Damn Dirty Skrulls: What We Know Now 11

Bendis on Dark Avengers & Dark Reign

First, a mild disclaimer from Lucas: For the record, I’ve been enjoying Secret Invasion quite a bit. However, I have a sense of humor, and like to make fun of things to keep them fresh. Also, this Skrull report is brought to you by Sharpie Markers*. Sharpie, adding in KRAKABATHROOMs where needed since the 1960s.

And now, a note from Troy: Holy crap, we’re still doing this? This thing’s running longer than Gunsmoke! Giddy up, then . . .

New Avengers #44: Like many recent Avengers books, this Avengers book doesn’t really star the Avengers. And that’s okay, because neither does one of this week’s other Avengers books, and neither does this week’s Spider-Man tie-in. In fact, this is becoming such a recurring theme that other media are starting to catch on; I understand that there will soon be an episode of The Hills that isn’t filled with vacuous, talentless mannequins. At any rate, this Illuminati Super Special deals with how the Skrulls used the information that they gleaned from the Illuminati’s capture way-back-when to sort-of reverse-engineer what Reed Richards’ responses would be. There are no real revelations here; we just get a look at the process by which the Skrulls sweated the Reed Richards Thought Process out of a duplicate. Yeah. That’s pretty weird.

Mighty Avengers #17: Hank Pym Skrulls break frequently. That’s the message here. We’re given to understand that the Skrulls replaced Skrullowjacket more than once, and that perhaps Dum Dum Duganskrull had to whack the replacement more than once. That’s it? That’s what we get in this one? Don’t you miss the days that the Avengers used to star in their own comic and fight villains? Think of it now . . . Pat Benetar was on the charts . . . Red Ronin or the Masters of Evil would show up and break s#!+. Now, no one remembers Red Ronin, the Masters of Evil basically all work for the government, and the Avengers don’t appear in their own books. Ah, progress.

Avengers: The Initiative #16: Now I don’t know why the Reed Richards thing was such a big deal. Wanna know how you spot a Skrull? Eat one! That’s what we learned from the reappearing members of the Skrull Kill Krew. Slott and Gage dutifully recap the SKK’s story, and remind us that their consumption of Skrull cow led to their ability to see through the Skrull disguises. Okay, all well and good. And now? The Krew just eats Skrull because they like it. All together now: eww. That does raise two very direct points: one, that dinosaur in the Savage Land can now positively identify Skrulls (and doesn’t give a s#!+), and two, we know that Hank Pym’s not a full-service kind of guy, because he never knew that co-ed was a Skrull. In other news, Sharon Ventura aka She-Thing was the replaced member of New Mexico’s team, The Mavericks. Also, War Machine races away on Iron Man’s stealth orders, and cowardly Ant-Man is the one guy who knows exactly what’s going on at Camp Hammond with Skrullowjacket and his troops. Hooo-boy.

Secret Invasion: Spider-Man #1: Stretch your minds back to previous columns. Remember when I said that every tie-in written by Brian Reed was an important book? Wrong. I guess it’s called Secret Invasion: Spider-Man because Secret Invasion: Supporting Characters from the Thrice Monthly Book that's Controversial Among Fans is a little on-the-nose.

Thunderbolts #123: Oh, for the love of . . . another look at the talk between Mar-Vell and Norman? If we’d had this many angles on the Zapruder film, then we’d know who killed Kennedy. Regardless, Norman and the T-Bolts head for Washington D.C., and things are an absolute mess. On a practical level, they don’t get much better. Although the Bolts are initially making headway, smart counter-offensive maneuvers by the Skrulls take their toll. Some Bolts go down, some may yet be Skrulls, and, oh yeah, Norman starts to freak out. Not good for Earth, kids.

New Warriors #15: This issue gets going quickly, as the Warriors tangle with CounterForce, the group of Old New Warriors that formed in Avengers:Initiative. The fight ends quickly as Night-Thrasher reveals himself to actually be Donyell Taylor, brother of Dwayne; this probably means a lot if you’re a regular reader. Donyell’s out to prove that it wasn’t his brother who died at Stamford, but rather a Skrull. Justice indicates that he knows where to find the body, and hey, we’ve got a team-up. The kids hit a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier where the bodies are stored; Thrash and Justice make for the bodies while the rest battle Skrull forces. The bodies of Dwayne, Namorita, and Microbe are positively IDed. The young heroes make off with the bodies and give them a decent burial elsewhere. At story’s end, Donyell receives a mysterious call. Who was it? Don’t know. That’s why the whole “mysterious” part.

As for the rest . . .

