Malick: So it's you. I was curious who Hive would send. I know what you're going to do. Daisy: We can't let you keep talking. Malick: And I won't be kept from my daughter.
~ Gideon Malick's last moments before his death.
Gideon Malick is a recurring character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first debuting as an anti-hero in the 2012 film The Avengers, and returned in the TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the secondary antagonist turned anti-hero of Season 3 and a minor antagonist in Season 7.
He is the son of HYDRA leader Wilfred Malick and the brother of Nathaniel Malick, as well as one of the organization's heads and an infiltrator in the World Security Council. Even after its downfall, he continued with his plans to bring back the ancient Inhuman Hive back to Earth from the planet Maveth so they could take over the world.
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.
Wifred "Freddy" Malick (father; deceased)
Nathaniel Malick (brother; deceased)
Stephanie Malick (daughter; deceased)
Powers Boothe's character was credited only as "World Security Council" in The Avengers; the name Gideon Malick was invented for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Malick is the first character introduced in the films to be killed on one of the TV series, followed by Phil Coulson who later died off-screen between Seasons 5 and 6.