Nerd Rant

Secret Invasion on Disney+ could be Marvel's actual biggest crossover ever

Brian Michael Bendis' massive comic book storyline could be the next plot to drive the MCU. It should be on TV.

Disney/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock

Right now, in the shadowy edges of Marvel fandom on Twitter, there is a rumor circulating that one of the new Marvel TV shows coming to Disney+ will be Secret Invasion. I rarely say this about unsubstantiated online chatter, but just once, I'll say it: I sincerely hope the rumor is true.

On Tuesday, Marvel fan scoopers Thomas Polito, and Vicky Deplege of The Cinema Spot, with confirmation by known MCU leaker Charles Murphy, reported that Marvel is developing even more of its comic books for Disney+. The titles include Ironheart, Young Avengers, and Secret Invasion, the last of which was previously reported by Bleeding Cool in January 2020.

Another popular Marvel leaker, Daniel Richtman (known on Twitter by his handle, @DanielRPK) wrote on his Patreon that the Secret Invasion series will lead into Captain Marvel 2 (currently scheduled for July 8, 2022). The series will also have some important elements laid in place by WandaVision.

When there's smoke there's fire, and in this rare instance of online Marvel rumors, there's more smoke than a southern barbecue. It's safe to say that the Marvel Studios offices might actually be cooking up a Secret Invasion series for the Disney streaming service, and it's a project that's been underway even before a pandemic put a pause on Hollywood.

What is Secret Invasion?

Secret Invasion is a 2008 Marvel Comics storyline from Brian Michael Bendis. It's all about the shape-shifting alien Skrulls and their infiltration of Earth as Skrulls replace some of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style. The drama of the comic was the difficulty in figuring out who to trust when anyone could be an alien in disguise.

2019's Captain Marvel brought Skrulls into the MCU. In the post-credits of Spider-Man: Far From Home, they began their "invasion" on a rather humorous note (apparently with the consent of Nick Fury, for reasons yet to be revealed). As the last movie in Marvel's "Phase Three," Far From Home set up Secret Invasion as the next over-arching story to be told over multiple movies, much like the "Infinity Saga," itself an adaptation of the 1992 comic book epic The Infinity Gauntlet.

Cover of Marvel's 'Secret Invasion' trade paperback collection.Marvel Comics

Does anyone want an MCU Secret Invasion?

Fresh of Avengers: Endgame, are audiences keen for another over-arching story in movies?

Phase Four, which begins with the delayed stand-alone feature Black Widow, looks like a reset for Marvel Studios. It's a smart move in the aftermath of Endgame, a movie so impossibly big it took an actual eleven years to build the kind of buzz it got one year ago. Without any immediate need to set up future movies, Phase Four should forget about finding new (metaphorical) Infinity Stones and instead focus on telling singular, character-driven stories.

That's how the MCU won over audiences in the first place, and that's how it can win them over again in 2020. Then again, maybe there's a way to tell a big story like Secret Invasion without overwhelming fans with another massive movie.

Why Secret Invasion rules (for TV)

Secret Invasion is still a solid story to adapt, which is why concentrating it into a Disney+ series isn't just plausible, but ideal. While it's unknown who would star in the series and who it might revolve around (besides maybe the Skrulls), the show could be the chance for some of the most familiar faces in the MCU to make one-off guest appearances.

Those whose characters are still active in the MCU, like Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), and Elisabeth Olsen (Wanda) could make guest appearances when their characters show up and turn out to be Skrulls in disguise. We could even see new characters coming to the MCU, like Shang-Chi, Kamala Khan, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk also appear in Secret Invasion and be/not be Skrulls.

As a limited series, there are wide-open possibilities for Secret Invasion that a single event movie does not have. While Secret Invasion could still be the story for Phases Four, Five, and Six — imagine all the fan blogs predicting who is actually a Skrull with every big movie release — there's definitely something bigger on the horizon. But this time, it might actually be on Disney+.