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5 Things Maria Hill Has to Do on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Note: This post contains spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Things are really heating up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as it barrels toward its season finale and pulls the show’s premise from the wreckage left by the final moments of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The connective tissue between the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s big and small screen exploits is stronger than ever before, and it’s about to get even stronger.

Fresh off of a nine-year stint on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, actress Cobie Smulders will return to television on April 29 as Maria Hill on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fans last saw the character in the closing coda of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where she reluctantly took a job in Stark Industries’ human resources department following S.H.I.E.L.D.’s dismantling. The show’s producers have already teased that Hill will have a “large role” in the episode, meaning that there should be plenty of opportunities for Smulders’ to bring some of these essential Hill traits to life.

Maria Hill needs to fight.


In her three on-screen appearances, Hill’s done little more than yell at computer monitors and shoot a gun. Granted, her car chase in Marvel’s The Avengers was incredibly bad-ass, and Smulders does sell every order she barks – we just want to see Hill put her training to work in a full-on choreographed fight scene. She’s definitely got similar chops to Melinda May and Black Widow, and we want to see them.

Maria Hill needs to run the show.


No disrespect to Agent Coulson, but Maria Hill really gets things done. In the comics, Hill was introduced immediately as Nick Fury’s successor as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., a position she’s held for the majority of the last decade. Regardless of whatever state the spy organization is in now, we gotta see Maria Hill taking charge of whatever situation comes her way, independent of Nick Fury’s influence.

Maria Hill needs to be inspiring.


Not only is Cobie Smulders a commanding presence in her own right, but the character she plays is from the movies, everybody. Compared to the TV show’s cast, she’s definitely an A-List character, and we hope she gets treated like one. Remember that awestruck rundown Coulson gave of Sif when she boarded the Bus? That needs to happen for Hill – an agent who was there for the battle of New York and the battle at the Triskelion, in addition to countless other missions that took place prior to the Avengers’ arrival.

Maria Hill needs to butt heads.


Victoria Hand wasn’t the first S.H.I.E.L.D. officer to ruffle a few feathers in the comics; no, that’s Maria Hill’s game from way back. As the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. through such catastrophes as Civil War and Secret Invasion, Hill often found herself making tough calls that put her firmly against super heroes – and she never backed down. This is a tricky trait to pull off, as anyone going up against Coulson’s orders could be seen as a bad guy, like Victoria Hand. And, honestly, we’re not even sure Coulson’s charisma can stand up against Smulders’ steel-eyed gaze. The show needs to figure out a way to show that Hill’s smart enough, brave enough and confident enough to sacrifice her relationships for the greater good without having her go the way of Hand.

Maria Hill needs a haircut.


Okay, this one’s infinitely less important, and also not likely considering the promo photo released by ABC – but come on. Hill’s short hairstyle is her defining feature in the comics, and it wouldn’t be so hard for Smulders to rock a pixie cut by the end of the episode. After all, it’s infinitely more practical in battle situations – the kind of situations we really want to see her in. But haircut or no, we’re just excited to see Maria Hill command attention on the small screen – something that we also hope to get a lot more of in the future.


  • King Chibi

    She isn’t a regular on the show… so all this depth about her won’t happen. She’s an underused character, doing her duty as being a strong supporter of Avengers and Fury but Hydra broke the straw, so both her and Steve believed SHIELd had to go.

  • Quantum

    One Thing Brett White Has to Do in Future Columns: 1.) Stop finding his role models in ridiculously cartoony “kick-ass” women characters

  • ComicBook Coby

    that was my first thought! all these things she “needs” to do? she’ll probably just show up for a 30 second cameo at the end of an episode, and that’ll be that….

  • Greg Sanders

    Cobie has the acting and charisma to command the screen, and she really should be a strong centerpoint for the disillusioned remaining agents of SHIELD. Her headlining role in the April 29th episode is proof that SHIELD is down but not out, and Marvel promises a large, starring role for her, so I’m anxious by the possibilities. Can’t wait for her!

  • Richard Casey

    Is Nick Fury Jr the current head of Shield? I thought he was just a senior agent.

  • Ines

    She did have a kick-ass scene in TWS… She rose the stakes with that very scene.

