Nick Fury in Marvel's Secret Invasion on Disney+.

‘Secret Invasion’ Review: Marvel Brings the Mystery Back in a Thrilling New Series

5/5 Nick Fury and Talos forehead touches

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to a lot of different comic storylines, all seemingly starting to happen at the same time. For years, it built toward the multiverse, and we’re still just dipping our toes into it to understand exactly what it all means. While that was all happening though, we were also learning more and more about the Skrulls, an alien race that can shape-shift to fit whoever they want to look like. Skrulls first appeared in the MCU in Captain Marvel when Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his family showed Carol (Brie Larson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) the reality of the Skrulls vs. the Kree fight.

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What we’re getting in Secret Invasion is a spy-thriller-esque look at the Skrulls and what happens when Nick Fury abandons all the people he promised to protect. After the Blip, Fury isn’t doing well which is why he’s been off-world for the events of things like Spider-Man: Far From Home and beyond. And what we get right off the bat with Secret Invasion is a Nick Fury who is trying to right his wrongs while fighting an unknown enemy.

The show instantly feels like Captain America: The Winter Soldier in tone, making it clear this is going to be a constantly evolving mystery and one that fans are going to have to stay on top of if they want to know who they can trust. With twists in both of the episodes critics were given for review, they elicit a strong desire to return to the story as soon as the episodes came to an end.

A cast of icons tackling the Marvel lore

Olivia Colman in secret invasion
(Walt Disney Studios)

What’s always been a staple of Marvel still rings true but the calibre of actors that Secret Invasion has attracted is unmatched! Packed with actors who have obtained every accolade known to man, it is truly a cast of everyone’s favorites. Olivia Colman plays Special Agent Sonya Falsworth, an MI6 agent who knows Fury from his own spy work. In the episodes the press got, we didn’t learn a lot about her but just know that she’s not someone you want to cross.

The crux of the story though falls to the hands of Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and G’iah (Emilia Clarke). Two children of the Skrulls who found a temporary home on Earth, they’re both frustrated with the world that Fury promised them and has yet to follow through on. G’iah is the daughter of Talos and Soren and we get to see how she’s coping on Earth.

There are, of course, some of our returning favorites. Don Cheadle is back at Rhodey as well as Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross.

Fury’s friends come to play

nick and talos touching heads
(Walt Disney Studios)

I … maybe ship Fury and Talos? The way these two function in their relationship with each other is that of old friends who have relied on each other since their first meeting back in Captain Marvel in the 90s. Do they ever fight like an old married couple though. The jokes they make and the way they bicker is how my grandparents used to talk to each other and it truly and honestly made me question whether or not I shipped it.

And maybe that was just the product of seeing Nick Fury actually having deep relationships with people without the glitzy and glamour of protecting the world with the Avengers but Secret Invasion shows a deeper side to Nick Fury. He’s more emotional, ready to do what he has to do to protect his legacy, and we get to see what a decades-long friendship in Nick Fury’s world actually looks like.

And if that means I’m shipping it … well, that’s between me and my god.

Trying to find a home

emilia clare in secret invasion
(Walt Disney Studios)

The core foundation of the series as a whole seems to be those lost trying to find a place to belong. The Skrulls have been here since their planet was lost in the war against the Kree and they’re just trying to find a home. The same could be said for most of the Avengers. They wanted to find love and happiness and a sense of belonging in the world and they found it with each other. We’re just now seeing what would have happened if the government told them “no” before they even started.

Maybe it is my proclivity towards Civil War but the tensions throughout the first two episodes are a brilliant show of why Marvel’s catalog of characters remains important to fans. We’re seeing them when they’re angry or lost and it’s a show of their true nature. In such a way that you instantly care about everyone involved in the story, even the myriad of new characters we’re meeting in quick succession.

Through all of this, we get to see G’iah really shine in a way that is akin to how Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) brought her mother’s legacy to life in WandaVision. This next generation of heroes has not only the weight of the world on their shoulders but the world’s love for their parents looming over them and while G’iah might not have society knowing who Talos is, those who worked with him like Nick Fury does. It proves to be an interesting dynamic I hope to explore more throughout the series.

Marvel shines when they bring in the spy drama

Maria and Nick in secret invasion
(Walt Disney Studios)

There’s a reason that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is still one of the most beloved of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s rooted in our love for mystery. Right out the gate, Secret Invasion has you on the edge of your seat just given the simple nature of its presence. We don’t know who to trust. Any time a character acts slightly different than we’re used to, you’ll feel an overwhelming need to scream “SKRULL” on your coach. Which I think is the point.

The Skrulls were always second-guessed and vilified in their own war, having them yet again be the subject of that mistrust is an interesting dynamic. But one that ultimately reflects on the audience and how we’re willing to trust anyone. Seeing where the show is going to take this story is honestly the most exciting part for me. I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole but there hasn’t been a show where I’ve finished the episodes I got and was begging for more like I am with Secret Invasion.

This is Marvel at its finest and it’s going to be one fans won’t want to miss.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.