Skrull Kill Krew
|Skrull Kill Krew|
Cover of the 1st issue
|Group publication information|
|Publisher||Marvel Edge (Marvel Comics)|
|First appearance||Skrull Kill Krew #1 (September 1995)|
|Created by||Grant Morrison
|Type of organization||Team|
|Skrull Kill Krew|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||(vol. 1)
September 1995 – January 1996
June 2009 – present
|Number of issues||(vol. 1)
|Skrull Kill Krew||ISBN 0-7851-2120-X|
|Dark Reign||ISBN 0-7851-3849-8|
The team first appeared in their own eponymous series written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, published in 1995. It was one of Tom Brevoort's first projects and came about when Morrison and Millar faxed the Marvel offices looking for work:
|“||As a low-ranking editor, I didn't really have many cards to play in terms of securing popular characters for any project I might come up with. So the best strategy was to come up with something new.
This was the period when the Mad Cow Disease scares were taking place in the UK, so it was a short leap for Grant and Mark to hit on the notion that those Skrull cows had been slaughtered, their meat entered the food chain, and that those who wound up eating it developed Skrull-like abilities, which they would use to hunt down the secret Skrull infiltrators that were living among us. It was a very 2000 AD sort of an idea: part parody, part over-the-top action/adventure comic. Grant was also looking around for new paradigms onto which to paint the super hero team structure, and in this case the model would be a motorcycle gang. Believe me, for the Marvel of 1994, this was some pretty off-the-wall thinking.
The original idea for the team name was Skrull Kill Kult, based on the band Thrill Kill Kult, but Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco objected to the use of "Kult" because "he felt that it made the series seem like too much of an endorsement of murder cults". Brendan McCarthy designed the characters and Steve Yeowell was brought on board to provide the pencils, the same division of labor on Morrison's Zenith, because of "a lukewarm reception to Steve's initial visualizations".
The series was originally announced as an ongoing series. However, it was changed to a mini-series, because of wider problems in American comic book market in the mid-1990s and changes at Marvel, with DeFalco leaving. There were four issues-worth of scripts done at the time and Brevoort managed to argue for a fifth to close the series.
They then made an appearance in Avengers: The Initiative #16 as part of the Secret Invasion tie-in and writer Dan Slott announced at the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con that they would be getting a new mini-series featuring the new line-up. It is a five issue limited series written by Adam Felber, and will see the original team being brought back together to fight the descendants of the original Cow-Skrulls.
Fictional team biography
The Fantastic Four, at the beginning of their superhero career defeated a group of Skrull spies. Reed Richards brainwashed them into becoming cows and retaining that form for life. The Skrull-cows at one point regained their memories leading to the death of one of them. The other three were turned over to the U.S. government and restored to cows in shape and mind.
The milk from these cows affected a small dairy town named King's Crossing. The Fantastic Four, via a girl Johnny Storm was dating, ended up investigating the town and neutralizing the threat.
They were then (apparently by accident) shipped to a slaughterhouse and butchered as beef. Some of the meat eaten by people transferred the Skrull's adaptable DNA code into the human's cells, resulting in a bizarre condition called Skrullovoria Induced Skrullophobia, in which these individuals not only gained shape-shifting powers equal to, or greater than, actual Skrulls, but also developed an intense fear or hatred of Skrulls. Only a small number of humans proved susceptible to this syndrome, and most did not survive the initial stages of infection. But several people who proved somewhat longer-lived (though still dying) were gathered together by a man known only as Ryder, who was himself a victim of the disease, to act out their increasingly irrational impulses to seek out and destroy the ones who did this to them (by "letting" themselves get turned into cows), usually by graphically "blowing away" the Skrulls with high-powered weapons.
Ryder and Riot return to ferret out more Skrulls. The other three are still alive, their heads kept in jars, their Skrull infestation has resulted in the loss of their bodies. They encounter the new 3-D Man in the New Mexico desert and save him from a Skrull posing as 'She-Thing'. 3-D Man joins them in rooting out Blacksmith of the Desert Stars, another Skrull, and killing him as well. They were next seen helping Nevada's Fifty State Initiative team, The Heavy Hitters deal with a Skrull posing as an unnamed team member. They found out that in every Initiative state team is one Skrull-imposter and decided to kill them all. Komodo and her lover Hardball both join with the team as well. The Skrull Kill Crew thought they would not be able to track Skrulls through all the states on time, but then former Avenger Jocasta appeared with Devil-Slayer, who is a member of the Hawaiian Initiative team, the Point Men. Devil-Slayer has teleportation powers, thus allowing the group to speed up their plans. Most Skrull-killing incidents end with a few more ad-hoc recruits.
