When Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige announced that the Captain Marvel origin film is going to be set in the ‘90s and involve Carol Danvers fighting Skrulls, we were surprised and left with a number of burning questions. Where was Carol during the Battle of New York or Ultron’s attack? Also, waiiaminute—did you say Skrulls?
Though the internet nearly lost its mind the moment that the word “Skrull” passed Feige’s lips, we’ve actually known for quite some time now that the shapeshifting aliens are some of the characters that Marvel and Fox have agreed to share with one another, much like Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Captain Marvel’s plot, Feige later said, will involve elements of the Kree/Skrull War, meaning that we can probably expect to see Carol zipping around in space, punching holes through ships with her fists, and frying aliens.
In specifically introducing the Skrulls, though, Marvel’s opened the door to a new possibility for future films—Secret Invasion. In the comics, Secret Invasion told the story of how, after the Kree/Skrull War, Marvel’s Illuminati—a team consisting of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Professor X, Namor, and Reed Richards—travels to the Skrull homeworld with a warning to stay away from Earth. The Illuminati’s attack ends with them being captured, tortured, and pumped for information about Earth’s heroes.
The Illuminati are eventually able to escape, but not before the Skrulls use their newly-aquired intel to hatch a plan new invasion plan. Rather than simply showing up and trying to take over the world by force, the Skrulls begin to methodically pick off various Avengers and agents within SHIELD and replace them with Skrulls, who use their shapeshifting abilities to mimic the humans’ appearances and abilities.
Eventually, Marvel’s heroes are torn apart as they begin to realize that their ranks have been infiltrated by Skrull imposters, and much of Secret Invasion revolves around characters trying to figure out who’s a Skrull and who isn’t. Now that the Skrulls are going to become a known quantity within Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, it’s a lot easier to make the case for a Secret Invasion plotline kicking off as some part of Marvel’s Phase Four.
We already know that the fourth Avengers movie, despite being filmed back to back with Infinity War, isn’t going to just be Infinity War Part 2. It may very well be that when Carol finally meets up with the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, she might inadvertently end up bringing a hoard of shapeshifting imposters along with her.
The question, then, is: of the MCU characters we’ve already seen, which one of them might be a Skrull is disguise? My money’s on Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan.