Every week the Skrulls infiltrate more of the Marvel Universe, and last week the epic tale poured into Incredible Hercules #118 and Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2. Here’s a look at what we learned from each of these and how they affected the overall plot.
Fates of the Replaced Heroes
The biggest reveal this week is that the heroes who have been replaced by Skrulls are not all dead. Previously we knew nothing about their fates other than that they were taken away and either killed or imprisoned. In Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2, Lyja, the Skrull who has been posing as Sue Storm, tells the Human Torch that the Skrulls have kept Sue and Reed Richards alive because they are too valuable to the Skrulls for killing. Given that the Skrulls hate the Richards family with unrivaled passion but keep them alive, it’s a safe bet that most or all of the other replaced heroes also are still alive somewhere. At the end of the issue, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four are headed to the supervillain prison in the Negative Zone in an attempt to align with one of the villains to find a way back to the real world.
The God Squad
A team comprised of Hercules, Snowbird, Ajak, Mikaboshi, Atum, Amadeus Cho, and his dog Kerberus, are journeying through reality on a mission against the Skrulls. As the Skrulls are on a holy mission, trying to fulfill their gods’ promises that the Earth will belong to them, this new “God Squad” is breaching dimensions in order to kill the very gods the Skrulls serve. Robbed of their deities, the Skrulls would lose their motivation for invading Earth. This week, the Squad encounters Nightmare and wrangles with him in his dream realm to find the way to the Skrull gods in the Dreamtime. By the end of the issue they have acquired the map and are on their way.
In the previous issue of Incredible Hercules, strong hints were dropped that Athena might in fact be a Skrull infiltrator and was sending Hercules and his team of fellow deities away so that she could sow trouble on her own. She never appears in this issue, and her Skrull status is not address at all.
It was a light week for newly revealed Skrull infiltrators. The only revelation is that of Kerberus, Amadeus Cho’s dog, whose eyes glow mysteriously green at the end of Incredible Hercules #118.
With the confirmation that the Skrulls are not killing all the characters they’ve been replacing, the stage is set for a big breakout and return of all the captured heroes and villains later in the story. Once the dust settles from the Secret Invasion and the Skrulls are gone, the previously abducted heroes will be back on Earth and fitting back into their lives and storylines. In the end, the Secret Invasion will be one big and elaborate retcon. Any character that was taken will return without the past however-long worth of memories and events, effectively hitting the reset button and getting rid of any troublesome plot points. If mishandled or overused, this could be a very bad choice for Marvel fans. There’s already been a backlash over retconning Spider-Man and rewriting all of his recent history by erasing his relationship with Mary Jane with the Brand New Day storyline in Amazing Spider-Man. I can see that happening in the dozens at the end of Secret Invasion, if too many plots are nuked by the abductions.
This week will be a heavy week for Secret Invasion, with Avengers Initiative #14, Mighty Avengers #15, Ms. Marvel #28, New Avengers #42, and Secret Invasion: Runaways / Young Avengers #1 all hitting shelves on Wednesday. I’ll have an update shortly thereafter, likely with a lot of shakeups and developments.