Green man screaming in anger with pointed ears and strange markings on his skull.

Secret Invasion (2023) Spoiler-Free Review

Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest mini-series, “Secret Invasion,” reveals a captivating narrative interwoven with the intrigue of alien infiltrators, deceptive alliances, and the enigmatic Skrull race. Set against the post-Captain Marvel era backdrop, this series offers a fresh perspective on the established MCU while delving into themes of mistrust, identity, and power dynamics.

Skrulls and Superhumans: Setting the Stage

Secret Invasion 2023 is the latest mini-series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s available now on Disney Plus and follows the events of Captain Marvel (2019). Let’s revisit the film’s events for those who can’t recall its existence. A young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), stumbles upon the existence of an alien race known as the Skrulls, as well as a superhuman by the name of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), aka Captain Marvel. The Skrulls are refugees searching for a home after engaging in an intergalactic war with their enemy, the Kree.

Marvel’s Multifaceted Paranoia: Unraveling the Intrigue

After escaping persecution, the leader of the Skrulls, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), teams up with Fury to find a new home for his people. Their on-screen chemistry has many layers, heightening the story’s emotional stakes. Secret Invasion 2023 draws deeply from Marvel Comics, where Skrulls, a shape-shifting alien race, infiltrate Earth, leading to widespread mistrust and surprising revelations. This concept should have profound implications for the MCU. However, it falls flat in its execution of creating a sense of paranoia and suspense. It lacks any real consequences like most Marvel content being produced today.

Nick Fury’s Evolution: Unmasking the Spy

One of the biggest accomplishments of Secret Invasion 2023 is the character development of Nick Fury. Many dimensions are added to his backstory, shedding light on his motivations as a spy and shady hero. However, the show spends too much time emphasizing how old he is or how “he’s lost his touch.” Hollywood seems hellbent on neutering male heroes from the silver age. Fury is one of many who have fallen victim to this lazy storytelling trope. To make matters worse, nothing is done narratively to counter this belief. I’m unsure if the intention is to make him more relatable, but the creators failed miserably.

Talos and G’iah: Complex Familial Bonds

Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) doesn’t fare much better, for he has fallen from grace. His familial relationship is entertaining to witness. His daughter, G’iah (Emilia Clarke), portrays a spy better than Fury himself. It doesn’t seem like she has much relevance because the series forgets about her halfway through. Secret Invasion 2023 is not an entry point for newcomers, but seasoned Marvel enthusiasts can appreciate the nods to past characters and events from previous films. The show is advertised as a tale of espionage and deception, yet Fury walks around in broad daylight with little to no disguise.

Nods to the Past: Marvel Enthusiasts’ Playground

I never read the comic arc the Disney Plus series is based on, but I’m sure what happens in this show is supposed to reverberate across the MCU, affecting future properties. Viewers should get a preview of it while watching Secret Invasion 2023, not wait another 5-10 years. The themes of infiltration and mistrust introduced could have been used to revisit scenes from older movies. It was an opportunity to utilize conflicts among the Avengers, world leaders, and villains to shape a throughline connecting this show to everything. A vehicle used to introduce a ripple effect in the Marvel zeitgeist that makes fans uncertain about which characters are impostors.

Espionage Unveiled: Balancing Deception and Reality

Secret Invasion 2023 delves into themes of identity, trust, and the consequences of wielding power. The Skrulls’ infiltration challenges the characters’ perceptions of loyalty and friendship. Not sure if it was intentional, but there is a theme of xenophobia, which is justified repeatedly by terrorists in the show. This was also present in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. A rogue army of super soldiers called the Flagsmashers is portrayed as misunderstood immigrants. Yet they murder hundreds of innocent people to send a message.

Thought-Provoking Addition to the MCU

Despite its many flaws, Secret Invasion 2023 is a thought-provoking addition to the MCU. There’s a lot for fans to speculate regarding the presence of Skrulls on Earth. Their shape-shifting abilities and otherworldly technology are nothing to scoff at, either. Power dynamics among the Avengers are brought into question, as well as who can deal with the threat of the Skrulls. With all that said, not even Samuel L. Jackson is popular enough to attract an audience. Online movie pundits label it “the worst MCU TV show.” The Story Monster is no fan, giving it a 5.5 out of 10.

If you like what you read, please like, and share. For more spoiler-free reviews, sign up for The Story Monster newsletter for weekly updates.

Leave a Reply