Marvel Just Killed Off a Major MCU Avengers Character

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Secret Invasion, Maria Hill, Cobie Smoulders

Secret Invasion just debuted its premiere for the world to see, and by the end of its runtime, a major Marvel Cinematic Universe character who first appeared in 2012's The Avengers met their end.

The starting installment of the series does a great job setting the stage for the rest of the show and catching audiences up on where the MCU is now.

It reintroduces Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos to the scene and quickly paints the picture of how upset the Skrulls are at Fury’s undelivered promise in Captain Marvel. The series also brings Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill back to the party.

Maria Hill Is Back...

Maria Hill, Nick Fury, Secret Invasion
Marvel Studios

Warning - This article contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Secret Invasion.

Viewers see Cobie Smulders right when the episode starts as she goes to pick up Martin Freeman's Everett Ross—who is not quite what he seems.

From there, Maria Hill plays a key role in getting the show's main cast together. She even gets to have a brief entanglement with Emilia Clarke's G'iah.

Sadly, this first episode seems to be the only installment the character was given.

Talos, Maria Hill, Secret Invasion
Marvel Studios

At the end of the episode, Nick, Talos, and Maria are tracking down three backpacks containing bombs ready to go off. While the trio does their best to stop the attack, it still goes off.

While the bombs don't get Maria Hill, Kinglsey Ben-Adir's Gravik does. Taking the form of Nick Fury, he takes her by surprise, shooting her.

Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders, Secret Invasion
Marvel Studios

The real Fury makes his way over to her, but not in time to save her life. Sadly, the agent audiences first met in The Avengers while overseeing the Avengers Initiative is no more.

Hill played a key role with the Avengers, aiding the team in the first crossover by monitoring the Battle of New York from above while Earth's Mightiest Heroes fought down below. Hill continued to help the Avengers after the fall of SHIELD in Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and would go on to appear in the third and fourth installments of the franchise in a smaller role.

The Fridging of Maria Hill

Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders, Secret Invasion
Marvel Studios

Many MCU fans might be disappointed in this death for a variety of reasons.

For one, it is a classic example of the storytelling trope “fridging." The concept is when a female character is killed off solely to motivate the male character.

While these types of situations are bound to happen across various stories, there should be plenty to back them up. Arguably, there isn’t much supporting why the story felt the need to kill off Maria Hill so early— especially since the bulk of the problem for the plot relies on the bomb having just gone off in the first place.

For the wider picture, Hill’s death is simply a footnote.

Many also were hoping that this series would give Hill some much-needed time and space to become a deeper and more interesting character.

Sure, the story could always pull some twist that she’s alive, but it doesn’t look like there’s much room for that.

It doesn’t even feel like she’ll play much into the rest of Secret Invasion’s story. At most, Fury might mention her death to Gravik when he takes him down. Unfortunately, Hill’s Legacy doesn’t look like it’ll ever grow any larger.

Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+.

- In This Article: Secret Invasion
Release Date
June 21, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.