Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wow! Remember that time the Skrulls infiltrated the entire Marvel Universe and used their machiavellian powers to confuse, divide, and conquer the heroes using their guile, intelligence, and subterfuge? No? Me neither.

At the beginning, it had all the promise of a Skrull invasion done to the fullest extent possible, but instead, Marvel's line-wide Secret Invasion crossover has come to an inauspicious conclusion failing to do much more than set up the next event. Dark Reign allegedly springs from the consequences of the Invasion, but anyone reading a small handful of peripheral titles (ie; Thunderbolts) would probably tell you that's a lot of retro-justifying fooey!
Instead of a true universe-wide infiltration, we now find ourselves reflecting on a central plot sloppily bookended by scenes that seem to highlight some of the glaring weaknesses of the story, devoid of irony or self-awareness. It seems the only success the Skrulls endeared in their "invasion" was the disruption of any shred of cohesion in key titles, like Mighty Avengers.

Financial crisis and a fast-emerging sense of good judgment meant the Infinite Wars never got around to touching upon the "Secret Invasion," and I can't say I feel any regret.

If you're anything like me and are feeling the sting of disappointment, fret not!
We might've done it once before, but in the interest of delivering old fashioned Skrully goodness, we serve up for you a host of previous features starring those shape-shifting aliens. Sure, it might not be the grandious thriller Secret Invasion wasn't, but at least we aren't wasting eight-issues of overpriced paper on it. Ohhh! Feel the Skrully-Human Torch-cloned burrrnnn!

Incredible Hulk #374 (October 1990)
"No Autographs" David/Keown

If you thought the Skrulls were new to disguised infiltration, then you have a lot to learn, friend!

Watch as the Hulk, Rick Jones, and Betty Ross come face to face with an incursion led by none other than Kl'rt; the Super-Skrull champion granted the powers of the Skrull's most hated Earthbound enemies -- the Fantastic Four!

Typical human compassion not found in the warrior-born Skrull elite... is on full show, as Rick Jones endures the psychological torture, while, as Bruce Banner; the Hulk walks helplessly into the alien invader's trap, lured by the helplessness of a lost little girl. It's clobberin' time!?

Fantastic Four #358 (November 1991)
"Whatever Happened to Alicia?!" DeFalco/Ryan

After the Beyonder's secret war, the Fantastic Four's Thing opted to stay behind and continue his adventures. It was this act that nearly put a vital snafu to a secret plan launched by the Skrulls to infiltrate their enemies team.

Posing as Thing's blind girlfriend, Alicia Masters, the Skrull soldier named Lyja was forced to take a harsh turn, steering the affections of the Masters girl to an unlikely suitor -- Johnny Storm!

When Thing returned he eventually learned to live with the loss of his love, and was witness to the marriage vows of Johnny and Alicia, or so they thought. With Lyja revealed, the furious Johnny Storm leads the Fantastic Four on a mission to space to retrieve the captive Alicia, but little does he know the overseeing officer in the matter is a Skrull familiar, yet very different...

Mighty Thor #465 (August 1993)
"Holy Sacrifice" Marz/Zick

When Adam Warlock took possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, he sought to attain ultimate indifference of judgment by expelling evil and good from his body.
These portions became the beings known as The Goddess and The Magus, respectively.

Though the Goddess was borne of good, she sought resolution against a sinful universe. Thus, she reached out to those mighty and of faith, and gathered them as her army against evil, and those who did not believe.

Though much of the Skrull race was persuaded by the Goddess' touch, the Super-Skrull was not so easily manipulated. Disgusted by the mania of peace that had been bestowed upon his people, he sets out on a mission of war.
A mission that would bring him into conflict with one of the Goddess' most powerful followers -- The Mighty Thor!

Fantastic Four #6 (April 1997)
"Retribution" Lee/Choi

Reborn in a pocket universe created by Franklin Richards; the Fantastic Four are destined to relive their origins all over again as they unwittingly encounter familiar shadows of the past, also reborn in this new world.

Accosted by Victor Von Doom, a student from Reed Richards' days in college; the Fantastic Four and Black Panther find themselves the reluctant guests of castle Doomstadt. There, Doom is holding a mysterious chromed alien hostage, but this is not the limit of the extraterestrial presence.

Hidden within SHIELD and disguised as Agent Wyatt Wingfoot; a cosmically sleeper soldier of the Skrull empire has finally exploited his position, an alliance with Doom allowing him access to the herald of the Skrull Throneworld's destruction. Betraying Doom to use his machines, Kl'rt has absorbed the Surfer's cosmic power, and now prepares to turn his imitative Super-Skrull abilities against him.

New Avengers #27 (April 2007)
"Revolution" Bendis/Yu

The heroes of the Marvel Universe have been wrapped up in the Civil War, but whilst acting on behalf of the New Avengers in Japan, Ronin, aka Echo, finds herself unsure of where she stands and who she can trust in the battle.

As she infiltrates the Japanese underworld under the guise of an innocent woman, she stalks them as a symbol in the form of Ronin, someone they would never suspect could be breaking them up from right under their noses.

Wise to her game, Elektra and her clan, The Hand, intervene and although Echo sends out for help from her friends, she finds herself forced to confront the deadly assassin and her undying hoardes.

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