The Super-Skrull, Explained
Gifted with the powers of the Fantastic Four, the Skrull’s greatest warrior is now a key galactic player.
Long before they attacked planet Earth in SECRET INVASION, the shape-shifting warriors of the Skrull Empire forged one of the most formidable fighting forces in the Marvel Universe. But with the powers of each member of the Fantastic Four, the Super-Skrull, Kl’rt, stood apart as the empire’s strongest warrior. With numerous powers at his disposal, the Super-Skrull fought everyone from the Fantastic Four to the Avengers and Spider-Man before morphing into a true cosmic leader.
[RELATED: The Complete History of the Skrull Empire]
WHO IS THE SUPER-SKRULL?
Before he debuted as the Super-Skrull in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #18, by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers, Kl’rt was a soldier in the Skrull army. Through the Skrull’s endless battles with the Kree, Kl’rt became a celebrated soldier, and he had two children, Sarnogg and Jazinda, with his partner. But after several high-profile losses, Kl’rt was dishonored and was kept away from his family. After Jazinda joined the Skrull army to earn her father’s respect, she swallowed the Kree Sy-Torak Gem and was forced into hiding after bonding with it. This ultimately brought more shame upon Kl’rt’s family and compelled him to vow to kill his daughter for her crime against the empire.
After the Fantastic Four stopped the Skrull’s plans to invade Earth during one of their first missions, Kl’rt became the Super-Skrull. On the orders of Emperor Dorrek VII, the Super-Skrull traveled to Earth and tried to claim it for the Skrull Empire to bait the Fantastic Four into fighting him. In the first of their many battles, the Super-Skrull overpowered and overwhelmed the FF with his wide range of abilities. But in their second fight, the heroes figured out how to disrupt the Super-Skrull’s powers and trapped him inside a deserted island.
HOW DID THE SUPER-SKRULL GET HIS POWERS?
The Super-Skrull received his fantastic powers through bioengineering, which enabled him to absorb the same cosmic rays that empowered the Fantastic Four. Through a satellite relay on the Skrull homeworld Tarnax IV, the Skrulls beamed cosmic energy into Kl’rt through power receptors that were then implanted in his body. The Fantastic Four defeated the Super-Skrull by interrupting this signal, but Kl’rt escaped when the Skrulls increased the signal’s power. However, the Super-Skrull eventually absorbed enough cosmic radiation that he no longer needed the satellite’s signal.
Due to the unique way that Kl’rt’s power worked, the upper limits of the Super-Skrull’s abilities can even eclipse those of the Fantastic Four. Where Mister Fantastic can only stretch a few thousand feet, the Super-Skrull can stretch his body over 100 miles. The Super-Skrull can lift 100 tons, fly faster than the Human Torch, generate anti-matter fireballs, and have greater control over his invisibility than the Invisible Woman. Kl’rt can also combine his powers in complementary ways by, for instance, stretching his arm with Mister Fantastic’s power while setting it aflame like the Human Torch. Like most Skrulls, the Super-Skrull also has shape-shifting and hypnotic abilities.
IS SUPER-SKRULL A VILLAIN?
Although the Super-Skrull has evolved into a galactic leader, he initially established himself as one of the Fantastic Four’s most dangerous villains. Using the costumed alias “Invincible Man,” Kl’rt posed as Franklin Storm, the father of the Invisible Woman and Human Torch, as part of a Skrull plot that ultimately killed the elder Storm in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #32. After several subsequent encounters with the Fantastic Four, the Super-Skrull fought the Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell and took him captive with a few other Avengers during the Kree/Skrull War.
[RELATED: Understanding the Kree/Skrull War]
After joining Thanos in his search for the Cosmic Cube, the Super-Skrull fell under the mystic sway of the Iron Fist villain Master Khan. As part of a plot against Danny Rand and Luke Cage, the Super-Skrull posed as the terminally ill boy Bobby Wright and his counterpart Captain Hero. After the Skrull throneworld was destroyed by Galactus, the Super-Skrull worked with the Silver Surfer, who helped him restore the lost shape-shifting abilities of the other Skrulls. For his assorted victories and defeats, the Super-Skrull was alternately celebrated and shunned by various leaders and factions within the fractured Skrull Empire.
