This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Secret Invasion.
Episode six of Marvel’s Secret Invasion breathlessly packed several bombshells about the MCU’s future into 38 action-packed minutes.
With previous episodes having killed off franchise stalwarts including Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury’s bestie Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), all bets were off as to who would make it to the finish line this time. But it wasn’t a major character death that got people talking – instead, it was the trail of breadcrumbs which set up several future projects, with The Marvels just the start of it.
Here’s everything the finale teased about what’s coming next.
The big mystery with The Marvels was that Smulders has been reported to make a return appearance as Maria Hill, leaving the door open throughout the series that her apparent fate wasn’t to be. The finale all but confirmed her return, if it does go ahead, will be confined to flashback sequences.
Samuel L. Jackson will, of course, return in The Marvels, with his final scene setting up where we’ll find him next: in deep space, working at S.A.B.E.R with the Skrulls. He’s going there to attend a peace summit, where the Kree – the Skrulls’ enemy in Captain Marvel – want to come to an agreement with the Skrulls.
As Zawe Ashton’s Kree Dar-Benn is the villain in The Marvels, it’s probably safe to assume this will all go tits up.
Captain America: Brave New World
Harrison Ford is going to be taking over the role of Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross from William Hurt, who passed away in 2022, in the next Captain America adventure. However, it’s long been announced that his character will now be the President of the United States within the universe, which left many wondering: what’s going to happen to the current guy?
President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) ended the series by declaring war on all alien life forms who exist within the US – more on that below – and ordering hit squads to take out Skrulls. Nick Fury declares this “real one-term President stuff”, a winking declaration that this dark period for Marvel will now be his downfall.
A one-term President who aimed to capture votes by playing into xenophobia? Yep, Ritson has, at the very last moment, been completely reimagined as the MCU’s Trump. Which means that Harrison Ford is, in this analogy, essentially playing Joe Biden?
He is the right age for it, to be fair.
The US government declaring war on all non-human life forms, something we’ve already seen on a smaller scale when Kamala Khan was targeted in Ms Marvel? Yes, this is more table setting for The Marvels – but more importantly, Kamala is a mutant, and this very much has shades of X-Men about it.
On the one hand, this suggests dark days ahead for the MCU as this storyline plays out. Ritson’s fear-mongering speech plays out against images of people taking to the streets to murder those they believe are Skrulls, most of which are just innocent humans slain in cold blood.
On the other, the first confirmed X-Men tie-in (unless The Marvels dives into this) will be Deadpool 3, and it’s safe to assume the tone of that will be far more comedic than what we see here.
This should, if utilised properly, have side effects beyond X-Men too. Heroes ranging from Thor to Star-Lord are now regarded as public enemy number one due to their alien blood, at least while Ritson is still in charge – will this have consequences for the likes of them before he’s removed from his post?
The episode’s standout sequence sees G’iah (Emilia Clarke) obtain the powers of the Avengers via “The Harvest”, using these to take down Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) on the battlefield.
This was also by far the most controversial sequence, with many fans complaining that making this new character the most powerful being in existence by consuming the powers of all Avengers makes the super team all but obsolete.
However, it pays off later when Agent Farnsworth (Olivia Colman) recruits G’iah for a secretive new project – we don’t see anything beyond a warehouse full of bodies in pods, with no further teases about what this means. Many fans are assuming that Farnsworth is putting together her own British Avengers team, so there’s a chance (albeit a very slim chance) that this could lead into the introduction of Captain Britain.
There are a lot of threads that will be tied up further down the line – expect what happened with Rhodey to be explored further in Armor Wars – but for now, we’re finally starting to get a clear roadmap for what comes next in Phase Five.
Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+.