Marvel Top 10 Craziest Moments Involving the SkrullsA column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: Kevin Powers
Marvel is three issues into the main Secret Invasion series and well-underway with the various tie-ins. The Skrulls have a long history of involvement with the Marvel Universe and have been trying to conquer the planet since their initial inception. There have been a lot of wild, crazy and bizarre moments involving the Skrulls over the years, and with that in mind, Comics Bulletin brings you the latest Marvel Top 10 list. The Skrulls are sometimes super-intelligent… and other times not so smart. They have tried various ways to infiltrate the Earth and destroy the Marvel heroes. Nonetheless, they remain a great danger to the Marvel Universe. This list consists of ideas, moments and story-lines, both serious and seemingly ridiculous, involving Marvel's "little green men."
10. The Skrulls replace Wolverine
During the "Fatal Attractions" storyline, Magneto did what he honestly should have done years before. During the battle, Magneto ripped the adamantium off of Wolverine's bones. It was gruesome, and deserving of a place on Comics Bulletin's Top 10 Marvel Slugfest list . This led to a storyline where Wolverine went out on his own and re-discovered himself sans adamantium. Eventually, Apocalypse kidnapped Wolverine and offered to give him back his adamantium if he agreed to become Death of Apocalypse's Four Horsemen. Apocalypse gave Wolverine the opportunity so long as he defeated Sabretooth in a contest to determine who would become Death. Wolverine obliged, fearing what might happen if Sabretooth became Death. Thus, Wolverine defeated Sabretooth and Apocalypse ripped the adamantium from Sabretooth's body and re-graphed it to Wolverine’s skeleton.
At the same time, Wolverine seemingly returned to the X-Men, except this Wolverine was actually a Skrull. Basically, this Skrull was sent to spy on--or destroy--the X-Men and kill Professor Xavier, an idea that fits perfectly into the ret-conned idea of the Illuminati. However, like the Skrulls' screw-up with the new Captain Marvel, this spy was unaware that he actually wasn't the real Wolverine. The real kicker was that the Skrulls did not genetically alter this spy, so he didn't have any of Wolverine's powers. Thus, when the real Wolverine attacked the X-Men as Death, his first victim was the Skrull. The X-Men didn't think much of the revelation and believed that the Earth was already being invaded. The real Wolverine eventually broke free of Apocalypse's control and resumed his role as an X-Man.
9. Cadre K
On the surface, the very conception of Cadre K suggests something powerful: along some evolutionary line, the Skrulls and humans are distant cousins. Keep in mind that in the Marvel Universe, mutants are essentially the next step in human evolution. Thus, it raises a few eyebrows when Skrulls started to develop the mutant gene and are endowed with mutant powers similar to those of the X-Men. However, rather than the deeper question of a human/Skrull relationship being explored, the Skrull Empire actually ended up acting just like the humans did when the mutant phenomena first occurred. The mutant Skrulls became outcasts shunned by the Empire and even killed in the name of racial purity. Perhaps Skrulls and humans do have much more in common. So instead of accepting the new mutant Skrulls and training them to be beneficial to the Empire, as well as saving the trouble of creating Super-Skrulls, the Skrull Empire idiotically and foolishly banished them. Looking for guidance, the mutant Skrulls became Cadre K and soon found leadership under Professor Xavier. Xavier trained Cadre K to master their abilities and use them for the good of the universe. Xavier's group of Skrulls would play an integral role in stopping Ronan the Accuser from turning Earth into a prison planet in the crossover Maximum Security.
The idea of Cadre K was unique and exploration into their origins does indeed raise questions about a possible genetic link between the Skrulls and humans. However, Cadre K has not been seen since the end of Maximum Security when Xavier returned to the X-Men. It would be interesting to learn the state of the group, and it's still possible that they may indeed play a role in Secret Invasion.
