Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Why Secret Invasion could be Marvel’s Andor

It’s now less than a month away until the first episode of Marvel’s Secret Invasion drops on Disney+, and the marketing for it has begun in earnest. A short trailer was dropped recently, ramping up the intensity of the fight that lies ahead.

This trailer, along with the two previous ones, highlight one exciting possibility. That Secret Invasion could be Marvel’s Andor, becoming one of their best Disney+ shows. And if this is the case, it would help give the MCU some positive news, something it’s been lacking recently.

To understand this comparison, it’s necessary to give some background on Andor. Announced back in 2020, the decision to give a character from Rogue One a backstory was, at the time, roundly mocked. It was a confusing choice, and the show had to work to earn interest.

But earn interest it did. The trailers and marketing for the show won Star Wars fans over, as Tony Gilory and the rest of the crew explained that this would be a darker and more political take on the Star Wars franchise, along with intense action.

When the show was released, it did so to near universal acclaim. People praised almost every aspect of the show, the stellar performances, set design and world, its compelling and political writing, its down to earth take on Star Wars, and proving that the franchise could be successful without lightsabers.

Andor was the thunderbolt of faith that Star Wars needed, coming off the back of a mediocre Obi-Wan Kenobi and the disappointing The Book of Boba Fett. It felt like a breath of fresh air, mixing the political and spy thriller genre in a galaxy far far away.

The trailers for Secret Invasion and the context it finds itself in is very similar to Andor. While no one has called the show unnecessary like Andor, Secret Invasion has had to justify a controversial choice of its own. The Avengers were a big part of the famous comicbook storyline, yet in this adaptation they’re missing.

Fans have questioned this decision, and while the trailers for Secret Invasion haven’t answered this yet, the writers of the show have acknowledged this, and promise an answer. But just like the missing Jedi and Sith in Andor, their absence allows a look at the normal people in the MCU, and how they respond to these aliens.

Another similarity between Andor and Secret Invasion is the tone it’s going for. Secret Invasion will be a darker take on the MCU, without the sometimes overbearing quips that have become a staple. It will take a different direction, that of a serious spy thriller.

This won’t be the first time a comicbook movie adopts a different genre, Marvel have pioneered that approach since the MCU’s inception. But this is the first time they’ve leaned heavily into the spy thriller, going further than Captain America: The Winter Soldier did back in 2014.

Despite being set in a galaxy far far away, contemporary and historical political issues were explored in Andor, most obviously the building of a revolution against oppression but others included criticising the modern prison system and taking a deep dive into how oppression can be subtle. It was handled with great care, and it never felt preachy or intruded on the action.

Secret Invasion will also take a stab at contemporary political topics. Director Ali Selim said in an interview with Empire Magazine that the show has been influenced by issues like terrorism and people desperately searching for a new home after being displaced by war. It remains to be seen how well these issues are tackled, but the fact they’re there is a sign Marvel has something to say about them.

While Secret Invasion has yet to be released, it’s impossible not to comment on the calibre of those involved. Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Emilia Clarke, and Olivia Colman have all received plenty of praise for previous roles, and with good reason, as they’re amazing actors. Kyle Bradstreet serves as showrunner, and he has written and produced the highly successful show Mr. Robot. So, just like Andor, this show has top talent involved with it, which will no doubt elevate the show.

If the show gets a similar reaction to Andor, then Secret Invasion will become like the Star Wars show in another crucial way. And that’s revitalising interest in Marvel. Phase Four didn’t live up to expectations and films like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania getting poor reception. Audiences have even seen a complete shift in Marvel’s Disney+ schedule to give these shows more time. It’s no secret that Marvel is in a bad spot, just like Star Wars was before Andor.

Secret Invasion could be the show that reinvigorates faith back into the MCU, with all signs pointing to it being Marvel’s Andor.

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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