Out of all of the announcements presented at the Studio Showcase, Day 2: Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Studios from D23, one of our personal favourites was Secret Invasion, Marvel Studios’ 6-episode “event series” airing sometime in early 2023. Based on the popular 2008-09 comic storyline of the same name, the series follows a group of rebel Skrulls, the shapeshifting alien race first introduced in 2019’s Captain Marvel and have since appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home, WandaVision and Loki (Season 1) and are set to appear in The Marvels, led by Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Gravik as they infiltrate all aspects of life on Earth. But we aren’t really here to talk about the show as a whole, but rather more specifically its interesting place in the MCU timeline – let’s dive in!
The most confusing piece of information regarding the series’ timeline placement is that of a quote by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige when speaking at Disney Upfront 2022. He stated that the series will take place “during The Blip”, implying the 5-year gap between Thanos’ “Snap” in Spring 2018 seen in Avengers: Infinity War and Smart Hulk’s “Bip” in October 2023 seen in Avengers: Endgame. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear how this is actually possible outside of a retcon, since both Nick Fury and Maria Hill were “Snapped” in the Infinity War post-credits scene, both of whom can be seen in the Secret Invasion Official Trailer. It could be argued that Hill is being impersonated by Soren, Talos’ wife, just as we saw in the Far From Home mid-credits scene, but that argument doesn’t exactly hold up when applied to Nick Fury, as both men can be seen at 0:53 in the trailer walking through an alleyway.
Next up is a flag spotted by @sinvasionnews on the set of the series being filmed at The Piece Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire which mentions the Russian National Unity Day which occurs on November 4th. This is extremely helpful as we do not only have a 5-year time period in which the series can take place, but also a specific month. It’s also important to note at this point that the series could elapse several months given the sheer scale of the story being told, so the November 4th date may only be for a short runtime, but given the explosion we see happen in the trailer taking place at a Unity Day celebration, we can expect a sizeable action scene to take place on that day.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the most helpful pieces of information came from a leaked The National Reporter newspaper front page from the set of the series, which includes various headlines referencing possible real-world events which help place this series on the MCU timeline. First up, there is a reference made to “Wildfires in Australia”. The closest and most prominent wildfires in the country to happen following Spring 2018 would be the Australian bushfires of June 2019 – May 2020, which devastated many parts of the country and began a series of seemingly never-ending disasters which would plague the start of the 2020s. Given the previous National Unity Day evidence, we can surmise that the series will in part take place during November 2019 as it is bang smack right in the middle of the date range we have just been given. At this point, you may be convinced, since we not only have a month but also a year, both backed by in-universe evidence. If not, however, we still have evidence to hopefully win you over.
The headline right next to that one mentions “Blackouts in Europe” which happen often but given our previous estimates we can liken it to the blackouts in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region of south-west France which left 140,000 people without power for nine hours on November 3rd, 2019 and ran into November 4th with 55,000 people still without power. Next to that is a headline which reads “Stock Market Plunges”, which could be a possible reference to when the stock market plunged on November 29th, 2019. Next, in the bottom right corner of the page is a headline which reads “Majority of voters back tax rise in aid of NHS”, a reference to the General election 2019 polling and NHS perceptions report released by Ipsos MORI Public Affairs in November 2019. The exact information can be found in the section entitled “3.3 Funding for the NHS” on pages 9-10. Finally, the last piece of information cementing the estimated timeline placement comes in the form of the banner headline at the bottom of the page which reads “President Ritson in London for Emergency Talks”, a possible reference to the NATO Summit London 2019 which took place from December 3rd – 4th, 2019.
And there you have it! Our proposed timeline placement of Secret Invasion is that it will take place primarily in November – December 2019, placing it between the end of the Avengers: Endgame prologue and the start of the main events of that film. Do you disagree? Have any other thoughts about when this or other upcoming MCU projects could take place? Leave a comment below or tag us on Twitter!
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Just a heads-up, the person who tweeted the “during the Blip” thing, later clarified Feige actually said that “it will explore the events that occurred during “The Blip””.