Marvel Studios is no stranger to grand-scale crossover events. Ever since 2012's The Avengers, ensembles have been integral to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's success in bringing fan-favorite characters together.
The MCU's crossovers have continued on a smaller scale on Disney+ with cameos like War Machine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Kingpin in Hawkeye. In only a few weeks, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will bring character combinations to new levels of excitement and hilarity by including the Hulk, Wong, and Daredevil throughout its nine episodes.
But as it turns out, these may just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of MCU crossover events, as the franchise's first show of Phase 5 appears set to bring the biggest MCU streaming event to date.
Marvel Studios Confirms Major Crossover Event
As described on the official Marvel website, Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion has officially been designated as a "crossover event series." This is the first time that an MCU Disney+ series has been officially labeled as a "crossover event," leading fans to question how many potential MCU characters or plot lines may be crossing into Secret Invasion when it premieres in Spring 2023.
The site also reported on Cobie Smulders' quotes from the show's presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, noting how she described it as "a darker show" that goes deep into each character involved. Fans will see a great deal of mystery throughout the series, which will be "a bit of a guessing game" from start to finish:
"This is a darker show. We're going to get deeper into the characters. We're going to see them in new ways, and it's going to be an exciting thriller, and you're never going to know who people are. Are they a Skrull? Are they a human? It's going to be a bit of a guessing game."
The article recapped some of the footage from Secret Invasion's exclusive trailer that played at Comic-Con, which included a conversation between Nick Fury and Maria Hill. When this show starts, he's been off-world and ignoring Hill for some time, only coming back because of how dangerous the threat is.
He's also seen talking to Colonel James Rhodes, asking War Machine "how well he knows his assigned protection" as the mood between them gets quite tense.
In the comics, "Secret Invasion" was also a crossover event on a massive scale, bringing in groups like the Avengers, the Illuminati, the Fantastic Four, and even the Thunderbolts. The graphic page's version of the storyline essentially spanned the majority of the Marvel universe, so it will be interesting to see how far-reaching the adaptation on Disney+ will be.
Given that Rhodey will be making an appearance, it stands to reason that at least a couple of other heroes could rear their heads.
Who Will Join The Secret Invasion Crossover?
With the MCU finally diving into the deep end with the Skrulls, there's no telling how big Secret Invasion could be, especially now with this new "crossover" designation.
Every Disney+ show from Marvel Studios has referenced past events and characters, some of them even bringing new major characters into the fold that will be around for the future. But considering that this is the first time Marvel has used this specific wording, it seems almost certain that some major surprises are being planned out for this show.
In the comics, Secret Invasion brings in a number of major players from across the Marvel universe as the Skrulls aim at Earth's people, which could be what this distinction is teasing. Perhaps the Marvel series will use its Skrull gimmick to bring in fan favorites only to reveal their alien identity. Another phony Captain America could rear his head by impersonating Sam Wilson, possibly showing up as an Avenger to save the day before being unmasked as an impostor.
A completely out-there idea could involve Marvel Studios using this as a way to bring back Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. Secret Invasion could introduce a Tony Stark doppelganger seemingly back from the dead, only for him to be revealed to be a Skrull ruse.
Whether any wild cameos for characters from the Infinity Saga are in store is a mystery, but it could also tease the inclusion of some other unexpected properties from across the Marvel universe.
Rumors have teased that Chloe Bennet's Daisy Johnson from Agents of SHIELD could be set to return in this story, although all parties involved have denied those reports being true for the past few months. With Fury involved, there could also be other past SHIELD characters up for potential roles, but it will be tough to predict who has the best chances for a return.
No matter who is involved or what story is told, this new Disney+ entry is being set up as a massive event.
Secret Invasion will begin streaming on Disney+ in Spring 2023.