A year ago at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel Studios announced that Academy Award winner Brie Larson has been chosen to play Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel. With a release date of March 8, 2019, Captain Marvel will be the studio’s first film headlined by a female superhero. Fans have been salivating ever since to learn more details about the film, and Marvel didn’t disappoint at this year’s massive Hall H presentation. The studio revealed that Captain Marvel will take place in the 1990s – a decade before the Marvel Cinematic Universe formally launched when Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) revealed to the public that he was Iron Man. What’s more, Marvel unleashed stunning concept art, not just of Larson in Captain Marvel’s trademark red, blue and gold uniform, but of her battling the villains of the film – the alien Skrulls!
The Skrulls are a surprising and unexpected addition to the MCU. The Skrulls date back to very beginnings of the Marvel Universe of the comics. The insidious race of green alien shapeshifters, recognizable in their true forms by their notably large ridged chins, debuted in Marvel Comics all the back in Fantastic Four #2 (1962). Because the Skrulls are closely associated with the Fantastic Four, whose film rights are owned by competing studio 20th Century Fox, it was assumed by fans that they were among the ancillary characters off limits to Marvel Studios. Happily, that isn’t the case.
Not merely antagonists for the Fantastic Four, the Skrulls have long since been a threat to the entire Marvel Universe, and especially to the superheroes who defend the Earth. One of the hallmark Avengers stories of the 1970s was the Kree/Skrull War, where Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were caught in the middle of the intergalactic conflict between the shapeshifting race and their enemies, the blue-skinned Kree, the creators of the Inhumans. Recently the Skrulls became an even greater threat to Earth’s heroes in the 2008 crossover event Secret Invasion – and this is where the Skrulls arriving in the Captain Marvel film could alter the very fabric of the MCU.
Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu, Secret Invasion was essentially the Marvel Universe’s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It revealed that after the Kree/Skrull War, a coalition of Earth’s superheroes who dubbed themselves the Illuminati – Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Mr. Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Black Bolt of the Inhumans, and Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men – invaded the Skrull homeworld to warn them against further attacks on the Earth. The heroes were subsequently captured and experimented upon before escaping.
Armed with knowledge of Earth’s superhumans from their experiments, the Skrulls, who believe the Earth is “religiously and rightfully theirs,” mounted a secret invasion of the Earth. They captured and replaced several superheroes, as well as infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. The Marvel Universe was destabilized and thrown asunder by suspicion and mistrust – the event’s slogan was “Who Do You Trust?” – as anyone could have been revealed as a Skrull. The end result saw S.H.I.E.L.D. disbanded by the President of the United States and replaced with an organization called H.A.M.M.E.R. led by Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin). Osborn formed his own secret evil version of the Illuminati, which included Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, and Loki, leading into the Dark Reign storyline.
Next Page: A SECRET INVASION OF THE MCU?
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