By Tim Stevens
At the House of Ideas, good concepts never die, they just have a little bit of a lie down.
Thus, prepare to welcome back 3-D Man and the Skrull Kill Krew to the modern Marvel Universe in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #14, brought to you by those Initiative innovators, Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and Stefano Caselli and coming June 25.
But before Marvel's greatest Skrull hunters roar back onto the scene, let's take a look at where they came from.
In the 1950s, a NASA test pilot named Chuck Chandler had an unfortunate encounter with the Skrulls that forever altered his own life and that of his brother Hal. While Chuck managed to escape the Skrulls' grasp, the aliens' craft exploded, bathing Chandler in a radiation that made him disappear from this plane of existence.
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Before Chuck's disappearance, his image became emblazoned on the glasses of his brother Hal. Hal could return his brother to this plane by concentrating while looking through the glasses. However, Hal would be knocked unconscious by the conjuring and Chuck now appeared as a green and red-adorned superhuman that had three times the abilities of a human being in peek condition. Additionally, 3-D Man could "see" Skrulls, no matter what form they took.
Eventually, Hal swore off the whole thing and 3-D Man ceased—until now.
As AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE readers know, Delroy Garrett, formerly Triathlon, has assumed the costume and the name of the 50s Skrull-buster, and seemingly not a moment too soon.
The 3-D Man's designation as "Earth's great Skrull-Hunter" might seem odd to the modern Marvel Comic reader who has never encountered him, but it's apt.
"No one's been doing it longer," points out Gage. "The original 3-D Man started in the 1950s, so that's a half-century legacy of Skrull-fighting!"
Co-writer Slott echoes Gage's enthusiasm: "When the Skrulls are attacking, you want a 3-D Man on your team! [He's] been kicking Skrull ass since before grandma was in bobby socks."
"There's another reason, but for that you'll have to read #14," Gage teasingly adds.
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But how does the oft-headstrong Garrett feel about abandoning his former costumed identity to become wear the red and green? According to Gage, "He's very proud of it…that costume rules!"
SKRULL KILL KREW
The first time the Fantastic Four ever encountered Skrulls, Reed Richards' inspired solution to deal with them involved hypnotizing the aliens to believe themselves cows. Years and a few hiccups later, those cows went to the slaughterhouse and their meat shipped to stores everywhere for purchase and consumption. For most, this proved a non-issue. For some, however, it meant shape shifting abilities and death from a disease called "Skrullovoria Induced Skrullophobia."
The Skrull Kill Krew provided a direction for those non-privileged few. Led by Ryder, the team spent their last months on Earth using their powers to eliminate Skrulls, a sort of vengeance by way of genocide plan.
Following their self-titled book's cancellation, the Kill Krew seemed to disappear. Slott reassures fans they were doing anything but hiding though:
"The Skrull Kill Krew does not hide. They kill, maim, torture, and kick the [crap] out of anything with pointy ears and a squiggly chin. The one thing they do not
do is hide!"
Gage adds, "They've been doing what they do best—killing Skrulls—just keeping it on the down-low."
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"However, given that all the members of the Skrull Kill Krew had a terminal disease—from the same Skrull virus that gave them their powers—some of them are inevitably no longer with us," Gage warns fans of their original incarnation. "Who lived? Who died? Pick up INITIATIVE #16 and find out!"
With the Secret Invasion raging on all parts of the globe, the Krew no longer needs to be on the down-low, as exemplified by their INITIATIVE appearances. Nevertheless, no one should expect that the Krew has embraced respectability and gladly joins up with the government.
"The Kill Krew does not
answer to the government," stresses Slott. "They're the A-Team, they're hardcore militia, they're a biker gang from hell—and thank whatever god you pray to that they're on our side! If anything, 3-D Man's been conscripted into their
army. Think about it. During a Skrull War, would you rather be part of the Initiative...or the Skrull Kill Krew?!"
AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #14 hits stands on June 25. After that taste, you'll be hooked, so come on back for #15 on July 23 and #16 on August 27. Get up to speed with the series on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.