Maria Hill


Maria Hill
Maria Hill
Mariahill.PNG
Maria Hill.
Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance New Avengers #4 (March 2005)
Created by Brian Michael Bendis
David Finch
In-story information
Alter ego Maria Hill
Team affiliations S.H.I.E.L.D
Avengers
Partnerships Iron Man
Abilities Trained agent

Maria Hill is a fictional character of the Marvel Universe. She was the former director of the planetary defense/intelligence service S.H.I.E.L.D..

Contents

Fictional character biography

Introduction

Born in Chicago[1] to a father who never failed to make his resentment of her survival and her mother's death in childbirth clear to her, upon reaching adulthood Hill first joins the United States armed forces, and later becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.[2] Hill has a brief stint in Madripoor that gets her noticed by various heads of state and government around the world.

After the scandalous affair of the Secret War and its disastrous effect on New York City, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury goes into hiding. Maria Hill, viewed by the leaders of several nations as being both an efficient agent and, more importantly in their eyes, not directly loyal to Fury or any of his personal cadre, is appointed interim Executive Director. For a time, a Life Model Decoy of Fury is regularly used in public to maintain an illusion of normalcy within the Directorate's ranks. Hill is expected to be loyal to United States interests before those of the United Nations, which S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to serve before any other country. After she is named Director, Maria is confronted by Nick Fury one night.[3] He warns her that if she ever sees anything suspicious to use an LMD, referencing the coming Secret Invasion. He also warns her that if she does anything that he feels is wrong, then he will kill her.

Hill quickly establishes new policies on super-powered heroes, as requested by the President of the United States and his peers in other national governments: to end S.H.I.E.L.D. support for the heroes. These policies are in full effect when Hill tries to prevent the Avengers from re-forming following the breakout at the super-villain prison the Raft. However, Captain America's champion status allows him to form any team he wants for any mission he sees fit. Spider-Woman's status as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent gives her access to any files that the Avengers may require. These two situations soon convince Hill to leave the situation alone.

In the wake of events in the Savage Land the Avengers suspect Hill of being complicit in various crimes, but lack the evidence to prove her malfeasance. For her part, Hill has suspected the latest incarnation of the Avengers of harboring an illicit agenda in connection with, among other things, the House of M affair.

She earns Iron Man's respect when she ignores the President's orders to nuke an island the Avengers were on at the time.

Civil War

Maria Hill is directly responsible for Captain America going underground to lead the opposition against the Superhuman Registration Act. Weeks before the act became law, Hill summons Captain America to gain insight into the developments inside the superhero community. When the Captain informed her that the registration issue was dividing heroes and setting them against each other, Hill attempts to force him into leading the Avengers in a pre-emptive measure to capture and detain heroes who would not consent to having their identities revealed. Since the act had not yet become law, the Captain dismisses her command as politically skewed, saying that heroes need to "stay above" such affairs or Washington would start telling them who the villains were.

Following Captain America's refusal, Hill summons a company of soldiers armed with tranquilizers and orders them to open fire. She implies that Captain America not obeying her orders/the will of the American people will cause the government to convince the Pro-Registration that he is now a villain. Left with no other choice, Captain America fights his way out of the Helicarrier and hijacks a jetplane (though he makes sure the pilot is unharmed).

As S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Hill is one of the leading enforcers of the Superhuman Registration Act. She blackmails Wonder Man into actively supporting S.H.I.E.L.D.'s crusade to hunt down the superheroes opposed to the Registration Act. She sends Kree supersoldier Noh-Varr, already brainwashed, to capture the Runaways. She directs the Thunderbolts to capture Spider-Man after he goes rogue. The two Thunderbolts members sent out, Jester and Jack O'Lantern, are slain by the Punisher.

After foiling an attack on Stark Tower, Maria Hill admits to Tony Stark that she does not want her job as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and thinks she should not have been offered it in the first place. She suggests that the only other person besides Nick Fury who should lead the organization is Stark himself.

