Directors of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Alter Ego: Richard "Rick" Stoner
Notable Aliases: Fallen Angel
First Appearance: Fury #1 (May 1994)He was the first Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. After he was assassinated, Nick Fury became the second director.
Alter Ego: Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury
Notable Aliases: Scorpio, Gemini, The Unseen
First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963)
Nick Fury is an immortal superspy. He has been an agent (and later director) of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international security organization. He first appeared in "Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos" #1 (May, 1963), created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Howling Commandos series ran for 120 issues (May, 1963-July, 1974), featuring the World War II adventures of an army unit. In Fantastic Four vol. 1 #21 (December, 1963), an older Nick Fury appeared alive and well in the 1960s. He was no longer with the military, instead serving as an agent of the CIA. This version of Fury next appeared in "Strange Tales" #135 (August, 1965), where Fury became the leading agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the lead of a new series. He has since served as the lead character of several series and magazines. However, the most famous version was the period with Jim Steranko at the helm, that showed arty Surrealism, Op Art and graphic design sensibilities had a place in comics.
The life story of Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is relatively simple. A World War II vet from New York's Hell's Kitchen, Fury started fighting the Nazis with his Band of Brothers the Howling Commandos first before moving onto more esoteric foes of humanity. It was sometime between moving to work for the CIA and fighting a hate-ray powered clone of Adolf Hitler alongside a walking pile of rocks that Fury realized that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
In 2000, Marvel launched the Ultimate Marvel universe with reimagined versions of its characters, and for Nick Fury's redesign they decided to model him on Samuel L. Jackson; this caused some legal issues as Mr. Jackson was not asked permission for his likeness, but a deal was hashed out where he agreed to let them use it on the condition that he get to play the part if any movies involving the character were made (Mr. Jackson bears no ill-will toward the comic creators these days, especially given the success of the MCU and his role in it). Eventually they contacted him to play the role in Marvel Cinematic Universe as per their arrangement, and as a result of those movies' popularity the Jackson version has become the pop-culture image of Fury and the version used in all adaptations since; Marvel has even introduced a Jackson-Expy "Nick Fury Jr." into the original continuity. Since then, Nick Fury Jr. has become the "main" Nick Fury, after the original was Put on a Bus in Original Sin and the Ultimate Nick Fury was killed in Secret Wars (2015). Original Nick later returned for a year or so as the team benefactor in Exiles (2018).
Why he is cooler than you will ever be:
- He has a Flying Car.
- He parks this Flying Car in his Flying Base filled with Life Model Decoys and psychic spies.
- He's fought radioactive robots in space.
- He's chased a warlord to another dimension to fight psychic duels with his literal Eyepatch of Power.
- He's hunted Godzilla.
- He is a Badass Normal feared by Nigh-Invulnerable beings.
- He is feared by Nigh-Invulnerable beings because he has demonstrated the "nigh" portion by killing several.
- He never looks at explosions.
- He does, however ride motorcycles through explosions while shirtless and Dual Wielding Laser Pistols.
- He is literally ageless.
- He once willingly turned himself into an Eldritch Abomination to save reality.
- He's beaten up Adolf Hitler on more than one occasion. Also generals cum terrorists.
- He was played by David Hasselhoff in a 1998 Pilot Movie.
- He is played by Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Xander Harris specifically requests he be considered Nick Fury, that's how badass he is.
- Action Dad: He had couple of sons by different mothers; Mikel and Marcus. He wasn't around while either grew.
- Actually a Doombot: His Life Model Decoys have been used for this.
- The Ageless: He is physically in his 40s, 50s tops, and will not age another day. Subverted in Original Sin, which reveals that his aging hasn't slowed as much as everyone thought - the fiftyish Fury was portrayed by a series of LMDs and the real Fury is quite a bit older.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: It's generally accepted that Sergeant Rock is DC's version of Nick Fury in his military daysnote , and King Faraday is DC's version of Fury in his SHIELD days.
- Badass Beard: Either that or a Perma-Stubble.
- Badass in Charge: That "Director of S.H.I.E.L.D." title isn't just for show.
- Berserk Button: People trying to tell him what to do will piss him off. Trying to take S.H.I.E.L.D. from him will piss him off. Being HYDRA will... you get the idea.
- Black-and-Grey Morality: Fury often uses morally questionable tactics like lying, manipulation to outright murder. Despite this he does care for other people, tries to minimize damage, and values freedom and justice. These acts are often necessary to stop people who don't care for the lives of others and often want to watch the world burn.
- Breakout Character: Both the Original and Modern. The White Nick Fury got his start in the anthology comic Strange Tales and was soon moved to being a supporting character in the Marvel Universe and got many of his own series and a movie, where as the modern AKA Ultimate Universe version was so popular in that comic series that it became the new main version of the character in other media even being in the MCU played by his inspiration, Samuel L. Jackson.
- Captain Ersatz: Dirk Anger of HATE from Nextwave was created specifically because Warren Ellis couldn't use the real deal. Meanwhile, Sunfire and Big Hero 6 has its own Fury stand-in, a Japanese woman working for that nation's Homeland Security who wears an eyepatch and is named Furi Wamu.
- The Chessmaster: In Secret Warriors Nick has let Baron Strucker believe that he secretly controls S.H.I.E.L.D. all this time, because that puts him in a position where he can secretly control HYDRA.
