AI made a not-so-secret invasion into Disney.

Marvel’s new television series “Secret Invasion” debuted Wednesday with an animated opening sequence generated through artificial intelligence, sparking fervent reactions on social media from Marvel fans and crew members.

Director and executive producer Ali Selim confirmed to Polygon that the series’ opening sequence was designed by Method Studios using artificial intelligence — and although he admittedly doesn’t “really understand” AI, he believes the use of it reinforces themes of the show.

The series focuses on an evil shape-shifting alien race attempting in invade earth. It is up to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his team of superheroes to hunt down the villainous aliens hidden in plain sight.

“When we reached out to the AI vendors, that was part of it — it just came right out of the shape-shifting, Skrull world identity, you know? Who did this? Who is this?” Selim told Polygon.

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“We would talk to them about ideas and themes and words, and then the computer would go off and do something. And then we could change it a little bit by using words, and it would change,” explained Selim, per Polygon.

The somewhat funky-looking AI imagery fills screens for a two-minute intro featuring asymmetrical alien faces and sketch-style lead characters within an enveloping green mist.

Both Marvel fans and those from within the production expressed fears over AI artwork’s potential to “eliminate artist careers.”

‘Secret Invasion’ fans and crew express ‘disappointment’ over AI-generated intro

Jeff Simpson, a visual development concept artist who worked on character development and props for “Secret Invasion,” said he felt “devastated” by Marvel’s decision to use AI-generated artwork. “I believe AI to be unethical, dangerous and designed solely to eliminate artists careers,” he tweeted.

Fans echoed Simpson’s comments with tweets expressing “disappointment” over the Marvel television series’ AI-generated artwork.

What is ‘Secret Invasion’ about?

For the first time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe spotlights Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in “Secret Invasion” — Fury must fight off an invasion of shape-shifting Skrull aliens hidden in plain sight.

“Fury learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Fury joins his allies, including Everett Ross, Maria Hill, and the Skrull Talos, who has made a life for himself on Earth,” according to Marvel’s description of the series. “Together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity.”

‘Secret Invasion’ receives mixed reviews from critics

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Marvel’s latest installment was lauded by critics for the “the repetitive exposition and forced quippiness of the dialogue,” per the Hollywood Reporter. It seems the series’ saving grace is its impressive cast — which includes Samuel L. Jackson and Emilia Clarke. Critics praised Jackson for his performance as a “flawed, human hero,” per NPR.

  • “The comics storyline on which the series is based is a beloved and acclaimed thriller, but its adaptation has been squeezed of all intrigue and nuance,” panned USA Today. “And more than anything, ‘Invasion’ is a waste of the time for the viewer.”
  • “If it remains a vehicle for Jackson and other fine actors to explore their characters and what they represent, the show will mark a real shape-shift for Marvel — into something resembling maturity,” lauded the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Rolling Stone claimed that, “None of it really works. The tone is too dour, especially since there’s precious little tension or suspense to any of it.”
  • “Where it should be taut and elliptical, it is insistently talky and overripe with exposition; where it might have been quietly gripping, it flits between scenes of cleanly choreographed action and lethargic exchanges,” wrote the Financial Times.
  • Empire Magazine said: “As one of the MCU’s most mature projects to date, ‘Secret Invasion’ is a riveting, tense drama that gifts its actors with weighty material and encourages its audience to look beyond the sheen of superheroism.”
  • “From jarring editing choices to lazy performances by a majority of its cast, the first two episodes of ‘Secret Invasion’ don’t show much promise,” criticized.

Is ‘Secret Invasion’ OK for kids?

“Secret Invasion” is rated TV-14 for violence, gore and frightening scenes.

The series has an abundance of violent and gory scenes featuring weapon use, open wounds, heavy blood, choking, torture and dead bodies, per IMDb.

Use of adult language is mild, but present throughout.

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