“On paper, it seemed like a great idea. But in reality, with only six episodes, Marvel’s Secret Invasion kind of fell flat,” says Annlyel James
The MCU’s latest Disney+ series, Secret Invasion, has now concluded. From the beginning, it was clear that this show would not be the marvelous spectacle some assumed it would be. The series’ name was based on a rather popular Marvel comic run that featured an Avengers-level threat in the form of a “secret invasion” by the shape-shifting aliens Skrulls. The comic run is one of the most beloved Marvel stories. So when Secret Invasion was announced, fans were expectedly excited.
The series instead decided to take a more grounded approach by centering the epic conflict around Nick Fury. On paper, it seemed like a great idea. But in reality, with only six episodes, the series kind of fell flat.
Because of the show’s limited runtime, the paranoia thriller that could be glimpsed through the bog of MCU mediocrity was not allowed to coalesce and shine fully. The first two episodes felt like the series was slowly snowballing into something that could’ve been regarded as spectacularly as Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The last four episodes, however, could never reach that level of storytelling.
Each episode felt shorter. Even though they were each roughly the same runtime, speeding toward a finale that, while solid, proved to be predictable and somewhat underwhelming. Despite a stacked cast and an interesting premise, Secret Invasion is the first series I feel doesn’t need to exist. What will come of these storylines? Will we see these characters again? And why weren’t the Avengers involved again?
Secret Invasion feels like a show that was created just to satiate our urge for more Marvel. It has never felt like essential (or wanted) viewing. Now, not everything about this series was negative. I loved the addition of Varra, Sonya Falsworth (now one of my favorite MCU characters,) and Gi’ah, who’s now become one of the most powerful characters in the MCU. Their roles in the series make me happy that this show exists. I just wish they could’ve been in a show that, in the long run, could’ve been more memorable.
So, that leads me back to the question of this post: is Secret Invasion a solid series or a major disappointment? The answer is clear to me: it’s disappointing. It’s disappointing that, once again, the MCU doesn’t seem to know how to format a series. I think this series would feel far more intact and impactful with at least three more episodes. Instead, we got a show that felt like it never let up once it put its foot on the pedal, speeding us to another underwhelming, definitely-rushed finale.
Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion is now streaming in its entirety on Disney Plus.
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Annlyel James is a Senior Correspondent of The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter where she channels the Force frequently!