The ‘Secret Invasion’ series finally aired its first episode, and we are excited. Of course, the first episode started really strong, with Nick Fury and some old faces appearing in MCU after a very long time, but most notably, the story around Skrull’s invasion of Earth is getting tenser by the minute. Skrulls were introduced to MCU in ‘Captain Marvel’ movie, where we learn briefly about the alien race and the origins of their epic conflict with Kree. Of course, since then, we saw Skrulls being featured in the ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ movie, where we learn that Talos and Soren impersonated Nick Fury and Maria Hill. In this article, we will discuss Skrulls’ and their shapeshifting powers in comics and MCU. So, how are Skrulls able to shapeshift?
In the comics, Skrulls can alter their bodies in anything they can imagine, organic or inorganic. Of course, those shapes need to be solid, and they can use the same ability to grow extra limbs. They can also shapeshift into other genders. Marvel Cinematic Universe suggests something a bit different – Skrulls can impersonate others when they see the person or a being. If the Skrull dies impersonating someone, they revert to their original form. How do they shapeshift? The ability is ingrained in them since birth, and it’s common among “regular” Skrulls.
Skrulls became one of the universe’s oldest and most notorious empires, especially in the Andromeda Galaxy. However, their story is quite rich, so let’s discuss Skrulls in the comics and put it in the context of the ‘Secret Invasion’ series.
A brief history of Skrulls in the Marvel Universe
When it comes to Skrulls in Marvel Cinematic Universe, they were first introduced in the ‘Captain Marvel’ movie. We learned about their conflict with Kree and even saw a few characters having big roles in that particular movie.
Talos and Soren were part of the Skrull resistance and joined forces with a Kree scientist, Mar-Vell, to save the refugees from Kree. Of course, we saw Talos and Soren arriving on Earth and joining forces with Captain Marvel and Nick Fury to save their people.
Toward the movie’s end, we see Skrull refugees losing their homeworld in the war and Fury dedicating his life to finding their new home. However, Fury doesn’t have time to fulfill his promise with the Mad Titan and other dangers threatening the Earth. These events are a prologue for what is currently happening in ‘Secret Invasion’ – radical Skrull faction secretly ‘invade’ Earth to make their new home.
Interestingly enough, MCU explained Skrull’s origins pretty briefly, mostly establishing their shapeshifting and powers. Of course, Marvel Comics establishes Skrull’s lore much better, and it’s really interesting.
First of all, the story of Skrulls starts eons ago when Celestials visit the planet Skrullos and decide to experiment on the planet’s genitive form, creating three branches of the same species – the Eternals, the Deviants, and the Prime. The first two species of Skrulls were superhuman beings with superpowers, while the latter was basically “normal” and without powers. As usual, with multiple branches of the same species, they fought amongst each other, with Deviants becoming the dominant species, exterminating both Primes and Eternals.
Deviants became the dominant species and became known as Skrulls, who later created the Skrull Empire. Deviant Skrulls are a race of green-skinned, shapeshifting humanoid beings with superpowers who use their force to colonize the Andromeda Galaxy and, later, expand to the whole universe.
The colonizers fought against many other alien races, including Kree, Badoon, Broon, Xartans, and many others. Of course, Skrull’s history is more detailed than this, but overall this is how they became so powerful and relevant in the whole universe.
Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t go into that much detail since that would take multiple movies or series to explain their origins, but Skrulls were established as powerful beings who can impersonate almost everyone they see. So, what is it about their shapeshifting powers that are so fascinating? Let’s find out in the next section.
How can Skrulls shapeshift?
Despite their quite remarkable history, the shapeshifting aspect of their lore could be premised in a few words – they are born with shapeshifting powers. However, their shapeshifting is more layered and powerful. In the comics, Deviants are superpowered beings who, besides their shapeshifting, can manipulate their bodies – they can alternate their size, grow new limbs, and mimic sounds and voices.
Moreover, their biology lets them become anything they can imagine; the only aspect that needs to be met is the fact that the organic or inorganic forms they shapeshift into the need to be solid.
In the ‘Secret Invasion,’ we see Skrulls shapeshift into people they see along the way and can manipulate their bodies in combat. Gravik is seen in the trailers doing just that – shapeshifting his limbs to attack his opponents.
We are yet to see if Gravik or his fellow Skrulls could shapeshift his limbs into weapons, like the versions of the species in the Marvel comics. Clubs, blades, or guns, nothing can get passed the aliens, but like most of the beings in the Marvel Universe, Skrulls have their weaknesses.
Skrulls’ shapeshifting has its limitation. For example, they can manipulate their bodies to become bigger but not replicate what Scott Lang’s Ant-Man or Hank Pym’s Giant-Man regularly does. Moreover, when impersonation others, Skrulls cannot replicate one’s powers or thoughts – which will be interesting to see in the Disney+ series, where we will most likely learn that some of the major characters have been Skrulls for years.
Black Bolt could have a field day against Skrulls since they are highly sensitive to high-pitched sounds – Super-Skrull in the comics even lost his powers when he got affected by the high-decibel sounds.
Also, the ‘Secret Invasion’ comics showcased Skrulls’ weakness against Legacy Virus, which devastated hundreds of mutants, and they suffered the same fate when the Beast developed a special version of the virus during their invasion of Earth.
So, despite being really powerful, Skrulls have many weaknesses. However, if one doesn’t know how to recognize impersonators or know about the species, Skrulls could be devastating, especially for humans.
It seems that we will see that in the ‘Secret Invasion’ series, and if the first episode taught us anything, it is that angry and homesick Skrulls are extremely powerful, especially when they secretly organize a plan to have their home after Kree has destroyed theirs.
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