|Infinity #1 cover by Adam Kubert|
By Paul Montgomery
INFINITY approaches. Somewhere in sub-space, a council of alien monarchs gathers to consider Earth’s future.
Before the cosmic saga from Jonathan Hickman, Jim Cheung, Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver begins on August 14, meet the alien players in Earth’s fortune, the despots and parasites populating the outer fringes of the Marvel Universe.
Previously, we examined the humanoid races of Kree, Shi’ar and Spartoi. Now, we turn our attention to aliens further removed from humanity, cold-blooded and scuttling enemies far older than our own civilizations.
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #155
“They’re the infestation,” says Jonathan Hickman of the Brood. “They’re the very gross dinner guests you don’t want to hang out with too much.”
The terrifying, parasitic Brood resemble eight-foot-long insects and share the hive mentality that drives Earth’s wasps and termites. Drones scour the universe from their drifting warrens in the cadavers of Acanti, massive space whales. Though sometimes aligned with the Kree and Badoon, the Brood have waged war with all life in the universe. Brood Queens deposit eggs in reluctant hosts, transforming the creature. The resulting drone maintains their original strengths and abilities, now in service to the hive and the will of the Imperiatrix. Such is their relentless evil, legend holds that the Brood originated not through natural evolution, but in otherworldly sorcery.
A Brood Queen sits on J’Son’s royal conclave, unnervingly well-mannered—for the moment.
|Badoon vs. Gamora|
First Appearance: SILVER SURFER #2 (1968)
Reptilian brains have led the Badoon to ferocious conquest at the cost of civility.
Thought the Badoon predates that of the Kree or Skrulls, savage infighting amongst the sexes kept their race from dominating the universe. Mating impulses led to violence and mania, resulting in countless generations of civil war. Upon enslaving the females of the species, the Brotherhood of Badoon eventually departed from the home world of Loitara, settling on Moord. This segregation of genders saw the Badoon evolve into two distinct societies: a Brotherhood devoted to intergalactic conquest and siegecraft, and the pacifistic Sisterhood of the Badoon content in cultivating their own civilization on the mother planet.
A hotheaded male called Ygaaar represents the interests of the Brotherhood on the galactic council, though he refuses to answer for the Sisterhood. King J’Son of the Spartoi deems the Badoon “untrustworthy,” only including Ygaaar in the royal conclave in the greater interest of peace. Tensions only escalated when a Badoon vessel pierces the blockade of Earth and leveled an assault on London.
Annihilus and the Negative Zone
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6
Perhaps only invited to the galactic council as thanks for hosting its clandestine meetings, Annihilus holds dominion over a dimension rather than a world or solar system. Newly resurrected after the quelling of his cosmic coup, the warmonger represents a collective of motley fiefdoms in the so-called Negative Zone. This shrinking, fluctuating realm, far older than the universe shared by the other races, consists entirely of anti-matter, making it largely inhospitable. Still, diverse races like the Tyannan and Kestorians found sanctuary in the expanse.
Befitting the patchwork tapestry of his sub-space realm, Annihilus shares a particular lineage with no other being in existence. A creature of happenstance, part Tyannan and part insectoid, he possesses a resilient carapace and can thrive in a vacuum. With his matter-manipulating Cosmic Control Rod, the despot launched an Annihilation Wave against the larger universe, eventually cast back to the Negative Zone.
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #2 (1961)
The Skrulls rue the day they ushered the Kree to prominence, leading to endless war with that younger race and, consequently, the rise of Earth’s champions. Their once glorious empire, seated in the Andromeda system, lies in ruin after their Secret Invasion of Earth ended in the death of their Queen and gods.
Millions of years ago, Celestials descended upon Skrullos and engaged in genetic experimentation. A group of shape shifting deviants arose, supplanting other races. Capable of manipulating their unstable molecules through concentration, the new Skrulls evolved into accomplished mimics, replicating the appearance and abilities of other species to overwhelm and dominate numerous worlds, establishing a vast intergalactic empire.
|Avengers #18 cover by Leinil Francis Yu|
The Avengers broke them, decimating their number and reach.
Hickman calls them “a broken group of warlords, banding together to rebuild an empire.” To do so, they plan the unthinkable, poised to align themselves with the Avengers to answer the challenge of the approaching Builders. INFINITY nears and the Skrulls must forge reluctant relationships if they hope to survive the coming storm.
The saga begins in INFINITY #1, coming August 14!