  • Phoenix underfire

    He was the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which basically means he runs everything) and Maria Hill is he successor in the comic books and currently runs it in latest comic’s

  • legato

    So her involvement in TWS wasn’t enough?

  • akachris

    “Maria Hill needs a haircut.”
    If you saw the last scene of the series finale of HIMYM, then you know that Cobie Smulders does not look that great with short hair.

  • kalorama

    It’s more than a little ironic that discussions that are supposed to be celebrating an empowered female character (not just this particular article, but much of what’s been written and said about Smulder’s portrayal of Hill going back to when the first photos of her were released during the filming of Avengers) make such a big deal about her hair.

  • movieartman

    yes cus how strong or empowered a character regardless of gender is has any fucking thing to do with what fans of said character find visually appropriate to the character’s visual identity, fuck off, we can appreciate and respect a character as a character or a woman as a woman and still prefer her to have specific visual elements, or have a personal preference for how she should look. thats not a demand, thats not a insult, its just our personal opinion, that doesn’t mother fucking make a woman less empowered. FUCK OFF

  • movieartman

    she looked great with short hair in avengers. just go back to that and we are gold

  • JusticeBringer

    He asked about Nick Fury Jr., not Sr.

  • JusticeBringer

    You’re correct. Nick Jr. is just an agent. Maria Hill is currently the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. after stealing the post from the true successor of Nick Sr., Daisy Johnson.

  • JusticeBringer

    At least pick a competent “kick-ass” woman character. In the comics, Hill is strangely terrible at her job. It was her actions that caused Civil War to spiral out of control because she gave the order to attack Captain America for not supporting the SHRA despite being in full compliance with it.

  • kalorama

    I know most pharmacies are closed on weekends, but I’m sure if you had your doctor put in a call they’d be happy to make an exception for you and have your meds refilled today.

    Oh, and BTW, “how strong or empowered a character regardless of gender is” in fact has absolutely nothing to do with “what fans of said character find visually appropriate to the character’s visual identity.” Absolutely, positively, nothing.

    But seriously, about those meds . . . get in touch with your doctor ASAP. It really sounds like an emergency situation.

  • dan

    Item #6: Maria needs to STAY. We need an established Marvel character on the show (besides Deathlok), having a strong female character play that link to the established universe is a bonus, and Smulders has shown she can be a strong TV personality for the long haul. Get her on board as a regular or at least as someone that shows up every 3-4 episodes.

  • kalorama

    Her hair in Avengers was about the same length it was in the pilot for AOS (just short of shoulder length). The only difference was that in Avengers she had it pulled back in a small pony tail.

  • legato

    LOL! Good one.

  • Tommy Rankin

    I admit that it’s maybe a little ironic that article demands a woman to look certain way while demanding female empowerment but it doesn’t necessarily equal less female empowerment. The whole thing about the hairstyle is last on the list and that’s just how the character in the comics has always looked. She’s always had shorter hair and given characters profession it’s only more practical for her to have shorter hair.

    And I doubt that anybody would be saying that it’s less empowering to men if Cap or Iron Man had long hair and fans requested them to have shorter hair since that’s what they have in comics.

    Now I do prefer that actors look the part at least roughly and when it comes to more well known characters like this it’s even more important but in the end it’s not that big a deal especially since I’m not much of an Avengers/SHIELD fan

  • Tommy Rankin

    Goddamnit this is getting complicated! If anybody at Marvel is reading this then I want you to know how stupid idea it was to make Marcus Johnson suddenly take the name of Nick Jr. even though he knew pretty much nothing about his father and had gone with Marcus for his entire life! And it just complicates things when you talk about the characters!

  • Jordan T. Maxwell

    i seriously doubt she was getting a job IN Stark’s HR department. typically speaking, they would just handle any hiring into the company itself. though the idea of Agent Hill running a sexual harassment seminar is full of comedic potential. :p

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  • nerdbasher

    Maria Hill needs to fight? Didn’t she taser and punch some “SHIELD” agents in Winter Solider and take part in a few gun fights?

  • Anon

    6. Empty all of her bullets into Skye’s face. Then ask for another clip and empty that into Skye’s face. Proceed to do this for the entire run time.

  • LordRyus

    Define enough to fanboys/girls who always want more… ;)

  • Scratch89


  • Leonie1988

    I think Smulders deserves a bit time off from TV. I want to see her in movies (esp Marvel) and not jump into another show right away.

