Marvel’s Super-Skrulls Explained

By Michileen Martin | Updated

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion

They may be relatively new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the Super-Skrulls are one of the earliest creations of Marvel Comics’ shared narrative. The MCU has the words “Super-Skrulls” uttered for the first time in the most recent episode of Disney+‘s Secret Invasion, as Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) talks about his goal of giving his rebel Skrull force super powers. So we thought you might want to know about the Super-Skrulls of the source material.

Marvel’s First Super-Skrull

In the comics, the Skrulls first reveal themselves all the way back in 1962’s Fantastic Four #2. The following year, in Fantastic Four #18, the eponymous team meets Kl’rt: the first of Marvel‘s Super-Skrulls and for many years the only one.

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Fantastic Four #18 (Marvel Comics, 1963)

After the Skrulls’ first experience getting trounced by the Fantastic Four, the aliens decide the key to conquering Earth is in copying the powers of its heroes. Through enhancements, Kl’rt is given the powers of all four members of the Fantastic Four — the elasticity of Mister Fantastic, the Human Torch’s fire and flight, Invisible Girl’s invisibility and force field powers, and the strength of The Thing.

The first of Marvel’s Super-Skrulls is exiled from the Skrull Empire for his failure to defeat Earth’s heroes, and for years he strives to win back the Empire’s favor in battles with the Avengers, the Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and more. Ironically, he not only eventually rejoins the Empire, but becomes one of its most powerful leaders.

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Kl’rt fighting The Illuminati

The Super-Skrulls Multiply

Soon enough, Marvel’s Skrulls began pumping out more Super-Skrulls, and most of them shared the same basic idea of fashioning their enhanced abilities after either Earth-based or cosmic heroes they’d encountered. Some, like Kl’rt, borrowed the abilities of the Fantastic Four.

Plenty of Marvel’s Super-Skrulls broadened their scope beyond the FF. Many were never named and we can only guess at their powers from their appearances.

For example, the heroes of 2008’s Captain Britain and MI-13 #1 battle a bunch of Super-Skrulls, including two unnamed aliens who appear to be respective amalgamations of some of the Defenders (Silver Surfer, Namor, and Valkyrie) and the original five Avengers (Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Hulk).

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Super-Skrulls in Captain Britain and The MI-13 #1 (Marvel Comics, 2008)

Some other of Marvel’s Super-Skrulls include Biff Bison who had the combined abilities of Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler and Nightcrawler of the X-Men; Criti Noll who had the shrinking and growing powers of Hank Pym; and Xavin who had all the powers of the FF like Kl’rt, but could only use one at a time.

In the case of Marvel Comics, the powers given to the Super-Skrulls serve to do more than just turn them into weapons, but to make them capable of convincingly disguising themselves as Earth’s superheroes.

For example in the Secret Invasion Marvel Comics event that the Disney+ series is named for, we learn that certain characters like Hank Pym, Spider-Woman, Black Bolt, and Elektra had been replaced by Skrulls years before.

Their deception is successful for so long because they’re not only able to look like the heroes, but can replicate their powers as well. They’re also largely immune to the kinds of abilities that would normally expose them, such as the enhanced senses of heroes like Daredevil and Wolverine.

The Super-Skrulls Of The MCU

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Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion

Considering Gravik’s plan in Disney+’s Secret Invasion — to get the world’s major human powers at war with one another so they’ll exterminate themselves — he would presumably not be as concerned with using Super-Skrulls to pretend to be MCU heroes. He seems much more interested in the abilities themselves and how he believes it will help his Super-Skrulls fight heroes like the Avengers.

Of course, then there’s the galaxy beyond Earth. Gravik has likely already considered what will happen once his plan his realized, and considering his anger, it wouldn’t be surprising if he plans to turn Marvel’s Super-Skrulls on alien threats. In particular, he’d probably like a shot at the Kree.