The Avengers the Skrulls in Secret Invasion

Everything You Need To Know About Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion’

Ahead of its Disney+ debut on June 21, Secret Invasion is already receiving some strong early reviews, with viewers praising the spy thriller premise and the return of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. These positive early reactions aren’t all there is to look forward to: Secret Invasion is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe show to arrive after Disney+ noticeably slowed down the number of series it was rolling out. It’s also the first MCU series of 2023 and comes almost a year after the previous series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, premiered.

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With an A-list cast, strong early reactions, and fans antsy for another MCU miniseries, Secret Invasion has the potential to keep the franchise on the right track after the critical and commercial success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, some viewers may be wondering just what Secret Invasion will entail. Even though it is based on a Marvel comic book series of the same name, there is evidence that the series won’t play out the same way as the comic version. In the comics, Secret Invasion was a massive crossover event similar in scope to Infinity War. The MCU’s decision to turn Secret Invasion into a six-part miniseries without the Avengers suggests the show will be quite different from the comics.

Here’s a breakdown of Marvel’s Secret Invasion comic book storyline and how it informs the new Disney+ series.

Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion

Skrulls impersonating the Avengers in Secret Invasion
(Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion storyline consisted of eight issues and was released in 2008. The story arc was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and takes place shortly after the events of Civil War. Secret Invasion sees the rise to power of Princess Veranke over the Skrulls. Veranke was once exiled for religious extremism but ascended to the rank of Empress after foretelling of Galactus’ destruction of the Skrulls’ homeworld. Using her power and intel from studies that the Skrulls conducted on the Illuminati, Veranke led the Skrulls in a large-scale invasion of Earth. They were able to invade Earth undetected by abducting superhumans and impersonating them.

Veranke impersonated Spider-Woman and was able to make her way into the New Avengers. Other prominent Marvel characters—including Elektra, Black Bolt, and Hank Pym—were also revealed to be Skrull impersonators, allowing the Skrulls to plant seeds of distrust among some of the world’s greatest heroes. In addition to the Avengers, the Skrulls infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D., battled countless superhero/supervillain teams, and even attempted to locate vibranium. In the end, it took a collaboration between the Avengers, Young Avengers, Thunderbolts, Nick Fury, and more heroes to finally stop the invasion. However, the event had lasting consequences for the Marvel universe, including the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Norman Osborn’s rise to power.

Additionally, Secret Invasion turned the Marvel universe on its head by revealing that some of its heroes had actually been Skrulls for years. Even though most of the missing heroes were eventually found after Secret Invasion, the event still sparked countless theories about characters who might’ve secretly been Skrulls in earlier comic book editions.

Secret Invasion, Disney’s version

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

The MCU’s Secret Invasion was first announced in late 2020. From the onset, the project was developed as a TV series with Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn set to reprise their roles as Fury and Talos, respectively. The series follows Fury, who returns to Earth after a long space mission only to find that the planet has been infiltrated by Skrulls. He joins forces with former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), former CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), and Talos to address the invasion.

The Skrull invasion is expected to be on a similar scale to that depicted in the comics. The only major difference is that the Avengers won’t be involved in the series. Don Cheadle’s James “Rhodey” Rhodes (a.k.a. War Machine) is the only superhero confirmed to be appearing in Secret Invasion. Most likely, Fury decides he cannot trust the Avengers or other superhero teams and gathers a small group of his oldest and closest allies to tackle the threat instead. Also, the main villain won’t be Princess Veranke, but an original character named Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) who rebels against Talos’ leadership and decides to infiltrate Earth rather than search for a new Skrull home.

While Secret Invasion won’t quite be the crossover event it was in the comics, it is still expected to tie into future MCU films and will specifically set up the upcoming film Armor Wars. Secret Invasion will explore the Skrull infiltration from a different perspective than the comics, but it remains to be seen how its impact on the greater MCU will compare to the comic book arc’s impact on the Marvel universe.

(featured image: Marvel Comics)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.