October 24, 2009

Ye Olde School Cafe’: The Kree/Skrull War pt 1

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Written by: Billy
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Greetings fellow Comic Attackers to this week’s edition of Ye Olde School Cafe’! This week is going to be a good one because I’ll be talking about one of Marvel’s all time best star-spanning stories; The Kree/Skrull War. A little back story on my own experience with this first then on to the adventure itself.

When I started collecting comics around 1990, there had been a really good amount of stories in the Marvel U, most of which I’ll eventually be talking about in this very column. This is definitely one of those stories from years past. The plot itself was conceived by Roy Thomas, with Neal Adams and John Buscema doing a superb job on the artwork. This story was originally published in 1971 but my first introduction was through the reprint in the Special Edition that was released in 1983. I can still vaguely remember walking through my lcs (local comic shop) and thumbing through the back issues of Avengers and finding part 2 of this saga. They didn’t have part 1 but I thought what the heck, it looks really cool and I love the cosmic aspect of comics, so I bought it. It took me quite a few years later to complete the set because I eventually bought the Marvel Essentials volume that contains this epic story so it wasn’t a priority, but I eventually obtained part 2 and the rest is history. I actually thought it was a good idea to buy the first part once Secret Invasion spoilers hit and the Skrull angle was revealed. I’ll be taking on part one this week and diving into part 2 next week, so here we go.

capt mar-vell kree-skrull warTo start out, the reprint summarizes the prologue in which we saw Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) return to Earth, after being sent to the Negative Zone by his people the Kree as punishment for what they considered him betraying them. Upon learning of his return to Earth, the Avengers also found out that his trip to the Negative Zone had given his body severe radiation poisoning. He was unaware of this though, and tried to steal a rocket to get back to the Kree home-world (Hala) and stop the power mad Ronan the Accuser who had usurped the throne from The Supreme Intelligence. While trying to flee earth, Rick Jones, ally and friend of the Hulk and Avengers, zaps Mar-Vell with some wacky laser pistol and drops him. These two are telepathically linked so Rick can find Mar-Vell wherever he is.

Next we see Mar-Vell being decontaminated with the help of the Avengers, but Ronan has been watching all of this and just when the time is right, he activates Kree Sentry #459 (a giant robot capable of stopping just about anything). The Kree Sentry whips the Avengers and abducts Mar-Vell taking him to a secret Alaskan base where Ronan has arrived to tell Mar-Vell that the Earth will be destroyed because their technological advancements are threatening the Kree. At this point all heck breaks loose as the Avengers show up and start to battle the Kree Sentry once more, but also Ronan receives a message from his home-world that the devious Skrulls have launched an all out attack on the Kree deep in space. Ronan abandons his plans on Earth to teleport to his native land and defend it against the Skrull threat.

Now at this point you would expect things to calm down for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but don’t bet on it. They actually wind up facing the U.S. government who is charging them with crimes for harboring a dangerous and contaminated alien. The man leading the charge is Warren Craddock; he’s been appointed by government to head a new task force on alien activities. In no time flat the American public feels betrayed by this situation and starts to protest against the Avengers. Upon hearing all this, the original “big three” Avengers, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man decide to disband the team because of what the public sees as a lapse in judgment.

The team of Thor, Captain America and Iron Man gather at Avengers HQ to decide the next move for the team only to be interrupted by the Vision, who stumbles in and seemingly dies right before their very eyes! The team doesn’t actually seem too broken up about it, but are interrupted by Ant Man who proceeds to do an internal investigation on Vision to see what happened. After battling all sorts of mechanical defenses and running around, he gets Vision up and running again, but also tells the team he’s leaving to do his own thing. Vision then goes on to tell the original team that after they were disbanded they all left, but while trying to go their separate ways they were attacked by cows. Yeah, you heard me, cows. Well, that does sound a little crazy, but if you know your Fantastic Four history you’ll remember that first time the FF met up with the Skrulls it ended with Reed turning them into cows and leaving them in a farmers field. So guess what; The cows are mad and they want revenge. They immediately transform into the FF and lay a beating on the unsuspecting Avengers, but Vision managed to escape because of his intangibility.

We then flash forward to Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers being held captive by the Skrulls, and they reveal to them just how they managed to dupe everyone into thinking they were the FF and subdue the Avengers. The original members soon find themselves in combat against the Skrull imposter’s and eventually get the advantage on them. Meanwhile aboard the crazy Skrull ship, Mar-Vell breaks free and he and Carol attempt to send a message to the Kree home-world about the Skrull infestation on Earth. Just as he is about to send the distress call he realizes that “Carol” is a Skrull, or better yet, Super-Skrull. He subdues Mar-Vell then takes off into orbit to rocket back to his home world with his prisoner.

After this crazy scenario we see the Vision use his powers of flight and intangibility to get aboard the Skrull ship in an attempt to rescue The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Mar-Vell. He struggles against Super-Skrull who eventually engages a lever that detonates a huge bomb where the craft was hidden on Earth.  Back on the ship the Super-Skrull gloats over his victory and tells of how the Skrulls mean to take out the Kree and Earth in one fell swoop. We then see the Skrull ship attacking the citadel of the mighty Skrull leader himself as the Super-Skrull tries to overthrow his master. He eventually is defeated by his ruler and the three captives aboard the ship are brought before the monarch. The Skrull leader, Dorrek VII knows that Mar-Vell can construct an Omni-Wave projector: a device that can send messages throughout different galaxies. So he tells Mar-Vell that he will construct one for him to use or the captured Avengers will be killed. After Wanda and Pietro endure quite a beating Mar-Vell agrees to build the device for the King.

Back on Earth, the government has decided to apprehend the Avengers for their alleged crime of harboring the Kree man, Mar-Vell. They send giant robots being manned by soldiers on the inside, called Mandroids, to arrest the Avengers for their transgression. That, my friends, is where I will leave you until next week’s startling conclusion. In the exciting ending to this awesome story we’ll see the Inhumans join the fight along with Black Bolt’s treacherous brother, Maximus. We will also see the Avengers travel across the stars to rescue their captive teammates, the real agenda of Waren Craddock and a battle royale for the ages between the Kree, Skrulls and the Mighty Avengers. ‘Till next time make mine Marvel!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. I need to quit slacking and read this story!

  2. Billy

    @ANDY-dear lord dude, your really missing out. This was such a great story. It would help you appreciate Secret Invasion more for sure(if you didn’t like SI).

  3. I first read this back in 87-88. It was good stuff, and I think it still holds up well. Obviously, the whole “Secret Invasion” storyline stems from this, along with the issue of the FF, in which Galactus ate the Skrull homeworld.

    I recommend it!

  4. InfiniteSpeech

    i’ve never read this in it’s entirety and every time I say i’m going to I end up picking up something else

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