Brian Bendis lays bare the secrets of the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director!

Maria Hill finds herself in a difficult situation these days. Booted out of S.H.I.E.L.D., we see her out on her own, more vulnerable than ever. Forced to ask for help—not necessarily Maria’s strong suit—she has shown up in JESSICA JONES, where the two have a bit of a frigid encounter. But big things will come for these two, as Maria embarks on a very different mission from the type we’re used to seeing her undertake.

We asked Brian Michael Bendis—writer of JESSICA JONES and co-creator of both Jessica and Maria—for his insights on the history and psychology of this most mysterious character.

Marvel.com: As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and then head of the organization, Maria seemed like one of the good guys, but you get the feeling you can never fully trust her. Even going back to the House of M days, she feels leery of the Avengers, and they feel the same way toward her.

Brian Michael Bendis: I’ve done an immense amount of research on spy training and spycraft, and not unlike a police officer or a fireman, you’re trained to only see the worst in people. You’re trained to look for that thing other people don’t look for—those tells, those chess moves that are too complicated for us normal people, going about our days. She trained her brain to play the most complicated game of chess that could ever be played, and in doing so, you’re looking at everybody like a pawn or a player, and not as a human being, because you’re not allowed to since you have to send them on missions. And with that, people learn to mistrust.

Now the mysteries of Maria Hill—where she came from, who she is—there have been little hints and bits in my books and in [other] books over the years. But we’ve never shown who she is, where she came from, what made her, how she got so deep into the center of the Marvel Universe so quickly. These are big things, and they speak to the larger landscape of the Marvel Universe, secrets we don’t know about, secrets we don’t know about S.H.I.E.L.D., how agents are made, or how people find themselves in this position. And Maria, being at the center, really, of some of the biggest events in Marvel history—to my surprise—from Civil War to Secret Invasion—that takes a massive toll on people. So now that she has been ousted from S.H.I.E.L.D., the mysteries of her life are more fragile and the keeping of those mysteries is less important to other people. As leader [of] S.H.I.E.L.D., it was in everyone’s best interest to keep her secrets secret, but once you’re out, you’re out. The mystery of her was one of her strengths, because no one had any ammo on her. But now the mysteries are unfolding, and she’s more vulnerable. And she doesn’t have the protection of S.H.I.E.L.D. anymore, so her secrets are her biggest threat, even more than who has them and what they’re trying to do with them.

I’m a big fan of John Le Carré novels about spies and what they do once they’re done being spies. And I thought, what a great opportunity now for Jessica to live in a John Le Carré novel as she discovers the history of Maria, which also is the modern history of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel.com: I find Maria a really a compelling character; not lovable, like Peter Parker, but interesting. What do you think makes her so intriguing?

Brian Michael Bendis: Maria has to make some hard choices, and the super heroes don’t always make it easy for her. The X-Men, the Inhumans, everyone is messing with her stuff. So somebody has to be the mom. And if you’re in that position, you’re going to be bumming someone out, and you’re going to have to make some choices that someone doesn’t like.

I always liked how Matt Fraction wrote Maria’s relationship with Tony Stark. Now there’s a person who can understand the complexities of her decision-making policies.

And she took over for Nick Fury after decades. Everyone had an opinion about him, but no one had an opinion about her. And she doesn’t give you much verbally, so you have to base your opinion on her actions. And her comebacks—I always write her with a little wit and comeback because I think that shows her intelligence. So that was what was interesting about her introduction to the Marvel Universe, she came in like a hurricane who no one knew anything about.

