Secret Invasion is Marvel Studios’ forthcoming spy thriller series coming to Disney+. Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and Ben Mendelsohn are all set to reprise their roles as Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Talos respectively.
Let’s get into the top five takeaways!
1. Stakes are High
Secret Invasion immediately grabs us with what feels like “real” stakes. At the time of this writing, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a fun light romp. It feels rather self contained with limited stakes outside of the main characters personal journey. Thor: Love and Thunder, despite its subject matter and villain selection, also felt rather light on gravitas and consequences. Secret Invasion looks to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. This will arrive off the backs of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man: Quantummania. The transition of Black Panther mantle and the formal big screen introduction of Kang the Conquerer will be quite the emotional preamble. Fury’s return to Earth must mandate an even more serious shift is coming to the MCU landscape.
2. Six Episodes?
Secret Invasion will only be six episodes. The fear would be that the presented conflict int he trailer seems larger than six episodes to reach a neat and tidy resolution. Is this by design? What if Secret Invasion is meant to present an idea? There are Skrulls attempting to take over Earth. It may feel unearned to completely dismantle their plans after only six episodes. Is it possible that Fury and team only believe they have one the day when the show ends, with ramifications of their “failure” continuing to seep into other titles throughout Phase 5 and 6?
3. Who is a Skrull?
The “fun” part about comic book Secret Invasion storyline is the idea that heroes and trusted confidantes have been sleeper agent Skrulls for a while. We know Fury and Hill have allowed Talos to appear in their place before, so that would have limited shock value. Given that most other heroes are seemingly off-world, dead, or retired it, looks like Don Cheadle‘s James Rhodes/War Machine is a primary suspect. This show is meant to lead directly into Cheadle’s Armor Wars, so it feels unlikely to reveal Rhodey as a Skrull and then continue to follow this character into their own adventure. Let the rampant speculation and accusations commence.
4. Shapeshifting Shot
Secret Invasion delivers on the tension and suspense without giving very much away. One of the best shots of the trailer involves Talos confronting someone in a restaurant. Once words shift into a physical altercation, everyone else in the building shape-shifts into the gentleman Talos grabbed. Not only is it a cool effect, it delivers a sense of dread. Talos, our first friendly shapeshifter, had no clue that he was actually surrounded and deep in the clutches of the perceived enemy. Further, it was everyone in the building. Not just the customers or the staff. It leaves the sense of unease. Exactly how many Skrulls are hiding in plain sight?
5. What do the Skrulls want?
It may be a bit plain to simply claim that the Skrulls want to take over the Earth. Fury states clearly at the end of the trailer that he desires to fight this fight alone and that he is the only one that is “standing between them and what they really want”. “Really” want? This implies there is some level of subterfuge laid out in their intent. Taking of the Earth may be surface level, secondary, or even a Trojan Horse.
What if they are after Fury? While he has never presented himself as one to hide, it may help explain his position in space for years. Skrulls are able to replicate the memories of those to who they shape-shift. What if Fury processes some knowledge can could shift the balance of the Skrull/Kree conflict? If they have been growing their ranks for years, what makes now the ideal time to strike? If distance is what kept Fury safe, what exactly made him return?
Secret Invasion looks to be the return of the espionage corner of the MCU. A suspenseful “who can be trusted” tale drape in sci-fi may be the adrenaline boost that some Marvel fans have complained has been missing since Avengers: Endgame.
Secret Invasion is set to debut on Disney+ in Spring 2023.