- Colonel Badass: Held the rank of Colonel for most of his tenure as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Continuity Snarl:
- Nick Fury's eyepatch is due to receiving an injury to his left eye from a grenade during World War II. Fantastic Four #21 shows a flashback with Nick Fury without an eyepatch, before his World War II injury, when he was working for the CIA. Marvel: The Lost Generation #10 establishes Fury wore a bionic eye replacement before the modern era, which retcons the appearance of Nick Fury without an eyepatch as Nick Fury with a bionic eye implant. In Fury #1, a flashback shows the Scorpio LMD, disguised as Jake Fury, shooting Nick Fury in the left eye. This flashback is assumed to take place after Nick Fury was already wearing a bionic eye, so the shot to his eye damaged his bionic eye, otherwise, Nick Fury would have lost his left eye twice.
- Control Freak: A very nasty one. Even after getting booted out of S.H.I.E.L.D. he still acts like he's in charge. Fury hates not being in charge of a situation.
- Crazy-Prepared: He's got special bunkers hidden all over the world, and a list of super-humans no-one else knows about that he saves for rainy days.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nick Fury ALWAYS has something to say when he's in a fight.Baron Strucker: BAH! The drink was just insurance! I can destroy you without it!
Nick: Yeah? HOW? Like this? Or mebbe a punch like THIS?? Tell me, Nazi! I'm dyin' to find out!
- Death Is Cheap: Nick Fury refuses to stay dead while there's still fights needing fought.
- Decompressed Comic: Before it was fashionable in American comics to stretch stories over six or so issue, the Steranko run managed to make the Yellow Claw Saga run for nine issues long.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: God help you if Fury decides he's going to teach you.
- Easily Forgiven: By the heroes whose minds he wiped without their consent during Secret War. Steve, who was angrier than everyone except Wolverine, even explicitly praised Fury in a later storyline.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Nick is just your average combat-hardened joe from the Big Apple... who doesn't age. Because of drugs. Awesome drugs. Given all the other superheroes, he's as close to a normal hero as you'll get.
- Evil Twin - Sort of. He has an LMD that developed an individual consciousness and thought it was the real thing. It took a while for it to go evil. At first, he just went rogue and spent years dismantling terrorist cells.
- Eyepatch After Time Skip: He lost his eye somewhere between his Sergeant Fury and Director Fury days.
- Eyepatch of Power: Fury's eyepatch is one of his most well-known traits and helps signify that he is a huge badass.
- Eye Scream: Why do you think he wears an eye-patch? He lost his eye to a Nazi's grenade back in World War 2 as revealed in issue 27 of Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos.
- Handicapped Badass: Having one eye doesn't slow Nick Fury down.
- Important Haircut: Fury marked his transition from World War II frontline badass to SHIELD superspy by getting a haircut and shaving off his perma-stubble.
- Insert Grenade Here: During his Howling Commando days.
- Jerkass: He takes this trope and makes it a freaking artform.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's because of this that people like Captain America and Wolverine value him as a friend.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Invoked. Nick Fury claimed this for himself in back in the '70s Captain America comic. After he'd spent a whole issue getting The Falcon pardoned for his criminal past, Cap remarked, "Fury, under that rough, unshaven exterior..." Fury interrupted, "There's an even rougher, unshaven interior!" Of course, in this case, it's very blustering; while later writers did make Fury genuinely amoral, around this time he was still a pretty straightforward bleeding-heart hero.
- Made of Iron: Hes over 80 years of getting his ass beat, but he still stands up and kicks major ass. That is until Original Sins.
- In one of the most absurd instances, during a fight with Wolverine, Wolverine tackled Fury into a wooden cabin. The mutant's super strength caused the entire cabin to come down on Fury but he just bounced back up. And that was just the beginning.
- Manipulative Bastard: Very much so. It's why he chose the people he chose for the Secret Warriors, because they were the most likely to do as he told, and the most likely to accept the choice.
- Mook Chivalry: Played hilariously straight in Strange Tales #157, when a HYDRA leader tells his men to attack Fury using "Plan K-11," meaning they each go at him one at a time... allowing him to beat them all up one at a time.
- Morality Pet:
- Daisy Johnson/Quake is his, and seems to be the closest thing he has to a daughter. He treats her the same as he treats everyone else.
- Failing that, Dum Dum Dugan's the nearest replacement. Results are also mixed.
- Mythology Gag: If Fury needs a disguise in a story written by Bendis, he will use a hologram that looks like Ultimate Fury. Ultimate Fury will, on the other hand, use a hologram that looks like the original Fury.
- Never My Fault: If something goes wrong, Fury will never be at fault. It'll all be someone else's, even if it actually is his fault. Sometimes it just depends on what happened. Secret Warriors has him admit that every life he ever sent to battle was his own fault, which is why Baron Strucker can't actually claim the responsibility of getting his son killed. In Original Sin, he tells Captain America I Did What I Had to Do, and he's not sorry for any of it, except for the punch that he then gives to Cap.
- Opening a Can of Clones: The LMDs (Life Model Decoys) make his deaths less than believable.
- Perma-Stubble: Depending on the artist.
- Put on a Bus: Vanished from Marvel after 2005 and returned in the lead-up to Secret Invasion. After Fear Itself, he disappeared again, being replaced by his son; until he resurfaced for Original Sin before being turned into The Watcher's successor and vanishing again. He then returns in Exiles (2018) as the new team's benefactor.
- Rated M for Manly: Hes a major trope codifier. He charges into the fray, guns blazing, often shirtless, while smoking a cigar.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: With a slowed-down aging process, but yeah.
- Seen It All: He's moving towards the century mark, has been in three wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam), worked for the CIA before moving on to S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been through paratrooper, demolition, Army Ranger and Special Forces training. All this before he started taking on super villains as the boss of SHIELD.
