Secret Invasion’s Disney Plus series is nothing like the comics

Marvel’s latest Disney Plus series has arrived, bringing with it a world full of alien invaders who can shapeshift and take over the identities of anyone on Earth. But perhaps the biggest mystery for comic book fans on their way Secret invasion was what exactly this new series has to do with the comics it’s based on. The answer turns out: not much.

The premise of each series is the same: Skrulls, the shape-shifting aliens in the Marvel Universe, have been living among humans for years and are slowly infiltrating their government systems around the world. But the reasons for this are a bit different between mediums.

In Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Skrulls are brought to Earth as refugees, but one particularly clever Skrull decides there’s no point in being a refugee if instead you can just take over the planet you’re staying on – which, yes, kind of is a weird way to present refugees. The comics, on the other hand, are a bit crazier. The Skrulls invade because an extradimensional dictator’s hordes had destroyed hundreds of planets in their realm. They needed new worlds and they loathed humanity for its wastefulness and hubris. Also, they were generally angry about how superheroes had treated previous Skrull warriors. Like the very first Skrulls to appear in the comics were tricked into turning into cows and then had their minds erased. So a remnant of the Empire got angry and decided they should take over Earth as revenge.

As for the rest of the story, things are as different as they can be. Secret invasion is one of Marvel Comics’ massive crossover events, a massive spectacle featuring just about every team and character you can imagine. The arc spans eight issues and involves the Skrulls revealing that they have already replaced several celebrities and world leaders. All this chaos unfolds over the course of a single day, through several massive battles, until Earth’s heroes are finally victorious. But the Skrulls still succeed in their basic goal of destroying Earth’s faith in her safety and her protectors. (Yes… Secret invasion is a terribly post-9/11 series.)

While there are certainly a few details that could make for compelling and easy storyline crossover material in the MCU version of this story, major elements – from Tony Stark as one of the main characters and Reed Richards solving the problem to the huge battles involving dozens of superheroes and the dinosaurs intervening halfway through – just aren’t possible to pull over from the comics.

With that in mind, and not to spoil anything, we won’t say much about the new series, except that it doesn’t have much to do with the plots of the comic series. Instead, it’s much more grounded and serious, focusing on more of the espionage and intrigue tone of Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the Disney Plus series The falcon and the winter soldier.

But even with those differences in mind, it’s still worth reading the comic. For MCU fans, it’ll be a nice reminder of how different the comics are, as well as a nice preview of some of the heroes heading to the MCU or the possible team-ups that could happen in the future. The main sequence is short and a quick read, but there are dozens of character-specific wrap-up arcs you can jump to if you want.