The Newest Member of Marvel’s ‘Avengers:’ Robin Sparkles

Newest Member Marvel S Avengers

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Over the years, Marvel Comics has given the world some truly strange superheroes, from Squirrel Girl and 3-D Man to Flatman and Night Nurse. Now, though, movie fans are about to get a look at the most unexpected Marvel superhero yet: Robin Sparkles.

According to Deadline , 'How I Met Your Mother' star Cobie Smulders -- who occasionally changes into her secret alter-ego of Robin Sparkles, Canadian pop star, on the show -- is the frontrunner to play S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the upcoming Marvel Studios blockbuster 'Avengers.'

Bet you didn't see that coming.

Here's the deal: in the comics, Maria Hill is a hardnosed, in-your-face alpha female who at one point became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself when Nick Fury was forced to step down. Considering the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been positioned as the thread that ties all the Marvel movies together -- the covert government defense agency has appeared in everything from 'The Incredible Hulk' and 'Iron Man 2' to this summer's upcoming releases 'Thor' and 'Captain America' -- it only makes sense that Hill receives a prominent role alongside Fury, who in the films is played by Samuel L. Jackson.

With that in mind, 'Avengers' director Joss Whedon held auditions on Friday with a number of actresses reading for the part alongside Jackson -- among them 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's' Mary Elizabeth Winstead and 'V''s Morena Baccarin, who previously worked with Whedon on the cult sci-fi series 'Firefly.'

But it appears Smulders emerged from the reading as the frontrunner from the role, which, for movie stars, is like earning tenure as everyone cast for a Marvel movie gets a multi-picture deal. Of course, with the busy shooting schedule Smulders has for 'How I Met Your Mother,' that actually could create a logistical problem for the studio, but we have a feeling they'll manage to figure something out.

After all, nothing is impossible when you have Robin Sparkles on the case.