What Is A Skrull Anyway? Marvel’s Secret Invaders Explained

Skrulls, one of the most important alien races in Marvel Comics, is now one of the most important extraterrestrial species in the MCU.

By Chad Langen | Updated

secret invasion skrulls

Marvel’s cosmic universe hosts a variety of intriguing alien species, but few are quite as fascinating as the Skrulls. These green-skinned, shape-shifting extraterrestrials have been at the heart of numerous comic book storylines and have recently made their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Their prominence continues to rise as they take center stage in the storyline of Marvel’s new Disney+ series, Secret Invasion.

Skrulls made their first comic book appearance in Fantastic Four #2 in 1962, created by the iconic duo Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Originating from the planet Skrullos in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Skrulls boast one of the oldest and most powerful empires in the Marvel universe. Over the millennia, the Skrulls have evolved to master the art of metamorphosis, allowing them to mimic the physical attributes and powers of almost any being they encounter.

Beyond their shape-shifting abilities, the Skrulls’ complex societal structure is another interesting aspect of their characterization. Skrulls operate in a highly stratified society, with different subspecies and castes, from warriors and scientists to the ruling elite.

This level of detail adds depth to the Skrulls as more than just shape-shifting invaders but a fully realized alien species with their unique culture and struggles.

In the realm of comic books, Skrulls have largely been portrayed as villains due to their deceptive nature. Their most notorious scheme is documented in the Secret Invasion storyline, where the Skrulls managed to replace several Marvel heroes with Skrull imposters on Earth, sparking widespread paranoia and conflict among the superhero community.

This storyline cemented the Skrulls as a formidable threat capable of instigating universe-wide havoc.

Ben Mendelsohn as Talos in Captain Marvel (2019)

Talos, played by Ben Mendelsohn, is the leader of the Skrulls in the MCU. Initially posing as an antagonist, Talos’ true motives are revealed to be protecting the remaining members of his race from Kree persecution. Talos and his family are given refuge on Earth by Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), promising a new beginning for the Skrulls in the MCU.

In the MCU, the Skrulls have had a somewhat different portrayal, making their first appearance in 2019’s Captain Marvel. Here, the Skrulls were depicted as refugees fleeing from the Kree, another interstellar race with a history of aggression.

This unexpected twist depicted the Skrulls in a more sympathetic light, with their shape-shifting abilities serving as a survival mechanism rather than a tool of infiltration and war.

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, released in 2019, the Skrulls played a pivotal role in the film’s plot. It is revealed that Talos and his wife Soren (Sharon Blynn), both Skrulls, had been impersonating Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smolders) throughout the movie. This revelation echoed the Skrulls’ infamous comic book schemes and hinted at their expanded role in future MCU installments.

Currently, the Skrulls are wreaking havoc in the Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which draws inspiration from the popular comic book storyline of the same name. The show revolves around Nick Fury and his allies, who upon discovering a clandestine Skrull rebellion, embark on a mission to avert this threat and safeguard humanity.

So far, only one episode has aired, and we’re curious to see how the narrative will continue to handle Skrull’s dual portrayal as both potential threats and sympathetic characters as the show progresses.

secret invasion premiere
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion

Beyond their appearance in Secret Invasion, the Skrulls are expected to show up next in The Marvels, slated for release on November 10.

In the film, a mysterious wormhole linked to the Kree triggers an unusual interaction among the powers of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Carol Danvers. Consequently, they start to swap places with each other every time they use their powers, compelling them to unravel the mystery behind this strange phenomenon.

The Skrulls, with their unique abilities and complex backstory, will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the MCU expands its narrative scope to delve deeper into cosmic stories, the Skrulls’ involvement becomes inevitable, given their profound impact on interstellar affairs in the source material.