‘Captain Marvel’ was our first introduction to Skrulls, a shape-shifting species running from the brink of destruction from warfaring Kree. We know that the conflict between Kree and Skrulls has been raging for centuries until the Skrulls lost their planet, Skrullos. It was destroyed, and the Skrulls ended up being space refugees. The second episode of ‘Secret Invasion’ offered us one vital clue regarding what led to the destruction of Skrullos, and as it turns out, it’s a lot more complicated than we thought it was.
Skrullos was destroyed in a series of highly-advanced attacks performed by the Kree, but Skrulls weren’t merely defending themselves. They were actively participating in the war against the Skrulls, having their own ambitions and goals to fulfill. This means that Skrulls weren’t merely victims of the Kree domination. They were simply on the losing side of the war. In the comics, Skrullos was never destroyed by the Kree, but just like in the MCU, both sides waged war upon each other with equal intensity.
Skrulls were, up until the release of ‘Secret Invasion’ generally painted in a sympathetic light because the folks lost everything and were merely trying to survive in this cruel universe. However, recent revelation led us to believe that Skrulls were equal participants in making the universe the worse place to live in, one war at a time. So let’s analyze it in a bit more detail.
In ‘Captain Marvel’ we’ve seen Skrulls on the brink of extinction
In the MCU, the story with the Skrulls started with the release of ‘Captain Marvel.’ We know that Mar-Vell felt bad about how Kree were treating Skrulls and offered a portion of the population a sanctuary aboard the ship, and this is where Captain Marvel found them, and soon Nick Fury followed to save them.
Fury then formed a long-lasting relationship with one of the good Skrulls, Talos. The details of how the pact formed between the species were revealed in ‘Secret Invasion’ episode 2.
In 1997, Fury approached the Skrull refugees and offered them a deal. That day he met Gravik, who was presented to him as a victim of the Kree-Skrull war. He saw his parents being killed by the Kree, and he managed to pilot the ship on his own to escape.
Fury is touched by the story and forms a close bond with Gravik, but he will ultimately betray him after Fury fails to deliver on his promise, but more on that later.
Anyway, Fury offered Skrulls a deal, their shapeshifting abilities, and enhanced strength would help Nick Fury a great deal in defending Earth against threats, and in exchange, he will provide them with a new planet along with Carol Danvers, who was at that time actively working with Fury.
Fury told them while Skrulls are keeping Earth safe, he will look for a new safe place to house them. But this means that Skrulls need to assimilate with humanity and keep their human faces on as much as possible.
The promise was made, and the deal was struck, but 30 years later, instead of delivering that promise, Fury disappeared from Earth.
Skrull Council member Shirley revealed that Skrulls were actively participating in the war against Kree
Following Fury’s disappearance from Earth, some Skrulls, including Gravik, saw this as a sign of Fury’s betrayal. He decided to radicalize the Skrulls already on Earth, and the fact that Talos invited more Skrulls on Earth also didn’t help matters.
Gravik was actively working on starting a global war between human military forces, while the Skrulls were slowly working to amass, in the shadows, more power to themselves by posing as high-ranking humans. Gravik proposed the war against humans directly, and ultimately all members of the Skrull Council eventually caved in, except for Shirley, that reminded them of their own past.
Shirley revealed that Skrulls lost a war not because they were defending themselves and unwilling to take part in it but because they were too eager to participate. This paints a more accurate picture of Skrulls. They weren’t merely victims of Kree ambitions. They were active participants and most likely had their own ambitions that led to the destruction of their home world.
This is more in tune with the Skrulls from the comics, which are sometimes presented as villains. In the comics, Skrulls were just as advanced as the Kree and had an equally powerful empire. Two races spend millennia fighting each other, and both Kree and the Skrulls benefited from the war in a major way as it pushed them to advance their tech and spread the borders of their empires as much as possible.
The war was cyclical in nature, sometimes being active and sometimes suspended in a “cold war state,” with both sides amassing more power to strike again. Even Earth, during ‘Secret Invasion,’ found itself on the radar of Skrulls.
Skrullos, however, wasn’t destroyed in the conflict in the same way as it was in the MCU.
Gravik is working on starting another war that his race might lose
Gravik doesn’t care about the past, however, or has an extremely distorted vision of it due to losing his parents to Kree. He is actively working to strengthen Skrull through the development of the Machine and through deposing powerful humans and replacing them with Skrulls. Skrulls are, by default, stronger than humans, but it’s going to take a lot more than raw strength to deal with what he considers a “barbaric self-destructive species.”
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