Did I think she’d still be around? Did I think she’d be a movie star, a TV star? Did I think she’d be so entrenched in the movies and TV, and the comic books? No I did not. I know I’m more known for Jessica Jones and Miles Morales, but I had this unique experience of watching Maria catch on like wildfire in the mid-2000s. A lot of people started writing her. I was surprised by how much people at Marvel were interested in writing her because no one knew anything about her. As much pride as I feel about Jessica and Miles and Riri [Williams aka Ironheart], Maria being in the “Avengers” movie was a huge deal. And it reminded me of how special it is to add things to the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: You would call her a control freak, right? Her desire to be in control may have led her to support super hero registration in Civil War, and to create Pleasant Hill, for example. But it also seems like she feels that, in her position, she’s required to take control.

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s an interesting conversation I’ve been having in a few of the books—also maybe in my real life. You get to a certain age and control is an illusion. The more you grow and the more complicated your life gets, the more you realize this, and that all you can do is the best you can do in the moment you’re in. And for people playing a more dangerous game than the one you and I are playing every day, that’s more frustrating and scarier. And so here she is, trying to control a world she can’t control, as Tony Stark is, as Steve Rogers is. Everyone is trying to do their part—and then her part has a giant floating tank in the sky. And she’s aware of that, and how it looks. And we talk about it in JESSICA JONES, that she’s aware that she was almost sold to the American public as a boogeyman because the American public actually need one. They need to be mad at something, so it’s, “Here, be mad at the big floating tank in the sky.” She’s the taskmaster, the head nun at the school, the one who has to put the hammer down. And some people are going to be happy about it and some aren’t.

Marvel.com: I think Maria sees herself as a pragmatist; not afraid to do what she thinks she needs to.

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes. She has to be. She’s faced with factual reality, but also with the breaking of the laws of physics and gravity and time and space. Just imagine, “Oh hey, the original X-Men are here from the past, and they’re not going home, and we don’t know how to get them home. Is there a law against this?” I always kind of looked at her as editor-in-chief of Marvel the company. There are so many super heroes running around, smashing into each other, clashing. And I always try to imagine Joe Quesada or Axel Alonso, with a bird’s eye perspective of all of our stories being told at once, and all of that on their desks, and the madness that must create. And for Joe and Axel, it’s all fictional, but for Maria, it’s all real! Imagine you’re sitting in your office and the events of the biweekly X-Men or Avengers all happened at once!

Jessica Jones #8 cover by David Mack

Also, Maria has a lot of secrets about other people, and there are secrets about herself that she may not know. She may have voluntarily brainwashed herself to spare herself from some horrible memory that is coming back to haunt her—or she knows stuff about the super hero and super villain communities that they don’t even know. And those secrets will chase her. And you know, some politicians and people in government get secret service, but not everyone does, and Maria doesn’t. It’s almost like they’re being set up to be put down before they become a problem.

Marvel.com: Underneath it all, Maria does seem to care about doing the right thing. Yes, she has a lot of ambition, and she sometimes leads with an iron fist, but at the end of the day, she cares about protecting ordinary people. Do you see her that way?

Brian Michael Bendis: I do. And I’m not just saying this as her “biological father.” I think she has an enormous capacity for good and selfless behavior, and has shown it over and over and over again. And she has made tough choices in the face of insurmountable obstacles without blinking. Even if you didn’t agree with the politics, her actions were heroic and patriotic. And she has never buckled from that, no matter how tough the job got. So I consider her one of the great heroes of the Marvel Universe. I think she kept stuff together with everything was going off the rails. I think without her behavior in the original Civil War, we wouldn’t even have a Marvel Universe anymore. I think without her, Secret Invasion goes the other way, SECRET WAR goes the other way. And I know some of these are stories I’ve written, but not all of them. She has made deep, huge, giant choices that have affected the lives of Tony Stark and Peter Parker—the biggest names in the Marvel Universe. She has protected them and kept them straight. Regardless of her demeanor, I don’t think she’s done anything other than heroic actions; at least at the moment she thought they were.

I think some of the super heroes who have pushed against her have actually appreciated that there was something to push against, because some of them thrive on revolution and rebellion. They were grateful for what she does, because it kept things calmer than they would have been otherwise. As a parent, sometimes I see my older kids looking at me like, “It’s 8:30, please tell me to go to bed because I’m tired but I’m not going to go on my own.” And that’s what Maria has to do.