8. The Super-Skrull
Just the very concept of the Super-Skrull is pretty crazy and rather unique. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in Fantastic Four #18 in 1963, the Super-Skrull came shortly after the introduction of the Skrulls to the Marvel Universe in Fantastic Four #2 in 1962. Following the failure of the Skrulls' first invasion at the hands of the Fantastic Four, Skrull Emperor Dorrek recruited the warrior Kl'rt to be his super-soldier. Kl'rt became known as the Super-Skrull, and he was genetically enhanced to obtain all the powers of the Fantastic Four. Super-Skrull had the combined abilities of the Four, only more powerful and concentrated. He was stronger than the Thing, could stretch more than Reed Richards, had better control of telekinesis and invisibility than Sue Storm, and he could fly better and use pyro-kinesis in a more controlled fashion than Johnny Storm. Dorrek has always had a vision of conquering Earth, but after the first defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four, things became a bit more personal. He sent the Super-Skrull to defeat the Fantastic Four and pave the way for a second invasion. At first, the Super-Skrull fared very well against the Four, but Reed Richards then discovered that the Super-Skrull's powers were being amplified by an energy beam from the Skrull home-world. Richards blocked the beam and the Four were able to defeat the Super-Skrull.
The Super-Skrull's story did not end there, however. He has been sent back to Earth numerous times to do battle with other heroes such as Captain Marvel and the Avengers. He was even imprisoned in the Van Allen radiation belt, but when freed he was responsible for the deaths of all Alpha Flight members except Sasquatch. Currently, the Super-Skrull has become a fairly large player in the Marvel space epic Annihilation. For more detailed information on this character, check out Marvel.com's database
7. Johnny Storm marries Lyja
As evidenced by this Top 10 list, of all the super-heroes populating Marvel's version of Earth, the Skrulls have definitely had the most run-ins with the Fantastic Four. Perhaps one of the most bizarre run-ins occurred when the Skrulls devised a plan not to infiltrate the Four, but those closest to them. In Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2, the Skrull posing as Sue Storm transfers the Baxter Building into the Negative Zone and then reveals herself to Johnny as Lyja. Perhaps only readers of the Fantastic Four know the history of Lyja. She first appeared in Secret Wars #12 in 1985 when Skrulls recruited her to become a spy inside the Fantastic Four. The Skrulls targeted Alicia Masters, and Lyja studied everything about her and even wore contact lenses to make herself blind. When the Fantastic Four returned from the Secret Wars, Lyja was waiting for them disguised as Alicia but discovered that the Thing decided to stay behind on an alien planet where he could control his powers. Lyja had to restructure her plan and as Alicia, she became romantically involved with Johnny. To make matters even stranger, Lyja, still posing as Alicia, fell in love with Johnny and struggled with telling him the truth. When the Thing eventually returned and found Johnny and "Alicia" happily in love, he moved on. While fans went nuts over the apparent end of the Alicia/Thing relationship, Johnny and "Alicia" got married. At that point, Lyja had even fooled the Puppet Master, Alicia's uncle.
It wasn’t until a few years later that the truth was revealed. One night, the Thing woke up for a midnight snack (go figure) and stumbled upon someone trying to destroy Reed Richards' brain analyzer device. A chase ensued, and Lyja kept changing form until the Thing came upon "Alicia." When later confronted by both the Thing and the Puppet Master, Lyja revealed herself to the Fantastic Four. Johnny was enraged and was ready to kill Lyja who then revealed she was pregnant. She then agreed to help the Four free the real Alicia so long as she was set free. During the mission, Lyja saved Johnny's life and seemingly died in the process. Of course, Lyja survived, and her relationship with Johnny became even more bizarre. Johnny and Lyja reconciled and tried to make a relationship work. This was until she revealed the baby she was carrying wasn't a baby at all; it was a Skrull weapon. Johnny severed ties with her, but she continued to pursue him, even posing as another woman to stay close to Johnny. When he discovered it was her, he once again pushed her away. Ever since, Lyja has been posing as a human woman, most recently, Sue Storm.
