After an unimpressive start to Phase 5 with the third installment of the “Ant-Man” franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be in dire need of a course correction, and what better than an alien espionage thriller to resume their comparatively successful small-screen journey duly presented by the trailer of the upcoming series “Secret Invasion”? The first MCU TV series of phase five, “Secret Invasion,” has the potential to be a game changer, as it offers a much more grounded, political take on some key aspects of MCU lore, something from which the franchise notably benefited during the “Captain America” movies. In order to understand all the hints and Easter eggs that were presented in the trailer, we will briefly go through it once and try to break it down based on our observations.
The trailer begins with an armed Nick Fury walking towards a facility gate through the wilderness, while the voice of former Skrull general Talos, whom we later see with Fury, informs him that in Fury’s absence, things have worsened. A spaceship is seen to be landing at an undisclosed location, presumably on Earth. The next scene shifts to St.Petersburg, Russia, where the Skrull Gravik, disguised as a human being, activates a bomb using a remote control, causing a vicious explosion, and amidst the hurrying mob agent Maria Hill can be seen. Fury responds to Talos’ remark that the situation indeed prompted him to return to Earth.
As the following sequence shifts to London, we are introduced to Olivia Colman’s character, Sonya Falsworth, who addresses Fury as a friend and reminds him that he is in no shape to take on the challenges that lie ahead, getting a scornful look from Fury in exchange. Talos is seen holding Gravik by the collar, possibly due to his former actions, and finds out that all the present civilians in the background have transformed into Gravik. Fury and Sonya visit the gravestone of Fury, which was installed after his death was faked previously, and Fury remarks that this situation is personal as he gears up while retrieving his belongings from a mausoleum. After getting subsequent shots of Fury, assisted by Talos, Agent Maria Hill, and former agent Everett Ross, a lab is shown where numerous glowing bodies are lying, being experimented upon.
New And Old Faces
We get our first look at Emilia Clark’s character, G’iah, who seemingly discovers the facility with the glowing bodies. Sonya remarks that the secretive wars in shadows have raged through the world for a long time and asks Fury whether he feels responsible without disclosing the reason for doing so. As the scene moves to Paris, a newspaper headline, as well as a voiceover, highlights the absence of The Avengers, and a mysterious figure is seen standing in front of a large device. A SWAT team is seen swarming a place, armed with laser-mounted rifles, and Nick Fury, possibly escaping from something or someone, stresses the fact that he has to fight this battle alone.
Helicopters hovering above fire a missile, leading to the destruction of a convoy, and a female figure is seen holding a deceased or injured person in the aftermath. Fury gets surrounded by a number of government agents and meets Colonel James Rhodes, aka War Machine, who remarks that Fury is the most wanted individual on the planet at the moment. After a quick glimpse at the dilapidated Chernobyl powerplant, we once again meet G’iah, who tells Fury that he doesn’t know the extent of what ‘they’ have planned for him. The presence of the Department of Damage Control is shown through a sample collection briefcase, and a chase sequence is followed by a brief look at an infuriated Skrull, now in its original green-skinned appearance. Some busy action sets are seen, with injured Talos and Fury being tossed across a room by an unknown assailant, and we get a look at a Skrull with powers of stretching its limbs while attacking someone off-screen. The trailer ends with Fury opining that the upcoming battle will be the one last fight as he comes out of the mausoleum, straightening the collar of his jacket.
Right off the bat, the trailer cues in the grim, grounded theme of the narrative, quite a departure from the ongoing multiversal shenanigans and a much-welcomed one. For context, Nick Fury had been missing from Earth, as seen during the events of “Spider-man: Far From Home,” where Talos and Soren, members of a race of shapeshifting aliens called the Skulls, were posing as Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill. Previously, the Skrulls lost their home planet, which was destroyed by the colonizer Kree forces, and they were hounded by the tyrannical Kree throughout the universe. To add to their misery, the propaganda was spread by the Kree Empire that Skrulls used their shapeshifting abilities to infiltrate and destroy governments across the galaxy. During the events of “Captain Marvel,” after conveying the truth about their race, Skrull military general Talos made an alliance with Nick Fury and Carol Danvers to get refuge on Earth, where he settled with his family and a bunch of other refugee Skrulls. On the other hand, after coming back from death after the undoing of Thanos’ ‘Snap’ during the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Nick Fury spent his time vacationing across the universe.
