Avengers 4 promises to be the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as fans have come to know it, but it likely won't adapt Secret Invasion. When Earth's Mightiest Heroes return, they'll have to contend with a rematch with Thanos and trying to restore the lives of half of the universe, possibly through the use of time travel via the Quantum Realm. With all of that business to attend to in their upcoming team-up, it's hard to imagine the Avengers' focus will shift to battling shapeshifting Skrulls as well.
Since the Skrulls are now part of the MCU and will debut in Captain Marvel, fans are naturally excited to see the Secret Invasion storyline adapted. After all, Civil War and Infinity Gauntlet have inspired huge MCU movies, and Secret Invasion ranks among the most popular of Marvel Comics' epic crossover events: Years ago, a group of heroes calling themselves the Illuminati, including Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Doctor Strange, invaded the Skrull homeworld. They were captured and experimented on, but before they escaped the Skrulls learned of the danger Earth's superheroes could pose to the universe. The Skrulls then mounted a secret invasion of Earth, where they captured and replaced several superheroes with Skrull doppelgangers. The Marvel Universe was destabilized and thrown asunder by suspicion and mistrust - the event's slogan was "Who Do You Trust?" - as anyone could have been revealed as a Skrull. The results were S.H.I.E.L.D. being disbanded, taken over by Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin), and revamped as H.A.M.M.E.R., which lead into the Dark Reign storyline.
Secret Invasion would certainly be an amazing plot for a movie and the seeds are already there for it to happen in the MCU, but here's why Avengers 4 is not the place to tell this epic tale.
- This Page: Avengers 4 Is Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, Not Secret Invasion
- Page 2: The Problems With Secret Invasion In The MCU
Secret Invasion Is Set Up In Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel will introduce the Skrulls into the MCU, and as a prequel is assumed to be establishing a bigger picture; the main story of Carol Danvers' solo film takes place around 1995-1996, with flashbacks to her life in the 1970s and 1980s. It will turn out that the Skrulls are already on Earth during this era, with a Skrull leader named Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. at the highest level. This could itself be the setup for the MCU to do a Secret Invasion-type story.
However, while there's sure to be a shapeshifting reveal, Captain Marvel's got its hands full with another part of Skrull history. Since story details were first announced, it's been clear the film will be adapting elements from another seminal Marvel epic from the 1980s Avengers comics, The Kree-Skrull War. The most likely outcome would be bits of Secret Invasion becoming part of the fabric of Captain Marvel but not being a full-blown adaptation - which could still come later. But even if some Skrulls do end remaining on Earth after Captain Marvel and into the present day (or vow a return), that doesn't mean Secret Invasion will happen in Avengers 4 either.
Avengers 4 Is Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2, Not Secret Invasion
It's now clear that Avengers: Infinity War is really a two-part story. This was evident from their initial announcement as a Part 1/Part 2 pairing, but a subsequent name change (to hide the shocking ending of Part 1) led many to suspect that the still-untitled Avengers 4 would be about something else other than Thanos. Given the Captain Marvel setup of the Skrulls, one of the most popular theories was that it would play with Secret Invasion.
This notion has stuck around even after Avengers: Infinity War's ending left audiences on a massive cliffhanger, but simply doesn't work. Avengers 4's premise is, on paper, simple: the survivors must beat Thanos and undo the catastrophe he caused. That's the story, with any surprise turns expected to be within the Infinity parameters. Considering the number of elements already in play along with the promise of ending the 22 film cycle of the MCU, there's simply no logic or space to include a Secret Invasion take - it's more full than Captain Marvel.
However, much of that expectation comes from thinking in the short term. Just because Avengers 4 is Infinity War - Part 2 doesn't mean there won't be more opportunities in the MCU's future...
Page 2 of 2: The Problems With Secret Invasion In The MCU
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019