6. The Skrull Kill Krew Leave a Pile of Dead Skrulls Outside a Church
In 1995, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar teamed up for the first time to create one of the stories that would more or less set the tone for their future work with both Marvel and DC. Skrull Kill Krew took one of the wackiest and classic moments from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four and put a new spin on the consequences of Reed Richards' actions. After their first defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four, a group of Skrull spies were brainwashed and transformed into cows, never to bother the Earth again. However, the milk from these cows was tainted and shipped to a small town where the Skrull's adaptable DNA infected humans who drank the milk. This would then lead to a condition known as "Skrullovoria Induced Skullphobia," where those who survive initial infection would develop shape-shifting abilities as powerful as the Skrulls, as well as, intense hatred for the green skinned aliens.
A small group of people that survived the "Skrull Infection" were gathered together by another survivor known only as Ryder. Their mission: wipe out any Skrulls who are currently hiding on Earth. Their hatred for the Skrulls was so intense that Moonstomp, a Neo-Nazi, was willing to work with Ryder, a black man, so long as he could take part in disposing of Skrulls. Other members included Catwalk, Dice and Riot, each with unique powers and a common distaste for Skrulls. Morrison and Millar, along with artist Steve Yeowell, took the Krew's mission over the span of five issues where they disposed of any Skrulls they encountered. The Krew even killed a small group of Skrulls posing as the Fantastic Four. The Krew's activities also led them into a run-in with Captain America.
However, there is probably no moment as crazy and powerful as the moment the Krew entered Pleasant Valley, a town completely infiltrated by Skrulls. Pleasant Valley, also known as Skrullsville, was supposed to be the staging ground for the Skrulls' takeover of Earth. Instead, the Krew killed all 3,678 Skrulls, the entire population of the town. One moment that really stuck out about the entire series was the image of a burning church in the background and the bodies of dead Skrulls piled up in the foreground. It was as though the Skrull Kill Krew was on a mission from a higher power to wipe out the alien presence. Now if only they were around to stop the "Secret Invasion."
5. The Skrulls enslave the Thing on Planet "Great Depression"
One of the craziest Skrull concepts came about in 1969 with Fantastic Four #91. Now, we've all seen some wacky things in comics. This list features a few of them, but I'm not sure if I've ever encountered anything as bizarre as the Skrull planet Kral. Apparently, in the early 1930s a gangster/murderer going by the name of "Machine Gun" Martin broke out of prison and had mistaken a Skrull ship for an escape vehicle. The Skrull ship took Martin to the slave planet known as Kral. While Martin himself may be dead and gone, the inhabitants of Kral were fascinated by the 1930s gangster culture in which Martin lived. The Skrulls of Kral began studying the way Martin and other gangsters from mobster movies spoke and acted and began to adopt the same culture. The Skrulls even took human form and modeled the planet after the architecture of the 1930s. They went so far as to abandon their advanced weaponry and technology for Tommy Guns and the Ford Model-T. While the culture was essentially the same, there was one major difference. The gangs that ruled the planet decided to settle all of their money, territorial and personal disputes with gladiator bouts. The gangsters would capture, purchase and train the slaves threatening to use a sonic disrupter to destroy a particular slave's home world if they did not cooperate.
Eventually, the Skrulls of Kral captured the Thing. He was bought by a Skrull named Boss Barker and trained by battling a number of different aliens. His gladiator bout would be against a robot from the planet Mekka known as Torgo. Torgo was the champion gladiator of Boss Barker's rival, Lippy Louie. As ridiculous as this sounds, it happened, and the Fantastic Four showed up just in time to destroy the sonic disrupter. The Thing then convinced Torgo to lead an uprising against the Skrulls. This issue became the perfect combination of 1930s gangster movies, the Fantastic Four and Spartacus all rolled into one package.
