Damn Dirty Skrulls: What We Know Now 14

Damn Dirty Skrulls: What We Know Now 14

Skrulls. Skulls, skrulls skrulls skrully skrulls skrulls skrulls skrulls skrulls, skrulls. Skrulls skrulls skrulls!

You know the drill.

The New Avengers #45: You know this one’s important, because Jim Cheung drew it. With that, Bendis crosses “Secret Invasion” back into “House of M”, which officially makes it a cross-crossover. Queen Spider Skrull finds herself a SHIELD agent aboard the helicarrier, realizes something’s horribly amiss, and races off to toss her cookies. Federal law requires me to make the following joke: yes, she looked a little green. Meanwhile, Skrullowjacket also remembers his status, and has a series of flashbacks while talking to that other Hank that’s a scientist. Dr. McCoy lays some patronizing language about the ascendance of mutants on the Pymposter before he runs out and gets picked up by the Queen. The duo get their s#!+ together, discuss how unbelievably freaking powerful the Scarlet Witch, and make plans to whack her. This plays out against the big final battle in “House of M” (which came after all the standing around). As Wanda and her kids are confronted by Hawkeye, The Queen prepares to shoot Wanda in the head from behind. As Hawkeye is, er, disassembled and Dr. Strange makes his move, one of the twins begins taking apart the Queen mentally. At that point, Wanda gets verbal with “No more mutants.” There’s a big pink flash, everything returns to normal (like Peter Parker sleeping next to his wife Mary Jane Watson) and we return to the Skrulls, plotting anew. They take the decimation of the mutants as a sign from their god (the one who Hercules already beat down). The Queen, overcome with emotion, lets her co-conspirators know about the latest news: The Annihilation Wave has hit the Skrull homeworld, and a billion Skrulls died. Unfortunately for Earth, this fulfills another step in the Big Skrull Book of Fanaticism. Despite the loss of a billion Skrulls, despite the jarring events of House of M, and despite the Skrull vomit, the invaders are even more resolute in their mission. Uh-oh.

Avengers: The Initiative #17: In the only Avengers book occurring in real time, things look bad for The Initiative. The Skrulls are overrunning Camp Hammond! Fortunately, Mutant Zero is there to wear big blade thingies and tease that she’s Jean Grey. Ant Man, the Shadow Initiative, and Gerard Way make plans to strike back at the Invaders. Meanwhile, the Skrull Kill Krew and Nevada’s Initiative team, The Heavy Hitters, finish off their Skrull opponents and get ready to do more damage.

Two big points here: 1) 3-D Man says that his goggles only work for someone with Tri-Force energy, which obviously means that Link can see Skrulls. 2) Nevada’s team should definitely be The High Rollers.

Back in New Mexico, we see that Jocasta is alive (or, online, as it were) and well and a member of NM’s team, The Mavericks. I bet that the 616 Mark Cuban is pissed about that. Switching over to Hammond, there’s in-fighting and more hints that Mutant Zero could be Jean Grey (though she could be Madelyn Pryor, or Goblyn Queen Madelyn Pryor). We hop again to Nick Fury’s Safehouse, where Crusader gets a pep talk.

Over at Hammond, the counter-insurgent maneuvers don’t go so well, and Ant-Man is the last ant, er, man standing. We scoot to New Mexico in time for Jocasta to talk to Hawaii, then she and Devil-Slayer join the Skrull Kill Krew in Utah.

Man, that’s exhausting. This issue should have come with frequent flyer miles.

Deadpool #2 is officially a tie-in, but for some reason didn’t have the Secret Invasion banner across the top. The issue shows Deadpool further infiltrating the Skrulls. Infultrating, you say? That’s right, you didn’t think Wade was ACTUALLY joining the Skrulls, did you? They analyze his abilities and use his DNA for a full batch of Super Skrulls, building an invincible army. Wade manages to convince the Skrulls that he needs to train these Widdle Wades in order for them to truly be nigh-invincible. Through a psychotic training montage, he effectively drives a battalion of Super Deadpool Skrulls insane, and when the bosses catch on and try to eliminate them, they destroy five times as many dial-a-power Skrulls. We see the not-so-shocking ending that reveals Deadpool’s not working for the Skrulls at all, but for Mr. Nick Fury. Who ISN’T working for Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe right now? Man, if he’s a Skrull, we’re screwed…

Meanwhile, in high orbit above our lovely planet, the O.G. Super Skrull, Kl’rt, is about to pop Nova’s head off in Nova #17. Turns out he’s a tricksy little hobbit, though, turning Nova invisible after “burning him.” By the by, has Human Torch’s fire ever been analyzed? It must be mystical of a sort, if it can burn outside any atmosphere. Anyhow, Kl’rt flies off to his appearances in She-Hulk (more on that in a moment, be patient), and Nova heads to Long Island. Richard’s brother Robbie works at a top secret US Facility, so naturally it was attacked. Apparently Dick Cheney Skrull was shooting people in the face with a shotgun, according to Darkhawk, who has apparently left the Loners behind to be a full time rent-a-cop. Robbie’s co-horts have all sorts of wonderful exotic alien toys, but they’re all locked away in a vault they can’t get to. One flask of “quantum” ooze from the negative zone is the only thing they have available, but they can’t access it or figure out how to use it without a super-computer. When Nova mentions the dead-in-his-head Worldmind, they figure they can extract it, reboot it, and use it to access the secret of the ooze. They do so, and when Worldmind emerges, he confusedly asks Nova what the heck just happened. The kicker? He asks from inside the body of Wendell Vaughn, QUASAR! See? They clued everyone in by saying it was “quantum.”