- Sergeant Rock: Fury is basically the Alternate Company Equivalent of the guy who named the trope. He then moved on to become a Colonel Badass.
- Sex God: Garth Ennis portrays him as this. During one storyline in The Punisher MAX he is roused during a mission to be updated on Castle with three women in his bed. In his own miniseries after the handicapped boy he's looking after injures himself he goes into a... well, fury and phones for half a dozen Asian hookers.
- Shellshocked Veteran: His MAX series and appearences in The Punisher MAX portray him as this, disillusioned with Iraq, looking after a young boy who he wants to mercy kill, drinking heavily, sleeping with multiple hookers, and beating the crap out of US generals when they resort to terrorism.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: In Secret Warriors, he makes all of his recruitment undergo a Secret Test of Character by torturing them and seeing if they reveal anything. Keep in mind, this is pretty early in the training process.
- Smoking Is Cool: It was even a Running Gag that his connections could get him Cuban Cigars. Subverted during Joe Quesada's reign in Marvel; he banned smoking by iconic characters, including Fury.
- Spy Catsuit: Fury's default outfit is the SHIELD catsuit. Sometimes he wears a trenchcoat over it, for no other reason than to look more badass.
- The Spymaster: He fits this trope to the tee. Helps that this a job usually as a former head of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Super Hero Origin: A badly wounded young soldier called Nick Fury stumbled into the laboratory of a French biochemist. The only treatment to hand was an experimental longevity drug...
- Tuxedo and Martini: Fury started out slightly more Stale Beer but rapidly became some kind of radioactive psychosis-inducing cocktail. Steranko even marked the transition, with Nick shaving the scruffy stubble he'd had since WWII.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In his days with the Howling Commandos, and in the early Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stories, Nick usually got his shirt ripped off or destroyed well before the halfway point of the story. Later on, S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms came to be made of more durable materials.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Contessa de Fontaine. As of 2014, they're on "won't".
Dum Dum Dugan
Alter Ego: Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader Dugan
Notable Aliases: Libra
First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963)
See here for more info.
G. W. Bridge
Alter Ego: George Washington Bridge
First Appearance: X-Force #1 (August 1991)
See here for more info.
Alter Ego: Sharon Carter
Notable Aliases: Agent 13, Fraulein Rogers, Gaea-1, Irma Kruhl, "The Most Dangerous Spy in the World," Ronnie, Shary, Iron Patriot
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #75 (March, 1966)
The sister/niece of Steve's World War II love interest Peggy Carter, who works alongside Steve as an agent of SHIELD. The two have an on-again, off-again love affair, which is currently off due to her catching a bad case of dead... except, nope, it was a fake out, she was alive the whole time, she just aged ten years in another dimension and spent her time raising Steve's son. Consider it on again.
She first appeared in Tales of Suspense #75 (March, 1966). In her initial appearance, Sharon was involved in a conflict between SHIELD and AIM. A fellow agent of SHIELD had managed to steal powerful explosive "Inferno-42" from the terrorist organization. He passed it on to Sharon for safekeeping, while AIM hired Batroc the Leaper to go after her. Cap accidentally got involved in the conflict, following Sharon around due to her supposed resemblance to one of his Love Interests from World War II. Subsequent issues of this storyline established that Sharon is actually the niece of said love interest, Margaret "Peggy" Carter, and that Sharon herself is quite capable of outmaneuvering opponents.
Sharon was soon developed into the main love interest for Cap. In issue #95 (November, 1967), Cap revealed his Secret Identity to her and offered his marriage proposal. Sharon turned down his offer, pointing out that she is already married—Married to the Job, that is. She continued to serve as a regular supporting character until Captain America vol. 1 #233 (May, 1979). There she is forced to commit suicide as part of a plot by hypnotist Doctor Faustus. That was supposed to be the end of the character, and she remained dead for nearly two decades, until she turned up quite alive in issue #445 (November, 1995), courtesy of writer Mark Waid. Sharon was Faking the Dead for years, and her return was part of a major storyline of the time.
Sharon has remained a prominent character in books featuring Cap and/or SHIELD since The '90s. Most of her key storylines have been written by Mark Waid and Ed Brubaker. She co-starred with Nick Fury in the mini-series "Fury/Agent 13" (1998) and became a part of the black-ops team Secret Avengers in 2010.
She was seemingly killed off again by Cap writer Rick Remender, shortly after proposing to Steve, but she ended up surviving, along with Steve's adopted son, Ian. However, she was in Dimension Z, where time is wonky, and she's aged enough for it to show on her face. With Steve losing the serum and looking every one of his ninety-some-odd years, they've decided to take a well-earned break from fieldwork, although they continue to work logistics for the Avengers.
Outside of comics, Sharon has appeared in the 1960s Captain America animated anthology series. She also appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a prominent character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, portrayed by Revenge star Emily VanCamp.
Tropes embodied by Agent Carter
- Action Girl: As long as we're not talking about her Silver Age persona, Sharon's one of the best in the Marvel Universe. Sharon is a trained athlete and extremely competent martial artist, adept at various fighting techniques. She is highly trained in espionage, weapons, firearms, and computers.
- Action Mom: Nearly became one, but had to abort her child to avoid it being targeted by Red Skull's plan to resurrect himself.
- Amazon Brigade: Involved in a couple. First she was leader of SHIELD's "Femme Force", an all-female strike team in the seventies. During Ta-Nehisi Coates' run she was revealed to be involved in a highly secretive secret society of female heroes which stretched back centuries.
