Who do you trust? Marvel’s Secret Invasion is going to ask you that question over and over, keeping viewers on their toes throughout the series. This review is based solely on the first two episodes of Secret Invasion.
In the Marvel Comics run of Secret Invasion readers are left on the edge of their seat as they try to figure out who is a Skrull, and are blown away when characters it is revealed that characters have not been themselves for years. In the comic books, the storyline is kicked off when Elektra is killed during a fight and reverts to Skrull form in her death. This forces the not so friendly members of the alien race to start their uprising much sooner than anticipated. Luckily for them, they have taken over the identities of many superheroes, including several members of the Avengers team.
With the way the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently going, it didn’t make sense for them to start off this way, but they do give a little nod to it. This means that right away, even the most seasoned Marvel fan, doesn’t know what to expect. Which is what works so well with Secret Invasion. Skrulls can hide in plain sight, making it nearly impossible to know if someone is one or not. That will keep the audience on their toes the longer the show goes on.
At the start of the first episode, Nick Fury comes back to Earth from space. He reunites with Talos and quickly realizes they have a potential war on their hands. Time is running out if they want to keep World War III from breaking out, so he needs to join forces with his trusted allies in order to stop the Skrull invasion.
This means that Nick Fury is at the forefront of the series. Fans are seeing him in a much different place than we ever have before in Secret Invasion. He is a little bit broken after the events of the last several years, which is very apparent from the first couple of episodes. I predict this means a very important story arc for him this season. Fingers crossed he makes it out alive because the self sacrifice for the good of the planet is getting a bit old (and also I love Samuel L. Jackson).
Ben Mendelsohn is fantastic in everything he does, but there is something special about his role as Talos. As a comic book reader the Skrulls have never been on the top of my sympathy list but he has been able to change that.
He brings a likability and a trust factor to Talos that I thought impossible when I first learned that the shapeshifting alien race was coming to the MCU. Talos has also been through the ringer in the last few years, which is sure to effect where that takes this character in this show.
On top of a great returning cast, there are some newcomers that earn their stripes. Oliva Colman is a badass. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants — and what she wants is to stop a war from happening. She has a commanding presence in every scene she is in and proves to be a formidable on screen opponent to Samuel L. Jackson.
Emilia Clarke is another gifted actor that is making her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. Her character is being pulled in two different directions, which is clearly taking its toll on her. Which side she will end up on is anybody’s guess, but it sure is fun to watch her try to figure it out.
So far Secret Invasion is a dark and gritty, neo noir thriller, that delivers some fantastic action and great humor. It is a lot of things rolled into one, but it all works. With viewers left on the edge of their seats as they try to put it all together, it is clear that no one really knows who they can trust. That in itself is exciting and new.
The MCU’s attempt at Secret Invasion is so far one of the superior television miniseries put out by the studio. Two episodes in puts in on par with Loki and WandaVision, however with four episodes left, this could all plummet. I have faith that they will stick the landing, especially considering what we have gotten so far.
Secret Invasion starts off with a bang, immediately putting viewers on the edge of their seats as they realize they have no idea who they can trust. Just as in the comic book run, Skrulls can easily blend in, so who knows if someone is a human or a Skrull?
This series is a combination of many things. It has a neo noir, spy, vibe mixed with an action packed refugee story that has humor and heart. The thing is, that isn’t as convoluted as it might sound. It actually works. With the first two episodes both ending on jaw dropping notes, who is to say what will come next. All I know is that I am one hundred percent hooked and cannot wait to see what comes next.
WandaVision sparked a lot of theories online and I can see Secret Invasion doing the same. Let’s get the conversation started because I really, truly, do not know who I can trust.
Rating: 4 out of 5
About Secret Invasion
In Marvel Studios’ new series “Secret Invasion,” set in the present day MCU, Nick Fury learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Fury joins his allies, including Everett Ross, Maria Hill and the Skrull Talos, who has made a life for himself on Earth. Together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.