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Spies and Skrulls Take the MCU in a New Direction – Secret Invasion (TV Review)

2 min read

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Throughout Phase 4, fans were clamouring for to slow down and give us a break between all the new projects. And with marking the first new Marvel TV show since She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premiered on + last August, Marvel might just be listening to the fans. And it's a good job they've taken a break because Secret Invasion feels sharper and darker than any of the other Disney+ shows, and even most of the films as it embraces the world of espionage that has been dabbling in all this time.

After meeting the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, we've seen very little of them since. Especially getting to see how they've been adapting in the present day since Captain Marvel was set in the 1990s. Secret Invasion picks up with Nick Fury along with allies including Maria Hill and Talos in present day Moscow as a new threat emerges from within the Skrulls promising an invasion unlike any other the MCU has faced before.

With the Skrulls being able to change their faces on demand and look like someone else, this provides an all-new threat for Fury and the world. With many of the Disney+ shows taking on different forms and genres, from the sitcom style of WandaVision to the light-heartedness of Ms Marvel and animation in What If…? Secret Invasion goes all out on the espionage thriller harkening back to what everyone loved about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, finally giving us another look into the politics and real-world fallout of all the fantastical events that happen within the MCU. However, it is of course Marvel, and Disney, so don't expect anything too dark or gritty. It's not Daredevil but it's a very big change in tone from the likes of Quantumania and Love and Thunder.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Joining the MCU sees as the leader of the treacherous Skrull invasion Gravik, as Skrull G'iah and national treasure . All are welcome additions to the Marvel canon and of course Olivia Colman adds a lot of charm and fun to her character as you'd expect from her, but it's particularly welcome in a darker show like Secret Invasion.

From the two episodes we've been allowed to watch, there is some meandering as the show finds its feet and establishes the realm we're playing in, differentiating itself from the multiversal madness and space antics we've witnessed in recent MCU films, but Secret Invasion solidly establishes itself and provides a groundwork for what could become one of Disney+'s better Marvel shows.

Episode 1 immediately shows you that Secret Invasion means business and that what follows is sure to have big stakes for the future of the MCU. And Episode 2 follows through, keeping this going further. Ultimately thanks to another impressive performance from Samuel L. Jackson, the enthusiasm that Olivia Colman brings to the MCU and the darker tone for Marvel which provides a really interesting and promising new path for Marvel, Secret Invasion's first two episodes are a very good launchpad for the rest of the series to leap off. Secret Invasion is also the first Marvel Disney+ show to have an opening title sequence that will absolutely not make you want to use the ‘skip intro' button.

Secret Invasion premieres exclusively on Disney+ on June 21