Today the world got a major first look at Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel movie, with an extensive breakdown of the film in an EW feature, as well as a whole gallery of photos detailing key elements of the film like Brie Larson's Captain Marvel costume, a de-aged Sam L. Jackson as Young Nick Fury, and some familiar faces from other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies making a return.
However, it was the information about Captain Marvel's storyline that may be the most interesting reveal: we now know how the film will approach Carol Danvers' story, and what kind of alien threat she will be battling. That latter point has proven to be especially important: there are now new hints that Captain Marvel will be setting up the MCU Phase 4 adaptation of the "Secret Invasion" crossover event from 2000s Marvel Comics!
"Secret Invasion" has been speculated to be a big part of MCU Phase 4 ever since first details about The Skrulls being in Captain Marvel first came to light. In the Marvel Comics storyline, it's revealed that key figures from the Marvel Universe had actually been Skrull impersonators for years, helping to destabilize and/or steer the world to a place where Marvel heroes were divided and at odds with one another (Civil War), and there was enough turmoil and lack of protection for a full Skrull armada to invade Earth, bringing a new breed of superpowered Skrull operatives along with them. Various factions of Marvel superheroes had to muster up their forces and defend key locations like NYC and Wakanda from the Skrulls - all while having to navigate suspicion of their fellow heores, as no one could be sure who was a Skrull, and who was not.
In EW's report we learn the following about the Skrull agenda on Earth, as related to Carol's return to her home planet:
"...But before long, Carol finds herself back on Earth with new questions about her past. And she’s got a formidable enemy in the form of the Skrulls — the notorious Marvel baddies made all the more dangerous by their shape-shifting abilities. Ben Mendelsohn plays their leader Talos, who spearheads a Skrull invasion of Earth."
A lot of Marvel fans heard that Captain Marvel would be adapting Marvel's iconic "Kree / Skrull War" storyline, and figured it meant Carol Danvers would start on Earth, and find herself drawn into a cosmic conflict between the Kree and Skrulls; the reveal that she will start in the cosmos and come to Earth to stop a Skrull plot, has much bigger implications for how this film will set up the next chapter of the MCU.
The long-short of it is this: no matter how the events of Captain Marvel ultimately play out, it seems like there is a massive opportunity for there to be some lingering plot threads of critical importance - specifically a reveal that Skrull operatives that Carol Danvers and Co. think they've stopped actually infiltrated the MCU, replacing one or several figures of note. That would be the kind of reveal that allows the MCU to bypass all the buildup to "Secret Invasion": by the time of Avengers: Infinity War, the Skrull operative(s) on Earth would have intel, and see enough opportunity, to make contact with the empire and begin a full scale invasion, when the "The Snap" has left Earth so defenseless. In fact, the growing evidence of Skrull invaders could be a problem the MCU heroes have to actually put on back-burner, in order save the universe. In aftermath of Avengers 4, the Skrull hunt may become priority one.
What do you think of this possible connection between Captain Marvel and the MCU "Secret Invasion?" Sound good to you, or do you have a better theory or scenario. Let us know in the comments!
Avengers: Infinity War is now available as a digital download and on Blu-ray and DVD. Ant-Man and the Wasp is now playing in theaters. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019; Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019; Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th, 2019. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been delayed indefinitely.