What Are Marvel’s Secret Wars and Secret Invasion? (Pt. I)

Over the years, big secrets and surprise reveals have become the name of the marketing game for Marvel. Twice a year at big conventions, Marvel fans are given information bit by bit and only until the movies or TV shows premiere do we ever get the full (partial) picture.

Now, after more titles have been revealed for Phases 5 and 6, many MCU fans might be asking: What is Marvel’s Secret Wars? And what about Secret Invasion? Why all the secrets?!

Well, search no further. The answers are just Beyonder this sentence.

As always, any MCU speculation about unreleased projects is unconfirmed.

What is Marvel Secret Invasion?

Before we get to what will likely be the largest cinematic climax in the MCU yet, let’s begin with Secret Invasion. Unlike MCU chronology, the Secret Invasion books occurred in 2008, long after Secret Wars was published in 1984. Well, unless we’re talking about the Secret Wars of 2015. Confused yet? Don’t worry! Even Doctor Doom and Reed Richards were lost at first. Keep reading.

Skrull Speed Ahead

Basically, Secret Invasion is all about an alien race called the Skrulls invading Earth — except this invasion has been going on for quite a while, undetected. Turns out the shapeshifting Skrulls had been under our heroes’ noses all along!

Within the MCU, Skrulls first appeared in Captain Marvel (2019). In both live action and the comics, Skrulls are shapeshifting aliens who have a historic feud with the Kree — the other alien race featured alongside Carol Danvers in her cinematic debut. These two races have always been bitter rivals. So, when it comes to the six-episode Secret Invasion TV series, what can we expect to see?

Definitely more S.H.I.E.L.D.-based action, since Nick Fury and Maria Hill are confirmed to return, as well as characters like Talos, Rhodey, and Agent Ross. Because of the heavy Skrull and Kree influence already present in the MCU, some have speculated that the Young Avenger Teddy Altman, a Kree-Skrull hybrid and future emperor of these galactic civilizations, might also make his on-screen debut.

Skrulls in the MCU vs Skrulls in Marvel comics

The idea that our world could be so easily invaded without us ever knowing is pretty terrifying. Especially if we expect super heroes to protect us! In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we’re given our first on-screen Skrull reveal when Nick Fury and Maria Hill are actually Talos and Soren, Skrull secret agents working for the real Fury.

And that right there is already a huge difference in the Skrulls of the comics versus the Skrulls of the MCU. Whereas Skrulls are depicted as a nefarious alien race on the page, longtime enemies of the Fantastic Four and willing to kill any hero who gets in their way, live-action Skrulls aren’t introduced this way. Instead, the Skrulls who we first meet in Captain Marvel are misunderstood refugees. As with any community, nothing is clear cut. There’s good, there’s bad, and everything in between.

Only time will tell how an invasion takes root in the MCU when Talos and Soren have proven themselves to be trusted allies to Fury and the rest of our heroes. After all, there’s a whole galaxy out there. Skrulls can be dangerous like Veranke and Pagon, multifaceted like Super-Skrull and R’kll, or heroic like Khn’nr and Teddy.

Is there a Secret Invasion and Thunderbolts connection?

Kevin Feige has stated the scope of the series won’t quite be as far-reaching as its comics counterpart. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lasting impact on the MCU after Secret Invasion. In the comics, the Skrulls begin their infiltration following the events of Civil War and House of M, a time when the world’s super hero defenses are at an all-time low. Their invasion sows plenty of discord among the world’s super hero teams and factions, as well as expanding the space factor with characters like Abigail Brand.

It’s been hinted that the Secret Invasion series deals with events during the Blip, so the Skrulls will again be taking advantage of a lack of super heroes. Plus, one of the first Skrulls to be discovered in the comics is impersonating Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Back in the MCU, Valentina has been actively recruiting Yelena Belova, U.S. Agent, and others, presumably for the Thunderbolts. Could Secret Invasion further develop this antihero team? The Thunderbolts roster has included Baron Zemo, Winter Soldier, Taskmaster, and even Norman Osborn. Currently, the comics team features Spectrum (Monica Rambeau), Hawkeye, and America Chavez.

What is Marvel Secret Wars?

In a Multiversal-sized nutshell, Marvel’s Secret Wars are battles fought by numerous super hero teams and solo figures, sometimes alongside their villains, in a desperate attempt to save (or conquer) reality as we know it. If that sounds like a big deal you’d be right. The scale of the Secret Wars events goes outside the known universe and extends to beyond reality itself. That’s all thanks to a mysterious, all-powerful entity known as the Beyonder.

Essentially, the heroes and villains must find a way to unite when the fabric of reality is put in danger. Everyone from the Avengers and the Fantastic Four to Spider-Man, Doctor Doom, and the X-Men are present. There’s mind-bending science, hidden desires, and so much double crossing you’ll be ready to duke it out on Battleworld yourself.

For a deeper dive into both of Marvel’s Secret Wars events, plus some predictions for how it might look in the MCU, check out Part II right here!

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