Marvel Studios will finally deliver its first Disney+ series of 2023, highlighting a rogue group of Skrulls that look to infiltrate and take over Earth with Nick Fury, Talos, and a hoard of others standing in their way.
With the potential for thrilling intrigue and more cameos than any MCU streaming program to date, hype for Secret Invasion is through the Multiversal roof with so many secrets still being kept in the proverbial vault.
Critics' Reactions to Secret Invasion
Following the worldwide premiere of Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, critics shared their first thoughts on the MCU's upcoming streaming show.
Insider's Eammon Jacobs enjoyed the "murky little direction" the show is taking, calling Olivia Colman the standout from the show's massive cast:
"After seeing the first two episodes of 'Secret Invasion' I really like the murky little direction it's going in. The espionage vibes are top notch (although the meandering plot does get in its own way at times). The standout for me is Olivia Colman's cheeky scene-stealing spy."
CinemaBlend's Erik Swann praised the show as "a sweet conspiracy thriller" that uses the same vibe and tone as 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, seeing the series as "Nick Fury's finest hour:"
"I've seen the first two episodes of 'Secret Invasion,' and as promised, it's a sweet conspiracy thriller that quickly proves it's the spiritual successor to 'CA: The Winter Solider.' The cast is great, and Samuel L. Jackson just shines. This could indeed be Nick Fury's finest hour.
According to ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis, Secret Invasion is "Marvel's most mature title for Disney+ yet," and he saw a maturity in the writing that understands its audience well:
"'Secret Invasion' is definitely Marvel's most mature title for Disney+ yet. The language and writing knows the audience has grown up and flashes of violence keep it feeling realistic while emphasizing the stakes. The Skrull invasion feels grounded and tense. I'm digging it."
Davis also highlighted Samuel L. Jackson's ability to "add depth and personality" to his role as Nick Fury while praising the show's "constant tension" and the stakes the story brings:
"'Secret Invaison''s first two episodes are the grounded thriller I was hoping for! Samuel L. Jackson gets to add depth & personality to Nick Fury. New cast members (especially Olivia Colman) are great. It has a constant tension and nicely character-driven stakes. I really enjoyed."
"'Secret Invasion' is an international spy thriller and one of Marvel's boldest, heaviest stories to date. Some will probably even call it the MCU's 'Andor.' The ensemble cast is stellar, and Sam Jackson gets to do vintage Sam Jackson things. I'm intrigued and eager to see more."
Gizmondo’s Germain Lussier described the series as "one of the most grounded looking and feeling" Marvel shows while also teasing "lots of huge ideas," specifically mentioning Jackson’s return as Nick Fury as a highlight:
"Enjoyed the first two episodes of 'Secret Invasion.' It’s both one of the most grounded looking and feeling MCU shows yet while also being filled with lots of huge ideas. Bit of a slow burn but great to see Samuel L. Jackson back and very excited to see where this show goes."
"'Secret Invasion' doesn't reinvent the ‘old spy pulled back for one last job’ story so much as stick it in the MCU. But at its best (based on 2 eps) the series leans into ‘Mission Impossible’ with aliens, and has a massive moment at the end of each ep that will get fans talking."
The Direct’s own Russ Milheim pointed out that the show’s "slow pace will turn off a lot of people," but praised Secret Invasion’s cast along with the "intriguing and organic MCU connections" it delivers:
"'Secret Invasion' is a solid show so far. Its slow pace will turn off a lot of people, and it won’t do much to sway anyone on the fence about the project. However, it still has a strong cast, intriguing and organic MCU connections, and an interesting exploration of Nick Fury."
Fandom's Eric Goldman also didn't enjoy the show's slow pacing in Episode 1, but noted that there was "major improvement" in the second episode along with a "pretty serious" tone overall:
"1st episode of 'Secret Invasion' isn’t great. Pacing’s very slow and it didn’t grab me. Major improvement in ep 2 with great scenes for Fury, Rhodey, and Olivia Colman’s character. Tone is pretty serious (and sometimes fairly brutal) for Marvel. By end of ep 2, I was much more sold"
The Reel Rejects' Coy Jandreau was worried that Secret Invasion wouldn't "give [him] that same peak MCU rush" as other projects, but was later convinced that it could reach the heights of Loki and WandaVision if it continues on its path:
"With how incredible 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' is, I was slightly worried 'Secret Invasion' wouldn’t be able to give me that same peak MCU rush I did NOT need to worry, if this show stays THIS good and sticks the landing it’ll be up there with 'Loki' & 'WandaVision' as peak MCU TV"
ComicBook.com's Charlie Ridgely enjoyed that Secret Invasion was "more adult oriented than other Marvel stuff," but noted that some of it felt "lackluster and a little forced" as well:
"I think 'Secret Invasion' is okay so far. I like that it is a little more adult oriented than other Marvel stuff and I’m at least interested in where the story is going, but it all feels lackluster and a little forced. Definitely not the dark spy thriller they’ve been selling."
Will Secret Invasion Win Over MCU Fans?
Considering the dark tone and feel that's been teased in the material from Secret Invasion released thus far, these reactions indicate that Marvel seems to be going in the right direction with the way the studio made this show.
And with Samuel L. Jackson's thrilling comeback as Nick Fury being combined with themes felt in movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it's almost no surprise to see that these reactions are so positive.
Taking into account how popular the Secret Invasion comic run was along with the Disney+ series' massive star-studded cast, Marvel Studios could have the recipe for a series that becomes the MCU's best streaming project to date.
The only question that remains now is whether fans will share the same reactions as the critics, particularly with this new outing largely focused on a more mature group of viewers.
Secret Invasion will bring its first episode to Disney+ on Wednesday, June 21.