I think Hercules #120 is best told in the form of poetry, primarily using the sound effects that accompany the issue’s events. First, there is the prelude, in which Kly’bn, the “he” of “He Loves You” is revealed to be an Eternal Skrull. Yes, THAT kind of Eternal. His wife, and perhaps all shape-changing Skrulls, is revealed as a Deviant Skrull. Those darn Celestials just can’t stop sticking their hands in peoples’ business, can they? And now, Sound Effect laden poetry:

BZZRRAAKKK! Ajak turns against Hercules, taking over the God Squad.

Umm-SLURP! Demogorge EATS Sl’Gur’T, the shape-shifting Deviant Skrull goddess wife of Kly’bn

RRRMMMMMMMMMMBBBBBBB Trouble’s brewing in Demogorge’s belly

KRKOOW!! Kly’bn eye-blasts Ajak’s head off. Don’t worry, he’s an Eternal- he’ll be back someday

WAKACHAKABOOM!!! Sl’Gur’T bursts out of Demogorge’s stomach, splitting him into a thousand pieces in the process

CHWOK! A bone of old Gorgey slams into Amadeus, seemingly sending him falling to his doom

NA-COSBOOM!! Herc double-hand uppercuts Kly’bn, rejecting his advances

SHKKRAAKKKOWW KKRKAAKKTAAAKKK SSSHHKKAAKKAKK… QWFOOSH! SKRRABAAAMMM WOKKATHOOOM Man, that was an exciting fight between our hero and the ultimate villain!

GA-BLOIK! And that’s the sound the bone of an elder god plunging through a Skrull Eternal’s heart makes when thrust thusly by Snowbird, who did not in fact die earlier and just arrived on the scene in company of Amadeus Cho

KKKKKKKKKKKK KAAAKKISSSSHHHHH The master copy of the book of worlds (think Skrull Bible in giant Superman-style Crystal form) blows up as their god dies. Simultaneously, Reed Richards escapes (and no one will know that Hercules turned the tide)

KKKKKKKKKKKK… NEEEEYYAAAHHH!! Mikaboshi apparently gets torn in half by Sl’Gur’T

RRRRMMMMBBBBB… KKKRRRMMMBBBBBB KRRAAAAKKKKKK FRAGRWAAARRRM The Skrull temple in Skrull Dreamtime collapses, as Snowbird catches Hercules and Amadeus, flying off into the Dreamtime equivalent of sunset

As they leave, Mikaboshi stands revealed, triumphant, having taken Sl’Gur’T’s form to kill her. He tells the lesser-gods of the Skrull that he is their new ruler, and their cause is now his. Athena watches all from afar, looking pleased. With that ends the best book of sound effects in the history of forever. And ever. Mikaboshi Loves You?

X-Factor #34 finishes off the 3 part crossover with She-Hulk. The Talisman tries to convince Darwin that he’s the missing link between humans and Skrulls, as he’s super-adaptable. Jazinda (Kl’rt-Spawn) shows up, playing the decoy for Monet as she flies in and lays the THOOM CRAK down on ‘ole Talisman (what, I’m into the sound effects now!). The ensuing fight has Darwin standing up to Nogor the Talisman, but just when he’s about to defeat him, She-Hulk lays a punch that would’ve knocked any normal Skrull’s head off, knocking out the god-linked Skrull. Jazinda puts a fancy tiara on his head to zap his powers, and she and Shulkie take him with them as drive away from Detroit…

…and wind up in Minneapolis in She-Hulk #32. BUT, we’re actually gonna come back to that one, cause this is where the timeline can get a bit screwy. So let’s just say She-Hulk, Jazinda, and their new pet Nogor are currently driving from Motor City to the Twin Cities, and we’ll see them again in a few moments.

Up in SPPPAAAAACCCCEEEE, we see the Skrulls are trying to take out anyone with links to Earth, even those currently far away from it. In Guardians of the Galaxy #4, Major Victory, who is of course from the future version of the Guardians, continues to get attacked at their base in Knowhere, the inter-dimensional center of everything. One such attack sees their gateway in and out of Knowhere destroyed in a gigantic explosion (which unfortunately did not have a cool sound effect attached. Let’s help Marvel out here, and add one ourselves. Everyone take out a Sharpie, and let’s use my favorite sound effect from last year’s World War Hulk; now use your Sharpie and write “KRAKABATHROOM!” directly under the word “Damages.” There, don’t you feel better? Me too). A bunch of people die in the now-fixed explosion, with three of them revealed to be Skrulls, one of whom is a Super Skrull with unidentifiable powers. The inevitable “Anyone could be a Skrull, none of us trust each other anymore!” fight happens, and Knowhere’s Administrative Council steps in to take over the investigation (very suspicious timing, no?). After a bunch more infighting, Mantis and Starlord reveal that Mantis tampered with the minds of their other teammates to have them commit to the team without thinking it through first. Drax overhears this, and doesn’t look pleased. Speaking of Drax, he’s apparently been sneaking about on Knowhere quite a bit, and the book ends with him opening up a weapons storage area, looking menacing, and RR-CHAK, cocking his gigantic gun.

