2 MCU Phase 5 Failures Are Majorly Improved In Marvel Timeline Theory

The MCU’s Phase 5 was originally planned to release in a different order, and this could have solved major problems with two disappointing additions.

Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel on Tarnax in The Marvels and old Nick Fury investigating in Secret Invaison

Marvel Studios’ original release schedule for Phase 5 of the MCU could have solved problems with Secret Invasion and The Marvels, according to a new theory. In the wake of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame’s huge success, and the conclusion of the Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios hit something of a lull. Several projects in the MCU’s Phases 4 and 5 came under scrutiny, with many feeling as though the massive increase in content with the dawn of Disney+ detracted from the quality of Marvel Studios’ recent storylines. There are ways that some of these issues could have been avoided, however.

While projects such as EternalsThor: Love and Thunder and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania failed to match the success of some of the MCU’s previous installments, perhaps the two most disappointing Multiverse Saga projects were Secret Invasion and The MarvelsSecret Invasion received criticism for its writing, pacing, and visual effects, while The Marvels failed to attain a strong enough box office draw, becoming the MCU’s lowest-grossing project since the franchise began. These Phase 5 projects were certainly low-points for Marvel Studios, but their problems could have been avoided, had the MCU’s original release schedule gone ahead as planned.

The Marvels Was Supposed To Release Before Secret Invasion

Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel aiming her arm in The Marvels

Back in April 2020, Disney confirmed that The Marvels, the sequel to 2019’s hugely-successful Captain Marvel, was set to release in July 2022. While major delays pushed back most of the MCU’s Phase 5 slate, this would have seen the Captain Marvel follow-up releasing before the events of 2023’s Secret Invasion, though this release schedule was officially altered during Marvel Studios’ SDCC panel in 2022. One theory shared by GlassBeadBrain suggests that, had the original release plan come to fruition, The Marvels and Secret Invasion could have been better connected, and issues with both projects may have been negated completely.

Secret Invasion Could Have Perfectly Wrapped Up Nick Fury’s MCU Story

Nick Fury smiling at Sonya Falsworth in Secret Invason

It perhaps makes more sense story-wise for Secret Invasion and The Marvels’ events to be switched. The Marvels featured Nick Fury aboard the SABER Space Station, and saw Skrull citizens find refuge on Earth after escaping from Tarnax, while Secret Invasion saw Fury come back to Earth to deal with a rising Skrull rebellion, and President Ritson declare war on the Skrulls and extraterrestrial beings on Earth. GlassBeadBrain’s theory suggests Secret Invasion could have been Nick Fury’s “last stand” in the MCU, with his first solo project being the perfect place to bid farewell to the former Director of SHIELD.

It could also have been revealed in Secret Invasion that Nick Fury himself was, in fact, a shape-shifting Skrull in disguise. This would have provided a much bigger shock than the easily-decipherable reveal of Rhodey being a Skrull, and could have raised more serious questions about Fury’s role in previous MCU projects. The Marvels’ events led perfectly into Secret Invasion, so the complete throughline of both these Captain Marvel sequels would have made more sense had the projects released as originally planned. Secret Invasion would have been much more powerful if it had been Samuel L. Jackson’s final MCU project.

Secret Invasion Theory Would Have Made The Series More Comic-Accurate

Nick Fury about to go back to space in Secret Invasion's finale

Following on from GlassBeadBrain’s theory, lyo23 suggested another key story point that could have made Secret Invasion much more comic-accurate. If Nick Fury had been revealed to be a Skrull operative in Secret Invasion, it may have made sense for his wife to be revealed to be the Skrull Queen Veranke. In Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion storyline in 2008, Veranke was the leader of the Skrull invasion of Earth, and had been masquerading as Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman for some time. This sent ripples through the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and could have had the same impact in the MCU.

One of the biggest criticisms of Secret Invasion was that the Disney+ series veered too far away from its Marvel Comics inspiration. Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion was an all-out invasion of Earth, and included most of the characters of the Marvel Universe battling Skrull soldiers. Conversely, Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion was more subdued, leaning into themes of paranoia, and didn’t include any major MCU cameos. Nick Fury and his wife being outed as powerful Skrull leaders would have constituted the Avengers’ involvement, so Secret Invasion and The Marvels being swapped may have created a more dramatic and intense MCU storyline.

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