4. The Fantastic Four's First Defeat of the Skrulls
In January of 1962, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby took common portrayals of extraterrestrials in science fiction, such as green-skin and shape-shifting, and introduced the greatest threat to the Marvel Universe, the alien race known as the Skrulls. Since last year, the Skrulls have been infiltrating Earth setting up this summer's major crossover event, Secret Invasion. Yet having appeared in 1962, the Skrulls are essentially the first group of villains in what would become the Marvel Universe. However, before the Skrulls became the race of beings and characters that we know them as today, they were nothing more than alien invaders, hell-bent on conquering Earth as the creators played off of pulp stories of the 1950s and 1960s.
The initial plan for the Skrulls' infiltration was to pose as the Fantastic Four and destroy their reputation, hoping that the humans destroy the Four and leave Earth defenseless. Remember, this was before other Marvel heroes were created. The real Fantastic Four went into hiding where they tried to figure out exactly what was going on and how to defeat the Skrulls and their advanced technology. After a brief incarceration, the Fantastic Four, with help from Johnny's magazine collection, devised a plan to get the Skrulls away from Earth. They then infiltrated the Skrull mother ship, claiming to be the actual Skrulls impersonating them. Reed showed the Skrulls giant pictures of monsters from Johnny's magazine collection. He tells the Skrulls that actual monsters inhabit the Earth and will destroy the alien invaders. Seeing as how the Skrulls were not written as super-intelligent at first, the Skrull Commander doesn't know the difference between a drawing and a picture, so the Skrulls leave Earth alone. The Four must then return to Earth to defeat the Skrulls who are impersonating them.
Instead of being arrested, Reed convinced the authorities to take the Four to the Skrull hideout where they are attacked by the imposters. Continuing the theme of Skrull foolishness, the Fantastic Four subdue the Skrulls and are able to capture them. While one of the four Skrulls escapes, Reed decides that the way to keep the other three from being a real threat to Earth is to transform them into cows. Thus, in a rather silly fashion, the Fantastic Four defeat the Skrulls for the first time. While the idea of monsters hasn't really surfaced since this issue, the Skrulls being transformed into cows would have ramifications for years to come.
3. Spider-Woman is a Skrull
You can argue that you saw it coming. After the first few weeks of Secret Invasion it seemed rather obvious that Spider-Woman was going to end up being a Skrull. New Avengers #40 and Secret Invasion #3 confirmed that Jessica Drew is indeed a Skrull. In fact, she is the Skrull Empress Veranke and the orchestrator of the entire invasion. But think about it, when Spider-Woman resurfaced following "Avengers: Disassembled," fans-- yourself possibly included--were extremely happy to have her back. Marvel also put a great deal of effort into re-establishing the character with Spider-Woman: Origin. She got her own action figure, she became a major player in Marvel's main team book (outside of the X-Men, of course), and she was the one person Nick Fury trusted the most. But Bendis also brought back Ms. Marvel, a character who was soon given her own title that has turned out to be a great success. Spider-Woman suspiciously was not given her own series. While some fans cried foul, others accepted her being at the forefront of the Marvel Universe.
But think about it. Marvel and Bendis played this so well. Spider-Woman was both an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and of Hydra, she became a New Avenger and then crossed over to become a Mighty Avenger, which all means that the Skrull Empress knows intimate secrets of four of the Marvel Universe's most powerful organizations. I suspected her of being a Skrull, but the moment she brought the dead Elektra-Skrull to Tony Stark truly threw me off. Perhaps there are two Spider-Women, just as there were two Ms. Marvels. Given the popularity of the character, I wouldn't doubt it; however, Bendis offered a great deal of insight into Spider-Woman's revelation as a Skrull just last week at Comic Book Resources:
There are quite a few people on my message boards and the CBR ones who are gigantic Spider-Woman fans and they've loved me for bringing her back. With her being in a number one book, she's had a wave of good fortune that she hasn’t seen since her heyday. And the whole time I was writing her, I'd think those fans are going to fucking lose their shit because we've had this planned since New Avengers #1. You can go back to issue #1 and see hints. There's not a segment of the readership that I haven't felt worse about doing this to than the Spider-Woman fans. I want to express publicly that your love of the character will not be lost.Who knew Skrulls has such nice butts.
