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Marvel announces live-action Secret Invasion, Ironheart, and Armor Wars series for Disney+

By Matthew Jackson

Even as we wait for the first of its Disney+ series to finally arrive this January, Marvel Studios is already laying out big streaming plans for the future, announcing three new live-action series during a Disney Investor presentation Thursday evening.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed during the presentation that an additional trio of live-action series, all with direct ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are coming soon: Secret Invasion, Armor Wars, and perhaps most excitingly for fans who've been waiting to see the title character in action, Ironheart.

The Ironheart series will follow young inventor Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) as she develops her own version of Iron Man armor and soars into action as a hero in her own right. The Ironheart character debuted in 2016 as a teenage inventor who was eventually mentored by Tony Stark (including, for a time, when he was a sentient A.I. after his body died), and quickly became a new fan-favorite who joined the teen superhero team The Champions and played a role in this year's Iron Man 2020 event.

The other two series will focus on MCU characters we've already met, but that doesn't mean they'll be any less consequential. The Secret Invasion series will follow a storyline set up by the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which revealed that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was actually working with the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) on some sort of secret project that had taken Fury himself away from Earth. Both Jackson and Mendelsohn are set to return for the series, named for the 2008 Marvel Comics event which saw the Skrulls attempting to conquer Earth by impersonating various superheroes. It's not clear just how much the series will rely on the comic as source material, but the introduction of the Skrulls back in Captain Marvel meant the idea of the shapeshifting aliens posing as human heroes was ripe for the picking whenever Marvel wanted to get around to it.

Which brings us to Armor Wars, another series with ties to the legacy of Tony Stark. Don Cheadle is set to star in the series, reprising his role as Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes, aka War Machine. Billed as "a classic Marvel story about Tony Stark's worst fear coming true," the series is inspired by the 1987 Iron Man comics arc of the same name, which saw various armored antagonists using stolen Stark Industries technology for their own dangerous ends. Since Tony's not around anymore in the MCU, it falls to War Machine to make sure that doesn't happen in the live-action version, and gives Cheadle a showcase of his own, after years as a supporting Marvel character.

But wait, there's more! The world of Guardians of the Galaxy will also get a fresh exploration via Disney+ in the form of two new streaming entries. Everyone's favorite talking tree monster, Groot, is set to get his own series of no-doubt adorable short films on the streaming service. Titled (what else?) I Am Groot, the shorts will follow the baby version of the Guardians hero as he meets a variety of new characters.

The live-action Guardians will also have a presence on Disney+ courtesy of writer-director James Gunn. When Gunn finally heads back over to Marvel Studios to make the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he and the cast will also team up for the first ever Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which will no doubt feature plenty of hilarious misunderstandings in which Star-Lord tries to teach Drax about Santa Claus. That will drop in 2022, probably with a great seasonal soundrack.

And of course, it's worth mentioning again that all of these shows are in addition to the things we've heard about but haven't seen yet, including Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, next month's WandaVision, and more. The next few years are going to bring a streaming bounty for MCU fans.