Six of the Marvel Universe's Biggest Intergalactic Clashes
The War of the Realms is just the latest entry in Marvel's history of massive cosmic battles!
As we don our armor and prepare to dive once more into the fray with the launch of WAR OF REALMS, it may help to look back on times previous when the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe found themselves forced to pick sides in massive galactic conflicts. Things have looked dire before. Blood has been spilled before. And yet, somehow, we made it through. Look upon this list and use it to gather strength and comfort.
The Kree/Skrull War
Long rivals, the Kree and Skrull finally decided to make their cold war a hot one. Worse, they chose to make the Earth the main battleground for the decades-long conflict to come to a boil.
Understandably, the Avengers took this very personally. Their involvement became even more pitched when the Skrulls decided to kidnap Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch—along with Captain Marvel, himself a Kree. Taking them off-world, the shape-shifters attempted to force Marvel to make a weapon capable of destroying his own people.
However, a raiding party of Avengers led by suddenly super-powered—thanks to the Supreme Intelligence—Rick Jones arrived in enough time to derail the Skrull master plan. This mission proved enough to dissuade the Skrulls from continuing to fight on Earth, and the Kree ended up with a de facto victory although they gained no Earthly love in doing so.
Galactus Ends the Skrull Homeworld
In a storyline that took literally years to come to fruition, Galactus found himself vulnerable for the first time. Setting upon Earth for a meal, not only did the Fantastic Four repel him but they, for a moment, could have killed him, removing him as a threat forever. Mr. Fantastic, however, refused. Reasoning you could no more kill Galactus than you could kill natural disasters, he instead elected to send Galactus away with the Frankie Raye Nova acting the part of his Jiminy Cricket.
Alas, his external conscience could not stop him from backsliding and returning to eating worlds teaming with life. Amongst those were the Skrull’s planet, a reality the surviving Skrulls were none too pleased with. To find out that their longtime Earthly enemy Reed Richards could have prevented it all only made the tragedy sting harder. Thus, they arrested and dragged Richards across the galaxy to face charges of abetting planetary genocide.
Somehow, however, Mr. Fantastic proved able to help them see the folly of killing Galactus. He therefore ended up cleared of all charges.
Operation: Galactic Storm
For years, the Kree and the Sh’iar had co-existed. Galaxies of distance and non-conflicting cultures prevented either from attacking the others even as the Earth became an increasingly common factor between them.
This period of non-interference came to an end with the assassination of the Kree Emperors by Deathcry, seemingly acting on some rogue solo quest. Despite her role as a free agent, the Kree demanded blood for blood. The Sh’iar, fearing a total attack by the more violent and war-like Kree, went the interstellar equivalent of nuclear, dropping a Nega-Bomb on Hala, the Kree homeworld. The resulting blast killed the majority of denizens. Those who survived, however, gained incredible super powers.
But the Kree Supreme Intelligence had wanted this from the beginning. All the bloodshed, all the chaos, all the fear, had been orchestrated from the beginning to make the Kree a race of superior beings so they could dominate the galaxies.
The Avengers, present for the blast and saved by Sersi from death, felt understandable horror at this revelation. In the resulting attempts to make sense of it all, a splinter group elected to murder the Supreme Intelligence.
Ironically, while the Supreme Intelligence’s machinations made little lasting difference in the universe, the choices it forced on the Avengers would echo years on. Think of it as the proto-Civil War.
Annihilus, as usual, wanted to break out of the Negative Zone and enact vengeance on those from our dimensions who had repeatedly stymied and interfered with his desires for conquest. He quickly realized the Death-obsessed Thanos would be an excellent ally in this effort and two formed a terrible partnership.
Thanos never intended to let Annihilus get too far, however. He saw the Negative Zoner as a tool, nothing more. Alas, Drax had no idea of this and slayed the Mad Titan before he could enact his plan to stop Annihilus.
Thankfully, Galactus—whom Annihilus had trapped and used as a sort of living battery—eventually freed himself without Thanos’s aid leaving Annihilus vulnerable to the universe’s heroes including Nova who happily pulled the villain inside out.
The Phalanx Conquest
Following the events of ANNIHILATION, Star-Lord dedicated himself to shoring up the Kree’s defenses against future invasions. However, he focused so much on the same kind of threat that Annihulus posed that he left the Kree vulnerable to other attacks. That assault came in the form of the Phalanx, a technological hivemind-like being that had previously bedeviled the X-Men on a far smaller scale.
The collective’s sudden ambition was soon revealed to be the machinations (no pun intended) of an Ultron who had gone into the universe in search of weapons or races to help him eradicate humanity. While he successfully conquered the Kree, that first mission gave Star-Lord enough time to gather allies—Phyla-Vell, Adam Warlock, Rocket, Gamora, and Groot—to stop Ultron and the Phalanx there in the outer reaches of the universe.
War of Kings
Coincidences sometimes pile up most inconveniently, causing ripples far more devastating than one could have ever anticipated looking at just one section of the whole. WAR OF KINGS proved such a moment of confluence.
In the Sh’iar Empire, the mutant Vulcan had seized control of the throne. Lilandra just escaped and sought refuge with the Kree. The Kree, meanwhile, were in the midst of their own royal shakeup as the Inhumans engineered a dynastic wedding between their Crystal and the Kree Ronan the Accuser.
Vulcan, realizing where Lilandra had escaped to, dispatched his Royal Guard led by Guardian to retrieve her by any means necessary. The Inhumans, still securing their place in Kree society and consolidating their power, reacted with great force to this attempt to circumvent their sovereignty. The subsequent battles tore a literal hole in the universe and seemingly claimed the lives of many including Lilandra, Black Bolt, and Vulcan himself.
And now, we find ourselves facing the WAR OF THE REALMS! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the developments surrounding this epic comics event – and get WAR OF THE REALMS #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Russell Dauterman and colors by Matthew Wilson, online or at your local comic shop!
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