Secret Invasion Could Fix Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s Biggest Failure

Nick Fury’s first solo outing may be more complicated than we thought.

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Marvel Studios’ attempts to grapple with real-world issues haven’t always paid off. Captain America: Winter Soldier turned governmental oversight into an evil secret society — and it worked, resulting in one of the best Marvel movies ever. Then, there was The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which mixed superhero antics with a half-baked refugee story that never really went anywhere. But now, the MCU has another chance to get it right, thanks to Nick Fury and Secret Invasion.

A new article in Vanity Fair provides a detailed look at the upcoming Disney+ series along with some new details about the series. Among lots of interesting information, one revelation that stands out is the reason why the Skrulls have become Marvel antagonists in the first place. After all, when we first met them in Captain Marvel, the Skrulls were the good guys. So what happened?

As Samuel L. Jackson explains, Nick Fury’s original promise to find a new home for the displaced aliens hasn’t exactly panned out. Three decades after Captain Marvel, the Skrulls are still stuck in limbo, and some of them are fed up.

“He told the Skrulls they were trying to find them a place to live,” Jackson tells Vanity Fair. “He promised them they were going to find them a planet or somewhere they could be. And that’s not going so well.”

If that sounds familiar to any MCU fans, you’re probably thinking of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The Disney+ show featured an activist group that was driven to violent attacks when they were forced out of their homes in the aftermath of the Blip. It was an interesting idea, and arguably Marvel’s best attempt to grapple with the on-the-ground ramifications of Thanos’ actions. But it didn’t amount to much.

In the end, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier devolved into a third-act battle scene — as most Marvel projects seem to do— and the nuances of this refugee metaphor fell flat. (It also didn’t help that a plotline about a raging virus allegedly had to be scrapped at the last minute due to real-world parallels.)

The Flag Smashers in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.


Fake viruses aside, with Secret Invasion, Marvel has a chance to get its refugee story right. As Vanity Fair explains, the series introduces a new Skrull named Gravik who decides to take matters into his own hand. Gravik radicalizes his fellow Skrulls and they set out to seize resources and power by any means necessary.

Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Talos (a Skrull leader from Captain Marvel who’s seemingly still on Nick Fury’s side), notes that the metaphors are obvious, comparing it to the America-USSR conflict as one example. “I think any time that you get cultures that have significant tensions between groups of people, then you can find a corollary,” he says.

But Secret Invasion isn’t the story of two superpowers in conflict. It’s the story of a small group of displaced people who have been told to wait for a solution for far too long. It’s a story that may resonate with plenty of people from all over the world who find themselves without a home and stuck in some sort of legal limbo. Hopefully, this time, Marvel sticks the landing.

Secret Invasion premieres June 21 on Disney+.

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