Who Is Marvel Comics’ Super-Skrull?

Although the Fantastic Four might be a few years away from arriving in the MCU, one of their most famous villains might arrive far sooner. Based on a moment in the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which shows a Skrull with stretchy tentacle powers, we think the Super-Skrull might make an appearance very soon. Or at least a version of him. But just who is the Super-Skrull, and how exactly is he more super than his alien brethren, who can already change their shape?

The original Super-Skrull, Kl'rt, fighting Ms. Marvel.
Marvel Comics

A One-Man (Alien) Fantastic Four

The Skrulls were an aggressive alien species of shapeshifters, who first appeared in the second issue of the Fantastic Four in 1962. Reed Richards handily beat them, and in fact, convinced some Skrull invaders to turn themselves into cows. But the Skrull Empire suffered a big humiliation, and was hell-bent on revenge. The Skrull Emperor Dorrek chose the warrior Kl’rt, who they gifted with the combined abilities of the Fantastic Four. Kl’rt was a decorated Skrull warrior, but one whose family name had fallen into disgrace—most notably because of his daughter’s failure in a campaign against the Kree, the Skrull’s dreaded enemy. In order to gain favor again, he volunteered for this mission of vengeance.

Mister Fantastic fights the Super-Skrull in his first appearance, in 1963's Fantastic Four #18.
Marvel Comics

Arriving on Earth in 1963’s Fantastic Four #18, the Super-Skrull could channel all of the FF’s powers. He was stronger than the Thing, had better control of his flame than the Human Torch, exerted more control of his invisibility than Invisible Girl, and could stretch further than Mister Fantastic. These abilities were on top of his innate shapeshifiting and Skrull hypnosis powers. But sadly for him, he didn’t have Reed Richard’s intellect. Reed figured out a signal from the Skrull homeworld was giving Kl’rt his powers and managed to block it long enough for the Fantastic Four to defeat him.

Becoming a Major Marvel Villain, and Even an Occasional Hero

The Super-Skrull as he appeared in the '80s, and in the modern era of Marvel Comics.
Marvel Comics

Now driven for personal revenge against the Fantastic Four, the Super-Skrull kept returning to Earth. His actions eventually resulted in the death of Franklin Storm, the father of Johnny and Sue Storm, forever making him one of the team’s worst enemies. Over the decades, he also frequently clashed with Thor, the Avengers, the original Captain Marvel, the Silver Surfer, and even Spider-Man. He even served on Thanos’ side for a time.

the Super Skrull in the 1991 Marvel Trading Cards set, and in the 2000s fighting the Young Avengers.
Marvel Comics

But occasionally, Kl’rt’s noble side came out. He helped the half-Skrull/half-Kree Young Avenger Hulkling out once. He’s shown a more heroic side even before then, too. These instances of kindness are rare. Perhaps the most famous instance of “good guy Super-Skrull” was when his memory was wiped. They then forced him to live as a young Earth boy named Bobby Wright. Bobby would use his Skrull powers to turn into Captain Hero, a riff on DC’s Shazam! comics. But eventually, Captain Hero got the memories of Kl’rt back. Then he reverted to being a mean and nasty villain again. He did help Nova against his own people during the comic book version of Secret Invasion, however. He’s mostly a bad guy, but he has his moments.

Other Super-Skrulls

The various Super-Skrulls during the Marvel event comic Secret Invasion.
Marvel Comics

Ever since Kl’rt first popped up, the Skrull Empire has dispatched several other Super-Skrull-type beings. Biff Bison and Mr. Waspwind were able to mimic the powers of X-Men like Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Wolverine. Godkiller was a female Super-Skrull who could copy the powers of notable Marvel powerhouses like Titania and Thundra. Veranke, the Skrull Queen, had all of Spider-Woman Jessica Drew’s powers. Runaways member Xavin was the most similar to the original Super-Skrull Kl’rt, but could only use one Fantastic Four member’s powers at a time. And the War Skrulls were like Super-Skrulls 2.0. They could naturally mimic the powers of the X-Men and other Earth mutants.

The Super-Skrull in the MCU

A likely Super-Skrull in action in the Secret Invasion trailer.
Marvel Studios

So, do we get the Super-Skrull in the MCU in Secret Invasion? We’ve already seen heroes in the MCU who are super strong like the Thing, (the Hulk), invisible like Invisible Girl (Ghost), pyrokinetic like the Human Torch ( the original 1940s Torch), and Ms. Marvel’s mutation might allow her to have stretch powers, like Mister Fantastic. And it seems that a Super-Skrull invasion is exactly what Gravik has in mind. He gets back together with his Skrull council members and says he sent three officers to infiltrate the Royal Navy and execute a strike on a key UN target. He guesses that the Earth’s heroes will react and says the only way that they can counter that is to become super themselves. Gravik tells them that they will not only change faces, but also change powers to become “uniquely programmed weapons of mass destruction” a.k.a. Super-Skrulls. He invites them to join him in destroying the human race. Oh boy.

In episode four, Gravik uses Groot’s branch arms as a weapon during a major showdown against Nick, Talos, and soldiers. It truly shows us how wild and dangerous the Super-Skrull initiative will get. Let’s see how Secret Invasion continues to put its unique spin on the Super-Skrull.

Originally published on April 2, 2023.

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