At the conclusion of the Civil War, the President of the United States appoints Tony Stark the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Maria Hill his acting deputy director. Stark later, dismissively asks her to fetch some coffee; Hill does not look pleased.[4]

Deputy Director

Since being made Deputy Director, Maria Hill been a core member of Stark's S.H.I.E.L.D. cabinet and assisted Stark in dealing with a sudden rise in various terrorist groups who have gotten access to hyper-advanced biological weapons. Unlike the rest of the cabinet (including Sal Kennedy who she loathed personally), Maria remained skeptical of a single conspiracy behind all these attacks.[5] When the Mandarin's neoplastic tumor began infecting the Helicarrier, Maria organizes the evacuation; she (wrongly) believed the infection was the main objective of the attack.[6] Since then, however, Hill has become much more trusting in Stark's leadership and has been a trusted agent in her role as Deputy Director, and became far less bound by conventional process, particularly after a confrontation with Dum Dum Dugan where he forced her to confront the fact that she was apparentlly willing to take actions that would allow innocent people to die while still sticking to 'the book' because the alternative was to disobey orders.[7] She eventually ended up putting her career on the line by locking down the United Nations under S.H.I.E.L.D. martial law so Stark could escape a tribunal going against him and track down the Mandarin.[8]

Secret Invasion

When the Secret Invasion began, the Helicarrier was disabled by the Skrull invaders and crashes at the Bermuda Triangle. It is soon stabilized, performing as a regular seaworthy ship. With Stark out of contact, Maria Hill was left in charge of the situation. She and a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents encounter the Skrull replacement of Edwin Jarvis on the storm-tossed deck of the carrier. The Skrull tells her the Skrulls had caused her to be made Director and her job was to publicly surrender on behalf of humanity. When Maria does not back down, many more S.H.I.E.L.D. agents reveal themselves as Skrulls.[9] Continuing to appear stubborn and short of falling to their wishes, she begins to show amusement at the situation, explaining to the Skrulls before all of this happened, a special man won over her respect and showed her some "very cool robots" to use for her own tactical maneuvers, just to be sure there was no "cop-outs" at hand. The Skrulls, ignorant to her sarcasm and clues, soon execute her, the Jarvis-Skrull doing the honors mid-sentence of her declaring, "When I'm done here I'm going to make a t-shirt that says-". After being shot to the floor, however, Hill reveals that she was using a Life Model Decoy. As the Skrulls inspect the body and begin to realize the deception, the last words of the LMD completes its interrupted sentence, muttering, "It'll say: Nick Fury was right." She then activates the helicarrier's self-destruct system, apparently killing all the Skrull infiltrators on board, escaping via jet pack.[10]

Dark Reign

However, after the events of the Skrull Invasion were over, S.H.I.E.L.D was disbanded by the President. Thus, Tony and Maria have lost their jobs, and they are replaced by the newly appointed director Norman Osborn who then reforms the fallen S.H.I.E.L.D. into H.A.M.M.E.R.[11]

Maria later met with Osborn at Thunderbolt Mountain. Osborn apologized for S.H.I.E.L.D's disbandment and states that she is no longer needed. However, Maria warned Osborn that when he crashes and burns on the job, she will be laughing at him before showing herself out.[12] Maria tries to go about having a normal life but Osborn dispatches H.A.M.M.E.R. to arrest her for theft. She joins her former boss, Tony Stark, as a fugitive after he stole the Superhuman Registration Database. The night before Tony leaves the two finally give in to the sexual tension that had been brewing for some time.