- Back from the Dead: Was considered dead in the comics from 1979 to 1995, but came back literally the first issue Mark Waid had on Captain America. Writer Ed Brubaker once commented that he was glad Mark Waid had resurrected Sharon during his run, or else Brubaker would have had to do it himself.
- Badass Normal: She has no superpowers.
- Badass in Charge: She was director of SHIELD for some time.
- Battle Couple: She and Captain America.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: In recent espionage stories, Maria Hill serves as the Brawn, Sharon as the Beauty, and Victoria Hand as the Brains.
- Blue Blood: As close as they get in the US. Her family is referred to by Wilson Fisk as "Virginia royalty".
- Brainwashed and Crazy:
- Her original reason for cause of death.
- Sharon was brainwashed into killing Captain America and actually did fire that apparently ended Cap's life. Of course, that bullet wasn't as fatal as first thought.
- Career Versus Man: This used to be something coming between her and Steve, because she was keen on keeping her job. His marriage proposal came with the understanding that she would retire from action. She was not interested.
- Convenient Miscarriage: Averted. Following the Civil War, Sharon discovered that she was pregnant. She was then taken captive by Red Skull and, after a fight, was found stabbed in the abdomen. The next issue revealed that she had done it to herself to keep her baby away from the Skull.
- Darker and Edgier: After being betrayed by SHIELD, she was forced to do unpleasant things to survive; some violent, others degrading. Once Cap found out that she was alive, he soon discovered that this wasn't the same Sharon he had come to known.
- Death Faked for You: Yeah, remember when Sharon burned herself to deathnote ? Turns out that SHIELD faked that in order to get her to another mission overseas. Needless to say, Sharon was none too pleased.
- She was initially one of Betsy Ross, Cap's occasional Love Interest in the original 1940s comics. However, Sharon's character evolved in a somewhat different direction.
- An expy of Sharon known as "Agent X" appeared in several episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series as Nick Fury's right hand woman.
- Faux Action Girl: Sometimes in the Silver Age. Even when she was leading a platoon of female agents, she was the one that got knocked out. At other points, she easily dispatched multiple assailants.
- Generation Xerox: Her aunt Peggy Carter was a heroine of World War II and in a romance with Captain America. Sharon grew up to become a hero in her own right and got involved in a romance with the same long-lived hero.
- Identical Grandson: She was introduced as a younger version of Margaret "Peggy" Carter, an older Love Interest of Cap. Originally Peggy was said to be her older sister, later said to be her elderly aunt. Currently Peggy looks old enough to be Sharon's grandmother.
- Immune to Mind Control: Some time after getting mind-controlled into killing her love, she trained herself to resist the influence of the culprit, Doctor Faustus. This came in handy during the Secret Empire event where she got some revenge on Faustus, as well as disable the HYDRA fleet in one fell swoop.
- Legacy Character: The pseudonym "Agent Thirteen" had previously been used by Betsy Ross in the 1940s.
- Light Is Good: Sharon is a hero and is often seen wearing a white Spy Catsuit.
- The Lost Lenore: Occasionally, during her near twenty years spent dead, for Steve.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: To an extent, with Cap in some newer comics. Especially true for Mark Waid's run in the 1990s. Sharon was the tough character who saved Cap out of trouble, was willing to Shoot the Dog and, generally, was cynic, bitter and had shades of a '90s Anti-Hero. Cap was the sensitive All-Loving Hero who Didn't Like Guns and was upset when the government was mean to illegal immigrants. Averted in the Silver Age and during much of Brubaker's run, where she's still tough, but more feminine.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon realizing her role in Cap's apparent death, all Sharon can do is tearfully wonder what she just did.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: During All-New Marvel NOW!, she's abducted by Arnim Zola into another dimension where time passes more quickly. Ultimately reversed during Ta-Nehisi Coates 's run.
- Power Armour: Operated the Iron Patriot armor to battle Selene Gallio. She later gets a pure-white armor designed for her.
- Rape as Drama: All but explicitly stated to have suffered sexual abuse after she was captured upon that one fateful failed mission. Much later, she suffers rape by fraud at the hands of Hydra Cap.
- Redundant Rescue: In Captain America vol. 6, issue one, "American Dreamers, part one", Cap uses his mighty shield to knock out a Hydra Mook that Sharon was fighting. Her response is a slightly annoyed "No fair, I had this one..."
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Upon her reintroduction in the mid-90s, she became focused on killing Nick Fury herself to get revenge for the aforementioned betrayal.
- Shoot Your Mate: In an early Silver Age story, was forced into a straight-up scenario by Baron Zemo, who had captured Cap and gave her a loaded gun, but managed to subvert it. After some very brief quiet anguish, she took a third option by making eye contact with Cap and giving him a subtle cue to move, shooting just in time to barely miss him as he broke loose and jumped the troops who were guarding him. In the chaos that ensued, it took a while to subdue him again, and Zemo was satisfied that she'd been ready to kill him, now trusting her loyalty. (This was early enough in the series that he didn't know about their personal relationship.)
- Notably, while written in over-the-top 1960s comics prose, the scene remains strong today because Sharon didn't flinch, and couldn't be sure if Cap had understood her sign to move, as she had to make it very subtle while enjoying Zemo's full attention. Arguably, it was her Establishing Character Moment as a badass secret agent that she could pull it off convincingly, and it also shows that her Silver Age persona wasn't so weak and useless as it's often flanderized nowadays.
- Someone to Remember Him By: She discovered she was pregnant thanks to Captain America, just following his death in Civil War.
