The Skrulls have infiltrated the Marvel Universe once again. The scary part is–they may have been here for some time. This isn’t another mega-crossover comic book event with the green-skinned aliens trying to impersonate all your favorite heroes. This is the story of a family of Skrulls taking part in a very important mission. With the help of writer Robbie Thompson, you just might hope they succeed.
The last time Skrulls were in the spotlight was back in 2008’s Secret Invasion. This story is far from being a retread of that story. Williams takes a different approach with the vile shapeshifting aliens.
Skrulls have always been portrayed as evil, invading aliens. They’ve been the “enemy” for various heroes and other alien species. The idea of an alien being able to assume the appearance and identity of another is frightening. It could even be considered a violation. Nevertheless, Skrulls have always been defeated at the end of their appearance. Their plans for invading or world domination have been thwarted time and time again.
Is it possible readers might find themselves actually rooting for these aliens this time around?
The first time we see any Skrulls in the first issue, they are innocently minding their own business. It’s possible perhaps they’re simply trying to live a peaceful life on Earth since the Skrull Empire is in shambles. Unfortunately for them, it looks as if someone is hunting them down with extreme prejudice.
Niko Henrichon’s art is a great fit for the story. There is a sense this series will focus on characters rather than typical mammoth superhero action scenes. Henrichon succeeds in making the Skrulls feel…human. They style is distinctive from other books on the shelf. Even with an appearance by a certain Avenger, the issue feels like it could be a separate indie/creator-owned series set apart from the Marvel Universe. At the same time, you also can gauge the urgency and possible repercussions if the Skrulls do succeed.
Meet the Skrulls isn’t about a bunch of random aliens hiding on Earth. It focuses on the Warners–a family of Skrulls each entailed with separate agendas for the overall mission. As with the Skrulls that were eliminated in the opening pages, the Warners are all first shown in their human guises. Being able to appear human is the Skrulls’ greatest skill in their espionage.
A younger Skrull, Alice, is a great example how masterfully they can carry on the deception. She appears to be caring and the victim of “mean girls” at her high school. How could readers not sympathize for her?
Meet the Skrulls is definitely a brilliant concept. Upon first hearing about the title, I envisioned a 50s style, novelty attempt at showing a bunch of Skrulls trying to masquerade as a human family. That is far from the case. It’s an intriguing concept, and just as Tom King’s The Vision showed it was possible to care for an android family, Thompson is doing the same thing with evil, shapeshifting, blood-sucking aliens. Okay, maybe Skrulls don’t actually suck blood, but they are meant to be abhorrent creatures.
The problem now is I’m finding I might want them to, at least partially, succeed in their mission. If that makes me a traitor to humans in the Marvel Universe, I blame Thompson and Henrichon.