Sunday, March 03, 2019

All This and the QE2 (Marvel)
Marvel Team-Up #62 When: October 1977
Why: Chris Claremont How: John Byrne

The Story So Far...
Having been imprisoned by Tigra and Red Wolf within an ancient artefact known as The Soul Catcher; Super-Skrull is once more unleashed upon the Earth when Spider-man inadvertently frees him during battle with Equinox.

The Human Torch and Spider-man stand valiantly against the Super-Skrull while the Fantastic Four and Avengers are unable to be raised, but they're no match for powers boosted by an uninterrupted signal broadcast from the Skrull Throneworld!

In victory, Super-Skrull seeks a Cavorite crystal to power a ship that will take him back to the Skrull Empire. As he attacks the family of vacationing antiques dealer Josiah Rubin -- Super-Skrull has no way of knowing the cruise ship also carries a witness to the earlier carnage: Carol Danvers, aka; Ms. Marvel!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Super-Skrull 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Super-Skrull 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Ms Marvel 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Super-Skrull 6 (Generator)
Agility: Super-Skrull 6 (Rubber)
Fighting: Super-Skrull 6 (Warrior)
Energy: Super-Skrull 6 (Mass Destruction)
Total: Super-Skrull 37 (Cosmic Power)

We've seen Ms. Marvel smack around heavyweight foes like a Dormammu enhanced Hood [New Avengers #54], and an Agamotto possessed Luke Cage [New Avengers #2], but each of those were team situations. She didn't have to throw the finishing blow -- which is her task for today's featured battle!

Super-Skrull is Kl'rt of the Skrull Empire, best known for receiving genetic alterations that grant him the combined might of the Fantastic Four! This one-man army can out-stretch & bend Mister Fantastic, disappear & move stealthier than Invisible Woman, fly higher & burn brighter than Human Torch, and even rival the strength and rocky durability of The Thing!

These powers typically come at the expense of his species' natural ability to shape-shift, but given he can fade completely from sight, it doesn't mean foes are any more likely to see him coming! He also possesses powers of hypnotic vision, with all abilities sometimes boosted by energy signals beamed from the Skrull homeworld.

In the pocket dimension of Fantastic Four (Vol.2) #6, Super-Skrull was able to add but a taste of the Power Cosmic, using it to almost defeat an all-star alliance of the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and Doctor Doom!

Kl'rt's copied powers were to be the ultimate weapon of revenge against the Empire's Earthbound nemeses, but the Fantastic Four aren't the only familiar foes Super-Skrull's faced! He enlisted Skrull subterfuge & tactics to ambush Bruce Banner at his most vulnerable, in Incredible Hulk #374. He relied on his incredible strength and skills to go toe-to-toe with a mad Thor in Thor #465.

These examples demonstrate Super-Skrulls versatility and combat experience, but when it comes to true war, only the Kree can make a Skrull's blood boil!

Carol Danvers was an officer of the US Air Force when she gained Kree DNA, so combat tactics shouldn't be too big a problem. She's got cosmic muscle to trade blows with Super-Skrull, but won't want to drag this fight out. She's got to go shock & awe, or Super-Skrull's versatility could cause real problems!

The Tape: Super-Skrull Ranking: Ms Marvel (#54)

What Went Down...
Basking in imagined glories, Super-Skrull stalks through the halls of a British cruise ship, lost in visions of a hero's return home. A sudden flash draws his attention. When he turns the corner anticipating fresh combat -- the powerful fist of Ms Marvel greets his wrinkled green chin with confirmation!

The super-powered Skrull is only momentarily staggered before he sets his sights on his opponent. Even with his barings, the sight he sees stirs confusion. This woman claims to be human, yet she wears the uniform of his mortal nemesis - the "thrice-damned" Kree champion: Captain Marvel!

Inspired by deep-seeded hatred, the Super-Skrull fights first rather than wait for explanations -- returning fire with an elastically charged fist of rock!

The blow topples Ms Marvel as briefly as her own hit knocked back the Skrull. With plenty of negative experience to call upon from her brief Kree history, Marvel summons a mighty hatred for the shape-shifting warrior's race - and slams her fist into his vulnerable mid-section!

