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Gideon Malick is a minor hidden antagonist in Marvel's The Avengers, the true main antagonist of the first half of Season 3 in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the quaternary antagonist of the second half. He is one of the heads of HYDRA, and father of Stephanie Malick. Originally one of HYDRA's infiltrators in the World Security Council, he broke ties with that organization after it became defunct. Six months after the fall of Wolfgang von Strucker's HYDRA cell, Malick was contacted by Strucker's son Werner, who was recently recruited to work for Grant Ward's HYDRA cell. He was also the secret employer of Rosalind Price, head of the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit).
Gideon Malick is the brother of Nathaniel Malick and one of the heads of HYDRA, and a believer in his family's stories about the legendary Inhuman known as Alveus, also known as Hive. In March 1970, after the death of his father, Gideon met Daniel Whitehall, and learned from him that his father may have cheated his way out of becoming the "Traveller", who would go through the Monolith and be sacrificed so that Alveus could live for another few years. Nathaniel looked through their father's study and discovered that Whitehall was correct; their father WAS a coward. During a ceremony to decide who shall become the Traveller, Gideon used a sleight-of-hand trick to save himself, and sacrifice Nathaniel.
Marvel's The Avengers
Malick infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. through the World Council. In The Avengers, using his position and taking advantage of Loki’s attack on New York, he convinced the council to launch a nuclear weapon that nearly succeeded in causing the deaths of millions of people. However, Iron Man stopped this by sending the missile through the portal into space, destroying the Chitauri mother-ship.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
He used his position in the President's inner circle to stealthily take control of ATCU to take possession of all the Inhumans they captured to use them for HYDRA. He had HYDRA agents take the Terrigen infected pills by claiming they were a cure to breed his own Inhumans, knowing there was a 50% chance of death.
When certain HYDRA agents did turn to stone, he had their bodies hidden like failed experiments. He betrayed Werner von Strucker to Grant Ward both as a power play and to keep him out of the fold. He had Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons abducted, threatened and tortured in order to force them to help reopen the Monolith’s portal to Maveth, his greater plan to allow Hive, the destructive creature who inspired the creation of HYDRA, to be set free on the world. He sent Ward and several other men in there for it knowing full well that he didn’t expect them to come back. When SHIELD begins to overrun the compound, he flees with only a few HYDRA agents, leaving all the others to die. Later on, he takes glee in the fact that Hive did get off the planet and onto Earth using Ward’s body. It was hinted that he expected Hive to take over someone’s body and use it to get off the planet.
The Inside Man
Malick also had Inhumans and regular people sacrificed to Hive so he can feed off of them and has Talbot’s Inhuman son abducted and threatened to force him to not only gain the committee’s trust, but to frame Coulson as the head of HYDRA and discredit him too. His loyalty to Hive is not a redeeming quality as his worship of him stems from his radically fixated personality.
He has dinner with Hive, who has recovered quickly after absorbing "life-force" from four other people, and asks him about his power; he had been led to believe that bringing the Inhuman back to Earth would be rewarding. Hive takes note of Malick's massive fortune and makes a suggestion about acquiring true power; buying the Transia Corporation, the company that built Coulson's robot hand. In a meeting with the Transia board of directors, Malick makes the proposal, but he is declined; however, after Hive makes the chairman see a vision of everyone in the room dying, he signs over the company. However, Hive kills everyone anyways, much to Malick's surprise. Afterwards, a robotic "suit" is given to Malick that he is meant to use to kill the chairman by crushing his skull. While reluctant to do so, Malick is eventually insisted by Hive to do it, and thus he does. When S.H.I.E.L.D. attacks Transia trying to capture Malick, he faces Daisy Johnson and beats her on the rooftop. In the fight, he is touched by Inhuman Charles Hinton, causing him to see the future, which shows how he dies. Scared, Malick gets on the helicopter and flies away on it.
Back at his estate, Malick finds that Hive is already there, having gathered the rest of HYDRA's inner circle to reveal that he is very much back on Earth. While outside, Malick asks Hive about having memories of the people he possessed; knowing that he sought to speak to his brother Nathaniel, whom he betrayed years ago, Hive starts pretending to be him. When the inner circle is gathered at the estate, Malick presents Hive to them; at first, they think he's simply Grant Ward, but much to everyone's surprise, he transforms himself into a tentacled monster, showing that he is actually Hive. Much later, Hive tells Stephanie about what Malick did to his brother; she is horrified at her father and tells Hive to "do what [he] has to". Malick watches as Hive kills Stephanie by transferring his parasitic cells directly into her mouth, as he says that he now knows what a true sacrifice is. Malick cries over Stephanie's corpse and realizes that Hive must be killed.
When the HYDRA base is attacked by the Secret Warriors, Lincoln is the one who detains Malick, who goes without a fight. Once everyone escapes, he acknowledges to Coulson that he was wrong to idolize and put his faith in Hive as doing so not only caused him to sacrifice his brother to it, but resulted in the death of his daughter too. He wishes to fully cooperate and give them all the information they need on Hive. However, Malick is found dead minutes later and his body is vaporized by a device that is set off to hide the evidence of how and which InHuman did it. It is revealed at the end of the episode that Daisy, having been swayed by Hive, comes in and both to keep Malick quiet and as revenge for all he's done, violently breaks Malick's bones and implodes him with her powers, killing him.
|“||Sometimes you sacrifice a player to save the game.||„|
|~ Gideon Malick|
Like most of HYDRA's leaders, Gideon Malick was a cruel, arrogant, traitorous, manipulative, unsympathetic, diabolical, heartless, iniquitous, and cold-hearted pragmatist. Despite his friendship with the fellow HYDRA head Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, he did not hesitate to betray Strucker's son Werner to Grant Ward to please Ward and organize a meeting with him. For Malick, Werner (as an untrained operative who failed in his first mission) was a damaged good that could not be left to run around knowing HYDRA's secrets, and therefore had to be killed. At the same time, he would kill two birds with one stone because Werner's death would leave him the only one with the access to Wolfgang's secret vaults. Malick also intended to have Ward killed, because his campaign to remake HYDRA posed a threat to everything he built through Project Distant Star Return. However, he accepted Ward as HYDRA's second head when Ward proved himself in his eyes.
Another instance of his pragmatism was his joint decision with the World Security Council to have New York City annihilated by a nuclear bomb strike, in order to prevent the Chitauri invasion from spilling out of the city into the rest of the world, while completely disregarding that the Avengers had a fighting chance against the alien invaders.
While Malick prefers to present himself as a brave man who is willing to sacrifice his own life to HYDRA's cause, in reality he had never taken a life before Hive ordered him to kill Rowan Hamilton and had spent much of his life avoiding death at all costs, by cheating at the conventional and ritualistic ceremonies where a tribute was sent to Maveth as a sacrifice to Hive. His need to survive led him to allow his own brother to be selected as tribute in his place. When Charles Hinton gave Malick a vision of his own death at the hands of Hive, Malick put all of his effort into trying to find a way out of his situation until finally he was confronted by his brother's memories, living on within Hive, at which point Malick accepted his fate but was forced to watch as Hive killed his daughter instead. When Daisy Johnson, who had been enthralled by Hive, was ordered to kill him, Malick did not even attempt to defend himself, feeling that his death meant he would be reunited with his daughter.
- Unnamed father (deceased)
- Nathaniel Malick (brother; deceased)
- Stephanie Malick (daughter; deceased)
|Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains|