The Skrulls are making their way in Marvel Cinematic Universe through Captain Marvel which, according to the latest news, is going to begin their Secret Invasion which could have a potential future in MCU Phase 4.
The shapeshifter and warlike alien race have set their rapacious gaze on Earth. When Captain Marvel gets to know this, she will head to Earth when they get to her homeworld, reveals EW’s cover story. According to its synopsis, Talos, the Skrull Leader, will start a Skrull Invasion(probably Secret Invasion) on Earth.
This one line caught every fan’s eye who is familiar with the comics. This event is one of the most important Skrull related stories of all time, Secret Invasion, and it can transform the whole plot for the MCU Phase 4 or the entire MCU.
Secret Invasion Explained
After the Civil War between Cap and Iron Man(with various superheroes on either side), won by Iron Man, Cap’s allies went on the run from the law and Iron Man began to establish a network of superhuman teams across the world. Due to this backdrop, Brian Bendis started writing the Secret Invasion Plot. One of the Avengers team discovers that Elektra, the leader of the Hand, had been replaced by a Skrull for years but none was aware of it unless she was found dead. There was no way, one could have realized if she was a Skrull Imposter after examining her corpse.
The Skrulls had been overtaken by religious extremists who want Earth to be their new homeworld for which they had learned how to mimic all the superpowers and how to hide detection along with magic. The Skrulls compromised the defenders of the Earth – including both S.H.I.E.L.D. and then the Avengers. Tony Stark, who, at that time, was the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. was sensing the threat but he was unable to devise a way to counter as the tagline for Secret Invasion says-“Who do you trust?”.
With the superhero community in such a chaos after the Civil War, the Skrulls speed up their plans. They used Tony Stark’s network of teams as a path to spread their influence and hence weakened his Initiative. When the invasion began, it was with crippling strikes against S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, and the Initiative. Heroes like Hank Pym and Spider-Woman was Already compromised and were revealed as a Skrull Imposter for years. The Avengers hardly defeated the invasion, but the victory came at a terrible cost.
Before this plot, many Marvel comics exploited the idea of a shapeshifting alien race, like a Skrull felling in love with the Human Torch or Wolverine was revealed as a Skrull imposter. But, when it came to Earth’s invasions, they were treated as just another race of warmongers until this. Due to this famous plot, “Secret Invasion” has become a Skrull show in the minds of comic book readers.
How Captain Marvel’s Skrulls start the arc
EW cover story explains that the Skrulls have started their invasion n Earth in Captain Marvel. Ben Mendelsohn is playing the role of Talos, the villain of the movie, and he is probably working under the S.H.I.E.L.D. as an agent. But since he has shapeshifted no one can really guess if he is a Skrull imposter. This shows that the Skrulls are starting to take down the Earth’s defenders starting from S.H.I.E.L.D. Their method of operation is similar to the one in the comics, identifying the targets and start replacing them and then run the things accordingly by taking the high command.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. in the movie is facing a worse threat as it will be their first time encountering an alien race and that too shapeshifter. They can’t even know if they are present there as S.H.I.E.L.D. will not be the only organization that is compromised(the U.S. Air Force is confirmed to play some role in Captain Marvel). The Skrulls have a history of launching attacks on Cape Canaveral in the comics, so it will not be surprising if they launch an attack on NASA too. It can be speculated that the beach in the photo can be near Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center.
Apart from all this, the basic motive of the Skrulls is same, i.e., to compromise all the defenders of Earth without letting them even know about it. This is very close to Secret Invasion concept-but what will be the future story after this?
Is Captain Marvel the Secret Invasion?
The MCU has been liberal with the adaptations of comic book storyline for the big screen. For example, take Avengers: Infinity War, where the end scene is quite similar to that of the comic-book, Infinity Gauntlet, where the Mad Titan Extinguishes half of the universe. It consists many pieces of the movie inspired from the comics like Thanos Quest and Infinity Gauntlet. So, looking at this increase in adapting comic books on the big screen, it wouldn’t surprise the fans if Captain Marvel adapts the Skrulls’ Invasion on Earth from The Secret Invasion comic.
This approach of presenting the movie has two advantages. One is that the movie can be centered at the Secret Invasion and it would be interesting to see the characters to find out whom should they trust. Also, since they have a handful of characters in Captain Marvel, so unlike the comic, the emotional impact will be to its fullest which was lacking in the comic due to the involvement of a lot of characters. Moreover, like the comics, the build up, to the Secret Invasion, will be interesting to watch.
The second advantage to keep the Secret Invasion in this movie only is to avoid repetition. If they follow up the story of Skrulls in any future movie, then it would risk becoming stale. If they do it once, then the fans will not get bored and excessively familiar with the concept of Skrulls. It will be better if they show Captain Marvel unravelling the Skrulls’ Invasion and then confront Talos at the end.
Future of Secret Invasion in Phase 4
Since Captain Marvel will introduce the Skrulls in MCU, it is possible that they use the characters in the future(maybe in MCU Phase 4), if the race is not extinct after the movie, somehow. It is possible that Marvel has long-term plans for the Skrulls.
In the synopsis for Captain Marvel, Talos is referred to as the “spearhead” of the Skrull invasion. In military terms, spearhead means the leading military unit, ahead of the main unit. So, it is possible that this invasion may be just the smaller version of the main Secret Invasion to just set up the things. In the movie, it is possible that though Captain Marvel defeats the unit sent but they didn’t stop and had already compromised many heroes, like some of the Avengers. Maybe they are running in the MCU up till now and emerge as a major part in the Avengers 5 with core Secret Invasion.
Here, Marvel needs to be careful in choosing whom to replace by a Skrull. Bendis was very cautious while replacing them in comic and it was easier to decide then as it happened after the Civil War. Imagine, for example, what if Happy Hogan comes out to be a Skrull – an alien watching the activities of Tony Stark for a decade. Could the fans re-experience the Iron Man 3 just like they did back then? The Marvel would need to choose their Skrulls wisely, keeping in mind that how audiences will reinterpret the scenes in previous movies.
It’s too soon to say for certain which path will Marvel go down on. Will the Skrull invasion be a one-and-done Secret Invasion in Captain Marvel, or will it become continue and becomes a part of MCU Phase 4, leading up to the next Avengers movie(Avengers 5)?