The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen some monumental events already by pulling elements from the source material. We’ve seen a few of Marvel’s landmark stories influence its films, including Civil War, Planet Hulk and Infinity Gauntlet. It’s always nice to see elements of classic stories in the MCU, from interwoven plot threads to small Easter eggs for beloved characters like Beta Ray Bill. However, what if one story’s threads have been lurking in the MCU the whole time? We know that Infinity War left the Avengers in upheaval, and with their numbers and humanity itself reduced by Thanos’ snap, there comes a certain vulnerability. If anyone was to strike against the Avengers or even Earth itself, now would be the perfect time. In Captain America: Winter Soldier, it was revealed that Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and it threatened to cripple the entire planet.
What if Hydra’s infiltration was just the beginning? What if their blueprint was adopted by a far more capable and deceptive enemy? Like the martians from H.G. Wells’ timeless War of the Worlds, there are aliens in the Marvel Universe who regard our world with envious eyes. Those aliens are the Skrulls: shapeshifters capable of infiltration on a level previously unseen in the MCU. The Secret Invasion book saw several super-teams and indeed the whole planet deceived, with major players captured and replaced, allowing them to almost seize control of Earth. While there are currently just rumors about Secret Invasion coming to the MCU, what if it has actually already begun? With that sobering thought in mind, let’s look at those who may be in our midst already…
15. CAPTAIN AMERICA
Steve Rogers uncovered a dastardly plot by Hydra to enforce their own image of what the world should be in Captain America: Winter Soldier. The star-spangled Avenger found the corruption ran deep and undetected for years within S.H.I.E.L.D. Given his experience dealing with rooting out an unseen enemy, he couldn’t possibly be party to an infiltration himself. Or perhaps he is precisely the perfect candidate to be replaced by a Skrull.
We aren’t sure what Steve and his Secret Avengers were doing between Civil War and Infinity War, so their intrepid leader may not be Cap at all. He may have been replaced in the time between the two events. In the original Secret Invasion, the Skrulls implanted memories into their sleeper agents, so his bond with Bucky may also have been a fabrication and the events of Civil War an early attempt by the Skrulls to divide and conquer.