Later, Ryder reveals to still have the heads of Moonstomp, Dice and Catwalk, who can also track down Skrulls. He gives the three heads to speedsters Whiz Kid, Spinner and Nonstop. The team splits up in six different squads, for each to search for the six remaining Skrull sleeper agents within the Initiative teams. Also, they are to destroy the devices within each Initiative building that could assist the Skrulls in destroying the United States. Despite multiple failures (including the death of Spinner), the devices are never set off.
After the Skrulls are defeated, Moonstomp, Dice and Catwalk's heads all die, and Riot reverts to human form, dying as well. 3-D Man and Ryder then leave her behind and set out to find and kill any Skrulls that might still be on Earth.
Ryder is working alone, attacking nightclubs for Skrulls. Riot is revealed to have survived and is looking on Match.com for a woman. 3-D Man is not an active participant. It was later revealed that Ryder has obtained some means of reviving his former team via an unknown liquid. The mini-series' second issue ends with Moonstomp's head reanimating as his body begins to grow back and Ryder prepares to inform him that the current president is African-American. Ryder succeeds in reviving Moonstomp, Dice, and Catwalk. The reunited team then faces off against the descendants of the Skrulls that were hypnotized into being cows. Following the battle against the Skrulls, Moonstomp leaves the team.
It is later revealed that in addition to cows, the Fantastic Four had transformed one of the original Skrull invaders into a duck. The duck was eaten by a young Chinese-American girl named Tara Tam, who gained superhuman abilities as a result. The members of the Kill Krew tried to recruit Tam as part of the group, but she turned them down out of fear over how her parents would react. Years later, Tara would become the partner of Howard the Duck.
- Ryder - Leader and founder. In addition to shapeshifting, he can teleport, has enhanced strength and reflexes, and carries lots of firearms. He prefers to animate his hair into snakelike tentacles. In the relaunched Skrull Kill Krew (vol. 2) it is implied he may be one of the Skrulls turned into cows who ultimately was able to grant himself a human appearance, but losing his memory in the process and believing himself a regular human affected by Skrullovoria Induced Skrullophobia.
- 3-D Man - An African American who inherited his powers from the original 3-D Man, a 1950s anti-Skrull hero. Able to recognize Skrulls with his powers, used the original 3-D Man glasses to focus his ability, ultimately believing them granted by the item, until their destruction forced him to rely on himself.
- Riot - Punk rocker. Turns into an armored insectoid form. In this form she has great strength and sharp spines. Was stuck in that form for an extended period. Appeared to have died at Camp Hammond, after finally reverting to human form. It is later revealed that she survived working with Ryder grudgingly. Riot's also looking on Match.com for a lesbian dating partner, though she has trouble reverting to her human form again.
- Catwalk - Former fashion model who transforms into a feline humanoid form. In this shape she has enhanced athletic abilities, with claws and fangs.
- Dice - Former surfer. He can breathe underwater and transform his limbs into weapons which project explosive blasts.
- Moonstomp - British Neo-Nazi skinhead. Hates Skrulls so much that he is willing to work with Ryder (a black man) even though he feels like he's compromising his values in doing so. He has some shapeshifting powers, but prefers to bash his foes with a normal claw hammer. During the series, his degenerative condition worsens, causing him to develop patches of dark skin, which displeases him immensely.
The series are being collected as a trade paperback:
- Skrull Kill Krew (collects Skrull Kill Krew (vol. 1) #1-5, 120 pages, June 2006 ISBN 0-7851-2120-X)
- Dark Reign: Skrull Kill Krew (collects Skrull Kill Krew (vol. 2) #1-5, 136 pages, December 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3849-8)
In other media
In 2006 it emerged that the series was considered for a TV series.
- Brevoort, Tom. Formative Crisis, Marvel.com, January 29, 2009
- Baltimore: Cup of B Panel, Comic Book Resources, September 27, 2008
- Adam Felber - Hangin' With the Skrull Kill Krew, Newsarama, February 10, 2009
- Fantastic Four #2
- Avengers #89-97
- Fantastic Four Annual #17
- Avengers: The Initiative #18
- Avengers: The Initiative #16
- Avengers: the Initiative #17
- Avengers: the Initiative #18
- Avengers: The Initiative #20
- Skrull Kill Krew Vol 2 #1
- Skrull Kill Krew Vol 2 #2
- Skrull Kill Krew Vol 2 #3
- Skrull Kill Krew Vol 2 #4
- Skrull Kill Krew Vol 2 #5
- Howard the Duck (vol. 2) #5
- Skrull Kill Krew #2
- Marvel Reports 3Q Earnings, Newsarama, November 6, 2006
- Review of trade paperback and another, Comics Bulletin
- Review of Skrull Kill Krew (vol. 2) #1, Comics Bulletin
- Skrull Kill Krew at the Grand Comics Database
- Skrull Kill Krew at the Comic Book DB
- Skrull Kill Krew at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe