands.

With her new freedom, she decides it is time to see the rest of the world. She almost tosses her hat off the boat when Player tells her she needs to get a passport and to use a new name, asking if she has a name. She looks at the tag inside the hat that reads "Carmen Brand Outerwear, San Diego" and chooses her new name: Carmen Sandiego. After reaching, the mainland, she mailed the hard drive to Player and together they began their mission to destroy VILE.

Months Later

Carmen-1

Sometime later, after her caper in Poitiers, France, Carmen is cornered by Gray on a train bound for Paris where she tells him her back story. Meanwhile, he reveals what V.I.L.E. truly stands for, which only confirms Carmen's suspicions that her upbringing was a lie, emboldening her goal to use her skills as a thief for good rather than evil. Nevertheless, Gray claims V.I.L.E. is willing to forgive her if she returns willingly and works for them again.

She refuses, as the train pulls into Paris where Inspector Chase Devineaux is waiting to apprehend her only to be tricked into apprehending Gray wearing her now trademark coat and hat. It is determined back in Poitier by Devineaux's partner Jules Argent, that Carmen didn't take anything of value, that the house she broke into was full of stolen items taken by V.I.L.E., and the house belongs to an "imports/exports company". But Carmen did take something from the location: The matryoshka dolls that belonged to her, the only link to her past.

As she gets away in a boat on the River Seine driven by Zack. She removes a sticker that was placed at the bottom of the most exterior doll that was placed there by A.C.M.E. who are tailing the boat, to which Player and Ivy help complete this caper as they make their next trip to Java Island in Indonesia.

Sticky Rice Caper

Arriving in Java, the Carmen Crew make their way to the V.I.L.E. base on file, and find it full of experimented on rice, coated in a fungus bio-engineered to consume the rice supply of Indonesia. Carmen recalls V.I.L.E. making an artificial rice supply when she was younger, deducing they plan to destroy a nation's food supply to shill in a market for their artificial brand rice and compensate for lost income.

Personality

Carmen is clever due to her incredible education since her infancy, swift from the physical training under Coach Brunt and playing pranks growing up, innate athletic skill, as well as quick-witted from her training to handle high pressure situations. She isn't fazed by difficult situations as her education in V.I.L.E. Academy prepared her for similar if not exact scenarios. But with her young age she can still be prone to missteps, as when she was in Ecuador, she forgot to acclimate to the altitude change and fainted; or in Mumbai when fighting Paper Star, she didn't notice the ACME card she swiped off Devineaux was missing until after she returned the Magna Carta.

Carmen is also empathic of others, as seen when she fought off her graduate classmates to save a dig-site crew after developing an appreciation of art. Or when she learned of the cultural value of Uluru to the native peoples of the Outback, and how a V.I.L.E. plan would be devastating to them. As well as the time when Doctor Pilar Marquez explained the 1830 Ecuadorian 8 Escudos doubloon's historical value, Carmen did not want to deprive the Ecuadorian people of a cultural treasure; something resonant to her, as she herself knows nothing of her past. Carmen raced to retrieve it and directly gave the coin to Marquez out of trust that she'd keep the coin safe in a museum.

She is also a humanitarian, a vast difference to her previous iterations, donating to children's hospitals, orphanages, museums, and various other charities. Carmen is sympathetic to these causes as she knows nothing of herself, and wants to ensure others have opportunities in and knowledge of the world which she believes is their right to know and have a chance to appreciate.

Carmen is also shown to be selfless, as when Devineaux is kidnapped by V.I.L.E. believing him to be her secret partner, Carmen risked her own safety to rescue him, even though Coach Brunt and Shadow-san were in the area hunting for her.

Trivia

  • This version of Carmen is a major departure from her other counterparts. Unlike the previous versions, who were thieves that stole solely for the thrill and lead V.I.L.E., this Carmen instead works against V.I.L.E. to return valuables. She is also the only version who's name is a chosen alias, rather than her real name, namely because she never really had a name.
  • Carmen is almost consistently shown to be right-handed.
  • She Likes Sushi And Coffee While She Dislikes V.I.L.E And Stealing
  • Her Birthday is on March 1st.

See Also

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