The MCU’s Phase 5 has seen a few high-profile deaths, and its most controversial one has received an explanation, only it doesn’t make it any better.
- Secret Invasion’s decision to kill off Maria Hill in the first episode is still seen as a bad move, especially considering her long tenure in the MCU and lack of significant moments prior to her death.
- The show missed an opportunity to develop Maria Hill’s character, as her relationship with Fury and potential storylines were cut short by her abrupt death.
- Killing off Maria Hill felt like a cheap shock tactic, with little consideration for the character’s impact or meaningful portrayal in the franchise as a whole.
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Secret Invasion‘s controversial Maria Hill death gets explained by a Marvel Cinematic Universe producer, but it still does not make sense. Secret Invasion‘s cast included a couple of MCU returns, such as Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, to aid Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury deal with the Skrull invasion on Earth. While it appeared that Maria Hill was finally getting a big role in an MCU project, the character was shockingly killed at the end of Secret Invasion‘s premiere episode, a choice that proved itself quite controversial.
On Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Secret Invasion, Secret Invasion executive producer and writer Brian Tucker explained why Maria Hill had to die in the Disney+ series’ first episode. Tucker reveals that one of the series’ early decisions was the need to “really illustrate the scale and the reality of the danger that Gravik and his rebels pose to humans.” Because of the severity of the Skrulls’ threat, Tucker says the Secret Invasion team “couldn’t allow all of [their] characters to make it out safely.” That led to Hill’s death, with the move affecting Secret Invasion‘s placement among the other MCU TV shows. Check out the full quote below:
“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.”
Why Maria Hill’s Death Still Doesn’t Work
Tucker’s explanation makes sense in part, as Secret Invasion did need some major deaths to provide the necessary feeling of dread that came with a Skrull invasion on Earth. That said, choosing Hill to die, especially at the end of Secret Invasion‘s first episode, continues to be a bad move. Smulders debuted in the MCU in 2012’s The Avengers, making Maria Hill one of Marvel’s longest-running characters, and her making it through Secret Invasion‘s ending would have been better.
Despite her having been part of the MCU for so long, Maria Hill was hardly in any projects, with no major moments save for her controversial death. Due to it being a small-scale version of the comic book story that inspired it, Secret Invasion was the perfect project for Maria Hill to finally be fleshed out in the MCU. Killing her in the show’s first episode, after a scene had shown that her estranged relationship with Fury would have been an interesting thread to follow throughout the series, robbed the character of her potential.
In the end, Secret Invasion‘s choice to kill Maria Hill felt like a cheap shot at making the audience be shocked by the death of a familiar MCU face, as Hill had never had a major role to play in the franchise. Secret Invasion also dealt poorly with the fallout of Hill’s death, as Nick Fury was only affected by her death for one episode, and it not being addressed again by the character. Due to Secret Invasion‘s low viewership, Maria Hill didn’t even get a satisfying ending in the MCU, instead having Secret Invasion see her out with a whimper.
Source: Disney+’s Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Secret Invasion
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