Marvel.com: What would you consider the top three key turning points in Maria’s history?

Brian Michael Bendis: I think we did well with her debut because it landed well. It also wasn’t pre-sold, and I liked introducing a character without any hype. I must say I’m proud of how well she landed. Let’s just say I didn’t have everything figured out back then, so when things went well with Maria, I was able to say, “Ok, that’s something that works.”

Number two, I think Civil War was a big deal for her, the first one. When I close my eyes and picture her, it’s some of [CIVIL WAR artist] Steve McNiven’s work that I see.

And this is going to sound cornball, but I’d say the third one is going to be the story we’re doing right now in JESSICA JONES because it is such an illumination of her. I think if anyone is even vaguely curious about what her deal was, it’s a grabber. And also, I kind of enjoyed how long we could keep her mystery going. People were not angry at us, they kind of liked it. They got the sense that we knew her deal and we’ll get to it when we do. I get people asking me little fill in the blank things about her, like, what S.H.I.E.L.D. class was she in. And that makes me think people are going to be excited when we finally tell the story of who she is and how she got here.

So I do believe the third one is the one that’s coming out right now. What a great sales pitch, and at the same time, completely self-serving!

Marvel.com: Can you tease anything about what we might see in Maria’s future?

Brian Michael Bendis: This new chapter in Maria’s life is exciting because she’s out of her comfort zone and into a new world in the Marvel Universe. And I can’t tell you how excited I was that this was all coming out in other stories around the same time that Jessica Jones would be there to catch her fall. It’s a perfect place to unlock this mystery of this woman who’s one of the biggest mysteries in modern comics.

She’s in a place where it’s, now you’ve got to find out who you are. You’ve done this job for a while, you’ve made your choices, now you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and say, who am I? What do I have to offer the world? What next, what now? And those are some of the scariest questions [a] person can ask, no matter where you are in your life. And anyone can relate to that.

What’s going on in this book, and in other very big books at Marvel, with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the face of that part of Marvel, is going to be altered dramatically over the course of the summer. And those players, and their place in the Marvel Universe, will all deal with this big shift. Some will succeed, some will fail, some will turn, and it’s going to spill out into other books. Particularly, a very cool story is going on in SPIDER-MAN and INVINCIBLE IRON MAN because of this. So if you’re reading all of them, you’re going to be so rewarded. And if you’re just reading one or the other, we’re going to show you some cool, new stuff because of what’s going on with Maria and the future of that part of Marvel.

The secrets of Maria Hill continue to be revealed in JESSICA JONES #9 on June 7 and JESSICA JONES #10 on July 5, both by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos!

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James Spader, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, & Cobie Smulders chat Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'!

With the threat of Ultron upon us, we’ve got two new interviews with the cast of Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” before it hits theaters tomorrow!

Up above, newcomers James Spader (Ultron) and Paul Bettany (Vision) discuss their characters’ dramatically different worldviews, working with motion capture performances for the film, and more! Then scroll down to hear from returning stars Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) on how their roles on the team have changed since we last saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

For the latest on the film, likeAvengers: Age of Ultronon Facebook and follow @Avengers on Twitter, and get your tickets now to see it in theaters Friday!

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See if his hammer deems anyone worthy in a clip from Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' coming to theaters May 1!

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes try to prove they deserve to wield Thor’s hammer in a new clip from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”! Check out the clip above and purchase tickets now to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in theaters May 1.

Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) Asgardian abilities come under interrogation when the rest of the Avengers doubt the control he has over his hammer. One by one, the Avengers try their hand at wielding the might of Mjolnir, but they can’t seem to make it budge. Watch the video above to find out which Avenger makes Thor worry the most about his hammer!