- Spy Catsuit: The catsuit is the basic uniform for agents in the spy agency SHIELD, for men and women. Besides the standard black uniform, Sharon also uses a white uniform tailored for her.
- Strong Family Resemblance: With her elderly aunt Peggy when she was younger.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted throughout — surprisingly enough, even in her original Silver Age stories, when Cap would usually firmly adhere to it. Not that she was murderous or anything, like the Darker and Edgier '90s version sometimes appeared, but she was perfectly willing to use her sidearm when it was needed. One example comes from a story where the Red Skull's heavily armed Nazi assassins had ambushed Cap, who put up a fair fight but was about to be shot by the last man standing. Sharon got him first.Nazi Agent (To Cap): Even your shield cannot save you now!Sharon: No—But this can!
- Took a Level in Badass: Under Mark Waid she became a hardcore mercenary/free agent.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: When she returned from the dead, as compared to her previous characterization. Somewhat justified, in that she had spent several years left behind in hellish third-world countries in between, fighting with primitive guerrillas in an atrocious civil war and ultimately locked up in a thinly disguised North Vietnamese death camp, which left her pretty well broken by the time she was able to escape.
- Also, has been rolled back again somewhat since the 1990s.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Steve, at times.
- You Are Number 6: Her codename is Agent 13.
Alter Ego: Maria Hill
Notable Aliases: Director Hill, Agent/Special Agent Hill, Mary Huell, Commander Hill, Deputy Commander Hill, Sub-Director Hill, Deputy Director Maria Hill
First Appearance: The New Avengers #4 (March 2005)
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. S.H.I.E.L.D. agent 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 core group, is appointed interim Executive Director, being 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.
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 Raft super-villain prison. However, Captain America's champion status allows him to form any team he wants for any mission he sees fit, while Spider-Woman's status as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent gives her access to any files that the Avengers may require. With these two situations meaning that the Avengers could operate independent of Hill's authority while retaining access to the relevant information they need to complete their mission of tracking down the Raft escapees, Hill is convinced 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 wrongdoing, while Hill herself suspected the latest incarnation of the Avengers of harboring an illicit agenda in connection with, among other things, the "House of M" affair, to the point that she abducted Spider-Man and The Vision to question them about the situation even when dealing with the Collective. She eventually earns Iron Man's respect when she ignores the President's orders to nuke an island the Avengers were on at the time.
In the 20062007 miniseries Civil War, Captain America refuses to assist Commander Hill in preparations to arrest any superheroes who refuses to comply with the Superhuman Registration Act, seeing such activity as politically motivated, but Hill, arguing that Captain America must obey the will of the American people, attempts to arrest him, but he fights his way out and escapes. After the Act passes into law, Hill is one of its leading enforcers. 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. After foiling an attack on Stark Tower, 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, Tony Stark is appointed the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a displeased Hill his acting deputy director.
After being made Deputy Director, Maria Hill becomes a core member of Stark's S.H.I.E.L.D. cabinet and assists Stark in dealing with a sudden rise in various terrorist groups who have gained access to hyper-advanced biological weapons. Unlike the rest of the cabinet, Hill remains skeptical of a single conspiracy behind all these attacks. Subsequently, however, Hill becomes much more trusting in Stark's leadership, a trusted agent in her role as Deputy Director, and far less bound by conventional process, particularly after a confrontation with Dum Dum Dugan, in which he forces her to confront the fact that she was apparently willing to take actions that would allow innocent people to die while still sticking to "the book" because the alternative was to disobey orders. She eventually risks her career by locking down the United Nations under S.H.I.E.L.D. martial law so Stark can escape a tribunal going against him and track down the Mandarin.
During the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, after the Helicarrier is disabled by Skrull invaders, Hill, who is left in charge in Stark's absence, confronts a number of extraterrestrial Skrulls, shapeshifters who can assume the appearance of anyone or anything, who are revealed to have replaced a number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The Skrulls execute Hill, but this "Hill" is revealed to be a Life Model Decoy of Hill. Hill then activates the Helicarrier's self-destruct system, killing all the Skrull infiltrators on board, escaping via jet pack.
In the aftermath of the Skrull Invasion's failure, during the Dark Reign storyline, S.H.I.E.L.D is disbanded by the President, and Hill and Tony Stark lose their jobs, 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. Hill tries to go about having a normal life, but Osborn dispatches H.A.M.M.E.R. to arrest her. She joins her former boss, Tony Stark, as a fugitive after he stole the Superhuman Registration Database, and he sends her on a mission to retrieve a hard drive and deliver the data to Captain America via Black Widow, all the while evading H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. They are eventually captured when H.A.M.M.E.R. intercepts an e-mail from Stark, but they are rescued by Pepper Potts, disguised as Madame Masque.
Following the apparent death of Nick Fury, she was appointed commander, then acting director, and finally director of S.H.I.E.L.D. following Daisy Johnson's actions that involved the Secret Avengers invading A.I.M. Island.
- Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013)
- Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers (2014)
- Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (2014)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2012 present), portrayed by Cobie Smulders:
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012)
- Marvel Heroes (2013)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013)
- Avengers Academy (2016)
- Marvel's Avengers (2020)
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures (2009 2012)
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (2010 2012), voiced by Kari Wührer.
- Avengers, Assemble! (2014)
Maria Hill provides examples of:
- Action Girl: One of SHIELD's top field agents before getting assigned to command and control.
- Actually a Doombot:
- Shortly after she became head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury broke into her room and told her if she ever suspected something was up that she should replace herself with an LMD immediately. She took it to heart - a few months later, Nick Fury sent his Caterpillars to abduct her. They got an LMD instead, which Fury was counting on.
