The Skrulls are a breed of green-skinned humanoids from the Andromeda galaxy. They are a fierce warrior race who carved for themselves the oldest surviving empire in the Universe’s history.
In the beginning they were a peaceful, scientifically inclined race on Skrullos, a planet in the Drax system. Almost a billion years ago the Celestials arrived and experimented on the Skrulls. They produced three races. The Skrullian Eternals were immortal. The Skrullian "normals" were capable of eventually rapidly evolving into Celestial-like beings. The Skrullian Deviants were given natural shapeshifting powers. After the departure of the Celestials, the Deviants wiped out the other two groups. All living Skrulls are descendants of the Deviant line.Their shapeshifting powers aided the Skrulls’ departure into space. When they encountered a new race, they simply transformed themselves to resemble that race. The Skrull empire that resulted from these contacts was based on free trade and mutual cooperation.
In their first appearance, the Skrulls had an invasion fleet ready to conquer Earth. They used their shape shifting powers to impersonate the Fantastic Four, the only ones with the power to stop them. But the Four were able to locate the Skrulls and tricked their leaders into believing the Earth was full of threats. The fleet left and Mr. Fantastic made the Skrulls that were left behind shapeshift into cows and he hypnotized them to remember nothing about their true heritage.
The Skrulls also formed the Cosmic Cube that would become the Shaper of Worlds.
There are a small number of Skrull who are the equivalent of mutants. They are outcasts and often shunned or hunted by other Skrulls. One group, Cadre K, was trained by Professor X.
Then trouble struck. The Skrulls voyaged to the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds. In the latter cluster they discovered the Kree homeworld of Hala. The Kree were in the dawn of their culture; at this point they shared Hala with the plant race, the Cotati. The Skrull decided to favor one of the races with their advanced technology and devised a test to determine which would be the favored race.
The Skrulls created the Blue Area of the Moon and transported bands of Kree and Cotati there. Both groups were left to accomplish what they could. The Skrulls judged the Cotati’s works to be superior. This angered the Kree and lead to a vicious attack in which the Kree band slew the Skrull judges and the Cotati. The Kree stole the Skrull’s starship and technology. Because of the immense distances involved, decades passed before the Skrulls learned of the Kree’s activities. By this time it was too late. The Kree were now advanced and audacious enough to attack the Skrulls in their home galaxy. During the millennia that followed, the Skrulls developed the vicious streak needed to conduct intergalactic war. Their entire culture was remade in the warrior image.
Skrulls became aware of Earth when they discovered a space warp linking Earth and Throneworld. Later they discovered the Earth possesses an equidistant link to Hala. They see Earth as a world to conquer but they are content to hold off a full invasion. (Perhaps they are afraid the Kree would learn of the plot.) Because of their caution, the Skrulls have sent only a handful of scoutwarriors to infiltrate Earth. These have included Super-Skrull, Paibok the Power Skrull, Effigy, Ethan Edwards, and Skrull-X.
Empire Changing Events
100,000 years ago the Skrull capitol was relocated to Tarnax IV, now renamed Throneworld. The empire is controlled by an Emperor and each of the 978 worlds is controlled by a Governor. Throneworld was devoured by Galactus and the Imperial starfleet destroyed by Nova (Frankie Raye). With the destruction of a central government, the Skrull Empire collapsed into hundreds of bickering factions. Their galaxy is filled with Governors who have declared themselves to be Emperor of the Skrulls. The Shi'ar maintain a heavy presence in the former empire as well, constantly dealing with packets of resistance.
The greatest blow to the Skrulls has been the destruction of their shape-shifting powers. This was accomplished by Reed Richards and yet another Governor-turned-Emperor. They created a genetics bomb and when it exploded all the Skrulls lost their shape-shifting abilities. Whatever form they were in they were stuck in at the time of the explosion.
In desperation, they managed to kidnap the herald of Galactus, Nova, in an attempt to get Galactus to destroy Kree worlds for them. Their plot failed when the Silver Surfer helped Galactus rescue Nova in exchange for his freedom from Earth.
Second Kree-Skrull War
Without their shapeshifting powers they were vulnerable. The Celestials made an appearance and this scared the Skrulls into starting a second war with the Kree to show they were not powerless. The attack was first made by Kylor, one of five governors claiming to be Emperor. He had a spy in the Kree Empire, Nenora, who gave him the early edge. They tried to hide their secret weakness at all costs from the Kree.
Kylor was eventually betrayed by Nenora, as was the entire Skrull race. She assumed power of the empire and wished to keep it for herself. It was Empress S'byll who stepped up to control the Skrulls and finish the war. She was able to resurrect the Super Skrull and he returned to find the empire in shambles. They tricked the Silver Surfer into attacking a Badoon fleet, which he was not aware were allied with the Kree. Since the Kree waged war on the Surfer, he allied himself with the Skrulls to save Zenn-La from destruction.
To restore their powers, the Super Skrulls DNA needed to be transfered to S'byll, because only a female could spread the ability to the other Skrulls. The Surfer helped them to power a machine that would return the Empress' shape shifting abilities. The device was successful. With this power she was able to restore every Skrull she touched and became the true Empress of the Skrulls.