Buy tickets now to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” when it hits theaters on May 1! Follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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Check out the concerned super heroes in Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and see the movie in theaters May 1!

Something’s spooked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in two new images from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”! Check out the photos above and go see the movie when it hits theaters May 1.

In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) jumpstarts a peacekeeping program to ensure the safety of the entire world, until Ultron (James Spader) arrives with plans of his own! Iron man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the rest of the Avengers must neutralize the threat and stop Ultron once and for all. Take a look at the photos above and imagine what could possibly strike fear in the hearts of the Avengers!

Go see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” when it hits theaters on May 1! Make sure to follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest super hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure. 

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey, Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk.  Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision. Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015.

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See which new heroes from the Marvel Universe stood out for us the most over the past 15 years!

We wrap our year-long celebration of Marvel’s 75th anniversary with the past 15 years, as we journeyed from Marvel Knights to Marvel NOW! While classic heroes continued to be redefined, the House of Ideas kept churning out new ones, as evidenced by the 10 heroic debuts we have selected as our most memorable.

This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel heroes to debut from 2000 forward. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

10. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (Peter Parker)
First Appearance: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2000) #1
Why He’s #10: “Even the most evergreen of concepts go use a fresh coat of paint now and again to remind us why we feel in love with them in the first place. In the year 2000, fittingly, ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’ got the treatment as ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN hit shelves and fans meet a different but still familiar Peter Parker. He came into the 21st century every bit as hard luck and driven by a potent combination of guilt and dedication as when he sprang onto the pages of AMAZING FANTASY in 1962. Parker remained everything that made him unique and worthy of being one of the most popular comic book characters in history but now he seemed utterly of the moment. Not such an easy feat for a then-38-year old character, but wouldn’t you know, he made us all believe he was a teen again.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comics Spotlight:
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2000) #13

Ultimates (2002) #1

Ultimates (2002) #1

  • Published: March 06, 2002
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: Marvel Psr
What is Marvel Unlimited?

9. THE ULTIMATES
First Appearance: THE ULTIMATES (2002) #1
Why They’re #9: “By 2002, the Ultimate Universe had given us modern takes on Spider-Man and the X-Men, but fans waited to see what would be done with Marvel’s heaviest hitters, the Avengers; enter the Ultimates. With a more aggressive Captain America, an Iron Man who embraced his roles as hero and playboy, and a truly unique angle on Thor, the Ultimates dragged Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into the 21st century in an intense way. Widescreen action and huge stakes followed with the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and more joining the fray. The Ultimates have evolved over the past decade-plus, but their adventures have provided a template for some of the most enduring visions of these tenured icons.” – Ben Morse
Digital Comics Spotlight:
THE ULTIMATES (2002) #5

Young Avengers (2005) #1

Young Avengers (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

8. THE YOUNG AVENGERS
First Appearance: YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #1
Why They’re #8: “When the Vision’s secret program to maintain a team of Avengers activated in the wake of the disassembling of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it brought together a group of very special young heroes. Iron Lad, Patriot, Hulking, Wiccan, and Hawkeye proved themselves against one of the Avengers’ greatest foes, Kang the Conqueror, in their initial adventure, but Captain America and Iron Man brought the hammer down and refused to train the Young Avengers without their parents’ consent. Equally talented and willful, the kids forged ahead and continued their exciting new lives as super heroes, weathering the loss of Iron Lad, the kidnapping of Hulking by the Super-Skrull, the challenge of Wiccan’s twin brother Speed, and the advent of the Civil War to form an officially sanctioned unit of Avengers.” – Jim Beard
Digital Comics Spotlight:
YOUNG AVENGERS SPECIAL (2005) #1