The impressive hit isn't enough to stop the Super-Skrull, who has all the malleability of Mister Fantastic! The tit for tat continues, causing Ms Marvel to regret her wild, emotional outburst before she's smashed through the ceiling!

Super-Skrull gloats that even the weakest Skrull warrior is superior to a Kree. Rather than rise to the taunt, Ms Marvel manages to put aside her blinding hatred and focus on the task at hand. She theorizes the Super-Skrull is most vulnerable when using the stretching skills of Reed Richards - and strikes!

A devastating right hand explodes against the elongated Skrull's face! Ms Marvel doesn't let up, keeping clear of Super-Skrull's "Thing hands" as she sinks another rising blow deep into his distorted torso!

The blows knock Super-Skrull's intended target loose from his belt. Recognizing a refined Cavourite crystal on sight -- Marvel goes to ground to retrieve it. Alas, the careless distraction provides Super-Skrull the opportunity he needs!

With a mighty strike the Super-Skrull sends Ms Marvel hurtling uncontrollably from the ship and into open air! The devastating kayo sends her on a trajectory toward the Statue of Liberty, unable to move let alone save herself!

The Hammer...
A momentary lapse in concentration has dire results! It gives Super-Skrull the opening he needs to end an otherwise competitive slugfest!

You can probably guess Ms. Marvel didn't come to any severe harm. This is an issue of
Marvel Team-Up, after all! It was the webs of Spider-man that came to her aid, bringing about splashdown in the New York Bay.

A rough landing, but nothing the Kree powered heroine couldn't bounce back from for Round 2 later in the issue! A battle to be revisited in the future, no doubt.

Spidey actually mistook the hurtling figure for Captain Marvel. An easy mistake to make! This encounter would mark the momentous first meeting between Ms. Marvel and Spider-man: a rite of passage for most Marvel Comics heroes.

The pair would notably cross paths much later as members of the New Avengers, with one or two chance encounters in the intervening decades. In fact, it wasn't long before they met again in  the pages of Marvel Team-Up #77 (1979), facing the fanatical would-be Pope: Silver Dagger. By then, Ms. Marvel was wearing the famous black & yellow design she'd be associated with right up until the 2010s.

For the longest time it seemed important to distance Ms. Marvel from her derivative roots. That was one of the reasons I always appreciated the black suit, even if it wasn't the most inspired design. Coming back to Marvel Team-Up #62, I'm reminded how appealing the classic red & blue really is!

Neither "Marvel" was a favourite character growing up, but as I've gone back to discover the rip-roaring adventures of the seventies, I've come to enjoy Ms. Marvel's connection to the original Kree hero.

The fact Mar-Vell has been a rare case for a hero remaining dead for thirty years has made it all the more appealing that Carol Danvers take ownership of the Captain Marvel legacy, and advance it forward.

The current design in comics -- more blue than red -- is a nice adaptation, but it's hard to go past the original Mar-Vell inspired red & blue. Pants seem like a pretty sensible update. Shame to lose the scarf, though. Not sure why, but it just adds something a little extra to the visual. A nice signature, too.

Brie Larson will wear adapted versions of the most recent designs when Captain Marvel hits theatres next week. Considering she'll be taking on the lurking menace of Skrulls, you knew I had to make time for a Super-Skrull appearance!

I'm sure the FF-powered villain won't be showing up in Ms. Marvel's cinematic universe debut, but hey! Who woulda thought we'd be getting Skrulls at all after the Avengers settled for generic Chitauri?! Before the Fox deal cleared, no less!

As always, you can find more from the characters featured today by following links throughout this post, or the character tags below.

Dive deeper to discover more from the Marvel Universe and beyond by visiting the Secret Archive of past battles. You can also get more superhero smackdown in your life by following Secret Wars on Infinite Earths on Twitter and Facebook! Be sure to hit that like, share & retweet and stay tuned for more!

Winner: Super-Skrull
#132 (+253) Super-Skrull
#67 (-13) Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers)

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