First Impressions: Secret InvasionThe Dark Herald
Usual disclaimer, this is not a review. I will not do a proper review of Secret Invasion until after the series wraps. I have had to institute this rule specifically because of Marvel TV shows. They usually start off acceptable or in the case of Moon Knight, even good. They stumble badly in the second episode and by the third, yep, it’s a Marvel show.
In this case, I don’t need to worry about that as much because this one already sucks.
Ironman came out in 2008, at the very end of the credits was a brilliant little tack-on where Nick Fury introduces himself to Tony Stark. Samual L. Jackson had just turned 60.
At the time Jackson was the epitome of “black don’t crack.” He was still the super cool guy from Pulp Fiction with a wallet that literally read, “Bad Mother Fucker.” Sure, a man who just turned 60 isn’t a man who just turned 40* but so long as he still looked and sounded like Samual L Jackson, the magic of film could take care of the rest. It looked like brilliant casting.
In 2008 it was assumed that Jackson would be headlining A Nick Fury Agent of Something soonish.
It’s 2023 and Jackson is now 74. He’s aged out of the role and that is all there is to it. Or at least he’s too old to be Nick Fury, Supercool Guy. He’s the perfect age for Nick Fury, Brokendown Hasbeen. And it is pretty obvious that this is what they are going with. This show still has Victoria Alonso credited as an Executive Producer, so I’m pretty sure a strong woman is going to be putting him in his place and making him stay in his lane soon.
This is one of those Marvel shows where everyone goes into a room and talks. That is pretty much what happened for most of this episode. Fury did get blamed for getting turned into dust, and also for not being around when his character was setting up orbital defenses. Which given how often the Earth has been invaded in this timeline, you’d think it was kind of a priority.
So, the fading star is one issue.
The other is the writing.
Secret Invasion is fundamentally an Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind of story. That hasn’t been done for a while so in theory it has potential. But this is 2023 and it’s Marvel production. The potential will not be reached because this kind of story will require very intelligent writing in order to pull it off, this is absolutely not going to happen. Even assuming the scribblers assigned to this have a brain to share between them, the Disney/Marvel method of production involves getting a shit-ton of notes from pretty much everyone. You can not have an intelligent script under these circumstances.
This was handily demonstrated in the first episode. Here’s the Skrulls plan. First, because they are immune to radiation (just roll with it, it’s a comic book story), they have been hiding in “secret nuclear power plants.” How do you keep a power plant secret? Don’t linger on that bit of idiocy because there is more coming in. The Skrull plan is to set off a “dirty” bomb, thus triggering a nuclear war which the Skrull won’t mind because they are immune to radiation but it probably will bother them a little if they personally get blown up if they are anywhere that a fucking atom bomb falls. Also, these secret agents know all about so all they have to do to defeat the plan is to tell their governments. “Hey, if a dirty bomb goes off it’s an alien plot. Just FYI.” After that, they can concentrate on finding the bomb in question but the worst-case scenario is reduced to losing a city. That is still pretty bad but it’s not a full nuclear war, and let’s face it the Marvel timeline is one where the human race has been suffering mass casualties on the regular since 2012. The human race is kinda used to it.
Nick Fury is hiding out in Russia at the moment…
Just to be clear, Nick Fury as portrayed by Samual L. Jackson has gone to ground in fishbelly white Russia. Yeah, he won’t stand out there at all.
But honestly, that is the least of this show’s problems. The continuity editor clearly, gave up, went home, and got drunk. The continuity errors are a constant stream in this thing. So again, we have the problem of, the writing needs to be intelligent and it just isn’t.
Agent Hill who has been with Marvel since 2012 is killed at the end of this episode by a Skrull shape shifted to be Nick Fury. Forgive me for stating the obvious but this is lazy as hell. If you know you are going to be fighting a shapeshifting enemy then you would for damn sure make certain there was a way to identify the real you. I admit nothing is entirely foolproof but they haven’t tried anything.
This is going to be a long six weeks but at least it’s not Rings of Power.
Okay, I’m done here.
*I can’t believe there was a time where I thought I was too old when I turned 40.