Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe can feel a bit overwhelming or tiring with its flood of films and series. But one of its advantages is that it doesn’t just tell classic superhero stories.

So “WandaVision” was a mystery series hidden in a comedy guise. The action-packed “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier” dealt with racism. With “Secret Invasion”, Marvel is launching its first spy series on the Disney streaming service on Wednesday (June 21).

Samuel L Jackson is Nick Fury

For the first time, Samuel L. Jackson takes center stage as Nick Fury and has the opportunity to give his character, who has appeared in many Marvel films, more depth and background. “This is an opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Jackson (74) of the German Press Agency in London, “to find out what happened to Nick Fury during the blip and what his life outside of the job actually looks like. That have we’ve never seen.”

The blip refers to the erasure of numerous Marvel characters by the villain Thanos, which was only reversed years later and hit Fury hard. The man with the eye patch who once supported Iron Man and Captain America for the powerful organization S.H.I.E.L.D. committed, was previously known as a hardliner. But in “Secret Invasion,” Fury looks exhausted and self-doubts about the daunting challenge that lies ahead.

invasion from space

Skrulls want to take over the world. The aliens, who can assume any human form and even take over human memories, have already infiltrated important positions and taken the identities of various heads of government. Your goal is to provoke a war between Russia and the US and then take control in the chaos. Thanks to their ability, they are usually one step ahead of Fury.

The story originated in the 2019 film “Captain Marvel”, which takes place 30 years earlier. Back then, Fury and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) were helping the Skrulls. However, they were never able to fulfill the promise to find a new home world for the escaped aliens. Therefore, part of the Skrulls turned against humanity. Fury’s Skrull friend Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) is one of the few allies. But even Talos’ daughter (Emilia Clarke) has joined the ruthless Skrull rebels.

Known and new faces

In addition to Jackson, many well-known MCU faces can be seen in “Secret Invasion” in guest or small roles, including Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes aka War Machine and Martin Freeman as Agent Ross. In addition to “Game Of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke, newcomers include Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik, the leader of the Skrull rebels, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher McDonald and Dermot Mulroney.

Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) also makes her MCU debut as MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth. The British Oscar winner (“The Favorite – Intrigue and Madness”) is in “Secret Invasion” – as so often – above all Olivia Colman, but with a sadistic touch.

“She’s someone who enjoys a little torture,” said the 49-year-old, who describes herself as a Marvel fan, of the German Press Agency. “It’s really fun to play this role.” You can tell by Colman.

A gloomy cold

The first two episodes of “Secret Invasion” feel like a spy thriller set in the Cold War. While the alien shapeshifters are more difficult to detect than enemy agents, the themes of infiltration and conspiracy are similar. In addition, the series has a sombre coldness that one expects more from a John le Carré film adaptation than from a Marvel series.

“Secret Invasion”, which is based on the comic series of the same name from 2008, is a pleasant change from the many battles with superheroes, gods, magicians and time travel that have recently been – sometimes more, sometimes less entertaining – in the Marvel films and competitor DC.

Making Jackson’s Fury the main character of a story was overdue and is the big draw of the series. However, the global threat posed by the Skrull rebels is not noticeable enough. In terms of suspense, “Secret Invasion” has to increase a bit in the coming episodes in order to be convincing as a spy series in the long term.