Captain Marvel #5 released this past week, and it has some pretty significant revelations regarding the ongoing Skrull invasion of the Marvel universe, not to mention yet another Skrull-as-Marvelite confirmation. Read on for the review, complete with spoilers.
I feel like cutting to the chase with this one, so here it is: Captain Marvel is a Skrull. But it seems he isn’t quite the evil, green, and pointy-eared guy you’d expect him to be. It turns out that he’s actually a Skrull named Khn’nr who was genetically altered with a sample of the real Mar-vell’s DNA. Further, we see via flashback that Khn’nr’s personality and memories have been replaced with Mar-vell’s, through a Skrull memory induction technique. And even weirder, they’ve been able to replicate Captain Marvel’s powers and even recreate his nega-armbands for Khn’nr’s use in impersonating the superhero.
The implication is that this is the process the Skrulls are using to mimic all the replaced heroes, and this is the first time we’ve actually seen it in action. The Skrulls’ intent is to have Khn’nr infiltrate the Marvel universe as a sleeper agent; he is completely unaware that he is a Skrull. He is programmed to remember who he is and why he’s there when he sees a specific painting that has been layered into his subconscious.
The problem is, the Skrulls who did his memory induction are sloppy and botch the job. They successfully implant Captain Marvel’s memories in Khn’nr and give him Mar-vell’s powers, but the triggered reversion to Skrull doesn’t work. They essentially have created a clone of Captain Marvel, imbued him with Captain Marvel’s powers, and given him Captain Marvel’s armbands, not to mention a good reason for wanting Skrulls dead.
The new Captain Marvel’s identity as a Skrull and subsequent oath to continue defending Earth was a welcome surprise and an interesting twist. I’m not quite sure what to think of the curiously trusting Agent Sante of SHIELD whose eyes turn curiously green when she is confronted with the truth about Mar-vell.
This issue was a powerhouse of an origin for this new Captain Marvel, and the deaths of three Skrulls at the end of the issue cement him as a power player in the Secret Invasion storyline, not to mention the overall resulting Marvel universe. In Secret Invasion #1, we saw Mar-vell blasting his way into the Thunderbolts’ lair. At the time, he seemed full of Skrully menace, but now I’m intrigued to find out exactly what he was doing there. Perhaps one of the Thunderbolts is actually a Skrull (Norman Osborn, maybe?) and Mar-vell is there to take him down.
The Skrull invasion continues this week in Ms. Marvel and Mighty Avengers, and you can bet I’ll be reviewing them.