Maria Hill Shocker: This Is What Marvel Has Been Missing Since Endgame

WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Secret Invasion episode 1.
Maria Hill dies in Secret Invasion episode 1, an event that raises the stakes for the Disney+ MCU show and recaptures something Marvel has been missing since Avengers Endgame. Secret Invasion episode 1 opens with the important but somewhat predictable twist that Everett Ross was a Skrull in disguise. The real twist of Secret Invasion’s premier did not involve a big Skrull reveal, though. Instead, Secret Invasion episode 1’s ending shocked viewers by killing off Maria Hill after Nick Fury's team failed to stop Gravik's bombing attack.
Maria Hill made her big screen debut in The Avengers, which introduced Cobie Smulders’s character as Nick Fury’s “left eye.” Hill continued to be an important part of the MCU after The Avengers, returning in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home (sort of). Smulders also played Maria Hill in three Agents of SHIELD episodes, although whether Agents of SHIELD is canon to the MCU is still open for debate. Given how Hill has been working alongside Fury since her MCU debut, it seemed logical that she would have an extended role in Secret Invasion. This made Maria Hill’s death even more shocking.
Why Secret Invasion Just Killed Maria Hill Maria Hill’s death in Secret Invasion season 1, episode 1 instantly raises the stakes for the series and proves that no one is safe. Considering that the Avengers are not in Secret Invasion, the series would have to find another way of showing that the Skrulls’ invasion is a serious event that could have major repercussions for the MCU. Of course, revealing that a Marvel character was a Skrull in disguise is a trick that Secret Invasion can and will most likely use several times. However, there can only be so many “this character was a Skrull all along” twists before it becomes repetitive.
Killing off Maria Hill sets the tone for Secret Invasion without the necessity of a major Skrull reveal already in episode 1. Apart from Everett Ross, no other key MCU character was revealed to be a Skrull in Secret Invasion episode 1. That said, Maria Hill’s death exemplified why no character can be trusted in Secret Invasion. Maria Hill was shot by Gravik, who was posing himself as Nick Fury. Hill, and probably most viewers, believed that Fury was helping her get back on her feet. Instead, it was actually Gravik using his Skrull shapeshifting powers to pose as Nick Fury and kill Hill.
Maria Hill's Death Is The Delivery The MCU Has Been Missing Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion was a major event for the Marvel Universe, especially because of how many characters it involved. Even though the MCU’s Secret Invasion show is not supposed to be a direct adaption of the comic, the series has been promoted as a significant event that will have implications for the rest of the MCU’s Phase 5. However, for a new Marvel movie or show to truly feel like a big event, it has to have longstanding consequences. Since Avengers: Endgame, which killed off Iron Man and Black Widow, the MCU had been lacking a character death that raise the stakes for the franchise's overarching narrative.
Loki, WandaVision, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania were all extremely important to the broader Multiverse Saga story. However, none of those movies and shows killed off a character that audiences had been following since Phases 1 or 2 like Endgame did. Scarlet Witch killing Earth-838’s Illuminati members was surprising in the context of the film, but it did not add much to the rest of the MCU. Likewise, Wanda’s “death” in Doctor Strange 2 has little to no actual impact, as Scarlet Witch’s return in the Multiverse Saga is very likely. Queen Ramonda’s death in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the exception.
Maria Hill’s death, unlike recent MCU deaths, felt very definitive. It does not seem like Hill’s death in Secret Invasion is a fakeout, as the episode showed her body for a few minutes after it was shot. Maria Hill’s face did not suddenly turn green, meaning that Hill was not a Skrull in disguise. In addition, Fury already faked his death in Phase 2’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so the MCU would probably not pull off a similar trick with Hill. Those elements add more weight to Maria Hill’s death, recapturing something that Marvel had not done since Tony and Natasha’s deaths in Avengers: Endgame.
Maria Hill's Death Is Good For Secret Invasion, But Bad For Her Maria Hill’s death in Secret Invasion episode 1 is so far dividing opinions, with viewers split on whether killing off a character that has been part of the MCU since The Avengers was a good choice. On one hand, Maria Hill’s death in Secret Invasion episode 1 is indeed bad for the character. While Hill has been part of the MCU since Phase 1, she was never given too much focus in any of her appearances. Just like Secret Invasion is exploring Nick Fury in a way that has never been done in the MCU, the show could have given Hill the story arc the character never had.


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