Elsewhere in SPPPAAAAACCCCEEEE, Nova, who has recently lost the Xandarian Worldmind (which would have likely been very helpful in dealing with a bunch of Skrulls), flies to a distress call in the start of Nova #16. He lands on Dendron (which is not Thundara, as much as the people may make you think it is) to find the only survivors of a massive attack: a severely injured old man, and 4 little toddler kitten Dendronians. As he attempts CPR on the old one, it transforms into a Sandman Skrull, trapping him where he is, as the “children” reveal themselves as variety pack Super Skrulls. Before you can say Uh-oh, one re-reveals himself to in fact be Kl’rt, the O.G. Super Skrull. He and Nova, having teamed up in the two Annihilation wars, make short work of the Skrull squad. Nova finishes the battle by flying through the Skrull warship, blowing it to smithereens. It doesn’t make a cool sound effect, but ‘ole Richie has us covered, saying “Pow.” Thanks, Richard! Rich and Kl’rt have a heart to heart, with Kl’rt finally telling him that the “ignorant religious crusade” is aimed at Earth. As Nova initiates a stargate to take him to his home planet, Kl’rt convinces him to take him along to help stop the invasion, saying he wants to see his daughter (the aforementioned Jazinda). One SHKKOOM later, and the unlikely pair are smack in the middle of the Skrull invasion fleet above Earth. Just when it seems all is lost, well, all is in fact lost. Kl’rt turns against Nova and declares his allegiance to the Skrull armada.

And that brings us back to She-Hulk #32. Sometime and events after the end of Nova #16, Kl’rt makes it down to Earth and tracks down his spawn. First, Nogor the Talisman and Jazinda chat a bit, about nothing very important. She-Hulk saves a bunch of humans by throwing a tree at a Skrull transport ship (no SFX, if you were wondering… where’d that Sharpie go?). They jack the escape pod from the ship, and fly off to try to find Jaz’s old ship, currently residing in the bottom of a lake. This is when Daddy-dearest shows up, ready to make good on his promise to kill his daughter. He’s momentarily distracted by the shock of seeing the Talisman there, just long enough for She-Hulk to tackle him out of the flying vessel. In the tussle, Nogor’s power-halting tiara is broken, and he subsequently breaks free of his bindings. As She-Hulk and Kl’rt fight and fall, they are about to hit an airplane; as Nogor and Jazinda fight and fall, Nogor intentionally destroys the ship’s controls, then tells Jazinda that he’s sapping her resurrection ability so when the ship crashes to the ground, she will die once and for all.

When last we saw the Wakandian peoples, they were Bravehearting it out against the guns-free Skrulls, who insisted they still had one or two operatives hidden within the African nation’s ranks. We rewind a bit for Black Panther #40, as last time the Skrull general got to speechify, and Black Panther needed an opportunity to mention that the Skrulls could take their lives, but never take their Vibranium (it’s actually quite the cool juxtaposed scene). The titular hero faces off against a Super Skrull with Luke Cage, Wolverine, Iron Fist, and Bullseye’s abilities, along with the fighting styles of Moon Knight, Shang Chi, Captain America, Daredevil, Elektra, and Black Panther. Henceforth, he shall be called Ninja Skrull. Black Panther finds out quickly that the 18 pressure points a regular Skrull can be defeated with don’t quite work on Ninja Skrull. His soldiers are not faring so well, as one after another falls in death before Black Panther’s eyes. The two tussle, and Black Panther mentions figuring out Ninja Skrull’s weaknesses, including when each power is activated. BP talks about Ninja Skrull turning off his “left arm’s” invulnerability, while simultaneously snapping his right arm in half at the elbow (KRAK). With a leap and a SPLURT, BP makes Ninja Skrull a cyclops, taunting him while holding his freshly removed eyeball (the actual left this time, for the record). Now he snaps Ninja Skrull’s left leg in half at the knee (CRUNCH) (and no, I’m not kidding, this fight is actually this vicious!), and lets Ninja Skrull lie there and bleed to death. Unfortunately, the Skrulls have some other plans, as “Asgardian Mix” Skrull and “Powerhouse Mix” Skrull come to rumble with the King. We finally see where Ororo snuck off with her pal last issue, as they move to outflank the Skrull army. Unfortunately, said pal was one of those Skrulls that hadn’t been found, and captures Ororo. As the General brings her to Black Panther, T’Challa still stands defiant and ready to fight. Unfortunately, the other still-hidden Skrull stands behind T’Challa and takes him out. With a taser. At least it said “ZZZZTTT.”

*Sharpie Markers did not actually sponsor this column. However, if they’d like to, we’ll gladly take their money, and shoe-horn more Sharpie references than you can count into the next one. Sharpie!

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