First look - Marvel's Secret Invasion returns for a sequel ahead of the MCU event

Secret Invasion #1 art
Secret Invasion #1 art (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The hit 2008 Marvel Comics event Secret Invasion is being adapted into a Disney Plus streaming series debuting in 2023, and Marvel Comics is seizing the opportunity for a bit of synergy with an all-new Secret Invasion comic book series.

And now Newsarama has new first look at pages from the debut issue, seen below.

Secret Invasion #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Ryan North told IGN in the series' original announcement in February that it's a sequel, but also its own thing.

"It's a sequel in that it takes place in the same Marvel Universe as the first one and everyone in the story remembers the first one happening, but it's more of a standalone story because they've all learned from that adventure and aren't interested in seeing it go the same way twice, where they almost lose the Earth to alien invaders," North said. "You don't have to have any of the 2008 series to enjoy this, of course – the book tells you all you need to know – but if you have, there's a few little callbacks you'll catch."

In the original Secret Invasion, the shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls had secretly infiltrated human society - and even superhuman society - in an attempt to take over the world. In Secret Invasion the sequel, well…. Marvel and North aren't really saying what it's about just yet. When asked if it'll have the same formula of Skrull sleeper agents masquerading as heroes, North was tight-lipped.

Secret Invasion #1 variant cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"Is saying 'yes' spoiling the surprise? Is saying 'no' spoiling it?" North answered. "How about this: there will be surprises, but not in the way you expect. So really, all I'm saying is expect surprising surprises."

That being said, Giuseppe Camuncoli's cover for Secret Invasion #1 clearly shows Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Echo, the new Starbrand, and Thor being revealed to be Skrull doppelgangers. We understand artistic license with covers, but maybe there are some Skrulls in the midst of the Marvel superheroes.

Part of the thrill of the original Secret Invasion was the surprise of 'who do you trust?', so it seems Marvel Comics is trying to replicate that sense of uncertainty here. 

And in a way, it seems Marvel Studios is doing the same with the MCU Secret Invasion, as Skrulls have been recast as more amenable and friendly to our heroes than in comics ... or are they?

North is working on Marvel Comics' Secret Invasion with artist Francesco Mobili, who has done a series of one-off issues of X-Men, Daredevil, and Absolute Carnage, and colorist Jordie Bellaire. Check out new, colored pages from Secret Invasion #1 along with two uncolored previously released pages. 

As you can see, this new Secret Invasion comic, like the upcoming streaming series, will star Nick Fury (Jr.) and Maria Hill.

Secret Invasion #1 variant cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

In fact, Secret Invasion will be more of a Maria Hill story than a Fury story.

"This is really Maria's story," North said. "I see her as this really competent, really clever woman who's great at her job, which just happens to sometimes be protecting Earth from shape-shifting alien invaders. What interested me is seeing how an alien invasion story would play out if A) Earth knew what the Skrulls had done before, and B) and used the time since then to prepare. So it's less of an 'Avenger VS Avenger' story and more of an exploration of how even the best, most-funded systems can still fail under unexpected load, and because of basic human nature. 

"That said, there are definitely Avengers punching Avengers in this, so let's say it's the best of both worlds: an exciting story of intrigue and collapse, and cool fights with cool heroes."

The five-issue Secret Invasion series debuts November 2.

Secret Invasion reading order: How to read the crossover comic ahead of the new MCU show

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)