Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, adapted from the Marvel Comics storyline of the same name, is one of the most anticipated projects of the Multiverse Saga within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Set to release on June 21, 2023, it marks the first Disney+ series for Phase 5. With an impressive ensemble cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Martin Freeman, Ben Mendelsohn, and Don Cheadle, alongside several MCU newcomers, Secret Invasion promises an exciting espionage adventure, reminiscent of the beloved 2014 film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Adapting the Storyline to the Live-Action MCU
- The Omission of the Illuminati
- Spider-Woman and the Skrull Queen
- Iron Man’s Role Altered
- A Shift in Locations: No Savage Land
- Complex Motivations of the Skrulls
- Survival of the Wasp
- Fantastic Four’s Absence
- Thunderbolts: Yet to Be Introduced
- Grounded Approach in the MCU
- A Departure from SHIELD and the Avengers
Adapting the Storyline to the Live-Action MCU
The Secret Invasion storyline in the Marvel Comics saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, and other iconic characters being exposed as Skrull impostors, leading to a large-scale invasion of Earth.
However, the live-action adaptation in the MCU necessitates several significant changes to fit the current state of the universe.
The Omission of the Illuminati
In the Marvel Comics event, the Illuminati played a central role after the Kree-Skrull War. This group, consisting of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic, Professor X, Black Bolt, and Namor, confronted the Skrull Empire and warned them against invading Earth. However, the MCU’s Secret Invasion will not involve the Illuminati.
While they were briefly seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the primary MCU version of the Illuminati has not yet formed and likely won’t during Secret Invasion.
Spider-Woman and the Skrull Queen
Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion revealed the shocking truth that anyone could be a Skrull, including well-known heroes such as Captain America and Spider-Man. The Skrull Queen Veranke assumed the identity of Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew.
However, due to Sony owning the film rights to Jessica Drew, it is unlikely she will appear in Secret Invasion. Additionally, it seems that Veranke has been replaced by Gravik, portrayed by Kingsley Ben-Adir, in the series.
Iron Man’s Role Altered
In the original Secret Invasion comics, Iron Man played a significant role, being the first hero to uncover the Skrull invasion and becoming a primary target of Veranke’s attacks.
However, with the conclusion of Iron Man’s storyline in Avengers: Endgame and no confirmation of Robert Downey Jr.’s return, Phase 5’s Secret Invasion will steer clear of these plot points and avoid Iron Man’s involvement.
A Shift in Locations: No Savage Land
Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion prominently featured the Savage Land, a prehistoric landscape in Antarctica, where Skrulls attempted to mine vibranium. However, the MCU has yet to introduce this location, apart from a minor Easter egg in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
As a result, the events in the MCU’s Secret Invasion will unfold in different settings.
Complex Motivations of the Skrulls
In the comics, the Skrulls’ attack on Earth was driven by a religious prophecy. However, the MCU’s Skrulls were portrayed differently in Captain Marvel, where they were shown as a peaceful species forced into war by the Kree.
The Secret Invasion series will focus on a rebellion by a small group of Skrulls residing on Earth, highlighting their frustration after Nick Fury and Carol Danvers failed to secure them a new home.
Survival of the Wasp
Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion involved a trap meant to be activated by the Skrulls as a last resort, resulting in the death of Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. In the MCU, after Hope van Dyne’s survival in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it is unlikely that a similar fate awaits the character in Secret Invasion.
Fantastic Four’s Absence
The Fantastic Four, led by Reed Richards, played a crucial role in Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion. However, since the MCU’s Fantastic Four film is set to debut in 2025, it is highly unlikely that they, or their base, the Baxter Building, will appear in Secret Invasion.
Thunderbolts: Yet to Be Introduced
Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion also involved the Thunderbolts, led by Norman Osborn, joining forces with the heroes to combat the Skrulls. However, since the Thunderbolts will not be introduced in the MCU until 2024, they are expected to be completely absent from Phase 5’s Secret Invasion.
Grounded Approach in the MCU
While the comics showcased a grand-scale battle between heroes and Skrulls, the MCU’s Secret Invasion will adopt a more grounded approach.
Nick Fury, without the assistance of super-powered allies, will take center stage in defending Earth from the rebellious Skrulls. Don Cheadle’s War Machine is expected to be the only Avenger making an appearance, ensuring a more subtle and grounded narrative.
A Departure from SHIELD and the Avengers
In the Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion, SHIELD and the Avengers played pivotal roles. However, these organizations will be omitted from the MCU’s Secret Invasion storyline. The Skrull infiltration and the central involvement of Iron Man and SHIELD will not be replicated in the series, allowing the narrative to explore fresh and distinct paths.
By adapting the Secret Invasion storyline to fit the live-action MCU, the upcoming Disney+ series promises to deliver an exciting and unique espionage adventure, showcasing a host of changes and differences from its comic counterpart. Fans can look forward to a thrilling and unpredictable journey when Secret Invasion releases on June 21, 2023.