Marvel has brought back Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill on Disney+, but in a different Marvel universe than fans may have expected.
Smulders has played Maria Hill in an impressive six total Marvel Studios projects after first showing up in 2012's The Avengers. She's set to return to the Marvel universe in this year's Secret Invasion, once again joining Nick Fury's Samuel L. Jackson after co-starring with him in every one of her MCU appearances.
A few days ago, Smulders' Marvel agent made her second animated appearance in a cartoon series in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
Maria Hill Helps Out Moon Girl
Initially planned to air on the Disney Channel on April 29, the episode "OMG Issue #1" of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur was released early on Disney+ on April 12, which included the appearance of Cobie Smulders as SHIELD agent Maria Hill.
SHIELD has been name-dropped numerous times in the show, with Luna leaving supervillains behind for SHIELD to pick up, but this was the first time the organization made its on-screen appearance in the cartoon.
At the start of the two-part season finale, Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl, handed some techno-goons their butts. But, before she could fly away, SHIELD appeared on the scene with Maria Hill greeting Moon Girl personally.
While Moon Girl's excitement was slightly overbearing upon meeting and exchanging numbers with Maria Hill, she took Lunella's teenage excitement in stride.
The same could not be said for Lunella's best friend, Casey, who became such an annoyance to the agent that she blocked the girl's number, preventing another voiced appearance from Smulders in the finale.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is still set to have a second season, having begun production in February, so there's a likely chance for Smulders to make at least one more appearance as the SHIELD agent.
However, aside from Fishburne's Bill Foster and Smulders' Maria Hill, one more MCU Easter egg made its way into the show in the episode "Today, I Am a Woman," which aired on April 8.
In the episode, a Thieves Guild member moonlighting as a social media influencer stole Moon Girl's gear before being taken down. Afterward, she's apprehended by none other than Sam Wilson's Captain America for her stealing Avengers equipment.
His faceless appearance is even accompanied by a snippet of Alan Silvestri's "The Avengers" track. This suggests that this Captain America could also be an MCU Variant similar to Fishburne's Bill Foster.
Are Any More MCU References Coming?
It was announced during a panel at 2022's San Diego Comic-Con that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur would be "complementary to the MCU" and that viewers "may be able to spot some Easter eggs in the series."
These MCU Easter eggs, while exciting for hardcore Marvel fans, would not necessarily mean that the cartoon would directly connect to the blockbuster film franchise. But it's fun to think of it as an off-shoot universe inside the MCU Multiverse.
One MCU actress listed to appear in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur was May Calamawy, who did so in a surprising way.
Instead of popping up as her MCU counterpart, as some expected, Calamawy had a handful of lines as Fawzia, one of Lunella's classmates. Of course, it's possible she could still voice Layla in the second season (after all, Fishburne also voiced The Beyonder), but fans shouldn't hold their breath.
Although, that doesn't mean that's the last of the MCU references in the show. Production has only begun recently for the next season, so additional actors will likely be announced, which could include more MCU alums.
One cameo that'd be incredibly cool is Iman Vellani voicing Ms. Marvel, who Lunella admired greatly in the comics. It'd also be appreciated to see Vellani with comic-accurate powers.
The next Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur season is expected to come out in 2024.