How has immigration influenced Secret Invasion?

By Kieran Burt
Published: July 27, 2023 (Last updated: August 1, 2023)
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How has immigration influenced Secret Invasion

How has immigration influenced Secret Invasion? We discuss how this political topic and others have influenced the creation of Marvel Studio’s latest Disney+ show. 

Secret Invasion has now finished on Disney+ and brings Gravik’s revolt to a close. And with it, it left the MCU in a changed and more precarious state than it’s ever been in before, with people more scared of Skrulls and each other than ever before.

It’s also a very politically charged project, sitting with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. Director Ali Selim has acknowledged this political angle. In an interview with Empire Magazine, he said the show would explore “Who is a terrorist and why are they a terrorist?”

How has immigration influenced Secret Invasion?

One issue that has certainly influenced Marvel’s Secret Invasion is immigration. The Skrulls being asylum seekers from a war-torn planet arriving on Earth makes them literal illegal aliens, paralleling real-life asylum seekers here on Earth. A lot of them are also fleeing from war, but not all. Though both Skrulls and real-life migrants are looking for a better life.

Talos’ speech in the second episode drives this point home most pointedly. He talks about people scattered across the galaxy just looking for a new home after someone else destroyed theirs, but only finding violence and hatred. This mirrors the struggles that many immigrants go through, encountering vitriol and hatred as they try and find a new home.

Another way this immigration narrative is reflected in the show is through cultural assimilation. This is where immigrants move to a new country and are pushed to accept its culture and traditions over the ones that the migrant came with. It’s a hot-button political topic and is often seen in opposition to multiculturalism, which advocates for the tolerance of different cultures.

Talos believes in cultural assimilation, arguing to G’iah that because they’ve lost their planet, they have to make cultural concessions to their host because the Skrulls depend on them for a planet. But G’iah rightfully points out this means living in someone else’s skin, eating food that isn’t theirs, and, in general, living a lie.

This assimilation and multiculturalism debate doesn’t have an easy answer, and Secret Invasion doesn’t give one either.

How have negative views of immigration influenced Secret Invasion?

Of course, not everyone on Earth is supportive of immigration. Some people advocate that immigration, especially unchecked immigration, could lead to a rise in terrorist attacks because, according to this view, it’s difficult to tell the terrorists apart from the people who are genuinely seeking refuge.

Secret Invasion tackles this head-on. Skrulls are by nature impossible to tell from normal humans because they can shapeshift into whoever they want whenever they want. This led to a rise of terrorist attacks in the MCU, with Gravik and his revolutionaries setting off bombs in town squares, hijacking submarines, and even attacking the President of the United States.

A belief in this view on immigration can lead to what happens at the end of Secret Invasion. In his declaration of a closed Earth and an aggressive hunt for aliens, President Ritson doesn’t differentiate between good Skrulls and bad Skrulls; he instead pushes a policy that labels all aliens as evil. He doesn’t seem to know that one of the very aliens gave his life to save him.

This only serves to spread paranoia and chaos across the MCU as the public decides to attack anyone who looks suspicious and might be a Skrull. It’s something that’s seen here, as politicians label immigrants with one brush, it causes paranoia, and that group receives a rise in hate crimes. It only destabilizes society and causes more division.

How has 9/11 influenced Secret Invasion?

Sticking with Ritson’s speech, it sounds like it was inspired by George Bush when he said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This became associated with the War on Terror, something that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are widely regarded as failures.

Ritson is giving this speech not long after Skrull terrorists attacked him and declared war on aliens. While not as abstract as the War on Terror, the war on aliens will lead to a similar loss of innocent lives. Already hit squads in the MCU have killed people in the hope of finding a Skrull. Before this war ends, it will likely claim many more lives, human and Skrull alike.

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