- During Secret Invasion the Skrulls seemingly execute her, only to realise that what they killed was a Life Model Decoy. Which Hill then blows up.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She has dark hair, and also is very aloof and poised with those she interacts.
- Badass Normal: She is one of the very few normal humans that can stand face-to-face with supervillains, that include Killer Robots and Physical Gods, without fear. Par for the course with SHIELD agents.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Stark. It finally culminated in them sleeping together during the "World's Most Wanted" story arc.
- BFG: She uses a massive bazooka as she rescues Thor in Siege.
- Body Double: Shortly after Maria was made director, Nick Fury broke into her quarters, and once he'd determined she wasn't a Skrull, gave her some advice. Namely, if she ever felt the situation wasn't right, she should make use of an Life Model Decoy. During Secret Invasion, this saves her life.
- Boyish Short Hair: Maria's a definite tomboy, and has the haircut to match.
- By-the-Book Cop: She's a strict follower of the law as it is written and playing by the rules, which creates friction between her and Fury due to his more Military Maverick style, and several times she's filed reports criticizing his actions. This was the reason why she was appointed interim Executive Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place - she's loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. law, not to Fury or any of his trusted people. Lampshaded by Dum Dum Dugan.
- Captain Crash: Helicarriers have a tendency to fall out of the sky whenever she's in command. Though to be fair the things tend to not have the greatest safety record for anyone else, either.
- Commander Contrarian: Automatically plays this role towards whoever is in charge of her.
- Depending on the Artist: In her first appearances, she had Boyish Short Hair and big lips. Later storylines would zigzag on this design and a more youthful-looking one with smaller lips and slightly longer hair. Her Ms. Fanservice features can also vary depending on the artist. Her hair especially can shift between issues that are supposed to take place around the same time; the image for this page was an instance when the artist wanted her to have longer hair, but she's usually depicted with very short hair. At times, her hair length varies to differentiate her from Daisy Johnson.
- Depending on the Writer: There is no denying that even on her better days, Maria can be a Jerkass among jerks, but just how much of a jerk she can be shifts depending on who's writing her. Brian Bendis tends to write her as being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold - for example, knocking out Spider-Man so the psychic division can pick his brain for info the Avengers weren't giving (because for some reason, they didn't trust her), then having her people use that information to help the Avengers, or refusing to nuke Genosha while the Avengers were on it, even after being given an order by the U.S. president. And then there are folks like Nick Spencer, who writes Maria as needlessly kicking the dog or committing pointlessly petty acts as a seeming hobby, so much so that you'd think it was an addiction for her.
- Dramatic Irony: Whenever Maria Hill is forced to work against the government, like when Norman Osborn is head of S.H.I.E.L.D. or when the cosmic cube-warped, Hydra-loyal Captain America took over America. Maria Hill clearly hates working against the law, as she favors a draconian interpretation of it, but even she has standards.
- Establishing Character Moment: Ringing up the newly formed New Avengers to tell Captain America that as far as she's concerned he, Captain America, has no right to reform the Avengers without her say-so, and she ain't giving it.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite her strict adherence to authority, she refuses to work for Norman Osborn or Secret Empire Captain America when they are her superiors when she realizes what depraved monsters they are.
- Foil: To Nick Fury. Where Nick is a Cowboy Cop who is very close with the superhero community (to the point of having regular steak nights with some of them), Maria is a By-the-Book Cop who is distant at best, rude at worse to superheroes.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: In spades. Nobody liked working with her when she first debuted, and it took a very long time for people to warm to her. Even those within S.H.I.E.L.D. dislike her, and cheered at the sight of her being fired in the wake of Secret Invasion.
- Heel Realization: Has had a number of these over the years when her work pushes her over various Moral Event Horizons. When she set up the brain-washing reality-warping Pleasant Hill prison, she fully expected to be put into it herself for building it. And a 2017 story in Jessica Jones reveals she put an enormous bounty on her own head that would go active the instant she left S.H.I.E.L.D. She did this after her first mission for Nick Fury.
- Hero Antagonist: She's frequently used as opposition whenever a writer needs a hero to perform some legally grey act.
- I Hate Past Me: Downplayed. When she remembered that she had issued an enormous bounty on her own head years ago in the event that she left S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria cancelled the bounty and scolded her younger self for her naïve, self-righteous attitude.
- Inspector Javert: Especially during the Civil War storyline. She is not a villain, but she sincerely believes the law is always right, even when others disagree. If a hero toes out of line even a little bit, she'll be the first to try and give them a bad day.
- Iron Lady: She's part of the leadership of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as such stoic and no-nonsense almost all the time.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On her better days, she is on the Avengers' side, but she doesn't exactly make things easy for them. Case in point: Knocking out Spidey so the psi-department could pick his brains for sensitive information Iron Man and Cap weren't giving... so she could use it to help the Avengers with the problem of the week.
- Jet Pack: Used one to escape a helicarrier explosion.
- Just Following Orders: Earned a lot of hatred from the superhero community for enforcing the Registration Act. She justifies herself by saying she's just following the instructions of Congress and the President.
- Knight Templar: While not quite evil, she still fits this to a degree, with her insistence that superheroes must register in Civil War becoming one of her signature character traits (after which she became a steady and unavoidable character of the Marvel Universe), and her occasional stonewalling of their efforts.
- Lawful Stupid: At times she spends more time antagonizing superheroes, forcing them to comply with the law, than actual villains.
