The first Disney+ series of the MCU’s fifth phase of storytelling, Secret Invasion, is airing, and the released first two episodes have provided viewers with a basic overview regarding the grounded espionage plot of the series revolving around shapeshifting alien Skrulls. The eponymous event was of significant importance in Marvel comics, where the infiltration of Skrulls among the ranks of established superheroes and other characters created an engaging, unpredictable intrigue. The Disney+ series takes a different approach to the crisis, bringing street-level players to the forefront. It weaves a political espionage storyline around the crisis, as the Skrulls, who came to seek refuge on Earth, turn out to have been playing the role of puppeteers all along, taking the guise of world leaders to orchestrate global events. Despite the difference in approach, a number of Easter eggs that give a nod to the source material and connection to the larger MCU narrative are presented in the series, which we would like to discuss in this write-up.
Fate Of Agent Everett Ross
Ex-CIA agent Everett Ross has been somewhat of a prominent figure in his role as part of the expansive special operative network in the MCU. Introduced first in Captain America: Civil War, Ross has witnessed firsthand the ideological conflicts among the Avengers, has been closely associated with Wakanda’s royal family, and has aided them against the States’ decision. In the first episode of Secret Invasion, it is shown that Ross is the one agent Prescod trusts to inform him about the sporadic terrorist activities of the Skrull. But it is ultimately revealed that this version of agent Ross was a Skrull all along, as he kills Prescod and almost escapes with secretive information about the next major Skrull attack—until, being chased by former Skrull leader Talos, he falls from a significant height and dies. The question arises: what happened to the real agent Ross, was he being impersonated by Skrull throughout his appearances? The incident brings Nick Fury back to Earth from his deep space terrain defense duty at the S.A.B.E.R. space station as well.
A New Colony Of Skrulls
After the loss of their original home planet, Skrullos, at the hands of the aggressor Kree alien race, the remaining Skrulls sought shelter on Earth after their leader Talos came to an agreement about providing them refuge with the then S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury and human/Kree hybrid Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. The major disagreement that led to the refugee Skrulls’ uprising led by Gravik was Nick Fury and Talos’ failure to keep that promise. Under Gravik’s protection, five hundred Skrulls established a colony in a remote, defunct radioactive power plant in Russia named New Skrullos, where they are living undetected and, thanks to their imperviousness to radioactivity, unharmed. While the shelter might highlight Gravik as a caring protector of his people, its underbellies hide a different story altogether – where abducted humans are brought so that dedicated Skrull warriors can impersonate both their body and mind.
Talos’ estranged daughter, Giah, took shelter in New Skrullos as well and acts as Gravik’s operative. Her perspective about allegiance is challenged when she learns from Talos that her mother Soren’s death might have been caused by the same Skrulls she sought refuge to, and she helps Talos identify the couriers of the Moscow bombing. Although to no avail, as Gravik’s bombing plans succeed after all. Another important Easter egg was the identity of Sonya Falsworth, Fury’s former associate and the MI6 operative located in Russia. She is the granddaughter of James Montgomery Falsworth, aka Union Jack, a member of Captain America’s special ops team, the ‘Howling Commandos’.
Skrull Council And The Severity Of Skrull Invasion
Using a radical hate-mongering organization, A.A.R. (Americans Against Russia), as a front, Gravik and his comrades conduct a series of bombings in Moscow, which claim the lives of two thousand civilians along with agent Maria Hill. The attack shakes the core of world political balance; the U.S. comes under severe criticism, and the scenario of yet another world war arises. While Fury and Talos search for Talos and his comrades, it is revealed that the situation is much more difficult than a few upstart rebel Skrulls’ terrorist attacks.
In the comics storyline of Secret Invasion, Marvel’s biggest superteams, like the Avengers, and even the covert ones, like the Illuminati, were infiltrated by the Skrulls, resulting in large-scale conflicts and an overall mistrust. In the second episode of the Secret Invasion series, as Gravik goes to meet the Skrull council to reveal his plan of weaken the already warmongering humans from within and make the Skrulls as the dominant species on Earth, the council members turn out to be some of the leading figures of world. Among them are the NATO secretary, U.K. Prime Minister, and popular news media anchors. The identities and confidentialities have been compromised as the aliens have hollowed out the administration, altered the public perspective through the media, and pitted the superpowers of the world against each other.
Avengers: Counteractive And Super Skrull
During his conversation with the Skrull Council, Gravik informed the leading figures that he had conceptualized a countermeasure against the mighty Avengers if the Skrull invasion plan ever blew up. In the second episode, viewers get a glimpse of Gravik’s secretive plan as G’iah discovered Gravik is getting assistance from a certain Dr. Dalton to assemble certain ‘harvests’ to make the Skrulls even stronger. Among these ‘harvests,’ D.N.A. samples of Groot, Frost Beast, Extremis mutated, and Cull Obsidian are present—all the heavy hitters established in the lore of the MCU. Gravik’s plan teases the appearance of a formidable opponent Fury has to face in the near future, the Super-Skrull.
In the comics storyline, several bionically engineered Skrulls have come to be known as Super-Skrulls, who display a number of unique skills and abilities at the same time—almost like a one-man army in a sense. Gravik’s plan of mutating Skrulls to mimic several of the universe’s top powerhouses will possibly create versatile warriors capable of taking on a number of superhuman characters at once.
Nick Fury’s Connection To Skrull
The ending sequence of the latest episode of Secret Invasion brings forth the biggest shocker, i.e., Nick Fury had chosen a Skrull operative as his better half all along. This changes the nature of the inter-species correlation between humans and Skrulls, and with an upcoming battle between the two forces about to commence, Fury’s role will be of seminal importance.