Gravik stands with his hands in his coat pockets in front of a grey wall.

Who is Gravik in ‘Secret Invasion’? All About Kingsley Ben-Adir’s New Villain

Marvel’s new series Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+, showcasing Marvel’s latest villain, the shapeshifting alien Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir). But who is Gravik? What do we know about him? Let’s get into it!

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Gravik’s role in Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion, which takes its title from a comics run of the same name, focuses on S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury’s efforts to fight off an invasion of shapeshifting aliens called Skrulls. The Skrulls can disguise themselves as anyone, leading to paranoia and uncertainty. In the original comics story arc, several major characters were revealed to be Skrull agents, although the Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptation takes a different approach: there’s a notable absence of superheroes in the Disney+ series, and an atmosphere that feels more like a Cold War spy thriller.

We first meet Gravik in Secret Invasion episode 1. He’s the leader of a secret enclave of Skrull extremists, who have grown disgruntled with Fury and Carol Danvers’ broken promise to find them a home 30 years earlier (for more on that situation, see 2018’s Captain Marvel). Like any savvy extremist leader, Gravik offers some pretty enticing incentives for his followers: safety, community, and hope for a permanent home. He even recruits G’iah, the daughter of the friendly Skrull leader Talos.

Gravik’s longterm plan soon proves to be genocidal. His ultimate goal isn’t just a safe haven on an abandoned nuclear site in Russia. He’s trying to start a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, in the hopes of triggering a chain reaction that will annihilate the entire human race—leaving the planet to the Skrulls, who are immune to radioactivity.

At the end of the first episode, Gravik shows that his plans aren’t just empty threats. He detonates multiple bombs at a festival in Moscow, and then uses his Shapeshifting powers to shoot Maria Hill.

What is Gravik’s motivation? What does he want?

Before Secret Invasion’s release, Ben-Adir revealed some details about Gravik to Vanity Fair.

Now a group of Skrull extremists has arisen—and they’re tired of asking and tired of waiting. The clandestine takeover in Secret Invasion is their solution, and Gravik … is the resistance leader who has radicalized them. He breaks from the Talos-led faction to seize the resources they need—first quietly, while in disguise, then by force, if needed. The story line mirrors countless true stories from actual history when displaced groups have first fractured, then lashed out after patience and diplomacy are exhausted.

Does Gravik come from the original Marvel comics?

Usually, Marvel takes almost all its characters, no matter how obscure, from its original comics. However, they seem to be striking out into new territory with Gravik’s character, who doesn’t appear in any Marvel comics.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Author
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="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>