Marvel Studios' first Disney+ show of 2023 and its eighth live-action series overall has a whole lot going for it, bringing fans back to the streaming world for the first time since The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in November 2022.
The MCU has seen mixed results in its Disney+ shows with WandaVision, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and everything in between, but Secret Invasion is already building anticipation thanks to its story and its cast.
Could Secret Invasion Set New MCU Disney+ Standard?
With all that being said, it's time to look at a few reasons why Secret Invasion could wind up being the best MCU series to debut on Disney+ to date.
Secret Invasion Boasts Superstar Cast
While the MCU is known for having the top stars in all of Hollywood to drive its shows and movies, Secret Invasion takes that status to a level never seen in any Disney+ show before.
Leading the way is Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, who boasts the longest current run of any actor in the MCU, teaming up with Ben Mendelsohn as Talos. But while these two give Secret Invasion plenty of firepower, they're far from the only recognizable names on the call sheet.
Emmy-nominee Emilia Clarke will take her talents from Game of Thrones to the MCU as G'iah, Talos' own daughter, while Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman makes her MCU debut by playing MI6 Agent Sonya Falsworth.
These actors boast a combined 23 Emmy nominations (including four wins) and five Oscar nominations (including one win), making this cast the most decorated set of actors to ever join forces in an MCU Disney+ show.
Just based on acting talent alone, the stage is set for Secret Invasion to boast some memorable MCU performances from top to bottom.
Secret Invasion Comic Run Brings the Heat
As fans have seen in movies inspired by epic comic book runs, such as Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, the Secret Invasion run from Marvel Comics gives this series a true chance to shine on Disney+.
In the June 2008-January 2009 comic storyline, written by Brian Michael Bendis, Skrulls invaded Earth by shapeshifting into some of the most popular Marvel characters in existence, all in an attempt to claim Earth as a new home. But for the human residents on Earth, they are unaware of the Skrulls' existence until it is far too late.
The Skrulls spend years replacing powerful leaders and politicians (a plot point already rumored to be included in the Disney+ series), allowing them to take over the world's infrastructure from the inside. And safe to say, Earth is ill-equipped to fight back once the alien invaders plant their stake in the highest outlets possible.
This led to major repercussions across the entire Marvel Comics universe for years following the event, which could well be replicated in the MCU if the show plays its cards right.
The MCU's Secret Invasion has a chance to show just how long the Skrulls have been on Earth by the time the series starts, with many fans waiting to see which of their favorite characters will be revealed as imposters.
Clearly, the potential ramifications for this series are catastrophic.
The MCU Tackles Spy Thriller Themes
While the MCU has done a top-notch job with its more cosmic stories (Thor) and its magical/Multiversal adventures (Doctor Strange), the franchise is always at the top of its game when it focuses on ground-level heroes and plotlines.
After all, fans still look at a movie like Captain America: The Winter Soldier as one of Marvel Studios' greatest accomplishments, if not its greatest ever.
Why is that? The story becomes a full-blown political thriller as Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff learn that they can't trust anybody within SHIELD, which was revealed to have been infiltrated by HYDRA over 70 years prior.
The intrigue and the real-world implications that come from projects like this always seem to bring viewers in more than the other-worldly plot threads, setting things down to Earth and bringing a new level of intensity.
Secret Invasion will bring those same grounded stakes with Fury and Talos always looking over their shoulders for who could be sneaking around looking like one of their closest companions.
And with six episodes centered full-time on these themes of secrecy, mystery, and intrigue, Marvel has a real shot to deliver something with emotion and consequences through the MCU's Skrull invasion.
Isolated Story With Sparce Cosmic Teases
Just as it does with thriller-style themes, the MCU usually plays out well when dealing with more isolated stories that are contained and kept fairly separate from the greater MCU.
Because of the severity of the Skrull invasion, Nick Fury and Talos won't have any mental capacity to deal with anything else in the wider Marvel landscape as the aliens take over the world's infrastructure.
But the very nature of this show, along with the history of the MCU, still means that Secret Invasion will be intricately woven into the fabric of the larger MCU storyline.
Fury and Talos will reunite for the first time after Fury's efforts in space from Spider-Man: Far From Home, tying into the cosmic side of the Marvel universe even though the plot of this series will likely take place exclusively on the MCU's home planet.
But looking at the MCU's future, it will also play an important role in setting up 2023's final theatrical movie, The Marvels, with a chance that the Skrulls could even play a role in that sequel in the same way they did for the first movie.
Speaking of that first movie, Emilia Clarke's G'iah will also provide a tie back to 2019's Captain Marvel as she reunites with her father, Talos, with the pair tackling much more adult challenges as a rogue sect of Skrulls assert their power on Earth.
Additionally, Monica Rambeau had an important post-credits moment in Episode 9 of WandaVision with an unknown Skrull, tying the MCU's first Disney+ show in with both this new one and Teyonah Parris' first big-screen outing.
And while Secret Invasion is sure to keep fans on a singular path and focus on the Skrull invasion, there are sure to be a fair share of greater MCU connections.
Potential For Epic MCU Cameos
Due to the Skrulls' ability to shapeshift into anybody that they see, and given the way the rogue group of aliens is set to infiltrate Earth, many fans are hoping to see some of the MCU's biggest names replicated and simmed in Secret Invasion.
Looking at that idea realistically, it seems a bit far-fetched to expect heavy hitters like Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) or Chris Evans (Steve Rogers) to come back, although there could be other big names on the table.
Considering how the series will dive into many of the government's biggest secrets, SHIELD personalities like Natasha Romanoff or Clint Barton could be faces that the Skrulls go after to help gain access to certain information.
There's also a chance that some fan-favorite characters from years past could be revealed as imposters that have been on Earth for a long time, with many believing Don Cheadle's War Machine or Martin Freeman's Everett Ross to be options in that regard.
Additionally, many still have hopes that Chloe Bennet will reprise her role as Daisy Johnson from Agents of SHIELD in the series, as she was a big part of the Secret Invasion story from the comics. And while Bennet has repeatedly denied being involved with the show, there's no way to definitively count her out.
And while it will all depend on the MCU actors' schedules and how much money Marvel was willing to shell out for cameos, the chance to see some of these stars be used in the Skrull War is too good of an opportunity not to think about.
Characters and Story Above Action/VFX
More so than almost any Disney+ show in the MCU to date, Secret Invasion looks to focus on other storytelling devices in the MCU apart from action sequences and VFX-heavy special effects.
Of course, the series won't be completely devoid of VFX altogether, as fans have already seen numerous instances of Skrulls shapeshifting into Earth's natives in their quest for planetary domination. There have even been some new powers in trailers that will appear in the MCU for the very first time.
But at its core, Secret Invasion will look to focus on character development and a grounded, real-world story - very much the same way other MCU projects like the Captain America trilogy did.
Nick Fury will finally get to take a leading role in the MCU after 15 years as a supporting character, naturally leading to a more down-to-Earth story as he uses his spy knowledge to find out the truth about the Skrulls.
And while superpowers are what allow the Skrulls to change appearances, the core plot thread will focus on deciphering who's on which side of the battle and learning why each side is doing what they're doing.
For even as good as the MCU is at telling fantastical stories, this diversion for Secret Invasion will only help it to be one of the best stories Marvel Studios has ever told.
Secret Invasion will debut on Disney+ on Wednesday, June 21.