The world has finally been given a first look at the Skrulls, a race of a green-skinned, shapeshifting aliens who will serve as the antagonists in Captain Marvel. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the movie stars Brie Larson in the title role as Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel, a half-human half-Kree who serves as a member of the Kree military unit Starforce. The film will partly adapt the Kree-Skrull War arc from the comics, and is also expected to kick off Secret Invasion, a storyline in which the Skrulls infiltrate Earth.
Leading the Skrulls is the villainous Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who goes undercover on Earth and poses as a human working in cooperation with SHIELD. Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s, so this version of SHIELD includes a young Nick Fury (who still has both his eyes) and a young Phil Coulson (marking Clark Gregg's return to the movie side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time since 2012's The Avengers).
When the Skrulls first made their debut in Fantastic Four #2, they were diminutive and goblin-like in appearance, with large, hypnotic eyes. When they returned in Fantastic Four #18, they had the distinctive chin ridges that became a staple of their design. Their portrayal has varied a little over the years, with the Skrulls becoming slightly more humanoid and therefore more hulking and intimidating in their true form, but the green skin, ridged chins and pointed, batlike ears have remained consistent. These elements remained in the concept art shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, though the ears were slightly smaller than in the comics (perhaps because giant ears might have looked silly in live-action).
Overall, the original concept art was fairly close to the portrayal of the Skrulls in the comics, and it looks like the final version of the Skrulls in Captain Marvel has two main points of departure from both. Their skin is a noticeably paler shade of green that almost looks yellow, and while their uniforms are a similar shade and have similar patterns to the early concept art, they don't have the head coverings that are usually worn by Skrulls in the comics. They do, however, have purple coloring on their heads that serves as a visual stand-in for the helmet.
It's possible that we'll see other Skrulls that do have head coverings in the movie, but it would make sense for Marvel to want to clearly differentiate the Skrulls and Talos from the Dark Elves of Thor: The Dark World. In that movie, Christopher Eccleston's Malekith had similarly pale skin, pointy ears, and a rather Skrull-like helmet, so having a similar-looking villain in Captain Marvel may have been confusing for casual fans - especially since the movie already features an earlier Marvel villain, Ronan the Accuser.
Of course, we only have one image of the Skrulls to go on so far, so we'll have to wait for the first trailer to see them in action - and to see how their transformation process has been brought to life.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019