Ms. Marvel (2014) #1

Ms. Marvel (2014) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

7. MS. MARVEL
First Appearance: MS. MARVEL (2014) #1
Why She’s #7: “Kamala Khan, the latest in a long line of Ms. Marvels, exploded on to the pages of Marvel Comics just over a year ago. Vibrant and complex, she arrived as a three-dimensional person. Like so many Marvel heroes before her, her powers came as both a joy and an utterly terrifying complicating factor. Even better, where Khan goes, so too does her family and friends. As strong a supporting ensemble as you can find in a brand-new series—and most established ones, come right down to it—they beautifully play off and interact with Ms. Marvel, allowing her an even greater stage for fans to see who she was, is, and very well might become. If we did this list in a few more years, I would be stunned not to see Kamala sitting comfortably on top.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comics Spotlight:
MS. MARVEL (2014) #2

Untitled Image

Untitled Image

6. JESSICA JONES
First Appearance: ALIAS (2001) #1
Why She’s #6: “Unlike any other character bursting onto the Marvel landscape in the 2000’s, Jessica Jones possesses ties to the Marvel universe dating back to when she attended Midtown High School with classmate Peter Parker. But the path to her current role as a hero took several turns, including: two comas; gaining superpowers; at least one failed bid as a costumed hero; a period as a hostage/pawn of Purple Man; working as a private investigator; becoming a journalist; and serving a mentor to the Young Avengers. All these experiences plus much more combined to make Jones one of the strongest—mentally and physically—people to join the ranks of the Avengers. Her union with Luke Cage and role as a parent to Danielle Cage help round out the approach she takes in fighting those who would dare threaten the hard-won life she leads.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Comics Spotlight:
THE PULSE (2004) #14

Maria Hill by Steve McNiven

Maria Hill by Steve McNiven

5. MARIA HILL
First Appearance: NEW AVENGERS (2004) #4
Why She’s #5: “Part of what makes Maria Hill such a great and natural leader as well as one of the more fascinating Marvel characters begins and ends with the realization she has no superpowers. She has stood up against beings of far superior physical strength only to gain their—albeit sometimes begrudging—respect. Her mental toughness, intellect and ability to make hard choices in impossible situations serves her well as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Anytime that major events escalate to the degree panic seems to be the only reasonable response, the cool-headed Hill consistently finds a solution to save the day or at least minimize damage.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Comics Spotlight:
SIEGE (2009) #3

Runaways (2003) #12

Runaways (2003) #12

What is Marvel Unlimited?

4. THE RUNAWAYS
First Appearance: RUNAWAYS (2003) #1
Why They’re #4: “The Runaways, in the grand tradition of super heroes, army battalions, and John Hughes, came together with almost nothing in common but a shared enemy. This time that enemy just happened to be their parents—real, honest to goodness super villain parents. As if that idea did not demand attention all on its own, the characters also happened to be utterly believable and dynamic. A reader could not help but connect with them, and see themselves in one or more members of this scared, scrambling motley crew; in that way, their victories and heartbreaks became our own. If you picked up the book, you could not help but feel like you had joined the Runaways, too; they just felt that real. And because of that, you could not wait to run with them again next issue.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comics Spotlight:
RUNAWAYS (2005) #1

Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #1

Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

3. THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
First Appearance: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2008) #1
Why They’re #3: “A thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac—who could have predicted with a line-up like this that the Guardians of the Galaxy would become among the greatest heroes of the new millennium? When Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot—along with gone but not forgotten members like Adam Warlock and Quasar—banded together under a familiar name following the events of Annihilation, their quirky camaraderie gave way to a formidable group of cosmic warriors. In recent years, these unlikely champions have defied the odds by becoming not only A-list Marvel stars, but known worldwide beyond the comic book page.” – Ben Morse
Digital Comics Spotlight:
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #1

Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier (2014) #1

Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier (2014) #1

  • Published: October 01, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 06, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Ales Kot
  • Cover Artist: Marco Rudy
What is Marvel Unlimited?

