Sure to be a Summer stunner, Secret Invasion is set to premiere on Disney+ June 21st. Before jumping into the Skrull-tastic series starring Samuel L. Jackson, brush up on the comic history and the MCU timeline! Let’s answer some very important questions in order to get you prepared to watch the premiere!
First things first, who are the Skrulls?
Marvel Comics Fantastic Four #18
The Skrull story starts way back in 1962 with Fantastic Four #2, which was brought to life by the legendary duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Drawing inspiration from Cold War paranoia and fears of communist infiltration, the Skrulls made their debut by impersonating the Fantastic Four, causing mayhem and setting the stage for an Earth invasion. However, their plans were foiled by the genius tactics of Mr. Fantastic. He cleverly used clippings from "Strange Tales" and "Journey Into Mystery" to outwit them, going so far as to hypnotize the Skrulls into believing they were nothing more than ordinary cows. Yes, you read that right—Skrull Cows. It's the kind of wacky brilliance that makes comics so lovable.
Things took a cosmic turn when the Super Skrull arrived on the scene. Possessing the combined powers of the Fantastic Four, this formidable warrior sought revenge against Earth. This clash escalated into a long-standing conflict between the Skrulls and another alien race known as the Kree, ultimately leading to the epic Kree-Skrull War story arc. Captain Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, played a pivotal role in the war, alongside a host of other Marvel characters, including the Inhumans and Golden Age heroes.
However, the Skrulls didn't stop at failed invasions and interstellar wars. Their crafty infiltration tactics became a recurring theme in Marvel Comics as they embedded themselves in positions of power on Earth. It seems they just can't resist the allure of influential positions within our world. Sneaky, sneaky Skrulls!
So what is the Skrull involvement in the Secret Invasion comics?
Simple answer, the Skrulls are the big bad. The first issue of Secret Invasion was published on April 1, 2008. The eight-issue run of the event was written by Brian Michael Bendis. It begins with Tony Stark bringing Hank Pym (Spoiler: he’s really a Skrull - RIP Janet!) and Reed Richards to Japan to see the body of the fallen Elektra. The twist - it’s a Skrull in Elektra’s clothing!
Marvel Comics New Avengers #27–30
Moments later a Skrull ship crash lands in the Savage land and both the Mighty Avengers and New Avengers make their way there to check out the wreckage. Upon arrival, the ship opens and golden-era versions of the heroes emerge including a yellow-clad Luke Cage (who now wears all black) and a purple Hawkeye (also in all black and now going by Ronin).
Human Jarvis aka Skrull in disguise, releases an alien virus that shuts down Stark Enterprises, including Tony’s suit, prisons The Raft and The Cube, and has the SHIELD helicarrier falling from the sky. A bomb blows up SWORD’s space headquarters, and Sue Storm breezes past Johnny and the kids to open up a portal to the negative zone destroying the Baxter Building. Basically, all hell breaks loose and no one can be trusted because it seems the Skrulls have infiltrated all the major hero groups.
Throughout the series, we meet the Thunderbolts, the Young Avengers, cadets from The Initiative, and a Nick Fury-led Commandos. War is breaking out between the heroes and the Skrulls in both NY and the Savage Land. Reed Richards creates a device that detects if someone is a Skrull and it turns out Spider-Woman was Skrull queen Veranke!
Many of these characters and groups of heroes don’t exist in the MCU so we know the series will differ greatly from the comic series.
One character that appears in both the comic and Disney+ series is Nick Fury. However, where was he before the beginning of the new series?
The post-credit scene of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” revealed that the Nick Fury we had seen throughout the movie was actually the Skrull Talos in disguise, while the real Fury was aboard a Skrull spaceship.
In an interview with Samuel L. Jackson, it was explained that Fury had taken some time away to process the events that had unfolded, including the deaths of Iron Man and Black Widow, which had deeply affected him. During his absence, Maria Hill had been trying to fill his shoes but was frustrated by his lack of communication.
Now, Fury is now back on Earth ready for a new Skrull threat.
Like the comic, the Skrulls are the big bad in the series as well! What can we gather about their motivations?
So, here's the deal: there's this rebellious gang of Skrulls led by the radical Gravik. They're pretty fed up with Talos' leadership and feeling let down by Fury.
Now, since these Skrulls don't have a home planet of their own, they've got this wild plan to take over Earth. And you know what they're up to? They're sneaking into high-level political positions to make it happen. Talk about a power move!
But here's the kicker: Fury, who's already been through some crazy stuff and still has some secrets up his sleeve, has to team up with a bunch of both familiar and brand-new Marvel characters. Their mission? Stop those shape-shifting Skrulls from using their influence for some seriously evil purposes.
The tricky part is, these Skrulls can imitate the looks of our own allies, so it's like playing a game of "Who's the good guy?" It's a real challenge telling friends from foes in this crazy situation.
We may not know who is a Skrull in disguise, but these are the characters we’ll be keeping our eye on. Who do you think Fury can trust?
Talos (Ben Mendelsohn): The leader of a friendly Skrull sect and an ally of Fury (Captain Marvel).
Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders): A former high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who had worked quite closely with Fury but has been out of contact with him.
Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman): A former agent of the Central Intelligence Agency. Ex-husband of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine who we last saw being rescued by Okoye in Wakanda Forever.
Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir): The leader of a group of rebel Skrulls who has had it with Talos' faction, believing the best way to help their kind is to infiltrate Earth. In an interview, director Ali Selim says that Gravik is not a terrorist or "just a bad guy with a bomb", the series will really dive into his motivations.
Ritson (Dermot Mulroney): The president of the United States.
G'iah (Emilia Clarke): Talos' daughter. Clarke described G'iah as having "a kind of punk feeling" to her, adding that being "a refugee kid" has "hardened her". G'iah was previously portrayed as a child in Captain Marvel (2019).
Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman): A high-ranking MI6 agent and an old ally of Fury's who is looking out for England's national security. Described as "a more antagonistic presence" in the series, producer Jonathan Schwartz said to Vanity Fair that Falsworth could be working either with or against Fury depending on their desired goals.
James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle): U.S. Air Force officer and Avenger, A.K.A War Machine. Jackson also told Vanity Fair when describing Rhodes in the series "a political animal and not a guy who has a special suit", with Rhodes serving as the president's "right-hand man"; this forces him to make "a lot of decisions—some good, some bad".
Many questions are still yet to be answered: Where does this fit into the overall MCU timeline? What impact will this have on the upcoming movies, The Marvels & Armor Wars? Will Fury survive this fight against Gravik’s rebel faction of Skrulls?
We hope we get the answers to all these questions and see some more familiar MCU faces during Secret Invasion!