Marvel Studios' latest mini-series, 'Secret Invasion', might not have come with much hype, but it surely accomplishes its purpose of laying the groundwork for the franchise's upcoming plot lines.
The series marks the return of Nick Fury, who disappeared after the Titan Warlord Thanos' snap. Having failed to keep his promises and being haunted by his past, the man who once "brought together a group of remarkable people" to protect Earth is now a vulnerable old man bound by his emotions and loved ones. His job and the blip took a toll on his personal life.
Fury is no longer the hard-core tough guy he once was. He is back on Earth to save the planet from the invasion of shape-shifting humanoids, the Skrulls.
The makers have undoubtedly succeeded in giving people's favourite characters depth that the franchise hasn't really explored. 'Secret Invasion' can be a good watch for fans who are tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe' (MCU) continuous attempts to bring in references to the 'multiverse'.
It does, however, retains the conflict between Russia and the United States that has appeared in a number of the franchise's earlier films as its underlying plot. The backdrop of the series resembles 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'. However, a notable aspect of the series is the bromance between Nick Fury and Talos.
'Secret Invasion', which is the first series in the MCU's Phase 5, neatly answers certain long-standing questions, like as to what happened to the Skrulls that Captain Marvel and Fury saved. The series arrives over a year after 'She-Hulk', which had let down the franchise's fans with a weak plot and overuse of CGI. The last two episodes wrap everything up after a few episodes that appear to drag.
Samuel L Jackson shines once again as Nick Fury, along with a few remarkable performances by Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, Emilia Clarke as G'iah and Charlayne Woodard as Varra/ Priscilla Davis.
Olivia Colman stole the show as the 'devilishly good' Sonya Falsworth, an old ally of Fury. Her cheeky attitude adds appeal to the show, leaving viewers wanting more of her presence on screen. Kingsley Ben-Adir has also delivered a convincing performance as Gravik. The series also has a number of cameos and a surprising end that introduces a powerful metahuman who will be appearing in upcoming MCU projects.
'Secret Invasion' may not have metahumans in uber cool suits or visually stunning scenes, but it did alter certain long-held beliefs.
(The series is available on Disney + Hotstar)