This should’ve been a slam dunk. If you look at the widespread disappointment over how “Secret Invasion” ultimately turned out, chances are you’ll be able to pinpoint the common thread between all the negative reactions. When you factor in the potential of the comic book series of the same name authored by legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, the crucial Skrull backstory established by 2019’s “Captain Marvel,” and the tangible hunger to see Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury finally step out of the shadows and into the spotlight that the actor so richly deserved, it feels undeniable: there’s no way this should’ve been anything but another smash hit.
Instead, what we’re left with is a series that managed to waste every ounce of potential that it ever had.
Once touted by eager fans as the second coming of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and even Marvel’s answer to the grounded, grown-up action of “Andor” (seriously, people said this and now that narrative’s being clowned on ruthlessly), “Secret Invasion” ended up a politic thriller that somehow forgot to include any actual political intrigue throughout its wheel-spinning story. Unable to refute the perception that a blockbuster event film had been downgraded to a toothless streaming series, the plot constantly strained to justify six hours worth of material while juggling a threat that should’ve amounted to truly global (or universal) stakes.
And as much as the series struggled to explore the inner life of Nick Fury before completely losing him in the shuffle (he doesn’t even get a final showdown with the villainous Skrull Gravik, whose entire motivation was revenge against Fury!), the ultimate conclusion it draws with the Skrulls — refugees who only ever wanted a new home — basically condones xenophobia.
In short, “Secret Invasion” was a disaster.