We’re a month out from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but we’re already having the next shiny Marvel thing dangled before us like keys to distract an infant. The full trailer for Secret Invasion, the Disney+ series starring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, dropped Sunday night and it looks fine. It looks about as dark and brooding as Marvel gets, it has a helluva cast including Ben Mendelsohn, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Martin Freeman, Cobie Smulders, and Don Cheadle, but I was burned by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and so I doubt Marvel’s ability to do political thrillers well at this point. 


The gist is that Fury has returned to Earth just in time to stop a Skrull invasion. Emilia Clarke is playing G’iah, the grown-up version of Talos’s daughter we briefly met in Captain Marvel. She toldVanity Fair, regarding the state of Skrull-human relations, These people promised a lot of stuff a long time ago, and not a lot has happened. So understandably, a certain amount of resentment has been built.”

So, Captain Marvel and Fury haven’t kept their promise and at least some of the Skrulls are pissed and coming for Earth. Fair enough! And it’s a good setup, especially given that we met Skrulls as friends first, they have to account for the disintegration of inter-species politics. Kingsley Ben-Adir plays the chief bad guy, a Skrull called Gravik, who leads the faction of Skrulls sick of waiting on humans to keep their word. RELATABLE.

Meanwhile, Olivia Colman plays an MI6 agent who seems kind of like Fury’s counterpart in England. Of Colman’s role, Jackson said, It’s somebody that you’ve never seen her play before. […] She’s cold-blooded and just relishes being that person.” I guess Samuel L. Jackson has never seen Fleabag because he’s describing Godmother, we’ve definitely seen Olivia Colman play a cold-blooded bitch before. 


After the slump of the last few years, Marvel is hoping to get back on track and convince everyone they’ve had a plan all along. Guardians is as close to a sure thing as you get in this industry, but will audiences buy into Secret Invasion? The Marvel shows are mostly good—Falcon is the worst of the lot to date by a significant margin—but they also don’t draw the audience the films do. “It’s all connected” hasn’t translated into consistent television viewership. I’m not sure something that looks as dark and grown-up as Secret Invasion will change that. At least until the Daredevil reboot comes along. THAT will be huge.