2. THE WINTER SOLDIER
First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA (2005) #1
Why He’s #2: “Since the young age of 16, James “Bucky” Barnes has taken on missions that other heroes cannot or will not tackle. Unfortunately when assumed dead after the explosion in the waning days of World War II, the amnesiac-affected and maimed hero underwent reprogramming by the Russian government into The Winter Soldier. After decades alternating between extended cryogenically suspended periods and Russian-directed covert missions, Barnes finally broke free of his mental shackles and embarked on his quest for redemption. The former sidekick of Captain America, while hardened by his past, pursues a future as a hero fully in control of his own destiny and intent on protecting the Marvel Universe from threats unknown by most.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Comics Spotlight:
WINTER SOLDIER (2012) #1

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1

  • Published: September 14, 2011
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 02, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

1. SPIDER-MAN (Miles Morales)
First Appearance: ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4
Why He’s #1: “The idea of killing Peter Parker, the guy we all know as Spider-Man, and putting someone new in the costume—not for a stunt or an issue or an arc but committing to it—seemed, well, ill-advised. Some might even label it foolhardy. But then readers met Miles Morales, the all-new Ultimate Spider-Man and suddenly the idea just did not seem so bad anymore.

“Smart but still clearly learning, scared but full of courage, wanting to be the ideal son, but driven to keep secret, Miles instantly connected with the audience. He followed in Peter’s footsteps but never felt like a mere imitation. He recognized his predecessor but never came across but anything but his own man. Well, kid, really. Through him, we as fans got to experience the terror and joy of discovering super powers all over again. The triumph and tragedy of donning a costume and standing up for what’s right.

“Miles Morales took on the heaviest of mantles and made us delighted to follow him every step of the way.”
Digital Comics Spotlight:
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #1

Come back tomorrow to see two more entries on the list, share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75

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S.H.I.E.L.D. pursues 'justice' and loyalty is questioned in these deleted scenes, on Blu-Ray September 9!

See how Captain America (Chris Evans) gives S.H.I.E.L.D. the slip when he’s wanted for questioning and see loyalties being questioned in these two new deleted scenes from Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” available on Blu-Ray September 9!

Taking Steve Rogers into custody is much easier said than done, as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents come to find out in this extended scene from the film. They don’t call him a “Super Soldier” for nothing! And when suspicions arise about the circumstances of what happens to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) has a little chat with Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) in which they both have their loyalties questioned.

Pre-order your copy of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” today for digital download, out August 19! And pick up your copy of the film on 3D Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, and DVD September 9! Also follow @CaptainAmerica on Twitter and like Captain America and like Captain America on Facebook for all the latest on everyone’s favorite Super Soldier!

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and starring Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as The Falcon, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives on 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD armed with explosively entertaining bonus features, including Making-of Featurettes, Audio Commentary, Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes, Bloopers and more.

Bring home the movie that changed everything and expand your Marvel collection in the following formats with bonus features as listed:

Digital 3D, HD, & SD*, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray bonus materials include:

-Making-of Featurettes
-Audio Commentary
-Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes
-Bloopers
-And More

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

1-Disc DVD bonus materials include:

-Making-of Featurette
-Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scene

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If you think your job is hard, try being the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

It’s Monday, and that means that you’ve had to find the strength to shake off the after effects of a weekend well spent just to get back into shape for the weekday work-athon. It’s tough, sure, but it’s a fact of life – one that isn’t lost on super humans either. Yep, Mondays mean back to work for super heroes too, as they trade in their uniforms for something more business casual.

As far as jobs go, being the director of a global peacekeeping agency filled with super spies has to be one of the toughest in the Marvel Universe. Not only do you have to deal with fighting off alien invasions and armies of mad scientists, but you also probably have to contend with a lot of paperwork regarding collateral damage and plenty of HR headaches when agents get outted as spies. It’s a good thing that Maria Hill’s made of sterner stuff than most everyone else at S.H.I.E.L.D.!

