Maria Hill’s death in the opening episode of Secret Invasion rubbed many fans the wrong way. One of the show’s producers revealed their reasoning behind killing off Cobie Smulders’ MCU character.
The death of Maria Hill in Secret Invasion was immediately met with social media backlash. As one of the MCU’s oldest female heroes, many saw killing off Cobie Smulders’ character was a classic case of fridging, while others saw it as predictable and boring. During an episode of Marvel Studios: Assembled, Secret Invasion producer Brian Tucker said that she was killed in order to show the dangers of Gravik and his Skrulls.
“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,” Tucker explained. “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.”
It should be noted that the idea of killing off a character simply to further the arc of another character is the definition of fridging. Regardless of the intent, many fans see it as a shame that Cobie Smulders’ tenure as Maria Hill ended before she got even a side story of her own. Though given the MCU is still in its Multiverse Saga, it’s possible Secret Invasion won’t be the last fans see of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
How Marvel is adapting Secret Invasion
Secret Invasion is based on the comic book storyline of the same name, which was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu. The story revolves around a group of Skrulls, an alien race that has the ability to shape-shift and take on the appearance of anyone they want. The Skrulls have infiltrated Earth’s society and are secretly replacing key figures with their own kind in order to take over the planet.
The full Secret Invasion cast also includes Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik, Emilia Clarke as G’iah, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross. Olivia Colman, Dermot Mulroney, Killian Scott, Christopher McDonald, Carmen Ejogo and Charlayne Woodard are also on board in undisclosed roles.
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