Secret Invasion Illumination

Secret Invasion Illumination: The Skrull Empire

Step inside the infrastructure of perhaps the greatest threat the heroes of the Marvel Universe have ever faced

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By Marc Strom Welcome to another installment of Secret Invasion Illumination, True Believer! Over the next few months, we'll be taking a look at various key players from the mega event spinning through SECRET INVASION itself as well as MIGHTY AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS and more of Marvel's top titles, examining what role they'll play as the story unfolds. This week the Skrull Empire takes center stage to coincide with the upcoming release of NEW AVENGERS #40 on April 30, which tracks the aliens' plan back to its very beginnings! And to help us out, we've got Executive Editor Tom Brevoort along to hit us up with expert commentary and tantalizing teases! The Skrulls: Uglies Without a Home

NEW AVENGERS
#40 preview art
by Jimmy Cheung

An alien race of shape-shifters, the Skrulls have regularly menaced the Earth since their first encounter with the Fantastic Four in one of that team's earliest adventures. After tussling with the fabulous foursome on several occasions, the extraterrestrial fiends came to the attention of the larger Marvel U when their war with longtime enemies the Kree spread to Earth. Luckily the Avengers, with some help from Rick Jones and the original Captain Marvel, stopped them before they could turn our world into a no-man's land with their interstellar conflict. The Skrulls' centuries-old empire finally began to crumble, however, when the planet-devouring Galactus decided to pay a little visit to their Throneworld. Following their home base's destruction, the Skrull power structure devolved into chaos with a vacuum where its ruler once stood. Struggling to end the resultant civil war, the Silver Surfer and Kl'rt the Super-Skrull helped forge a peace agreement between the five warlords vying for control of the empire. In the recent past, many Skrull worlds fell victim to the power-mad Annihilus in his attempt to take over the universe. Now lacking not only one world but many, the Skrulls have taken a renewed interest in Earth, believing it the new home their ancient scriptures foretold.

NEW AVENGERS
#40 preview art
by Jimmy Cheung

The Most Dastardly Villains in the Marvel Universe? With their very first appearance the Skrulls made their mark as standing among the Marvel Universe's greatest villains. When four of the little green men posed as the Fantastic Four and turned popular opinion against that beloved group, they very nearly brought the careers of earth's heroes' to a grinding halt! And if the ability to become anything they imagine wasn't enough, flash forward a bit to the first appearance of the Super-Skrull, a genetically-engineered warrior with the powers of every member of the FF! With the ability to instill fear and paranoia in their enemies, forcing them to turn on one another in order to determine who they trust, the Skrulls have a mastery of psychological warfare that many of Marvel's heroes have never encountered before. Oh, and they have no compunction with killing as many humans as necessary to achieve their goals. Tally it all up, and the Skrulls emerge as one of the top threats in the universe. The Skrulls Have a Plan…but What is It? For the last few years relatively few Skrulls have made their presence known in our heroes' lives…and now we know why! But with their history of failure when it comes to invading the Earth, what makes them so confident they'll succeed this time?

NEW AVENGERS
#40 preview art
by Jimmy Cheung

"They have god on their side," Brevoort states cryptically. "They believe that their scriptures tell them that the Earth is their 'promised land,' their paradise for the taking, so ultimately they think they're coming here to bring good old fashioned enlightenment to the masses of humanity." And this time around, they've beefed up their ranks with more super-powered Skrulls than ever before. Recent sightings in MS. MARVEL and NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI have revealed that this new breed of Skrull can duplicate the powers of more than just the Fantastic Four, though. "Way back in their second appearance, the Skrulls had the technology to duplicate the powers of the Fantastic Four in one of their own soldiers," explains Brevoort. "Over the years, they've perfected and improved upon this process, using secrets gleaned from the genetic material of the Illuminati they collected in their earliest encounter."

NEW AVENGERS
#40 cover by
Aleksi Briclot

While Brevoort couldn't give out too many specifics about what the Skrulls' plan entails—besides taking over the planet, of course—he did offer up some hints of where readers can look for clues: "The seeds were planted [in NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI #1], as anybody who's read that issue can probably dope out. We'll see a lot more about the specifics in NEW AVENGERS #40 and subsequent issues of that title."
Who do you trust? Learn more about Secret Invasion now at Marvel.com/SecretInvasion! Also, read the SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and watch the Secret Invasion animated short!
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