New Avengers (2004) #4

New Avengers (2004) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Hill made her debut as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director by laying down the law on Tony Stark and his newly assembled squad of ragtag Avengers. She knew the road Nick Fury walked down by allying himself so closely with the super-powered set, and Hill had no desire to end up ousted and disgraced just like her predecessor. Sure, this meant Hill acted as an obstacle to the heroes on occasion, but she had to do her job!

New Avengers (2004) #25

New Avengers (2004) #25

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After a decent stretch of time in the position, Hill slowly started to realize that the less-than-trustworthy higher-ups at S.H.I.E.L.D. had placed her in her position strictly because they felt she would play by their rules. In this issue, Hill saves Tony Stark’s life after a disgruntled employee disables the Iron Man armor as retribution for the super hero Civil War. During a heart to heart with Stark, Maria then reveals her big idea: put Tony Stark in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. and make all the right people angry.

Secret Avengers (2013) #9

Secret Avengers (2013) #9

  • Published: September 18, 2013
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 24, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Nick Spencer
  • Cover Artist: Alex Maleev
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Hill’s seen a number of people take over S.H.I.E.L.D. during the hours she’s clocked on a helicarrier. Tony Stark, Norman Osborn, Steve Rogers, and most recently a young woman named Daisy Johnson. Hill served as Johnson’s second in command, which put her one heartbeat away from returning to the director’s chair—or, as it turns out, one mind reset away. When Daisy departs with her memories partially erased, Hill steps right back into her familiar role, a role she currently holds today.

Maria Hill’s adventure continues this week in SECRET AVENGERS #5!

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Man-Thing, Maria Hill and a traitorous Avenger round out this week's assignment!

The latest “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” took Coulson’s crew right up to the brink as they learned about Ward’s allegiance to Hydra. The globe-hopping adventure brought Maria Hill back into the fold just in time to help the Agents rescue one of their own from Deathlok’s clutches. Odds are you’re still reeling from the episode’s confrontations and shocking last-minute revelations, but if you need some help killing time before next week’s pulse-pounding episodes, here are a few comic books selected to pick up where “Nothing Personal” left off.

Thunderbolts (2006) #154

Thunderbolts (2006) #154

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After watching Maria Hill’s opening scene in “Nothing Personal,” you might echo some of the government’s questions–specifically “who or what is a ‘Man-Thing.'” Well, this issue of THUNDERBOLTS provides a modern answer to a question that’s plagued Marvel readers ever since Man-Thing’s first appearance in 1971. Originally a human scientist named Ted Sallis, the Man-Thing emerged after Sallis mixed his Super Soldier Serum offshoot with swamp water from the mystical Nexus of All Realities.  

Invincible Iron Man (2008) #20

Invincible Iron Man (2008) #20

What is Marvel Unlimited?

If Maria Hill’s one-sided phone conversation with Pepper Potts didn’t satisfy your need to see scenes between the two women, then you’ll want to check out the “Stark: Disassembled” storyarc from INVINCIBLE IRON MAN. With Iron Man recovering from a battle with Norman Osborn, one that left his mind a blank slate, all of Tony’s support staff–specifically Potts and Hill–has to band together to protect him while he reboots.

New Avengers (2004) #42

New Avengers (2004) #42

What is Marvel Unlimited?

If you thought Ward played a long con against his teammates, just wait until you read about Veranke! The Skrull queen posed as Spider-Woman for years in the pages of NEW AVENGERS while she plotted out her race’s hostile takeover of Earth in secret. This issue of NEW AVENGERS reveals the truth behind Veranke’s deception, showing exactly when she abducted and replaced Jessica Drew, as well as how she weaseled her way into the Avengers’ ranks.

Don’t miss “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC!

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The cast of Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' gets ready for their big screen adventure!

Chris Evans stars as Captain America in Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Chris Evans stars as Captain America in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Cap won’t go into battle alone when Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” hits theaters April 4, as Black Widow, Falcon and more join him in the fight–and now we’ve got 12 new images featuring our hero’s supporting cast, as well as some of foes!

