How the Kree-Skrull War Paved the Road to ‘Empyre’
Get the lowdown on the twin intergalactic empires gunning for Earth!
For countless generations, the Kree and the Skrull races have been the dominant intergalactic powers. Both empires have tried to conquer or subvert the Earth, only to be met with defeat at the hands of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and other Super Heroes. The Kree and Skrulls were more focused on annihilating each other than on achieving their goals on Earth. However, things have changed since the events of INCOMING. The twin empires have become one under the leadership of their new emperor, Dorrek VIII AKA Hulkling from the Young Avengers.
How did eons of war lead to this moment -- and EMPYRE? On Wednesday, March 25, writer Robbie Thompson and artists Mattia De Iulis and Javier Rodriguez will peel back the hidden layers in ROAD TO EMPYRE: THE KREE/SKRULL WAR #1. This one-shot will bring back the Warner family from MEET THE SKRULLS as they revisit the shared history of the Skrull and the Kree. Longtime Marvel readers have already seen some of these legends unfold in the classic Kree-Skrull War storyline that ran in the pages of AVENGERS.
The origins of the enmity between the Kree and the Skrulls were explained in a flashback from AVENGERS (1963) #133. The Skrull Empire was in place long before the Kree built their own empire. Thousands of years ago, the Kree shared their homeworld, Hala, with the Cotati, a race of plant-based aliens. The Skrulls transported representatives of both the Kree and the Cotati to the Blue Area of Earth’s moon to test which race was worthy of their aid.
It was a relatively benign test which allowed the Cotati to thrive and succeed. But the Kree couldn’t accept the results of the Skrulls’ judgment. They slaughtered the Cotati and Skrulls on the Moon and began reverse-engineering Skrull technology to transform the Kree into an intergalactic power in their own right.
This fight continued for centuries, but the conflict quickly became a quagmire that neither side could actually win. It was an eternal stalemate until AVENGERS (1963) #89, when the Kree known as Mar-Vell was freed from the Negative Zone. Ronan the Accuser had recently taken control of the Kree Empire, and he attempted to de-evolve mankind by erasing thousands of years of human history. While the Avengers and Mar-Vell thwarted Ronan’s plans, they inadvertently set the stage for a worldwide panic by trying to keep the near-invasion a secret.
H. Warren Craddock, an outspoken politician, seized on the news to create an alien hysteria in AVENGERS (1963) #92. As a ruse, the Skrulls impersonated Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor in order to trick the Avengers into disbanding, which allowed the Skrulls to capture Mar-Vell, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver. The Skrull Emperor, Dorrek VII, wanted Mar-Vell to betray his people and share the secret of the Kree Omni-Wave projector. This is when Mar-Vell caught the eye of Dorrek VII’s beautiful daughter, Princess Anelle.
Years later, it was revealed in YOUNG AVENGERS that Mar-Vell and Anelle had an affair that led to their child: Dorrek VIII. Anelle correctly guessed that her son would be in danger within the Skrull Empire because of his half-Kree heritage, so she arranged for him to be raised on Earth, where he grew up as Theodore “Teddy” Altman. Teddy eventually came into his powers as Hulkling and became a founding member of the Young Avengers.
AVENGERS (1963) #96-97 brought the Kree-Skrull War to a temporary conclusion when the Kree Supreme Intelligence allowed Mar-Vell’s friend and companion Rick Jones to access humanity’s innate powers. Rick summoned avatars of Marvel’s Golden Age heroes to aid them in the final battle before exposing Skrulls across the galaxy. Back on Earth, Craddock was outed as a Skrull moments after inciting a crowd against the alien threat. They subsequently beat the imposter to death before the real Craddock was rescued by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
In NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI, it was revealed that Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, Professor Xavier, Black Bolt, and Prince Namor traveled to the Skrull homeworld after the war and attempted to intimidate them into leaving Earth alone. This spectacularly backfired, as the Skrulls captured them and gained critical intelligence from the heroes before letting them escape.
Rick’s powers came up again in AVENGERS FOREVER, as the Supreme Intelligence manipulated events in an attempt to break the Kree out of their evolutionary dead end. That led to MAXIMUM SECURITY, an event in which the Kree attempted to gain their revenge on Earth, the Skrulls, and the other galactic powers. As for the Skrulls, their ultimate ambition to conquer the Earth unfolded in SECRET INVASION. The united heroes and villains barely managed to push back that offensive.
Neither the Kree nor the Skrulls have ever been able to subjugate the Earth on their own. That’s what makes their alliance so deadly. If the twin empires have finally learned from their mistakes, then Earth’s heroes will be in for the fight of their lives when EMPYRE begins in April!
ROAD TO EMPYRE: THE KREE/SKRULL WAR #1, written by Robbie Thompson with art by Mattia De Iulis and Javier Rodriguez, goes on sale Wednesday, March 25. Pre-order your copy now online or at your local comic shop!
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