Relevancy Of Secret Invasion
In Fury’s absence, several significant events have taken place in the Prime Earth, right from the multiversal fiascos involving spider-men, Dr. Strange, and Loki. But the series is going to take on a much more grounded issue that has taken place in the meantime, which is the uprising of rebellious Skrulls against Talos. Talos hasn’t been able to find a habitable planet out of Kree’s reach, and most probably, his efforts at mingling with humans haven’t been fruitful either, which led to the rise of a more extremist faction of Skrulls, led by the likes of Gravik, whom we see performing acts of terrorism in Russia, inevitable causing an international crisis. Talos can no longer lead his people to a harmonious, peaceful negotiation as Skrulls like Gravik are actualizing the propaganda the Kree Empire wanted to spread: that the Skrulls are an invasive race that uses its shapeshifting ability for nefarious means. The trailer also shows us G’iah, who is Talos and Soren’s daughter and whom we last saw in “Captain Marvel” at a much younger age. In all probability, she has joined her father’s cause of riling the extremist Skrulls to avert the crisis, as we see her warning Fury about ‘their’ plans—while the identity of the said persons remains unknown, it could be either humans or Skrulls.
As the name suggests, “Secret Invasion,” the comics series, dealt with the infiltration of Skrull forces in various factions of Earth, right from the administrations to the ranks of superheroes, and in the process, became a political intrigue mired in suspicion, jingoistic prejudices, conspiracies, and propaganda. In a similar vein, the real-world scenarios of the refugee crisis, racial profiling, and persecution, as well as xenophobia, will be highlighted through the metaphors of the Skrull Crisis in the series. And at the forefront of it all will remain Nick Fury, like the veteran at the vanguard. Since the very beginning of recruiting Tony Stark into the Avengers initiative for every global disaster, Fury’s strong presence in the administration and leadership has been partially the key to improvement. With him gone, the entire administrative department has plunged into corruption and chaos.
As shown in “Wakanda Forever” by Valentina Dreyfus, the scheming bureaucrat has been given the supreme power to seize anyone having differing motivations from the government and recruit superpowered members under a secretive government task force, which will reveal its form in “Thunderbolts.” Agents Maria and Ross are powerless and have even become fugitives under this new regime, and it doesn’t seem the situation is going to alleviate anytime soon, as the aftermath of “Secret Invasion” will be explored in “Marvels,” “Armor Wars” and “Captain America: New World Order,” the last of which will see Thunderbolt Ross as the new president, and knowing his allegiance, that seems like no good news. The trailer also shows Sonya Falsworth, a former ally of Nick Fury and an MI6 agent and the daughter of James Montgomery Falsworth, who was a member of the Howling Commandos, the elite combat faction founded by Captain America during the Second World War to fight Hydra. Colonel Rhodes will make an appearance in the series, as revealed by the trailer; the character has so far been proven to be a stooge of the US government, and it remains to be seen where his allegiance lies in this context. The same question of allegiance applies to Sonya and every other member as well, given the fact that it’s nearly impossible to tell among them who are Skrulls posing as humans and who aren’t.
“Secret Invasion” trailer also shows an experiment going on with numerous bodies glowing in the lab and a glimpse at the superpowered Skrull. Perhaps the extremist Skrulls are experimenting on themselves to take the battle to the mightiest members of Earth’s protectors, and perhaps they stole specimens to experiment with from the Department of Damage Control, whose specimen box we saw in the trailer. Can we expect a cameo from Carol Danvers, given the fact that she, too, was involved in the Skrull crisis from the beginning, and the repercussions of the series will be felt in “Marvels” as well? Is this really going to be Nick Fury’s last stand? In any case, the trailer for “Secret Invasion” gave us enough hints to speculate on the immense scope of the series, which might easily become the most important narrative the MCU has managed to produce in this decade so far.