Get a look at all 12 images in our full gallery above and get your tickets now for Captain America’s new cinematic adventure!

For the latest news and updates on “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @CaptainAmerica on Twitter and like Captain America on Facebook!

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy–the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is presented by Marvel Studios. The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Alan Fine and Stan Lee. The film releases April 4, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

In addition to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including “Guardians of the Galaxy” on August 1, 2014; “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015; and “Ant-Man” on July 17, 2015.

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Writer Ales Kot provides character insight while artist Michael Walsh shares exclusive art!

It’s important for any top notch operation to have a big brain backing them, someone they can rely on to supply the information they need to get the job done. While putting together her new Secret Avengers group together Maria Hill snatched up one of the smartest beings in the Marvel Universe.

Secret Avengers (2014) #1

Secret Avengers (2014) #1

  • Published: March 12, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 08, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Cover Artist: Tradd Moore
What is Marvel Unlimited?

He just happens to be a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, though, which might not sit well with her squad if they ever find out in the pages of Ales Kot and Michael Walsh’s new SECRET AVENGERS.

“M.O.D.O.K. runs his own game,” Kot says. “Only time will show whether the game he says he’s running is the game he’s really running. Or if he’s running five at once. M.O.D.O.K., to me, can be Heisenberg, or a crazy inventor who wants to redeem himself, or three other things; and the beauty of his character is, you can’t quite be sure unless he shows you, and even then—well, who knows?”

SECRET AVENGERS #1, which launches on March 12, finds Hill keeping M.O.D.O.K. concealed from just about everyone while still utilizing his impressive skills.

“Most of them don’t even know M.O.D.O.K. is on the team,” Kot confirms. “M.O.D.O.K. sold himself to S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s as simple as that, or at least that’s how he puts it. He sold to the winning bidder and gave up A.I.M. in the process. But, M.O.D.O.K. being M.O.D.O.K., as he says to Hill at one point, she’s his mirror of sorts. They are very similar. They have plans within plans. Perhaps the key question here is whether M.O.D.O.K.’s plans include less killing or more killing than ever before.”

Even though M.O.D.O.K. will stick to the shadows for the most part, he still got something of a makeover for his new gig.

Secret Avengers teaser by Michael Walsh

Secret Avengers teaser by Michael Walsh

“I based his design on the newer re-imagining by Gabriel Hardman,” Walsh says. “I tried to play up the inherent weird creepiness of a giant head sitting on spider legs. We decided to remove his dangly human legs in favor of small pincers. His human legs now sit comfortably inside of his mechanical suit. The suit is also more angular and clunkier then it was before. You’ll probably see him showing up in a few different specialized variants of the suit throughout the book.”

According to Kot, M.O.D.O.K. will have even more games at play than he does new duds.

Secret Avengers (2014) #4 variant cover by Michael Walsh

Secret Avengers (2014) #4 variant cover by Michael Walsh

“I can promise that we will be diving into multiple aspects of each character,” he says. “What I love about creating stories—one of the many things—is that these are not characters for me. They are real complex beings. I don’t always feel perfectly in control of the narrative, and that is a good thing for me; I close my eyes and watch the scenes play out. Often, the characters tell me what they need to do. M.O.D.O.K. tells me many things.” 

On a larger level, Kot explains that the barriers between him and the characters tend to fall away the longer he works on them:

“At the end of the day it all melts, because to me, these are perhaps not just characters—that implies a sort of a 2D vision—but beings that truly exist in their own way, and to do my best by them, I have to be true to their complexity as well as to their defining character traits, unless they choose to change them.

“Every time I dive in, I come out refreshed. SECRET AVENGERS is something else to me.”

Pick up SECRET AVENGERS #1 by Ales Kot and Michael Walsh on March 12!

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