She and Super Skrull waged war with the Kree with the help of the Silver Surfer. She replaced Super Skrull with Captain Reptyl and he helped to change her into a emotionless reptile. But Reptyl was betrayed by one of his own and the Skrull fleet was utterly destroyed by the Kree. S'byll and Silver Surfer went alone to attack the Kree homeworld of Hala.
Gaining the knowledge that Nenora was actually a Skrull gave them the advantage. S'byll gave her shape-shifting abilities back to her, crippling her and showing the Kree her true self. A peace treaty was created.
The Skrulls recently broke that peace treaty with the Kree. They maintain their military drive and prefer to fight rather than negotiate. Among the other races contained within the Skrull Empire are the Druff, Guna, Kallusina, Morani, Pheragot, Queega, Tekton, and Yirbek races. Other races remain independent, whether through treaties or open resistance. Such races include the Clegrimites, Gegku, Krylorians, Wilameanis, and Xandarians. The Skrull-Xandarian war with the Xandarians recently ended with the destruction of Xandar by the supervillainess Nebula.
When the Annihilation Wave attacked from the Negative Zone, the Skrull Empire was hit hard. Currently under the leadership of Baroness S'Bak, the Skrulls were poorly equipped for the attack. She would also not take the suggestions of the original Super Skrull, Kl'rt. As a result, the Skrulls were brought to the edge of extinction. After the defeat of Annihilus, the remaining Skrull territories were ceded to Ravenous.
The Skrulls will be the main antagonists in the next big Marvel Event, Secret Invasion. It has already been confirmed that Black Bolt and Elektra, have been replaced by Skrulls and that new superheroes Revolutionary and Crusader are both Skrulls trying to infiltrate The Initiative.
The invasion on the Skrull's part has been revealed to be for religious purposes. According to their sacred texts, Earth is rightfully theirs and because of this, they've been trying to invade it since they first appeared in the early Fantastic Four stories. Every time they've tried to invade, their attempts have been thwarted by earth's heroes, especially the Fantastic Four and Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic.
During this invasion, the Skrull's shape-shifting abilities have been dramatically amplified. The Skrull's chances of being detected are now, according to Iron Man, 0%. This fact has added great strain to earth's heroes because they now are suspicious of their own teammates. Longtime allies may now be undercover Skrulls. It has also been seen that many of these invading Skrulls have many powers and abilities. This is evident in New Avengers #39, when the Skrull that attacks Wolverine and Echo shows to be able to use many of the powers of the members of the X-men, including Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler.
At the beginning of the invasion, a Skrull ship has now crash landed in the Savage Land. Iron Man and the Secret Avengers are en route to find it.
The Skrull invasion was thwarted by the separate efforts of Nick Fury, Norman Osborne, and Deadpool. Nick Fury sent Deadpool to infiltrate a Skrull ship and upload data on the Queen to him. Deadpool succeeded, and sabotaged an entire ship full of Skrulls by having them impersonate his abilities. The healing factor allowed them to beat other super skrulls, but also destroyed them. The data he uploaded was then stolen by Norman Osborne, who killed Queen Veranke in a highly publicized way.
Skrull females do not give live birth; instead, they lay eggs like their reptilian evolutionary ancestors. Skrull children are known as "hatchlings". Despite their reptilian evolutionary roots, however, Skrull females have mammary glands and nurse their young.
It is known that Skrulls are capable of producing hybrid offspring with humans and Kree: the Skrull Lyja was able to conceive with the Human Torch, and Hulkling is the son of the Kree military officer Mar-Vell and the Skrull princess Anelle.
Millions of years before the present, Celestials performed genetic experiments on the reptilian ancestors of the Skrull. As the Celestials did with humans, they split the species into three branches: the "normal" branch, the Deviant branch, and the Eternal branch. Members of the Deviant branch were endowed with the ability to shapeshift. As in the case with humans, the Deviant and Eternal branches went to war. Unlike the case with humans, however, the Deviant branch triumphed over the Eternals. The Deviant Skrulls wiped out all other Skrulls, and all modern Skrulls are descendants of the Deviant branch, which further split into two groups: the Skrulls and the Dire Wraiths.
According to Giant Sized X-Men Annual #11 (1987), the Skrull species, like the Kree, has been genetically frozen in place and is unable to evolve further due to a single member of the Skrull species abusing the power of the Crystal of Ultimate Vision; as punishment, the Crystal "genetically froze their evolution in place".
However, that Skrull evolution is frozen in place is contradicted by numerous other comics. Although Celestial genetic experimentation on the Skrulls may not have been as successful as Celestial experimentation on humans, the Celestial experiments were still not failures. The Kree were depicted in Operation: Galactic Storm as a species which could no longer evolve, in contrast to the humans, Shi'ar, and Skrulls. In Maximum Security, the Skrulls were shown to have a mutant gene. Indeed, the superhero group Cadre K consists entirely of mutant Skrulls.