When Kl’rt learned that the son of Captain Mar-Vell and Skrull Princess Anelle was on Earth, he tried to bring the heir to the Skrull throne, Hulkling, into protective custody. But during that process, the Super-Skrull killed Hulking’s adoptive mother, Anelle’s former nursemaid, in YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #9. When other members of the Skrull and Kree empires tried to force Hulkling to join them in space, the Super-Skrull posed as the Young Avenger and went with them while the real Hulkling remained on Earth.
The Super-Skrull also played a pivotal role in ANNIHILATION, where he forged new bonds with several cosmic defenders. Kl’rt was the sole survivor of Annihilus’ initial “Annihilation Wave” attack on the planet Aks'lo. After attacking Annihilus’ base in the Negative Zone, the Super-Skrull lost his son in the conflict. After helping Ronan the Accuser take over the remaining Kree Empire, the Super-Skrull helped the heroes of the cosmos take on the Ultron-led Phalanx forces in ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST.
WHAT DID SUPER-SKRULL DO IN SECRET INVASION?
While Queen Veranke led the Skrull effort to infiltrate Earth’s heroes and take over the planet, the Super-Skrull played a relatively minor role in SECRET INVASION. When he realized that the Skrulls were about to attack Earth, Kl’rt “saved” his ally Nova from a battalion and warned him about the impending invasion in NOVA (2007) #16. After Kl’rt revealed that his daughter was still alive on Earth, Nova took them both to the human homeworld, where the Super-Skrull promised to use his invisibility powers to help Nova get past the Skrull armada. Once Kl’rt was on Earth, he found his daughter, Jazinda, working with She-Hulk to hold a Skrull cleric known as the Talisman captive. Although the Super-Skrull wanted to fulfill his vow to kill his daughter for swallowing the Kree Sy-Torak Gem, She-Hulk convinced him to let her live since she was his last surviving family member.
Despite Kl’rt’s relatively minor role in SECRET INVASION, the Skrulls’ insidious mission was primarily carried out through thousands of other Super-Skrulls empowered by the genes of Earth’s heroes and villains. By studying the DNA of super-powered humans, plus experiments conducted on Skrull mutants, the Skrull scientist Dro'ge Fenu Edu perfected the process and developed a new breed of Super-Skrulls that could wield the powers and memories of Earth’s superhumans.
HOW DID SUPER-SKRULL JOIN THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY?
After SECRET INVASION, the original Super-Skrull took on more of a leadership role, which saw him work closely with other cosmic leaders and the Guardians of the Galaxy. When an ancient race of aliens called the Builders began targeting Skrulls, several Skrull factions came together under the leadership of the Super-Skrull in AVENGERS (2012) #18. Kl’rt approached the Galactic Council and was accepted as the Skrulls’ representative on the galaxy’s ruling political body. In the INFINITY crossover, the Super-Skrull and his forces worked with the Avengers and other cosmic empires to fight the Builders, and Kl’rt even saved Captain America’s life in one ensuing battle. When Thanos attacked the relatively defenseless Earth, Kl’rt and his alien allies helped the Avengers defeat the Mad Titan. Following these conflicts, Kl’rt was officially crowned as the Skrull Emperor in INFINITY (2013) #6. During his brief time leading the Skrulls, Emperor Kl’rt found the Time Stone and tried to assemble the Infinity Gems to restore the Skrull Empire. However, Doctor Strange stopped him and confiscated the stone.
When the Cotati aliens targeted the Skrulls and the Kree in the galaxy-spanning EMPYRE event, Emperor Kl'rt and his Kree counterpart combined their once-rival empires to form the Kree-Skrull Alliance. Due to his royal Kree and Skrull heritage, Hulkling was chosen to lead this coalition as Emperor Dorrek-Vell I. Although Kl’rt served on Hulkling’s royal guard until this crisis was finished, Hulkling demoted him to diplomatic duty as punishment for killing his adoptive mother and made him swear an oath to never kill again in battle.
When the Guardians of the Galaxy reformed as a peace-keeping unit overseen by the Galactic Council, the Super-Skrull joined the team in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020) #12. Drawing on his history with Nova, Kl’rt served as the team’s liaison to the Galactic Council and resident expert in Skrull history. From the group’s base on the Proscenium space station, the Super-Skrull was the team’s operations manager and monitored the galaxy for various threats while alerting his teammates to crises. After this short-lived incarnation of the Guardians disbanded, the Super-Skrull returned to his role as a trusted agent of the Kree-Skrull Alliance.
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