I said a few weeks ago that Secret Invasion finally fixes the lingering Avengers plot hole after Endgame. Secret Invasion is a Disney Plus show that addresses the Avengers in a way that fits the story. You know that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is a phone call away from calling for help, but he chooses not to. He has good reasons, too, as he’s afraid the Skrulls could replace the Avengers. And in reality, more Avengers cameos would be too expensive for Marvel.
While I said that after the show’s second episode, much has happened in Secret Invasion since. Episode 5 drops on Wednesday, and the show isn’t getting any better. The more I think about it, the more I see Avengers issues that I can’t explain. Spoilers will follow below.
Why aren’t the Avengers getting involved?
The Avengers don’t exist as a group in the MCU right now. But the superheroes that make up the team are still there. They could intervene.
I didn’t expect them to come to help Fury, especially after watching the first two episodes. Fury is right to worry that the Skrulls might overcome the Avengers in a fight and replace some of them with Skrull rebels.
Yet the Skrulls are preparing for a confrontation against the Avengers. They know it’s imminent. That’s why they’re turning themselves into Super Skrulls.
Also, let’s remember that the Avengers could intervene on their own accord without informing anyone. The Sokovia Accords are gone, and Fury has been absent.
The Avengers did keep an eye on everything that happened on Earth between Infinity War and Endgame. Sure, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) were coordinating those efforts. And they still acted as a group. But they kept tabs on everything.
Did the surviving heroes stop paying attention to the bad things happening in the world?
Wouldn’t the Avengers have reacted to rumors that Nick Fury had been involved in the bombings in Russia? That he might have killed Maria Hill?
Rather than treat us like we can’t connect the dots by showing a Skrull transform into James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Marvel could have offered us a different scene. Like Rhodes on a call telling Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) not to come to Europe, as he has things under control. And that he packed the suit. Anything to indicate some of the Avengers would rise immediately when any sort of threat would be detected.
Let’s remember that Marvel wants us to perceive Secret Invasion as a massive global event. Such an event would require more attention from the Avengers.
Why didn’t Fury ever prepare the Avengers for a secret invasion?
Fury is right to fear that some of his Avenger friends that are still standing could be replaced by Skrulls. But I find it incredibly irresponsible to be unprepared for a potential Avengers vs. Skrulls conflict. To not have considered that the aliens might decide to rebel. That they could replicate Avengers for their own good.
Fury could have put in place safeguards that would have allowed him to coordinate an Avengers response to a Skrull invasion. He clearly never considered it. That’s all the more troubling after Hydra infiltrated SHIELD. Maybe Fury isn’t the best person to lead SHIELD, the Avengers, or single-handedly battle the Skrulls.
Again, we don’t need any actual Avengers showing up. But calls from Fury to Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) would have given us a sense that Fury had a backup plan. You can’t trust Hawkeye, as he might be a Skrull. But you could have a spycraft in place to deal with the problem.
Maybe talk to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) or Wong (Benedict Wong), who could portal in to help immediately. Maybe Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) would have told you during his 30 years on Earth that Skrulls can’t copy actual powers like the ones Hulk, Strange, and Wong have. That’s how you’d know what Avenger to trust.
The Skrulls spying program might be a secret that Fury kept to himself for obvious reasons. But he must have informed others about the aliens living covertly on Earth. How else would one replace Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) in Spider-Man: Far From Home? Unless Fury pulled off that trick without actually informing Maria Hill of what he was doing.
Not to mention that the Avengers already know that the universe has aliens who can change their appearance. They’ve known since Loki (Tom Hiddleston) invaded Earth.
There’s also the big elephant in the room, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). It’s not just Fury to blame for this secret invasion. Captain Marvel also shares responsibility for some of the Skrulls becoming increasingly unhappy. At the very least, Fury could have paged Danvers again. That tool is not to be abused, but this would be another way for Marvel to convey the message that human existence might be at stake here.
Why aren’t there more Skrull-Avengers?
Don Cheadle is amazing in Secret Invasion, and he had some memorable dialogue with Fury. That is what makes the reveal that he’s a Skrull all the more interesting.
But it’s very annoying not to see Marvel tease that other Avengers might be Skrulls. Again, you don’t need the actual cameos.
Skrull-Rhodes could be talking to mysterious Skrull-Avengers, telling them that he’s dealing with Fury once and for all. And that he doesn’t need their help, but that maybe they could pretend to be busy saving a different corner of the planet from some local problem, so they’d have a good excuse for not intervening. Or for not answering Fury’s call, should the former SHIELD chief change his mind about calling in for backup.
Why aren’t people calling for the Avengers?
Given how popular the Avengers are, you don’t need Fury to assemble the heroes that are still active. The world could do it. Leaders of the countries that have gone through strange attacks covertly carried out by Skrulls could always wonder aloud why the Avengers are not helping now that they don’t have to worry about the Sokovia Accords.
Sure many of the world’s top officials are Skrulls. But not all of them. And you don’t need to be a top politician to use social media to raise awareness about a region in distress.
What I keep coming back to is the realization that Secret Invasion isn’t the massively consequential story Marvel made it out to be. It doesn’t feel like a world-ending event. And it doesn’t feel like the stakes are that high. Any world-ending event needs plenty of Avengers references. Imagine making Captain America: Civil War with just Steve Rogers and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) debating freedom in a room.
With two episodes left, I have little hope left for the TV show. But I do think that Secret Invasion might lead to a great Armor Wars story.