“Secret Invasion is off to a strong start. It is a riveting spy series with high stakes. The premiere episode definitely sets the tone for what to expect in the coming weeks.”
Marvel Studios ended its 2022 year on Disney + with the Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special, which was the epilogue to Phase 4. Phase 5 started this year with Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania followed by the conclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Now, we are moving back to Disney + with the first Marvel series of 2023 – Secret Invasion. There will be two more later this year – Loki season 2 and Echo. The first episode of Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney +, with episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackon) first appeared in Iron Man 1 when the MCU began. Since then, he appeared in several entries of the franchise but he never had his own series or movies. Though, he did play a significant role in Captain Marvel. Secret Invasion finally puts him in the foreground with Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). The series format allows Marvel to finally explore Nick Fury’s character in depth. There is so many layers to him. Thus it is the right format to continue his story. This is basically a continuation of their story from Captain Marvel.
Captain American: The Winter Soldier took inspiration from the spy genre but this series takes it a step further. In fact, it is a proper spy series. Right from the start, it sets the tone. There is a Skrull invasion on Earth and since these aliens are shapshifters there is no way to tell who is human or who is a Skrull. This creates a paranoid atmosphere which is perfect for a spy thriller.
The series premiere is serious and riveting. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you guessing. I love the inspiration they took from Cold War stories. It is the same atmosphere, you know this is a dangerous time and the heroes are doing their best to stop the coming war. The episode ends with a bang. I am still shocked by what happened and I will be thinking about this ending all day long. It doesn’t feel like a Marvel story at all. Instead, this feels like a spy story in which they included elements from the MCU. And I think it is great to have stories that break the usual mold. Marvel is such a big universe, there is room to tell different type of stories and use different genres.
Moreover, Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn had an incredible chemistry in Captain Marvel. So I am happy to see them together again. I love this dynamic duo. They are pretty much like a good cop and bad cop duo, which is fun to see. It is also always good to see other Marvel alums – Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders and Martin Freeman.
On top of that, the premiere episode introduces several new characters. Honestly, I never thought I would see Olivia Colman in the MCU. Yet, here we are. She plays Sonya Falsworth, a high-ranking MI6 agent and I think there couldn’t be a better role for her to play in this universe. The glimpse we got of her character as me so excited to see more of her and her interactions with Nick Fury! Dermot Mulroney playing the US president seems quite fitting for him! Emilia Clarke is a nice addition to the MCU as well. And from the looks of it, Kingsley Ben-Adir is going to be a compelling villain.
VISUALS & SOUNDTRACK
Furthermore, Kris Bowers delivers an ominous score that really helps building the tension. The first episode is set in Moscow. Though, you can recognize some places from London that they used to recreate the Russian capital city. Nevertheless, these are great sets for a spy series. American and British spies in Russia is exaclty like I said, this series takes inspiration from Cold War spy stories. The scenery creates this dangerous atmosphere and the cinematography keeps it grounded with neutral colors.
Finally, the opening credits are going to divide people. Indeed, the intro sequence was designed by Method Studios using A.I. (artificial intelligence), as confirmed by Polygon. A.I. art has been a topic of controversy with concerns about the rights of artists over their art but also computers taking over artists jobs. Although, I don’t support the use of A.I. to create things that human artists could make, I do understand what the showrunners wanted to do with these opening credits. It has a cubist inspiration with a distortion of reality so it makes the audience question who is that and who did that? After all, this series is about a Skrull invasion. So I think this works well.
Secret Invasion is off to a strong start. It is a riveting spy series with high stakes. The premiere episode definitely sets the tone for what to expect in the coming weeks.
The first episode of Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney Plus.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert