The Marvels: Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau

Do You Need To Watch ‘Secret Invasion’ Before ‘The Marvels’?

Secret Invasion, Marvel’s ill-fated espionage series about Skrull refugees secretly taking over Earth, seems to set up the studio’s newest film, The Marvels. But are the two actually connected? Do you have to sit through almost six hours of Secret Invasion before you can head to the theater?

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Not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know.

Does The Marvels take place before or after Secret Invasion?

Which came first, Secret Invasion or The Marvels? Secret Invasion was released first, coming out in June 2023, but The Marvels faced a series of delays before eventually coming out in November. The Marvels was originally slated to come out in February 2023, before Secret Invasion‘s original release date of May 2023. That means that if Marvel had stuck to its original schedule, The Marvels would have come out first.

All that release date-swapping means that The Marvels isn’t a direct sequel to Secret Invasion. It’s not even clear when exactly each story takes place in relation to the other, since Marvel projects don’t always come out in the order that events occur in the MCU. Instead of thinking of one as a sequel to the other, think of them as companion stories that inform each other.

How does Secret Invasion tie into The Marvels?

This section contains minor spoilers for Secret Invasion and The Marvels.

There are only a couple of minor tie-ins to Secret Invasion in The Marvels. Nick Fury begins and ends Secret Invasion on the S.A.B.E.R. space station, so it’s no surprise that we find him there at the beginning of The Marvels.

There’s also a scene in The Marvels in which King Valkyrie arrives to take a group of Skrull refugees back to New Asgard. You can read this scene a couple of different ways, depending on whether the events of Secret Invasion have already occurred or not, but it doesn’t affect the story of The Marvels.

So, I can buy my ticket to The Marvels without having watched Secret Invasion?

Yes! While having seen Secret Invasion might allow you to recognize some references or theorize about the Skrulls that Valkyrie takes to Earth, you don’t have to watch it before seeing The Marvels. Although the two stories are clearly connected, they’re not dependent on each other. Have fun at the movies!

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>