If the first episode of Kyle Bradstreet’s Secret Invasion has taught us anything, it’s to trust no one. With shocking Skrull reveals and even more shocking deaths, the six-episode series got off to a flying start as a loose adaptation of the 2008 comic series and a long-awaited standalone story for Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
Hopefully taking some of the secrets out of Secret Invasion, fans are hoping to find out more about Nicholas J. Fury. It took the Marvel Cinematic Universe 11 years to tell us how Fury ended up with his signature eyepatch in Captain Marvel, and with a convenient 30-year gap between that adventure and the events of Secret Invasion, there are plenty of gaps to fill in – even with him being a pile of dust for five of them.
The Tragic Past of Nick Fury
Fans already have a tragic theory that Fury’s ties to the villainous Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) will reveal his past and give the stoic Avengers assembler a typically heartbreaking MCU backstory. Besides a throwaway mention in Captain Marvel that his mother used to simply call him Fury, Nick Fury’s past and relationships have been shrouded in mystery. In all those years of espionage and saving the world, did Nick Fury find time to settle down with a family, and does he have a son we still don’t know about?
This dark Secret Invasion theory suggests that Gravik’s human form is that of Nick Fury’s late son. The ages definitely match up that Gravik’s guise could be Fury’s son, while it would also explain why Fury stopped short of shooting the sketchy Skrull at the end of Episode 1. Considering Gravik had just gunned down Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) as one of the only people we’ve seen Fury get close to, the fact he hesitated pulling the trigger is particularly off-brand. The episode also proved that Skrulls don’t necessarily need to have captured someone to take their form – see Gravik killing Hill as Fury.
Picture the scene where Fury’s son was killed in action, and with the Skrulls having 30 years of history with Nick, the likes of Gravik know all his darkest secrets. Considering Fury’s covert background, there isn’t much to go off, although the Secret Invasion trailer offers up some more clues. Viewers have been left confused at why the grave of Nick Fury appears, especially as it’s completely different to the one he was given after faking his death in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Some thought a pensive shot of graveside Fury in the trailers was him visiting a departed loved one, although other footage confirmed it’s the grave of Col. Nicholas J. Fury. Going into tinfoil territory, it just so happens Nick Fury Jr. was his son in the comics. Introduced in 2012’s Battle Scars #1, Marcus Johnson, aka Nick Fury Jr., grew up not knowing his parentage. It would’ve been a meteoric rise for Nick Fury Jr. to also be a colonel, but even if all of this is a reach, Nick Fury’s faux grave could be next to his son’s as part of a Fury family plot.
Gravik’s Axe to Grind
Implying that we’ll learn more about the Fury family tree, director Ali Selim told Deadline, “I think he has to confront some issues in his personal life that he’s been avoiding. He has to go into his internal life and ask some questions about purpose and mistakes, fears, doubts.” If that doesn’t sound like a grief-stricken parent coming to terms with their child’s death, nothing does. The first episode had a flashback to Fury being blipped, suggesting we’ll get more flashbacks to show what turned him into the battle-scarred man we see today.
As for Gravik’s axe to grind, cast your minds back to Captain Marvel and Fury’s promise he’d find the Skrulls a new home. Even though he was once busy with threats like Ultron and Thanos, Fury has been enjoying some R&R on the S.A.B.E.R. station since at least the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home. This has left the Skrulls as outcasts living in the ruins of a nuclear power plant. Selim confirmed as much in the Deadline interview, adding, “I thought this show would be more interesting if we really examined Gravik’s grievance, which is a promise that Nick Fury made that he didn’t fulfil or couldn’t fulfil.”
With a mention that Gravik has lost both his parents, the idea that he’s torturing Fury by using the face of his own son’s demise fits the modus operandi of him being a sociopathic killer instead of a “bomb wielding terrorist.” Given that Gravik’s whole schtick is his hatred for Fury, it would be a villainous turn to masquerade as his late son. With so few episodes of Secret Invasion, expect the reveals to come thick and fast. It looks like some version of Nick Fury will be scraping by into The Marvels, but as for how we get there, it’s over to Secret Invasion to fill in the redacted parts of the Fury case file.