- Ms. Fanservice: Zig-zagged, sometimes she's portrayed with a very athletic build, a very notable chest and a nice rear but other time she's drawn with a slender build and a smaller chest.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In Civil War, Cap wasn't keen on the registration but simply told her he wasn't going to hunt any heroes who didn't join, remaining neutral. Her response was to have him detained seeing it as treason. Cap tried to end the stand off peacefully, but when she didn't relent, he ended up escaping, figured this little action justified his beliefs and went on to lead the anti-registration side. So technically she's more or less the reason things ended up escalating in the first place. And the real dumb thing about this? The bill hadn't passed yet when she did this.
- Number Two: To Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., she is officially the second in command. She later became this to Daisy Johnson, much to her displeasure. Eventually, she'd return to being head of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Odd Friendship: She and Tony Stark gradually developed one.
- Power Hair: Depending on the Artist, but she tends to have short hair.
- Promoted to Scapegoat: The Skrulls had a hand in her replacing Nick Fury, knowing full well when everything went to crap she'd get the blame (then they'd kill her).
- Replacement Scrappy: In-universe, pretty much everyone hates her as head of SHIELD for not being Nick Fury.
- Spy Catsuit: Her basic uniform as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D..
- The Stoic: She usually behaves seriously, professionally, and level-headed.
- Straight Man: Always composed and serious, even in the face of Fury's irritation or Tony Stark's wisecracking. This verges on The Comically Serious at times.
- Undying Loyalty: She and Stark might not be able to stand each other most of the time, but there is no doubting Maria's loyalty to him, and to SHIELD as a whole.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: To a degree. For Maria, almost any method that will ensure overall global security, peace and order is worth it, seeing the compromises involved as necessary. For this reason, she has an I Did What Ihad To Do attitude whenever she is confronted by heroes over her decisions and she never, ''ever'', apologizes for them regardless of how immoral they are or how much harm they bring. However, Maria will draw the line whenever someone abuses the law for self-serving, harmful purposes or whenever too many innocent lives are blatantly threatened.
- In Civil War, she fully endorsed and enforced the Superhuman Registration Act in an effort to bring the superhero community, traditionally a political wild card, more firmly under the control of the American government with the aim of bringing more social stability to the country.
- In Avengers Standoff, she personally commenced and managed the Pleasant Hill initiative in an effort to pacify supervillains who have repeatedly escaped conventional incarceration. To do this, Maria tricked both Steve Rogers and Captain America (Sam Wilson), "convinced" certain politicians and scientists to look the other way, and enlisted the aid of Kobik to maintain the false reality of Pleasant Hill by giving the supervillains new, peaceful identities. When the initiative fell apart, her first act was to sweep all evidence of the entire incident under the rug and convince the heroes who helped to control the situation to keep quiet. All that results in her dismissal from S.H.I.E.L.D., however brief it may be.
- In Civil War II, she is a important supporter of Captain Marvel's plan to use Ulysses' power to stop crimes before they even happen. Maria's support gave Captain Marvel the political muscle to convince the American government, including the President, that Precrime Arrest is a sound idea.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: That's one way of looking at her characterization. In spite of her antagonistic relationship with superheroes, one could still argue that she's doing it for the right reasons.
- With Friends Like These...: Tony frequently accused her of this during his tenure as SHIELD Director.
Alter Ego: Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark
Notable Aliases: Iron Man
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)
See Iron Man for more info.
Alter Ego: Norman Virgil Osborn
Notable Aliases: Green Goblin, Iron Patriot, Gobby, Overload, Super-Adaptoid, Mason Banks, Goblin King, Hobgoblin, Red Goblin
First Apperance: The Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964) note ; The Amazing Spider-Man #37 (June 1966) note ; Dark Avengers #1 (March 2009) note ; Superior Spider-Man #17 (November 2013) As Mason Banks[[/note]]; The Amazing Spider-Man #798 (April 2018) note
See Norman Osborn for more info.
Alter Ego: Steven "Steve" Grant Rogers
Notable Aliases: Nomad, The Captain
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)
See Captain America for more info.
Alter Ego: Daisy Louise Johnson
Notable Aliases: Quake, Cory Sutter, Gabrielle Wewer, Skye
First Appearance: Secret War #2 (July 2004)
Daisy: You should ask for a level ten clearance, then. You'll find out all kind of things.
Daisy first appears in the 2004 limited series Secret War, introduced as an associate taken under the wing of Director Nick Fury who helps his secret strike team (consisting of Black Widow, Wolverine, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and Captain America) overthrow the Latverian government led by Doctor Doom. Despite only being a teenager upon introduction, she's notable for having been given Level Ten clearance at S.H.I.E.L.D., an accomplishment only attained by Fury himself, and Black Widow.
She later shows up as supporting character in Bendis' New Avengers, where she gains the "Quake" codename after helping The Avengers defeat Magneto with her powers. During the Secret Invasion story, she's seen helping Fury recruit soldiers to defeat the Skrulls invading Earth.
When Nick Fury establishes his team of "Secret Warriors" a few years later, Daisy is recruited as their commander. While serving on the team, Daisy learns that the villainous organization HYDRA has secretly been controlling S.H.I.E.L.D. for years, and that her love interest James Taylor James (also known as Hellfire) was a HYDRA sleeper agent, using her to obtain S.H.I.E.L.D. intel. Following a brief split under varying circumstances, Daisy ultimately reunites the team.
