Warning: SPOILERS for Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel has finally arrived, bringing some of the most eagerly anticipated Marvel characters to life on the big screen. One of the most exciting aspects of the film was the inclusion of the Skrull. This shape-shifting alien race has been a big part of the Marvel comics, going back to its early beginnings.
It certainly is exciting to have these iconic villains appear in live-action form. However, fans of the comics will recognize that the Skrull in this film are quite different than those in the comics. The film left out some aspects of the species while also making some fun changes. Here are some of the ways Captain Marvel’s Skrull are different from the comics.
10 The Different Groups Of Skrulls
The origins of the Skrull go back to the earliest stages of the Marvel universe. Centuries ago, the all-powerful Celestials performed genetic experiments on a reptilian species and from those experiments, three variations of the species were produced: the Prime, the Eternals, and the Deviants.
The Deviants are the race of Skrull that are most widely used in the comics and appear in the Captain Marvel film. They are the only Skrull capable of shape-shifting. With such a complex history, it’s no surprise the movie avoids going into all that and keeps things as simple as possible.
9 Skrull Civil War
Despite the rather peaceful way the Skrull are depicted in Captain Marvel, their species has quite a long history of war. Not only have the Skrull been at war with their enemies the Kree for years, but they also waged a brutal war among their own.
After their species was separated into the three groups, they began fighting each other for control over the species. Though initially thought to be the most primitive of the Skrull, the Deviants soon overthrew the others thanks to their shape-shifting abilities.
8 Skrull Royalty
While the Kree in Captain Marvel seem to be a war-minded race of advanced warriors, the comic Skrull are a more scattered species. Talos is the closest thing they have to a leader and he is only hoping to reunite with his family.
The Skrull in the comics are a much more organized species with an empire of their own. At one time, the Skrull were more far more advanced than the Kree and they are ruled over by their own leaders. One of the most famous Skrull leaders was Emperor Dorrek, who is not mentioned in this film.
7 Their Religion
Within the Skrull’s deep history is the origins of their own religion which has motivated their race in many of their intergalactic efforts. The legends say that as the Skrull Deviants were overthrowing the other Skrull, a Skrull Eternal named Kly'bn convinced the Deviant’s Queen Sl’gur’t that he was the key to their race surviving.
Kly’bn and Sl’gur’t eventually married and were worshiped by the Skrull as gods. The two wrote a sacred text know as the Book of Worlds which prophesied the Skrull would find a new home on Earth.
Captain Marvel does a fine job of twisting the story of the Kree-Skrull war in a way that surprised even avid comic book readers. The shape-shifters are not villains but, in fact, refugees looking for a new home and to escape Kree rule.
The reason this is such a surprising twist is because the Skrull have always been an invading force. The lies that Carol is told in the film about the Skrull seeking to infiltrate and take over Earth are very much true to their comic book counterparts. It’s good to see the MCU is willing to play around with their established comic book storylines.
5 The Kral System
Though they have a long history of invasions, the Skrull also know how to have some fun. There is a very strange storyline in the comics that shows the Skrull, taking some fascination with Earth, constructing an intergalactic amusement park of sorts called The Kral System.
Basically, the Kral System is like a bigger version of the Westworld park. Visitors can experience things like the Prohibition Era world or Medieval world. Sadly, Captain Marvel doesn’t delve into any of this fun. Maybe they’re saving it for the sequel.
4 The Cow Prank
The Skrull are indeed a deadly and dangerous species. And yet, in their very first appearance in Marvel comics, they are beaten in one of the most embarrassing ways possible.
Way back in Fantastic Four #2, the Skrull invade Earth and the Fantastic Four must stop them. To help save the planet, Reed Richard convinces the aliens that Earth is too dangerous to conquer and that for their own protection, they should shape-shift into cows and keep a low profile. Though admittedly silly, it would have been a great in-joke for Fury to convince Talos to don this disguise.
One of the highlights of the film is Ben Mendelsohn’s charming performance as the Skrull leader, Talos. Again, Talos is a far more sympathetic character in the film than initially thought as he is simply trying to save his people.
Talos in the comics is quite different. He is something of an outcast among his people due to the fact that he cannot shape-shift. However, he made a name for himself as Talos the Untamed due to his reputation for savagery and cruelty.
2 Super Skrull
An ongoing dilemma in Captain Marvel is the characters trying to discern who is a Skrull. In one instance, Carol proves to Fury she is not a Skrull by firing a photon blast. She explains that Skrull can’t do that. That would seem to confirm the Super Skrull have not been introduced into the MCU yet.
Super Skrull have the ability to take on any abilities of the superpowered individuals they imitate. One of the most famous Super Skrull, Paibok, has fought the Fantastic Four using all of their super abilities. We’ll have to wait and see if he eventually makes an appearance.
1 Their Relationship With Thanos
In an interesting connection to several previous MCU films, the film reveals that the Tesseract is the source of Carol's powers. Obviously, the Tesseract eventually fell into Thanos’ hands, granting him the Space Stone.
In the comics, it is the Skrull that help Thanos acquire the Tesseract (named the Cosmic Cube in the comics). With the Skrull a big part of this story and Thanos ready to make his return in Avengers: Endgame, it’s a bit surprising the movie didn’t try to fit the Mad Titan into this story.