After the binge watching (for some indigestion, for others salvific pandemic stress relief) of the first two years of programming on Disney+, with as many as eight exclusive mini-series released on the platform between 2021 and 2022, Marvel Studios returns to streaming for the first time this 2023 thanks to Secret Invasion, which also marks the long-awaited return of the much-loved Samuel L. Jackson as the iconic super-spy Nick Fury.
Third Marvel Cinematic Universe release this year after the big-screen films Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania in February and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 in May. The series is created by Kyle Bradstreet, who is also showrunner and executive producer along with Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Feige and director Ali Selim, who directed all the episodes: set in the present day of the MCU and based on the comic book saga of the same name created by Brian Michael Bendis, the story is also a sequel to the film Captain Marvel and follows Nick Fury as he learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shape-shifting Skrulls, who have been using their camouflage powers for years to Insinuate themselves at the highest echelons of global power structures.
With very few allies, including Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders, War Machine (Don Cheadle) and the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), the founder of the Avengers will have to foil the secret Skrull invasion and prevent humanity from being replaced.
A Marvel Universe for adults
The first thing that strikes one about this new chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly the atmosphere: Secret Invasion is to Marvel Studios what Andor was to Star Wars, a chapter that cuts sharply with the typical lighthearted atmosphere of the past and goes in search of a very dark story, inspired more by international espionage thriller literature Than to the flamboyant world of Marvel superheroes.
Not that the humor and that sense of levity that characterizes Kevin Feige’s productions have been absolutely abolished, but Secret Invasion is undoubtedly the least Marvel chapter seen so far, along with the failed Eternals by Chloe Zhao (a poorly done copy of the films of Zack Snyder which also holds the record as the only film in the saga rejected by yours truly) and to the surprising Licantropus (the medium-length ‘horror’ film starring Gael Garcia Bernal released in Halloween 2022 on Disney+). Secret Invasion is distinctive from the very first bars, when a neo(n)-noir scene set in an alley (Andor also began in an alley, citing the quintessential neon-noir Blade Runner) introduces viewers to this subterranean menace invisible to the eye.
There will be no shortage of twists and turns (which we cannot mention) and even an excellent death (we can already hear the Marvel snipers putting the shot in) in these first two episodes of Secret Invasion that we were able to preview., in which in addition to many familiar faces from the saga, highly anticipated new-entries are also introduced. Among them, the ones we can mention to avoid getting a complaint are the Oscar-winning Olivia Colman (Sonya Falsworth, Fury’s old friend and leader of a counterintelligence organization), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Gravik, the fanatical beacon of the Skrull revolution) and especially the beloved Emilia Clarke, former star of Game of Thrones who in the MCU plays G’iah, the daughter of Talos, torn between repressed and buried affection for her father (and Nick Fury) and the dark fascination fueled by Gravik.
The atmospheres intrigue, the (almost total) lack of action captivates (will it risk alienating younger fans?), the already high curiosity only goes up: we wait for the rest.