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Why Maria Hill Could and Should Be a Skrull in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By Bea Longshore

Why Maria Hill Could and Should Be a Skrull in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

There might be darker things lurking at the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D. than Hydra. In fact, there might be darker things lurking at the heart of the entire human race. What, you might ask? The Skrulls, a race of extraterrestrial shape-shifters, who, at various points in the Marvel comics, have infiltrated portions of the world. They are a species created by the genetic meddlings of the Celestials, which in the cinematic universe have only been seen in the form of Ego (Peter Quill’s father) and Knowhere (the skull-like base that featured in the first Guardians film). They are also in a millennials length conflict with the Kree, who have appeared regularly in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Why does this matter? The Skrulls have been announced as the villains in the upcoming Captain Marvel film, which will take place in the '90s. And it seems quite possible, in the theoretical realm, that the film will end with Skrulls not quite defeated, but rather with at least a remnant of the species remaining on earth where they will lie in wait.

Lie in wait for what? That remains to be seen. However, in some ways, perhaps the better question is to ask lie in wait as whom? One of the possible, and probable, options is Maria Hill, who has served as one of the few connective tissues between the films and the television series. She has spanned the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the reveal that she has been a Skrull in disguise for all this time would be a knife in the heart. Kind of like that scepter that went straight through Coulson. Too soon?

And this isn’t a completely harebrained theory, but one born of Secret Invasion, written by Brian Michael Bendis in 2008. It involved the Avengers battling the Skrull, discovering that much of the hero community and many members of S.H.I.E.L.D. had been replaced. In this series, Hill is Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and only narrowly escapes death at the hands of the Skrull by using a Life Model Decoy (LMD). LMDs, again, might be familiar to those who have bothered to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Ultimately, this would factor significantly into Phase Three or later of Marvel so it remains to be seen. But it certainly seems like the MCU has a built in traitor in the form of Maria Hill. It would be heartbreaking to realize that her saving Fury and helping the Avengers and hanging out at parties with them was all a lie, but that would only make for a more powerful villain. The MCU has lacked, in some regard, compelling and memorable villains with the notable exceptions of Loki and recently, Vulture, so having one of their own as a turncoat? That would impact the team in ways beyond imagining.

While it seems unlikely that Marvel Studios would risk the calamity that has been the recent Captain America comic series by having one of the actual Avengers serve as the villain, Hill betraying the trust of everyone would have a significant impact, without seeming too far beyond the realm of possibility. Cobie Smulders certainly has the acting chops to pull it off, and while there is no guarantee that this is the direction the MCU is headed, it would certainly provide a diabolical villain to the future film franchise. If Hill won’t be Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., at least she can be their newest and most egregious foe. It would be awfully Skrull

Images: Marvel, ABC