  • Leonie1988

    Yes, but we want more (always more)! I’d really like to see her in some hand-to-hand combat.

  • cereza

    My first thought when I saw this scene was that Maria’s going to work in HR which resulted in me squeeing like crazy because she would rock HR, okay? And yes, it has a lot of comedic potential, as well. Sue me. Seconds later, though, it struck me that she’s not going to work there, silly, she’s being recruited herself, duh, And another few seconds later I was all: screw that, I still want to see her in HR :D

    Or maybe some crisis management. Hill is such a badass but there is something utterly satisfying in imagining her in some less obvious than, say, head of security (which belongs to Happy, so), position. She would rule SI’s administration with iron hand :)

  • cereza

    That was how many years ago, exactly?

    One of the best thing about Maria is that she gets some actual character development throught the comics. And yes, she starts out as this highly incopetent, rookie-like, Washington-steered puppet-director AND THEN evolves into the director that knows how to work with superheros. So I wouldn’t disregard her that quickly. Of course, she doesn’t need to be your favourite but if you invoke 616 in an MCU debate, invoke all of it, not just the older runs.

  • The_Livewire

    I’d love it if the next time we see cinematic Nick Fury he’s using the name “Marcus Johnson.”

  • Nix_Nightbird

    Maria Hill needs to accidentally drop Skye into the Negative Zone, never to be seen again. That would improve the show greatly.

  • Nix_Nightbird

    I’d be down with Maria Hill replacing Skye.

  • Mr. Kent

    I like Movie-Maria and all, but she’s really not much like the Comics-Maria. She’s tough, this is true, but she doesn’t have the impact of she has in the comics. In the comics, Maria Hill was THE BOSS and didn’t care who she stepped on to show it. In the movies she’s likeable and approachable. Maria Hill in the comics (especially early on) does NOT do “likeable and approachable” :D

    Colbie’s good, but I hope they inject a little more of the comics character into her. As for the haircut, I’d prefer it short like in the comics, but also to contrast all the other female characters in the MCU, who all have flowy long hair. Some variety please :)

  • nerdbasher

    Definitely wouldn’t hurt, though she was also a pretty high ranking SHIELD agent which means she never really needed to be in the field as much as somebody like Widow or Hawkguy.

  • Alex Hayden

    yeah. it seemed to me she was in a job interview or something. it didn’t seem like she was going to work in HR or even that she was for sure going to work for Stark. She could probably get a job just about anywhere she wanted and Stark may have been one of the stops on her list.

  • Tommy Rankin

    Him using that as an alias could be a nice little nod to comic fans. But maybe they could make that his ACTUAL birth name and reveal that Nick Fury is just an alias he assumed when he became the top cop of SHIELD. I know it’s unlikely but I like that idea. And it would allow us to have both black and white Nick Fury without having to have complicated “son he never knew about who shares his name” plots.
    Nicholas FURY is after all the type of name that nobody would have as their birthname in real life. And as much as I love SLJ he’s getting older so he can’t play Fury forever and by the looks of it Marvel will keep their MCU going for a few more years to come.

  • Leonie1988

    True I guess :( Still…

  • alton

    Almost anything she does would be an improvement over Coulson.How does King Chibi know she won’t be a regular? The only way that she’s not going to be on is if she’s foolish enough to ask for too much money.

  • nerdbasher

    If she ends up being a regular on Agents I’m sure you’ll get your wish. :)

  • Leonie1988

    I think Cobie Smulders won’t sign onto the next show immediately. She’s been on TV for 9 years and finally has the chance to do movies full time. I think we won’t see her as a regular, a guest star at the most.

  • DaRel Mays

    Thats what i think is going to happen on AOS. i saw supposedly report that she IS coming to the show in some capacity as the Government-Installed Director of the new SHIELD

  • DaRel Mays supposedly report that she IS coming to the show in some capacity as the Government-Installed Director of the new SHIELD

  • DaRel Mays

    she will be the new director of the reformed shield

  • DaRel Mays

    i would imagine stark pased on highering hill and we will find that out in the next episode when talbot comes ad installs her as the new head of shield for spilling the secrets to the government, hence the secret base arrival