The Dire Wraiths, central to the plot of Rom the Spaceknight, are an evil, parasitic, magic-using offshoot of the Skrull race, analogous to the Skrulls as vampires are to humans.
A normal Skrull can only take on the appearance of their template, not the abilities of that person. Uncanny X-Men #274-277 (March-June 1991) introduced Warskrulls, an elite group of Skrulls gifted with the ability to emulate the powers as well as the appearance of their templates. Warskrulls do not naturally have this ability; instead, special encoding technology is used to grant them their powers.
The first Super-Skrull, Kl'rt, appeared as a soldier whose cells were redesigned to absorb cosmic rays in order to replicate the abilities of the Fantastic Four. During the Secret Invasion event, more Super-Skrulls were introduced, each possessing a patchword of powers and abilities from any character whose DNA the skrulls could obtain (see Queen Veranke for details).
Body Type: Reptilian-Humanoid
Avg Height: Same as humans
Avg Weight: Same as humans
Hair Color: Green
Skin Color: Green
Fingers: Five (with opposable thumbs)
Special Adaptations: Pointed ears, corrugated chins, green skin. Most males are bald and have no facial hair. Females have full head of hair
Habitat: unknown (multiple planets)
Type of Government: Totalitarian Monarchy
Level of Technology: Superior to Earth
Cultural Traits: Warriors
The Skrulls are ruled by an Emperor or Empress, who has absolute power. There is a governor for each planet in the Skrull Empire. The commoners are subservient to the nobility.
The Skrull civilization is a warrior culture that puts great emphasis on battle and war and highly prizes feats of arms.
Skrull science is generally at a higher level than the science of human civilization. Skrulls possess interstellar flight capabilities. They also created the first Cosmic Cube.
Powers and Abilities
Shapeshifting: The Skrulls are able change their shapes to mimic any shape or being perceived. Skrulls are able to use their shapeshifting abilities to form weapons with parts of their bodies. For instance, they can shape their arms into blades or clubs. This ability makes them dangerous hand-to-hand combatants
Mimicry: Skrulls are cunning spies due to their ability to mimic sounds and voices. This is mainly used in conjunction with the shapes they shift into.
Earth-1610 - Ultimate Universe
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe contains two variants of Skrulls.
The Chitauri are a hive-mind who believe themselves to be the immune system of the Universe and fight against the "chaos" of individuality. They consist of an officer class who are super-strong, highly intelligent, and nearly indestructible, and a large number of drones who are roughly equal to humans in ability but lack initiative. They disguise themselves by assimilating - eating - a person to gain their form and mind. However, as beings obsessed with order and planning, they respond poorly to surprise, and were caught flat-footed on a number of occasions when the unexpected occurred. The Chitauri go by many names, including Skrulls, having apparently been mistaken for the other UM Skrull race, seen below.
The Chitauri prefer to conquer through subtle means, making use of social factors already in place on their target planets. For instance on Earth, they used the Nazi Party during WWII as their puppets. When this didn't work, they patiently rebuilt their numbers and tried again using American society.
The Chitauri were discovered by SHIELD and forced to accelerate their agenda. They infiltrated SHIELD, trapped the Ultimates, and nearly blew up the Earth, before the Ultimates successfully fought back. The main Chitauri fleet arrived on Earth saying that they were losing their war all over the Galaxy; The remaining ships were wiped out by Thor and the Hulk, and their leader Kleiser was killed and eaten by the Hulk.
These resemble the more conventional 616 Skrulls; a highly advanced Empire who, in an alternate timeline, conquered and nearly wiped out Earth. These Skrulls have heard of the Chitauri and resent being confused with them.
They presented themselves as benefactors, offering cures for diseases and super-powers to all Earth's people. But these powers were booby-trapped, and the power-duplicating Emperor Super-Skrull was able to kill anyone who had accepted them. Only Ben Grimm, who in that timeline was restored to normal, remained, and he kicked the now powerless Super-Skrull's butt (since there were no more superhumans to duplicate).
Earth-2301 - Marvel Mangaverse
The Skrulls are one of the twelve original races that were given existence by the Lifegiver. The Skrulls, however, quickly became tainted by Mephisto's power. They became unable to tolerate other cultures and ideas. They became warriors without the capacity for mercy. Their own ability to shapeshift gave them the ability to adapt to any worlds, and their cunning allowed them to enter as natives, and destroy entire cultures from the inside. Eventually, their ways led to a clash with the Kree, their own opposite number, culminating in a war of epic proportions. Trying to find a way to defeat the Kree, the Skrull's tapped into Mephisto's world, and created an engine of destruction, the celestial Virus known as Galactus, spreading anti-life and disease through the universe.
In Other Media
Marvel's The Avengers (2012-Film)
The Chitauri (Ultimate Skrulls) appears as several alien invaders tasked by Loki to attack the Earth and leave it under his rule. They appeared only in the final battle between the Avengers (Composing of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye), the Chitauri and Loki himself, when Loki activated his portal, which was powered by the Tesseract. Though they carry their name, they don't seem to bear that much resemblance to their Ultimate counterparts. In fact, by the end of the film, Thanos was revealed to be their leader.