Geek Review: Secret Invasion (Disney+)

This review is based on the first two episodes of Secret Invasion. 

Superhero fatigue is real and despite the lack of appetite, Marvel Studios have been churning out movies and TV shows like a 15-year-old well-oiled machine. There’s horror-toned Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, law-comedy She-Hulk and coming-of-age Ms Marvel, but no matter the genre, fans are getting tired of watching super-powered beings take centre stage.

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And if you happen to be one of those exhausted fans (or even if you’re not), you’re going to find the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series Secret Invasion a breath of fresh air because for once, we’re not following the member of an Avenger through another origin tale, or another adventure through space and time. This time, we’re behind one-time head of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury in a secret war against the Skrulls.

Samuel L. Jackson leads this six-episode, under 60-minute per episode series, and despite the daunting runtime, each episode goes by quickly and is guaranteed to surprise you. Secret Invasion takes everything you know about the MCU – the history, agents, world leaders, the Skrulls and even our revered heroes – and flips them over its head.

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You see in Secret Invasion, set in present-day MCU, Fury learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls, first seen in Captain Marvel. He, who was previously in space, returns to Earth and joins his trusted allies including Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and tries to stop the oncoming war.

Unfortunately, plans of invasion have been set in motion during Fury’s absence from Earth so allyship means nothing in the first two episodes. Trust in Fury is low – and understandably so – and with Skrulls being master shapeshifters, you never truly know if an ally is secretly a Skrull or not. Even if they were a Skrull, their political stance is unclear. They could be part of a faction of Skrulls keen on invading Earth, or they could be one of the ‘good ones’, like Talos. 

Each episode comes with at least two shocking revelations that will make you question the motivations and intentions of said characters, some of whom have been key operatives in earlier MCU films while other revelations will throw you into grief. The ones who have been around in the movies and series got us thinking even harder because why would they save Earth if their interest lies in taking over the planet anyways? Secret Invasion will keep viewers on their toes, ever questioning the next move and what or who can be trusted. 

It goes without saying that Secret Invasion is a spy-thriller series. Unlike Andor – a Star Wars spy-thriller released in September last year – Secret Invasion throws away slow-burn espionage for a much faster pace. Viewers who love the spy genre will be hooked by the series’ first six minutes thanks to a major revelation, and with adequate action scenes sprinkled throughout each episode, there is plenty of thrill to go around. 

Secret Invasion also hinges on politics, something not widely seen in the MCU so far. There are two to three opposing factions here and with friendships/allyship on the line, characters switching sides, and friends lying and turning their backs against each other – all whilst more innocent humans and Skrulls die – which makes it hard to back a side. Each faction has their own set of beliefs and values that makes sense. Of course, with Secret Invasion being a Fury-led series, we are lead to believe that Fury belongs in the ‘good guy’ faction that we root for, but we can easily empathise and understand why he’s an infamous person to the other factions, who at their core, are striving for self-preservation.

Seeing how the basis of the series is about a literal alien species looking to find a home on Earth (whether peacefully or violently), Secret Invasion takes the opportunity to relate that to real-life issues. With the story based in Russia, Fury as a Black American is immediately alien to White Russians. We get flashbacks to his backstory as a Black American being undermined and how he rose to become the Nick Fury. In simple conversations, he shares anecdotes of his childhood, reminding viewers that racial segregation in the United States was merely seven decades ago and that its effects are still felt till this day in the 21st century. Personally, we feel that Secret Invasion explores racial inequity and racism a whole lot more effectively than The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – and it’s not even the series’ main focal point! 

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Jackson’s Fury, Mendelsohn’s Talos and newcomer Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Gravik lead the series. This version of Fury is admittedly, different from ones we’ve seen in previous shows and movies. He walks with a limp, can barely see out of his one good eye and despite his pride and ego, is vulnerable and defeated. Mendelsohn’s Talos isn’t the revered and fearsome military leader he used to be either. He has shown to be kind and caring but will no longer be a lap dog to Fury in Secret Invasion. With higher stakes in Secret Invasion, Talos is unafraid to strike out on his own, even if it means destroying whatever allyship and friendship he has left with Fury.

As for Kingsley’s Gravik, he is mysterious, manipulative and hungry. As a radical leader of an organised group, he is far more calculated and respected in comparison to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Karli Morgenthau, the leader of the Flag Smashers. We’re only two episodes in and we’ve yet to find him fearsome, but as war approaches, we’re interested to see how this leader shapes up in the remaining four episodes.

Secret Invasion also introduces Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman into the MCU. The Game of Thrones actress plays Giah and while we wouldn’t want to spoil her identity and her motivations, we can say that this is not the first time she’s appeared in the MCU. In fact, she was present in Captain Marvel – we’ll leave you to connect the dots on your own. Colman plays Special Agent Sonya Falsworth, an M16 agent and friend of Fury who is ostensibly motivated to protect England’s natural security interests. Out of all the newcomers, Colman is a personal favourite. 

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The Oscar-winning actress is best known for her roles in comedy and drama, both of which she brought to Sonya, making the agent scary in an unnerving way. Colman cuts fingers off with her eyes popping, a smile on her face and speaks condescendingly in a British accent, all dressed like her The Crown character Queen Elizabeth II. She may not be a big player in the series just yet, but she makes an impact each time she does appear throughout the two episodes. 

Between the great cast and a thrilling story that keeps you on your toes, Secret Invasion is a refreshing series to come out of Marvel Studios that is not only bringing something new to the table, but also challenges our knowledge of the MCU as we know it. Amongst all of the superhero fatigue right now, this series is starting off really strong and is leading to be one of our top Marvel Disney+ series as of yet. 



We’re going to let you in on a secret, Secret Invasion shines because of its lack of focus on superheroes, making it one of the better Disney+ series thus far. A thrilling spy story on an oncoming war and a talented cast to match, Secret Invasion challenges everything you know about the MCU and its characters – even the ones we love and trust.

  • Story - 9/10
  • Direction - 9/10
  • Characterisation - 9/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 9/10