Daisy continued popping up in the Marvel Universe during the Siege, Fear Itself, and Avengers vs. X-Men events, while also featured in the main Avengers title written by Bendis. During this time, she's chosen as Director of the newly-rebuilt S.H.I.E.L.D., recruiting Phil Coulson and Nick Fury Jr. to their ranks. Her tenure as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to an end during Secret Avengers, where she's chastised for leading an (assigned) attempted assassination of a United Nations representative and replaced by Maria Hill.
She later shows up working alongside the Winter Soldier, when he replaces the (dead) Nick Fury as the Man in the Wall. More recently, Daisy appears as a regular character in 2016's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. title.
Originally introduced as the daughter of villain Calvin Zabo / Mr. Hyde, Daisy's powers were established as either being a product of his unstable DNA from radiation or that she was born a mutant. Her lineage was later retconned in an issue of S.H.I.E.L.D., where it's established that Daisy's mother was a woman of Inhuman origin, who ultimately passed those genes onto Daisy herself, and her father's experiments allowed her to have access to her powers without terrigen.
Daisy shows up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the ABC television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (played by Chloe Bennet), where she's been a primary character since the first season. Introduced as an orphaned hacker (and canon foreigner) self-named "Skye", Coulson recruits her to join S.H.I.E.L.D. on a probationary basis. This iteration of the character resembles her 616-based counterpart, albeit superficially; this reality's Coulson recruits her to S.H.I.E.L.D. (instead of the other way around) and serves as her mentor in the way Nick Fury did in the comics. She also has a complicated romantic history with a secret HYDRA sleeper agent, though here, it's not JT. Lastly, she's placed in charge of Project Caterpillar in season three, working to extract and recruit people of Inhuman origin on Earth. She also embraces her birth name, Daisy, during this time, and starts using it officially.
It's worth noting that Daisy's (new, retconned) backstory in the comics was informed by Skye's on the show. During the second season, Skye accidentally goes through Terrigenesis while on a mission, activating her latent Inhuman genes and giving her the seismic abilities she's known for. She also learns of her true parentage — mad scientist Calvin "Zabo" Johnson, and Jiaying, the leader of an Inhuman faction based in China, who was previously presumed dead at the hands of HYDRA.
- Secret War (2004)
- Secret Warriors (2010 — 2013)
- Secret Avengers Vol. 2 (2013 — 2014)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2016)
- Secret Warriors vol. 2 (2017)
- Marvel Rising (2019)
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (2012), voiced by Lacey Chabert
- Marvel Rising, voiced by Chloe Bennet:
Daisy Johnson / Quake provides examples of:
- The Ace: Much to Maria Hill's chagrin, as seen in the quote above.
- Ambiguously Brown: In Secret Warriors (2017), she's got light brown hair and a skin tone just slightly lighter than Kamala's making her very ambiguous what her ethnic background is.
- Bad Vibrations: Her powers can create these, either intentionally or not.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Much of her initial characterization is informed by her precocious nature.
- Canon Character All Along: Skye was seemingly a Canon Foreigner early on in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., until her Given Name Reveal in season two made her this.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Daisy's original design◊ was inspired by Angelina Jolie in the film Hackers —- pretty easy to tell◊. Nowadays though, artists like to draw her looking like Chloe Bennet, for obvious reasons.
- Cool Big Sis: To the younger Secret Warriors, Yo-Yo and Phobos.
- Foster Kid: Both versions of Daisy —in the comics and MCU— share this origin.
- Good Is Not Nice: Being trained by Nick Fury as a shadow operative means she can often be quite quick to use her powers for lethal purposes, such as exploding Wolverine's heart, or trying to crush Pod of the A.I.M.vengers's internal organs, which would've killed Pod's host if not for the armor's protective nature.
- Jerkass Ball: Her interaction with the X-Men in 2017's Secret Warriors has her repeatedly insult them, then try to bring down their jet while swearing about how she hates Mutants. Charming.
- Jumped at the Call: She really wanted to be a superhero, and was crushed when she thought the New Avengers asking her for help was an audition, only to be told it was just a one-time thing.
- The Lancer: To Nicky Fury in the comics and Coulson in the MCU.
- The Leader: She's the team commander of the Secret Warriors and Project Caterpillar.
- Phrase Catcher: When Bendis is writing, Daisy gets told she will one day be "one of the greats" but that it will suck for her to get there. Certainly, the suck part has definitely come true. Not so much the "great" part.
- Race Lift: On the show, Daisy is half-Chinese, while her counterpart in the comics doesn't seem to be of Asian descent. Artists have since taken to drawing her with Asian features though, as a means of synergizing with the show.
- Ret-Canon: Since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made her more prominent, her comics version has incorporated the changes the show brought about. This ranges from minor things like Daisy growing her hair out to match the show's version, to more major things like a Race Lift, making her an Inhuman and giving her the nickname "Skye".
- Retcon: The original reason given for her powers was she was Calvin Zabo's daughter, and his messed-up genes from being Dr. Jekyll messed up her genes. Eventually the 2014 S.H.I.E.L.D. series written by Mark Waid points out that timeline-wise, this'd make no sense, and that Daisy's an Inhuman.
- The Rival: Her and Maria Hill do not get along, in large part because of Daisy's youth. This got particularly bad in Secret Avengers, where Hill conspires to take advantage of Daisy's rash reaction to a close-friend's death to get her fired from Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., then tries to push to get her arrested on top of it.
- Spy Catsuit: She's known to wear these.
- Training from Hell: Nick Fury was not a gentle taskmaster, let's put it like that. Simulated torture and threat of death was just part of his training regime.
- Vibroweapon: She can control and manipulate vibrations to devastating effect. She once made Wolverine's heart explode.