WARNING: The following contains full spoilers for the superhero team-up movie The Marvels, now in theaters.
The Marvels was such a fun and breezy time, and the closing scene and mid-credits sequence served up such provocative twists, that it didn’t really hit me until I was leaving the theater that….
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Wow, this Captain Marvel sequel totally and completely ignored the events of TV’s Secret Invasion series, which was to some degree a Captain Marvel follow-up itself. But there’s a valid, if not good, likely explanation for that.
Captain Marvel in 2019 introduced us to not just Brie Larson’s titular Carol Danvers but also the Skrulls, a shapeshifting adversary of the Kree. That film ended with Carol setting out to find a new home for the displaced Skrulls — or, at least for Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his family/their immediate community.
The big in Disney+’s Secret Invasion revolved around the fact that, though Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) had similarly vowed, decades ago, to make sure the Skrulls got that new home, he ultimately flaked out (and since the Blip had been laying low at the S.A.B.E.R. space station).
I don’t wish to rehash the mediocre Secret Invasion much further, but the fact is that the list of things that it did that should have been acknowledged in The Marvels and yet weren’t is long. Like, oddly long.
Secret Invasion spoilers ahead….
👽 Skrulls frustrated that Carol, Fury et al failed to hook them up with longterm digs? Nope! In fact, the only Skrulls we saw in The Marvels were happily residing on the planet Tarmax — until the Kree revolutionary Dar-Benn decided to steal their atmosphere, after which Valkyrie offered them three hots-and-a-cot in New Asgard.
👽 The death of Talos, a revered onetime Skrull general? Never mentioned.
👽 The fact that Talos’ daughter, G’iah (Emilia Clarke), wound up turned into a “Super Skrull” boasting the powers of numerous heroes/villains — including the ultra-mighty Captain Marvel herself? Nope! (Boy, could she have come in handy when battling Dar-Benn and later powering up Monica!)
👽 Fury’s longtime secret Skrull wife Varra (Charlayne Woodard), who made a point of joining her long-MIA husband on S.A.B.E.R. at the end of Secret Invasion? Never saw her, never heard mention of her.
👽 U.S. President Ritson’s (Dermot Mulroney) bill that designated “all off-world-born species as enemy combatants”? Seems like that would have been a not-so-fine how-do-you do to the Skrulls that Valkyrie so casually shuttled to New Asgard, here on Earth! (Speaking of New Asgard, Secret Invasion‘s Talos and Gravik probably would have loved to know that it was an option.)
The reason for all of these conspicuous disconnects is quite possibly because The Marvels was, for a long while there, supposed to come out before Secret Invasion. A Captain Marvel sequel was announced in July 2019; Secret Invasion, in December 2020. Development on what would be titled The Marvels began mere weeks after Secret Invasion was announced, and the big-screen sequel began filming in July 2021. The Marvels has had five different release dates, the first three of which — 7/8/22, 11/11/22 and 2/17/23 — all pre-dated Secret Invasion‘s June 21, 2023 release.
So it’s logical that The Marvels considered itself set before Secret Invasion… and yet, that still leaves continuity issues all over the place. If beautiful New Asgard was already home to a Skrull community, what exactly was Gravik’s beef? Also, where was Talos in all of this? This is where I speculate that The Marvels‘ character of Skrull Emperor Dro’ge, whose casting (Gary Lewis) was not announced until very recently, was originally meant to be Talos.
When one then stops to think of the script changes that Secret Invasion itself had to blow through upon realizing it would come out first, the hot mess of a production that THR reported on makes a lot more sense. We can only imagine what had to be heaped onto a cutting room floor.
Could you not help but notice the utter lack of continuity between Secret Invasion and The Marvels?
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