Marvel's Secret Invasion #3 may hold clues to Disney Plus' upcoming adaptation

Secret Invasion #3 art
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

As the MCU heads towards an invasion of Skrulls in its Disney Plus streaming adaptation of the classic 2008 story Secret Invasion, Marvel Comics is undergoing a new Secret Invasion of its own - and the story ideas the new Secret Invasion presents may be a clue as to how the concept may be adapted to the MCU.

January 4's Secret Invasion #3 from writer Ryan North, artists Francesco Mobili and Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Joe Caramagna follows up on last issue's revelation that multiple Skrulls were hiding in the Avengers - and that Maria Hill's Skrull-seeking team didn't actually catch them all - with some shocking revelations about Iron Man and his relationship with Skrulls that could be a glimpse at how the shapeshifting aliens and their invasion of Earth will be presented in the Disney Plus series.

Spoilers ahead for Secret Invasion #3.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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Secret Invasion #3 picks up where Secret Invasion #2 left off, with the revelation that not only is Tony Stark of the Avengers a Skrull, there are actually multiple Skrulls impersonating him. Following the Stark-Skrull's evasion of Maria Hill's Skrull finding machine last issue, Stark actually calls Maria Hill to his lab, where he reveals his secret - and it's not what readers were likely expecting, to say nothing of Hill herself.

What's actually going on, according to the 'real' Tony Stark, is that years ago, after Secret Invasion, Stark began hiring Skrull refugees to impersonate him, quickly learning that many Skrulls want peace with Earth, but are driven to war by the military-industrial complex of the Skrull Empire - meaning that many Skrulls are potentially very powerful allies.

In the years since, Tony confesses, there have been numerous Skrulls who have operated as Iron Man alongside him with his full consent and blessing, allowing him to be in multiple places at once. They were able to escape Hill's detection through the use of subcutaneous packs of Tony's own actual human blood hidden under their skin, which was drawn when Hill took blood samples meant to detect the hidden Skrulls.

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Yes, this means that some previous Iron Man appearances can now be retconned as actually being Skrulls, but according to the story it's always been the real Tony Stark in major moments in his own solo title and alongside the Avengers (and no specific retcons are made here).

Is that all true? Well, Maria Hill is not buying it at first - until she manages to surprise Tony and get a blood sample from his tongue (where no blood pack could be hidden), proving he's human, and that his words are seemingly true.

But Hill isn't having it, and as Stark tries to explain that he wants to help stop a new invasion by militant Skrulls, she seems to gun them all down as he looks on in horror - and that's where the issue ends.

The big takeaway here might just be the similarity between Stark's employment of Skrulls to be in multiple places at once, and Nick Fury's similar use of Skrull agents in the MCU as seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

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Considering that Captain Marvel, which introduced the Skrulls to the MCU in the first place, established that nearly the entire population of Skrulls we've met so far are peaceful refugees without any apparent designs on conquest, there may be something to the idea of multiple factions of Skrulls in the upcoming Secret Invasion streaming series, as a way to maintain the innocence of the friendly Skrulls we've met so far and a potentially villainous group of the shapeshifters who are trying to invade Earth. 

It's also possible that Nick Fury may be employing more Skrulls than just his friends Soren and Talos to keep check on any malevolent that may have infiltrated corridors of power on Earth.

Secret Invasion #4 goes on sale February 8. Secret Invasion the streaming series does not have a debut date yet.

The original Secret Invasion is one of the best Marvel events of all time.

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)