When Marvel alum Cobie Smulders reprised her role as Maria Hill in Secret Invasion, fans were ecstatic with the promise of seeing her character reunite with Nick Fury. However, their excitement was short-lived, as Hill was killed in the first installment. In an episode of Marvel Studios Assembled, executive producer and writer Brian Tucker revealed the reason behind the creative decision.
According to Marvel creative, the decision to kill off Maria Hill was made to underscore the danger Gravik and his rebel Skrulls posed to humanity. “One of the kind of just most important decisions that we had to make early on was to really illustrate the scale and the reality of the danger that Gravik and his rebels pose to humans,” Tucker explained.
Secret Invasion writer/producer Bill Tucker indicated that the decision to kill Mariah Hill came from a need to convey how dangerous the series’ threats really were.
“And to do that, we couldn’t allow all of our characters to make it out safely. This is a contest for the planet. It’s being fought on the ground, and it’s gonna be bloody. There will be casualties in this conflict, and that means making those tough decisions to say goodbye to beloved characters,” Tuck continued about the creative decision by Marvel.
Maria Hill had been a consistent but somewhat underutilized character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and her return in Secret Invasion was expected to rectify this. Unfortunately, her reappearance in the Marvel series was brief and ended in tragedy. In a contest for the planet’s survival, sacrifices had to be made to convey the gravity of the situation.
Is Maria Hill Really Dead?
Secret Invasion director Ali Selim later confirmed that Maria Hill’s death was indeed permanent, stating, “I don’t know what’s going to happen to Maria Hill or Talos. They’re dead. One is burned, and the other is buried. But in the MCU, anything can happen. So, where are they going to end up? I don’t know,” he added about the future of these Marvel characters.
Since the demise of Maria Hill, Marvel has made efforts to honor Cobie Smulders’ tenure with the MCU. Marvel Studios’ UK Instagram page shared a heartfelt tribute to Hill, saying, “Here’s to you, Agent Hill.” Maria Hill made her MCU debut in the 2012 film The Avengers and was introduced as the right-hand woman to Nick Fury.
The character has appeared in several Marvel Studios projects after The Avengers, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, Avengers: Endgame in 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019. Maria Hill also appeared in three episodes of the popular ABC television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. between 2013 and 2015.
Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch, Maria Hill made her first Marvel Comics appearance in 2005’s New Avengers #4 as a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. She eventually rises through the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and becomes the organization’s director. Her tenure as director is marked by her strong leadership and determination to protect the world from various threats.
“One of the kind of just most important decisions that we had to make early on was to really illustrate the scale and the reality of the danger that Gravik and his rebels pose to humans. And to do that, we couldn’t allow all of our characters to make it out safely. This is a contest for the planet. It’s being fought on the ground, and it’s gonna be bloody. There will be casualties in this conflict, and that means making those tough decisions to say goodbye to beloved characters.”Brian Tucker, writer and producer for Secret Invasion
In the Marvel Comics, Maria Hill is often portrayed as a no-nonsense, pragmatic leader known for her dedication and willingness to make difficult decisions. Hill has interacted with several superheroes, as her job often involves coordinating and managing teams, as well as dealing with the aftermath of significant battles and events.
Over the years, Maria Hill continued to be a recurring character in various Marvel Comics storylines, including events like Secret Invasion and Dark Reign. Following the death of her character, Cobie Smulders addressed a possible return to the MCU, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I have no idea how or when she’s going to come back around to me, but I’m always welcoming the call.”
It’s unclear if Marvel plans to resurrect Maria Hill in future projects. But with the existence of the multiverse, anything is possible.