Secret Invasion is the first series of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Five, promising a new approach for the brand.
Nick Fury has a funny irony to him. He’s been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for almost a decade and a half, yet nothing is known about him. Fury made his MCU debut as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 2008 blockbuster Iron Man, where he is mostly in charge of collecting the correct superheroes whenever Earth is threatened by alien dangers.
His crucial work has assured his inclusion in the MCU more than a dozen times, across numerous films and shows. However, the S.H.I.E.L.D. top shot has remained a fairly enigmatic figure so far, save for the fact that he enjoys sardonic humour, looks cool in an eye patch, enjoys leather trenchcoats, and flits in and out of MCU storylines with the swagger that only Samuel L. Jackson can bring to a part.
When Secret Invasion arrives on June 21 and the MCU’s Phase Five enters the realm of small-screen shows, Jackson as Fury will play a key part for the first time in any Marvel screen adventure. Except for die-hard fans, the universe of Secret Invasion is not as well-known as the escapades of more prolific Marvel characters like Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, or Black Panther. Because Fury drives the majority of what happens in Secret Invasion, understanding the character is essential to fully immersing oneself in the events that the new episode is poised to unfurl.
After the deaths of his superhero comrades in Avengers: Endgame, Nick Fury finds himself in an uncertain world in Secret Invasion. As a result, it is time to update the character from what he essentially was, allowing series creator Kyle Bradstreet and director Ali Selim to explore both his history and future.
Nick Fury has always been a bad lad, even an antagonist in the occasional comic book narrative. While introducing him in the MCU, the creators changed several facts — for example, in the comics, Fury was originally a White guy and a World War II veteran who managed to delay his ageing process. “There are things about Nick Fury that even I didn’t know that I just found out,” Jackson told EW in an interview, adding that the series provides him “an opportunity to explore a different aspect than the bada**ery of who Nick Fury is.”
The character matures in the MCU with Secret Invasion, as Jackson describes him as the “connective tissue” of the series. For the first time, we witness Nick Fury ageing and growing beyond his distinctive swagger. This time, he’s more human than comic-book, having “psychological issues” and “physical issues” that he doesn’t appear to be aware of.
Here come the Skrulls
A storyline’s scope is simple: Nick Fury must race against the clock to prevent an extraterrestrial takeover of the planet. The Skrulls are a species of shapeshifting aliens from the planet Skrullos in the Andromeda galaxy. The Skrulls were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and originally appeared in a Fantastic Four comic book in January 1962.
The species has made sporadic appearances on the MCU screen since Captain Marvel in 2019. Brie Larson as Carol Danvers or Captain Marvel assists a group of Skrulls led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) in defending against an attack by another species known as the Kree in the MCU Phase Three film set in 1995. Talos was also featured in the 2019 film Spider-Man: Far From Home, which ended Phase Three, with his wife Soren. Talos and Soren play the roles of Nick Fury and Maria Hill on Earth while the real Fury is out in space in the film.
In an episode of the 2021 Phase Four series WandaVision, a Skrull disguises himself as an FBI agent in order to deceive the superhero, Monica Rambeau. Skrulls also appeared in the first seasons of Loki and What If…?, both of which debuted in 2021 as part of MCU Phase Four.
Heroes of secret invasion
The programme focuses on Fury’s new task after he lost his trusted super warriors in Thanos’ conflict in Endgame. To defend Earth from a bunch of dissident Skrulls, he must form a new band of heroes. These dissident Skrulls, led by Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir), intend to seize Earth by taking the forms of humans in positions of authority all around the world. The concept allowed Marvel CEO Kevin Feige and his creative team to launch Phase Five in a completely different direction, beyond familiar superhero tracks and with a darker edge, even as Fury seeks the assistance of Talos, who is currently settled on Earth, as well as his old S.H.I.E.L.D. connect Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and ex-CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman).
In Secret Invasion, Ben Mendelsohn reprises his role as Talos, while Emilia Clarke stars as G’iah, Talos’ daughter who holds a grudge towards Fury because she feels he failed to execute a previous vow to find a new home for the Skrulls. Other notable cast members include Olivia Colman as MI6 bigshot Sonya Falsworth, a friend of Fury, and Don Cheadle, who returns to the MCU as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes.
Phase five in a nutshell
Phase Five of the MCU began earlier this year on the big screen with Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. Secret Invasion is the first series of the MCU’s new phase, with six episodes released over six weeks. Six further series have been planned for Phase Five, after the release of Secret Invasion.
In October of this year, Tom Hiddleston returns as the main star in the second season of Loki, and a month later, Alaqua Cox appears in the new series Echo as Maya Lopez, who can flawlessly duplicate a person’s actions. This will be preceded by season two of the animated series What If…?
Three more series have been added to the MCU’s Phase Five lineup for next year. Dominique Thorne plays Riri Williams / Ironheart, a brilliant inventor who designs a suit to equal Tony Stark’s. Next up comes Agatha: Coven Of Chaos, a WandaVision spin-off starring Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness, a witch who goes by the alias Wanda Maximoff and is Vision’s nosy neighbour. Daredevil: Born Again, the third new programme approved for a Phase Five start, sees Charlie Cox resume his role as the blind lawyer Matt Murdock who doubles as the masked superhero Daredevil.
For the time being, it’s preferable to wait and keep an eye on things. According to the MCU’s track record, the more complicated the universe becomes, the more intricate the adventures get.