Sunday, April 21, 2024
Culture

Secret Invasion: A MARVELous Maze of Deception

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Marvel Studios’ SECRET INVASION, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Des Willie. © 2023 MARVEL.

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Emilia Clarke, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Olivia Colman, Ben Mendelsohn, and Don Cheadle

Where to Watch: Disney+

Release Date: Streaming June 21st

Season(s): 1

Synopsis: Secret Invasion is set in the present-day MCU; Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Fury joins his allies, including Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and the Skrull Talos, who have made a life for himself on Earth. Together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity. 

Marvel’s Secret Invasion has been one of the most anticipated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it’s finally here! With Samuel L. Jackson in the lead, after watching the first two episodes, I can say that this show is a thrilling addition to the MCU. So far, it lives up to all its hype.

In Secret Invasion, we follow Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the former head of S.H.I.E.L.D., his longtime ally Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and a group of superheroes as they combat the Skrulls, a race of shapeshifters who have infiltrated Earth. The show is set post-Avengers: Endgame and focuses on the aftermath of The Blip, which brought back the half of humanity that disappeared after Thanos’ infamous snap. The show does an excellent job of addressing the implications of The Blip on society, Nick Fury’s absence, and the MCU as a whole.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Rebel Skrull leader Gravik in Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

One of the biggest strengths of Secret Invasion is the powerhouse cast led by Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson delivers a captivating performance as Fury, perfectly capturing his gruff demeanor and sharp wit, but there is something different about Fury this time around. We see a softer side to him as he reconnects with old friends and makes new allies while addressing a familiar foe who poses a considerable threat to himself and humankind. It’s no surprise that Jackson’s presence brings depth and gravitas to the series, and audiences will be glad to see him take center stage in this action-packed adventure.

The supporting cast of Secret Invasion is equally impressive. Ben Mendelsohn returns as Talos, the Skrull who previously appeared in Captain Marvel. Mendelsohn brings humor and heart to the character; his dynamic with Jackson is a show highlight. Additionally, the show features a strong lineup of female characters, including Emilia Clarke (new addition to the MCU as G’iah) and Olivia Colman as MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth. Sonya is one of my favorite characters in the series because of her ruthlessness. Her confident presence is intimidating because she knows her way around pretty much any situation. Female characters play significant roles in this series as they help drive the story forward while handling their own personal missions.

Kingsley Ben-Adir plays Gravik, leader of the rebel Skrulls, and boy is he a formidable opponent. His mercilessness is shown early on as he is willing to destroy anyone or anything to achieve his goal. His expressionless demeanor makes him even more feared because you can’t actually tell what he’s thinking or, better yet, if he has anything to lose. I look forward to seeing how his character will impact the story. 

Olivia Colman as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth in Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

The plot of Secret Invasion is complex and multi-layered, but it’s executed with precision and finesse. The show keenly explores themes of identity and trust…fitting for a story about shapeshifters. Plenty of plot twists and turns will keep audiences guessing. The series draws from various Marvel Comics storylines, but manages to create its own identity and direction. While the show does have connections to the larger MCU, it can be enjoyed as a standalone story and, yes, it does make mention of why the superheroes we all love and know are not heavily involved early.

The Secret Invasion action scenes are top-notch and provide plenty of excitement. Director Ali Selim uses inventive camera work and editing techniques to showcase high-quality fight sequences and weapon usage. The show balances spectacle and character-driven drama, which is a winning formula for any superhero tale. Seeing a series with this level of scale on the small screen is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Rebel Skrull leader Gravik in Marvel Studios’ SECRET INVASION, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

The series also benefits from high quality production with impressive visual effects and set pieces that boast a more than healthy budget. There’s no poor CGI here! The attention to detail with costumes and makeup is also commendable as the Skrulls seamlessly blend in with human characters.

Ultimately, Secret Invasion (outside of its slow start in the first episode) is a thrilling and satisfying addition to the MCU that lives up to all its hype so far, if not exceeding it. Samuel L. Jackson delivers a standout performance as Nick Fury, while the supporting cast is equally impressive. The plot is well-executed and explores themes of identity and trust that will resonate with audiences. Marvel fans and newcomers alike will find plenty to enjoy in this bold and ambitious series. Secret Invasion firmly cements Marvel’s dominance on both the big and small screen and sets the stage for what’s to come in the MCU. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself on Disney+ starting June 21st.

Dapper Dr Feel

Felipe Patterson aka Dapper Dr. Feel, #BlackLoveConvo & Entertainment | @fdapperdr Dapper Dr. Feel is a Entertainment journalist and member of the Critics Choice Association and African American Film Association.

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