Maria is sent on a mission by Tony to retrieve a hard drive. Maria finds the Controller holed up in the basement of Futurepharm, hooked into a large machine holding many people in containers. She, herself, falls victim and was placed under his control. However, she is able to fight it and break free, though severely traumatized, before downloading the data Tony sent her for before escaping the place. She then enlists the Black Widow to deliver the data to Captain America, all the while evading H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. However, they are captured when H.A.M.M.E.R. intercepts an e-mail from Stark. They are rescued by Pepper Potts, disguised as Madame Masque.[13]

Siege

When Osborn launched an attack on Asgard and brought down Thor, Maria quickly rushed out to rescue him.[14]

Heroic Age

In the aftermath of Siege, Maria has been appointed by Captain Steve Rogers to lead the new team of Avengers.[15]

Quotes

  • Joe Quesada: "[Hill] is such a strong personality, she's like a force of nature and quite frankly, while perhaps not immediately loved by all involved, she's certainly as strong and imposing a figure as Nick Fury. Right now I feel that people view her as the outsider but [while] I don't think she’s any harsher than Fury has ever been, what's different is that we aren’t quite clear about her motives".[16]

Other versions

MC2

In the world of the MC2 universe, Maria Hill is a member of the National Security Force. When a government assignment went awry a piece of the Carnage symbiote was released. The Symbiote was stopped by Spider-Girl, the daughter of Spider-Man as she later reported the success to that world's Nick Fury.

She is later seen accusing American Dream of the A-Next, for crimes against the US, as the heroine stumbles upon a government mission.[17]

In other media

Television

  • Maria Hill appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Technovore." She is seen working alongside other agents and approaching Tony Stark about needing the Helicarrier's engines repaired. She has a Russian accent in this show, similar to Natasha Romanoff.
  • Maria Hill is featured in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes voiced by Kari Wührer. She appears as a central member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a protege of Nick Fury serving as his second-in-command and being explicitly taken for tasks. She is often being corrected over mistakes or quizzed on her knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D. affairs. She maintains her comic self's hard-edged and aggressive nature as seen in the episode "Iron Man is Born" where she immediately tried to arrest Iron Man at gunpoint when he took a threatening stance towards Fury. After she and Nick Fury foil a break-out plot by Baron Strucker and Grim Reaper at the Vault, Maria asks Nick Fury if the three supervillaim prisons (Vault, Cube, and Big House) and are like this. Nick Fury tells her that "all four are different" causing Maria to wonder what the fourth prison is. In "The Breakout" Pt. 1, Maria Hill's question about the fourth prison is answered when it turns out to be the The Raft. In "Hail, Hydra" she is the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D after Nick Fury's sudden disappearance, and tried to arrest the Avengers. She did offer them a chance to register and work for S.H.I.E.L.D but the Avengers refused. In "The Ultron Imperative" it is revealed that at least in this reality her middle name is Christina.

Film

Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in The Avengers.

Video games

  • Maria Hill appears as an NPC in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 voiced by Margaret Easley. After Captain America objected to help Maria Hill, she turned to Iron Man to help oversee the Superhuman Registration Act. The players had to choose whether to sign up or go against the SRA. During the attack at Geffen-Meyer Chemical Plant, she piloted the Helicarrier to see that no Anti-Registration heroes can escape. When it came to the players invading Ryker's Island to get a nanite sample, Maria Hill encounters them with some S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. She reluctantly gives up the key card to the portal leading to Prison 42. After the nanite-controlled supervillains incident at Prison 42, Maria Hill and some S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents confronted both groups to arrest Captain America's group. When Iron Man asks for Maria to get some medics for both groups, Maria declines stating that she is under direct orders from the President. When Iron Man threatens to have both sides retaliate, Maria Hill reluctantly tells her men to get the medics. Three days later, Maria Hill was present at the memorial service for the missing and presumed deceased heroes following the Prison 42 incident.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ Secret War #5
  2. ^ Iron Man: World's Most Wanted
  3. ^ The Mighty Avengers #12
  4. ^ Civil War #7
  5. ^ Iron Man, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #15
  6. ^ Iron Man, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #18
  7. ^ Iron Man #26
  8. ^ Iron Man #28
  9. ^ Secret Invasion #4
  10. ^ Secret Invasion #5
  11. ^ Secret Invasion #8
  12. ^ Dark Avengers #1
  13. ^ Invincible Iron Man #11-18
  14. ^ Siege #3
  15. ^ Avengers vol.4 #1
  16. ^ Newsarama (no date): "Joe Fridays" (column), by Joe Quesada
  17. ^ American Dream #1-5

External links


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