Just in time for Halloween, we’re back to feature all those creepy, kooky, and scary characters of comic book lore! This time, we’re going to take a look at monsters from the vaunted House of Ideas. So, enter, if you dare, for Comic Book Monsters 2012: The Mighty Merry Marvel Edition!
Comic Book Monsters – October 14th: The Skrulls
Sorry, Mr. Spock, but when you have pointy ears and green skin, or at least greenish hued skin, you’re pretty much a monster. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Assuming you’d respond with something like “That’s logical,” I’ll move onto to today’s Comic Book Monsters for the Skrulls.
The Skrulls first appeared in 1962′s Fantastic Four #2. I kid you not, this first appearance of a race that would ultimately prove to be terribly troublesome to the human race ends with Reed Richards hypnotizing a group of Skrulls to believe they are cows. They’re left to graze on a farm and never really checked up on again. I’ll get back to why the FF probably should have looked in on the Skrull cows every now and then in a little bit. I’d rather first get to some of their more impressive outings.
The Skrulls are revealed to come from the Andromeda Galaxy where they formed the first and oldest empire in the universe. They actually didn’t start as conquerors though. Instead they were a technologically advanced, and highly intelligent, race of beings. Eventually, as was the case here on Earth, the Celestials came to their home planet of Skrullos to conduct experiments on the race. Ultimately, there were three branches formed. One branch quickly evolved into Celestial-like beings. Another was what we really know the Skrulls as now – the Deviant branch of shapeshifters. The third was the Eternal branch that were immortal – kinda. When it was all said and done, the Deviant branch wiped out the other two and a new Skrull civilization was born. It’s this branch where all the modern-day Skrulls descended from.
Later, the Skrulls obtained intergalactic travel. They came into contact with another alien race – the Kree. When the Kree ultimately felt as though the Skrulls had shamed them, this would kick off an intergalactic Cold War between the two races. As the Kree became more and more technologically advanced, their offensive became more and more gutsy. The Kree became powerful enough to actually take the battle to the Skrull’s homeworld and give them a good fight.
In one of the greatest Avengers stories of all time, the Kree-Skrull War eventually came to Earth. Both sides saw Earth as an important commodity against the other. In a globe-spanning, and space adventuring, story, One of the largest collection of characters are used in several different plots that also saw appearances from Captain Marvel, the Skrulls, the Kree Supreme Intelligence, and a Kree outlaw, Ronan the Accuser. An unlikely hero emerges in the form of Rick Jones who uses hidden mental abilities unlocked by the Supreme Intelligence to send a wave of Golden Age heroes to assist the Avengers to stop the Skrulls and end the war.
The Skrulls and Kree would not actually end their hostilities toward one another. These two races, with occasional involvement with another alien race, the Shi’ar, would continue to battle each other. The Skrulls, using their abilities to not simply shapeshift, but also using their advanced technological and biological abilities have created offshoots of their own genetic code. One of these, the Super-Skrull is often seen using the combined poweres of the Fantastic Four. They also used another genetically created version of their race known as the Warskrulls who would not only copy the appearance of a person, but also take on any attributes that person may have, including the person’s powers. This constant meddling with sciences to enhance their infiltration techniques ultimately led to a massive invasion of Earth.
This invasion, known as the Secret Invasion, involved the kidnapping of heroes all over the world and replacing them with near perfect duplicates from the Skrull army. These duplicates could hide their true identities better than any other Skrull. Following the Superhero Civil War, the world’s heroes were scattered and on less than friendly terms with one another only allowing the Skrulls’ plans to succeed even more. The New Avengers would eventually break the news to Tony Stark, who had taken over S.H.I.E.L.D. in the aftermath of the Civil War, when after battling Elektra and the Hand, it was revealed that she was, in fact, a Skrull imposter. It’s later revealed the Skrulls’ ultimate plan – to take over the Earth and make it their new Throneworld. When the war was finally won by the forces of Earth’s heroes and villains, it is suggested that some heroes like Mockingbird and Henry Pym had been held in captivity so long that long-established moments in their lives were not as they appeared (like Mockingbird’s death at the hands of Mephisto or Pym’s constant battle with depression and self esteem issues) forcing readers to wonder how much they believed to be undeniable truths about these characters were actually all part of the Skrull invasion.
While the Skrull race is scattered and their threat limited to smaller plans and schemes, it’s not hard to imagine that these aliens will soon be making their presence felt once again.
Oh yeah… I said I’d go a little deeper into those Skrull cows that Reed Richards hypnotized back at the end of Fantastic Four #2. Well, what is the usual fate of cows? Some are used to breed. Some are used for milk. Most, however, are slaughtered for beef. Guess what happened to these poor Skrull cows. You guessed it, they were slaughtered. At first, the milk from these cows were handled well enough by the a girlfriend of Johnny Storm’s, but, by accident, the cows were then shipped to a slaughterhouse where the meat was then consumed by people in a small town. Most of the people died from infection, but others started getting powers on the level of the Skrulls themselves. Another odd side effect was a fear and hatred of the Skrull race. These people, who all eventually died from the infection, were gathered by a man named Ryder to help track down and slaughter as many Skrulls as they could find and naming themselves the Skrull Kill Krew. For real. Hypnotized Skrull cows turned into beef. For real.
Alright, that does it for today’s Comic Book Monsters! While we’re talking about green-skinned people, let’s stay on the topic for another day. Tomorrow, we’ll focus on what’s possibly the sexiest green lady in the history of everything. And she’s the one Amazon-sized beauty that will make you think twice about bodybuilder built females too. Come back tomorrow as we feature Bruce Banner’s cousin, She-Hulk!