MCU

Secret Invasion’s Latest Twist Goes Back Further than We Thought

How long has Nick Fury's sneakiest enemy been working in the shadows?

Marvel Studios

Secret Invasion, like all spy series, is fuelled by the paranoia that those around us may not be who they seem. It’s exciting to think that the guy you passed on the sidewalk might have a shoe-phone and a poison-tipped umbrella, or that the friendly neighbors may actually be sleeper agents from a foreign country just waiting to be activated.

But Secret Invasion takes this one step further: what if there are people who aren’t even human? We saw one of those shocking moments in Secret Invasion Episode 4, and a new quote from Kevin Feige suggests this twist was established a long time ago.

Episode 4 began with the reveal of just who the Skrull pretending to be Priscilla Fury was talking to on the phone at the end of Episode 3. The liaison between the fake Priscilla and the Skrull rebel leader, Gravik, is none other than James Rhodes, who’d raised fan suspicions when he unceremoniously fired Nick Fury, despite them being old friends.

James Rhodes may have been a Skrull longer than you think.

Marvel Studios

But if Rhodes is a Skrull now, when did the switch happen? Speaking with Marvel.com, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said it will be interesting for fans to “understand exactly how long he’s been a Skrull.” He didn’t reveal anything explicit, but he definitely teased a further twist. “We like the idea of fans going back and watching some of the other appearances of Rhodey and realizing that that wasn't him,” Feige said.

If Rhodes has been a Skrull long enough for his past appearances to be affected, then it’s likely he’s more than just another henchman: he could be one of Gravik’s key collaborators. Actually, we should say she, as Episode 4 revealed Rhodes’ identity was taken by a female Skrull. If Rhodes has been secretly girlbossing for years, her true identity may be hiding in plain sight.

The female Skrull taking Rhodey’s place in Secret Invasion.

Marvel Studios

Back in March 2022, leaker MyTimeToShineHello claimed Emilia Clarke would play Skrull empress Veranke in Secret Invasion. We now know that’s not true, but what the leak was only wrong about the actor, not the role? What if James “War Machine” Rhodes is actually Veranke, and she’s the one who’s really pulling the strings of this invasion?

In the comics, Veranke was the leader of the Skrull invasion, and she famously spent her time masquerading as Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. With no Spider-Woman in the MCU, maybe Rhodes was the best alternative.

There are a few flaws here — the Skrull Rhodes shifts from is named Raava in the credits, and other leaks claim Veranke will actually be the villain of The Marvels. But this female Skrull could still be our first glimpse of a character far more important to the MCU than anyone has realized.

Secret Invasion is streaming on Disney+.