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Marvel’s Secret Invasion Explained: Who Do You Trust?

Marvel’s Secret Invasion reveals that Skrulls have been living among us for years. Here’s who you can, and can’t, trust in the Marvel series, plus major MCU theories.

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Secret Invasion is arguably one of the best runs in Marvel comic books – so much so that it is being brought to life as a Disney+ series. Pegged as a “buddy comedy” featuring Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), this show is likely to take a lot from the comics as it is clear that Skrulls are impersonating MCU characters. During the Spider-Man: Far From Home end credit, fans witness just how easy it is for them to fool us when we learn that the entire film Talos has been pretending to be Nick Fury (although with Fury’s permission).

In the Marvel comic book run of Secret Invasion, it turns out that Skrulls have been hiding among humans for years — decades even. Shockingly enough, they have taken the form of many of the heroes we know and trust. While some Skrulls are good, many have evil intentions as they plan to infiltrate and destroy the Avengers from the inside.

So, who can you trust? Let’s detail what happens during the Secret Invasion story line in Marvel comics, as well as theories on how things can and will play out in the MCU.

marvel's secret invasion explained Elektra

Marvel’s Secret Invasion Explained

Secret Invasion all starts with Elektra. The Avengers are dumbfounded after a battle with the Hand when Echo (who has already been introduced to the MCU) kills Elektra by stabbing her in the heart. Since when a Skrull is killed, they revert to their alien form, Elektra shapeshifts back to a Skrull, shocking everyone. 

The biggest issue here is that the Skrulls were able to defeat and replace Elektra, and no one knew about it for quite some time. It is shortly revealed that the Skrulls had planned to takeover Earth by replacing superhumans and infiltrating teams. However, they were forced to start this process sooner than anticipated as they were left with no choice after the Elektra decoy was killed. It is now that the Skrull Empire launched with full-scale invasion.

marvel's secret invasion explained

Which Marvel Characters Are Secretly Skrulls?

Elektra is the first to be discovered, but there were many other Skrulls hiding in plain sight amongst the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and a lot of them will surprise you. Black Bolt, who recently appeared in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is on that list. He reveals himself shortly after Elektra’s death as his hand was forced into attacking the other members of the Illuminati. 

Spider-Woman is replaced by the Skrull Queen, Veranke. The invasion was her plan as she hoped to make Earth the new Skrull homeworld. Veranke manipulated the New Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, infiltrating each of these groups successfully, as well as pitting heroes against each other over the Superhuman Registration Act.

Someone the Avengers trust with their deepest secrets, their butler Jarvis, is also on the list of replaced characters. Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, returned from the dead during the Civil War storyline and was welcomed back with open arms. Turns out, he was actually a Skrull. However, he turns on the Skrulls, ultimately taking many of them out.

The Wasp is used as a Skrull weapon by none other than Hank Pym, who is also actually a Skrull. He gives her a new growth formula that causes her to give off a deadly energy that nearly kills many people. Thor is forced to send her into the Microverse to stop it.

Mockingbird, Clint Barton’s wife, is also on the list of those who were impersonated, as is X-Men member Longshot. Perhaps one of the most shocking reveals of them all is Brother Voodoo, who was discovered to be a Skrull so that they could infiltrate Wakanda, as he is a close friend of T’Challa’s.

Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, who is currently creating the Thunderbolts team in the MCU, is also a Skrull imposter, along with Dum Dum Dugan.

marvel's secret invasion explained

Secret Invasion MCU Theory

It is highly unlikely that the MCU’s Secret Invasion will introduce a plethora of new characters, so we can assume many of the Skrulls in hiding that are discovered are characters we have known for a while now. Will there be a handful of new characters? Probably. However chances are we will not be seeing Spider-Woman step into this show only to be replaced as the Skrull Queen Veranke. 

Emilia Clarke‘s role in Secret Invasion has not yet been revealed, but it is likely that she will be playing Veranke. The question is, which MCU established character was she pretending to be? Could be Maria Hill due to her deep connection with Nick Fury, but there are several possibilities. 

Elektra is another important role in the Secret Invasion story line that will probably be replaced. Of course, this means another MCU character would die, in order to reveal that they have been a Skrull all along. 

When it comes to the Disney+ series, considering it is taking inspiration from the comic book run, we can assume there will be a lot of shocking reveals detailing who has been a Skrull — and likely for shocking lengths of times. This means we can expect to re-visit some key moments in films past, showing how and when the Skrulls infiltrated and replaced key characters. 

This is also a way that deceased characters could be brought back into the fold. If their corpses were not seen (because then they would have reverted to Skrull form) they could have been captured and could still be alive. The problem will be trying to convince the world to trust them after what their Skrull impersonator does. 

Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine is a current key character in the MCU. Not only is she putting together the Thunderbolts team, but she was seen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever having taken over as Director of the C.I.A. If she is indeed a Skrull, this could have some major implications on where the MCU goes from here.

In Marvel comics, the people lose faith in the Avengers, which allows Norman Osborn to take advantage of the situation and rise to power (bring back Willem Defoe, please).

marvel's secret invasion explained

What This Could Mean For The Future Of The MCU

The Secret Invasion story line launched in Marvel comics after Civil War, and is followed up by Dark Reign.

In Dark Reign Norman Osborn rises to power and leads a team of “Dark Avengers”, who are essentially the more villainous versions of the Avengers.

The initial line-up consists of former Thunderbolts members and new recruits, including the Sentry, Ares, Noh-Varr (now Captain Marvel) as well as disguised super-villains Moonstone (portraying Ms. Marvel), Venom (Mac Gargan portraying Spider-Man), Bullseye (portraying Hawkeye), and Wolverine’s disgruntled son Daken taking on the Wolverine mantle. 

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D23 EXPO 2022 – Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, David Harbour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jake Scheier, Kevin Feige (President, Marvel Studios)

In the comic books, the Thunderbolts were the initial team that shifts into the Dark Avengers after changing around a few members. Thunderbolts is confirmed to be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and recently shifted from a Disney+ series to a film.

Because of this, it wouldn’t be a far stretch of the imagination to predict that the Thunderbolts become this team of Dark Avengers, that rise to power after the Secret Invasion debacle.

MCU Thunderbolts team members include Yelena Belova, Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier, Red Guardian, Ghost, Taskmaster, and John Walker/U.S. Agent. With Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine attached to them as well, it feels like the Thunderbolts are going to be key players coming out of Secret Invasion.

While this might not be exactly how things play out, it could certainly open the door for a new villain to rise to power. The current Phase is titled the Kang Dynasty, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for another villain. If not Norman Osborn, we wouldn’t be mad at Doctor Doom coming in.

NEXT: Monica Rambeau: Need To Know & Marvel Comic Book Suggestions

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About Secret Invasion

“Secret Invasion” is a newly announced series heading to Disney+ that stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos—characters who first met in “Captain Marvel.” The crossover event series showcases a faction of shape-shifting Skrulls who have been infiltrating Earth for years.

Secret Invasion is coming to Disney+ in Spring 2023.