Back to the tales of O.G. Super Skrull Kl’rt, we head to She-Hulk #33 (I told you we’d get back to it soon). The true damage of the overt Invasion is hinted at early in the issue, noting that O’Hare Airport in Chicago is literally burning in the Marvel Universe; once again showing a conflict between the Skrulls’ words, “Your lives will continue on as they were” and their actions, “We’re killing you all and burning your airports.” At any rate, Kl’rt is here on Earth for his daughter, Jazinda, who’s been palling around with Shulkie for the last several months. We get a little backstory on Jaz, seeing her infiltrate a Kree facility and ingesting a mystical gem, apparently the source of her can’t-die-ness. After a massive fight between She-Hulk and Kl’rt, along with a smallish fight between Jazinda and Nogor, the Talisman of the gods, we reach a standoff. No one around seemed to notice, but the gem that Jazinda ate is the “Sy-Torak Gem.” Sound familiar, X-fans? What connection this has to that OTHER Gem of Cyttorak is yet to be seen. In the meantime, Jennifer Walters uses here lawyer’y skills to stop Kl’rt from killing Jazinda, and he and Nogor are gone, out of the lives of our Green Queens.

Thunderbolts #124 starts by reminding us that yes, Norman Osborn is the without-a-doubt craziest SOB in the entire Marvel Universe. He is thrilled to be attacked by a squad of Spider-Skrulls, as he mercilessly slaughters them. Luckily, this issue of Thunderbolts does NOT contain a conversation between Norman and Captain Skrull-Vell, as the latter has been removed from the playing field. By dying. Mac “Used-to-be-the-Scorpion” Gargan actually uses his head, or maybe he’s just surrendered to the symbiote, proving that he’s dumber than a pile of black goo. The Swordsman’s dear returned-from-the-dead sister? Turns out she’s a Skrull. Oh, wait, no, turns out everyone thought she was a Skrull, but she wasn’t, and Bullseye killed her for fun anyway. Norman manages to gather his extremely dysfunctional troops, and puts on a show for the media, ending the battle with a simple declaration, “This is my country.”

Ms. Marvel #31 is no longer under the Secret Invasion banner, but it’s worth noting one quick thing, in relation to that final line in Thunderbolts. Ms. Marvel’s story takes place in the somewhat near future, post-Invasion. She mentions her mission is to kill Norman Osborn. Start connecting the dots, folks.

Black Panther #41 picks up right after the previous issue left off, with the king and queen of Wakanda captured by the Skrulls, and being brought to a torture chamber. They stay resilient as they are tortured again and again. Meanwhile, we peek inside the head of the General in charge of this faction of Skrulls, and see one of the rare “hey, these guys are just soldiers, not total monsters” moments of this massive missive. Turns out those being tortured are in fact the Skrulls sent to capture the Royal Family, forced into their shapes by technology, and forced into their personalities via more technology. Having beat them at their own game, T’Challa and Ororo kill the General, and lead the full-on slaughter of the entire invading force.

Incidentally, it seems at this point that America is just the most disorganized, least resilient group of people in the world. England and Wakanda have both managed to completely eliminate the Skrull threat. Why can’t the highest concentration of the world’s super-heroes do the same?

Finally, the last of eight tie-ins for this week is Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #2. Spider-man shows up in the book that bears his name for the first (and only at this point) time, displaying an all-new power: omniscience! He is used only for the recap page, where he tells the story from the first issue (which he wasn’t in) to dinosaurs while still stranded in the Savage Land. Even if I can go the next 10 years or so without seeing a Skrull or the Savage Land after this event, I will probably see alien dinosaurs in my sleep. As for the story itself, Sinister Six Skrull continues to chase the supporting cast from BND-Era Spidey (proving once and for all that BND is NOT an alternate-reality tale) all over New York. The Skrulls’ communication is apparently not too good, because this one desperately wants to find Spider-man, even though the ones in the Savage Land with him know exactly where he is. At any rate, the situation is dire, as Grey Goblin has Jackpot against the ropes, and S6 Skrull threatens to kill Robbie Robertson, Dexter Bennet, and Betty Brant, and the caption teases that one of them will actually die in the next issue. Until then, check this out to catch up on just who all these people are, if you haven’t been reading the regular Amazing Spider-man book.

We’ll be back with more Skrully goodness shortly, but until then, we’ll just be sitting here crying. Why? Because this is number 14 of these. We’ve covered 4-11 books in each one. Ow.

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