Now you know why the "Spider-Woman" series didn't happen. We thought about doing it and having her revealed as a Skrull in the first issue of her series. Last year, we were going to do the series and at the end of the issue she'd do something wrong, go off somewhere private and revert to Skrull form. It would be like, "Woah! The lead character of the book isn't who she thought she was!" I wrote it, but in the end I just thought it wasn't selling somebody what they thought you were selling them. But if you did it as part of a team book, it's much less bullshitty. You expect things to happen in a team book, but if you're buying Spider-Woman, you want Spider-Woman." – Brian Michael Bendis, June 4th, 2008.
2. Galactus Eats Throneworld
One of the most important issues of "Secret Invasion" thus far has been New Avengers #40. It offers insight into the Skrulls' motivations behind conquering Earth as well as the split in leadership amongst them before Throneworld is destroyed. This issue also reveals that Spider-Woman is actually a Skrull Princess. However, even more important than this issue is the event that it directly references. This event comes after the "Kree/Skrull War" and after the fact is established that Tarnax IV a.k.a. Throneworld is the second Skrull home-world. Skrullos is the Skrulls' true home-world, but following an attack by the Kree, they moved their base to what became known as Throneworld. Throneworld remained the seat of the Skrull Empire for a very long time, but there was one thing the Skrulls could not defend themselves against.
You see, in the Marvel Universe there is this being that roams the cosmos dressed in purple, wearing a rather silly helmet. He is known to many as the Devourer of Worlds, known to some as Jason Brice [Editor’s Note: Jason Brice = Comics Bulletin’s Publisher], and known to all as Galactus. The Skrulls do not stand a chance as Nova--a.k.a. Frankie Raye, Galactus' herald at the time--completely destroys the Skrull fleet, allowing Galactus to make his way to Throneworld. Seeing as how Reed Richards is the only one who can stop Galactus, Throneworld is devoured for its energy and millions of Skrulls meet their doom.
This event is a catalyst for Secret Invasion, not only is the Skrull leadership a bit shaky, as seen in New Avengers #40, but they also are in need of a new home world. This becomes the motivation of the Skrull Empress Veranke. She was banished from Throneworld for warning of Galactus and her people then come to her for guidance after the planet is destroyed. She sets her plan in motion: the destruction of Earth's heroes and establishment of Earth as the new Skrull home-world.
1. Elektra is a Skrull
This was the very moment that kicked off Secret Invasion. The Skrulls have infiltrated Earth and the ranks of the Avengers. At this point, Marvel announced the coming of Secret Invasion but had yet to reveal any Skrulls amongst the characters.
That was until New Avengers #31.
The New Avengers went after Elektra, who at the time was in command of the Hand. The Hand killed, resurrected and brainwashed Echo, in the same fashion they resurrected Elektra, leading the New Avengers to go after them. After Dr. Strange and Wong freed Echo from the Hand's influence, she went after Elektra who was fighting Luke Cage. In a rage, Echo attacks Elektra and stabs her to death. Upon Elektra's death, she transforms into a Skrull, shocking the New Avengers and readers all over the world. This is the moment that launched the intrigue: "Who Do You Trust?" This moment also began to reveal the Skrulls' method of infiltrating the Earth. The Elektra-Skrull, later revealed to be Siri, was completely undetectable to everyone including Wolverine and any telepaths. If you check out New Avengers #40, you can see first-hand how the Skrulls' plan unfolds and the role Siri was meant to play.
The revelation of Elektra as a Skrull not only kicked off Secret Invasion, it is also the most shocking and wildest moment in Skrull history. The whereabouts of the real Elektra remain a mystery. What is known is that Siri replaced Elektra before the events of Wolverine: Enemy of the State and Wolverine: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., making her the first and longest runner infiltrator.