In the world of comics, Nick Fury made his debut as the leader of a group of soldiers called the Howling Commandos. Now, in the latest Disney+ series titled “Secret Invasion,” the renowned SHIELD chief, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, takes center stage in a thrilling game of Marvel-supporting-character Bingo. His mission? To foil the plot of shapeshifting Skrulls, whose cinematic origins trace back to the “Captain Marvel” movies.
This Marvel/Disney+ series presents a unique blend of genres, offering an exciting combination of “Mission: Impossible” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The Skrulls’ ability to mimic others creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, where trust becomes an elusive commodity.
Joining Jackson, the series introduces impressive new faces such as Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”), Oscar winner Olivia Colman, and Kingsley Ben-Adir as the Skrull leader determined to conquer the world, declaring to his followers, “Earth will be our home. Because I will take it.”
While Fury played a significant role in “Captain Marvel,” Jackson has been content with his occasional appearances in the Marvel universe, assembling the Avengers and providing support while bolstering his Guinness Book of World Records resume (enhanced by his roles in the “Star Wars” prequels) with a string of blockbuster hits that have collectively earned billions of dollars.
Here, Jackson seizes the opportunity to delve deeper into his character, unintentionally echoing the latest Indiana Jones film. In both cases, the protagonist faces doubts regarding his suitability for Earth-saving action, despite his credentials as a warrior, especially given Fury’s “post-blip” condition.
Under the guidance of showrunner Kyle Bradstreet (known for his work on “Mr. Robot”), “Secret Invasion” reunites Fury with SHIELD agents Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), as well as the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). Together, they strive to identify and thwart the Skrull threat, which involves sowing chaos through acts of terrorism and destabilization worldwide. Don Cheadle also joins the fray as James Rhodes/War Machine, bringing the series close to Avengers territory in the opening episodes.
In contrast to the lighter tone of previous Marvel series on Disney+, “Secret Invasion” embraces a darker premise with high stakes established early on. There’s a palpable strain of ’50s paranoia inherent in the nature of the enemy, explaining why the show unfolds more like a Cold War espionage tale than a traditional superhero adventure—at least initially.
Ultimately, the standout feature of “Secret Invasion” lies in its ability to provide a more extensive platform for Jackson to showcase his quick-witted and fierce portrayal of Fury. The series thrives on the simple pleasure of witnessing his commanding presence—a testament to the advantage of having an actor of his caliber within the Marvel universe.
“This is my war,” Fury declares when there’s a suggestion of calling in reinforcements.
Undoubtedly, he’s the right person to lead the fight, although the success of their battle plan remains to be seen, even after the opening salvo.
“Secret Invasion” premieres on June 21st, exclusively on Disney+.