“Secret Invasion,” the ninth Marvel Studios series on Disney+, just premiered its first episode. Marvel has tied up the storylines of their series to many of the newer films, fans are practically compelled to watch everything in order to appreciate everything.
“Secret Invasion” is mainly connected to 2019’s “Captain Marvel” where the shapeshifting Skrulls are introduced in the MCU not as villains but as refugees. Their leader, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) engages with Carol Danvers and Nick Fury, making his case for a new home after theirs was obliterated in the Kree-Skrull war.
Before going any further, the series is based on the hugely popular eight issue “Secret Invasion” written by Brian Michael Bendis and with issues penciled by Leinil Francis Yu who was seen at the red carpet event with Bendis.
There’s also a thread between this and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” as the opening sequence features now ex-agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) in the mid-pursuit.
We are also reunited with Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Rhodey aka War Machine (Don Cheadle). The first scenes quickly establish the tone of the series — it’s set up as an espionage yarn/political thriller with the hunting of secrets and secret invaders and discovering the true motives and allegiances of its characters.
Who can tell if the characters you know to be human in episode one will turn out to be a Skrull in episode six?
If they are Skrulls, then to which faction to they belong? Are they with Talos or with new villain Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) who is intent on taking over the Earth by force and guile.
“Secret Invasion” also welcomes Olivia Colman and Emilia Clarke to the world of Marvel. No one does unhinged like Olivia Colman, winner of one Oscar, two Emmys, three Golden Globes and so much more. No matter how put together she looks, there is something quite unhinged about her special M16 agent Sonya Falsworth. Colman has asked her management, “Please, can I be in a Marvel?”
Emilia Clarke who we know and love as Daenerys Targaryen told Extra, “They had me at Olivia Colman, they knew what to lead with. Wherever she goes, I will follow.”
Clarke is G’aih, Talos’ daughter who has a growing frustration with the current situation. Who knows where her allegiance will ultimately lie?
Secret Invasion has some good ingredients — its cast and its spy story tone (time to give multiverses a break, no?) — though it is hard to top “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
With the glut of streaming products and superhero everything, will this be something just for those still devoted to putting pieces of their Marvel puzzles together and alienating casual fans? — Karen Kunawicz
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