The Marvels faces major challenges after the disappointing performance of a Phase 5 project in the MCU, but it will introduce new heroes and a family dynamic. The debut of Zawe Ashton’s villain and the return of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury add excitement, but the association with Secret Invasion could be a hindrance. The Marvels can overcome the Secret Invasion problem by explaining its elements separately and focusing on its own storyline to break free from the shadow of the low-rated series.

After the disappointing performance of one Phase 5 project in the MCU, Marvel Studios’ upcoming The Marvels has some major challenges to overcome. As the sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, The Marvels will mark the return of Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, but she won’t be working solo in her new space-faring adventure. WandaVision’s Teyonah Parris and Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani will be joining her as new MCU heroes Monica Rambeau, a.k.a. Photon, and Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, respectively. While The Marvels will introduce a new team and family dynamic to the MCU, the Phase 5 film also acts as a sequel to one of the MCU’s lowest-rated installments.

Not only will The Marvels mark the debut of Zawe Ashton’s villain Dar-Benn, who entangles Captain Marvel, Photon, and Ms. Marvel’s similar light-based abilities, but The Marvels cast also features the return of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. The former Director of SHIELD is one of the MCU’s longest-running characters, and The Marvels will see him back in action aboard the SABER Space Station and introducing Kamala Khan to wider world of the MCU. Nick Fury’s story, and the adventure that started in Captain Marvel, was expanded on in Phase 5 and will develop further in The Marvels, but this will only make The Marvels’ job even more challenging.

Related: How To Watch the Marvel Movies In Order (By Release Date & In Order Of MCU Timeline Events)

The Marvels Will Build On Secret Invasion (But Who Cares?)

After waiting a decade-and-a-half, Nick Fury’s backstory was finally developed in 2023’s Secret Invasion on Disney+, and this six-part series will directly inform the events of The Marvels. Unfortunately, this could be a hindrance to the upcoming Phase 5 film, as Secret Invasion became one of the MCU’s lowest-rated projects, with criticisms aimed at the show’s slow pace, writing, and visual effects, particularly in the series’ finale. Fury’s involvement in The Marvels, and the appearance of Skrull characters in trailers for The Marvels, suggests that Secret Invasion‘s storyline will have a direct impact on the film. However, this could pose a major problem for The Marvels.

The Marvels association with Secret Invasion could lower audience excitement for the upcoming film even before it releases, which may damage the box office performance of the Phase 5 film. Captain Marvel managed to gross over $1 billion at the box office in 2019, but it seems this may be an impossibility for The Marvels. Several elements of The Marvels are expected to be directly related to Secret Invasion and the storylines that unfolded in the series, but since there wasn’t a strong audience viewership for Secret Invasion, and the series received mixed responses, it’s possible that some may not understand some aspects of the plot of The Marvels unless the movie is careful in its handling of Fury’s recent history.

How The Marvels Can Get Around Its Secret Invasion Problem

Despite continuing storylines from the low-rated Secret Invasion, The Marvels could still recover from the series’ disappointing reception. Rather than relying on interconnectivity between Secret Invasion and The Marvels, the upcoming film can explain each of the series’ elements separately and concisely, while also having The Marvels’ own storyline unfold. Nick Fury’s future, the Skrulls’ return, the development of the Kree-Skrull War, and the impact of Gravik’s actions on Earth will all surely be explored in The Marvels, but this should be done without spending too much time referencing Secret Invasion, allowing The Marvels to break out of Secret Invasion’s​​​​​​​ shadow.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 MCU’s The Marvels has a big challenge to overcome.  Read More