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Secret Invasion

Take 10: Skrulls!

With Secret Invasion coming to an end, check out the Skrulls who shape-shifted their way deepest into our hearts

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. After eight months of action and intrigue, Secret Invasion comes to its thrill-a-minute conclusion tomorrow, December 4. Will the Skrulls get the last laugh or will our heroes send those evil emerald aliens packing yet again? Regardless of the outcome, many of these sinister Skrulls have captured our attention over the last year even as they've attempted to capture our planet. To celebrate the end f their campaign-or pay tribute to our new green overlords-the Secret Cabal has assembled the following list of their 10 favorite Skrulls. For each character you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!

10. TALOS First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #418 (1994) Secret Invasion Role: M.I.A. Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes the List: "Once known as 'Talos the Untamed,' this Skrull veteran got stripped of his nickname and his dignity after failing to commit suicide while in Kree captivity. However, challenging the Hulk to a fracas-and getting an unexpected win when the Green Goliath threw the fight-got Talos back on track, and he later proved he indeed could not be tamed as one of Ronan and Nova's top lieutenants on the Annihilaton front lines." -Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: ANNIHILATION: RONAN #4-Talos aids Ronan against the Annihilation Wave!

9. PAGON (AKA "ELEKTRA") First Appearance: Unknown Secret Invasion Role: Served as one of the first Skrull infiltrators, impersonating Elektra and taking over the Hand. Gathered intelligence and helped other Skrull agents to settle on Earth. Was killed during a battle between the Hand and the New Avengers, exposing the Secret Invasion. Why "She" Makes the List: "You might not recognize the Skrull known as Pagon by name, but you know him. Pagon, lover of Skrull leader Queen Veranke, succeeded where two others failed and took the place of Elektra Natchios. As Elektra, Pagon orchestrated many of the early events in NEW AVENGERS, and manipulated Earth's Mightiest Heroes even after his dying day. After willingly sacrificing himself to reveal the Secret Invasion, Pagon has earned a place in history." -Secret Cabal member LiterateNitz18 Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS #31-"Elektra"-and the Secret Invasion-revealed!

8. JOHN THE SKRULL First Appearance: WISDOM #1 (2006) Secret Invasion Role: Fought alongside MI13 against his own people and provided inside intelligence before being killed by a Super-Skrull. Why He Makes the List: "Think about it: if you could be anyone, who would you be? I think a fair number of you out there would say John Lennon. Dude was a rock star, a visionary and an inspirational figure to plenty of folks. Luckily for John the Skrull, he was tasked with impersonating Lennon and even though things went pear-shaped on his assignment, he kept the look. And while some of the coolest Skrulls rock because they're hardcore, it was John's rejection of fanatical Skrull beliefs and support of humanity that made him shine." -Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #2-The first appearance of the Skrulls!

7. KHN'NR (AKA "CAPTAIN MARVEL") First Appearance: CIVIL WAR: THE RETURN #1 (2007) Secret Invasion Role: Placed in the Negative Zone as a sleeper agent impersonating the deceased Captain Marvel. Upon being activated, briefly followed his mission and attacked the Thunderbolts, but ultimately betrayed his Empire and destroyed a Skrull fleet in an act of suicide. Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes the List: "Despite the fact that his name is impossible to pronounce, Khn'nr proved to be one of the most fascinating Skrulls in recent years. Programmed to believe he was the real Captain Marvel, Khn'nr choose to follow in that hero's memory rather than use it as part of the Skrulls' invasion. In the end, he did the original Mar-Vell proud as he gave his life in defense of Earth. It probably isn't coincidence that no matter how you pronounce his name, 'honor' is sure to come out of it somehow." -Secret Cabal member SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1-"Captain Marvel" searches for the truth behind his mysterious return!

6. LYJA First Appearance: As "Alicia Masters"-FANTASTIC FOUR #265 (1984); as Lyja-FANTASTIC FOUR #357 (1991) Secret Invasion Role: Impersonated the Invisible Woman in order to enter the Baxter Building and trigger a portal to the Negative Zone. Once inside the Zone, Lyja ended up betraying the Skrulls and helping her ex-husband, the Human Torch, and his teammate, the Thing, to escape. Learn More About Her...here Why She Makes the List: "When Johnny Storm appeared to have married his best friend the Thing's long-time girlfriend, people were shocked. But nobody, especially not Johnny, could prepare for the doozy of a surprise 'Alicia Masters' had hidden. Johnny began to fall in love with Lyja even after learning her true identity, but her lies and manipulations, regardless of their true intentions, proved to be too much and tore the couple apart, something she has never been able to recover from." -Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FIVE #1-In the MC2 Universe, Lyja serves as a member of Marvel's First Family!

5. CRITI NOLL (AKA "YELLOWJACKET") First Appearance: Unknown Secret Invasion Role: Impersonated Henry Pym in order to infiltrate the Initiative and place a Skrull on every super hero team across the United States. Also implanted the Wasp with an externally-triggered weapon under his control and captured Reed Richards in the opening days of the invasion. Why He Makes the List: "The right-hand Skrull of Empress Veranke during the crucial stretch of the Secret Invasion, Criti Noll proved himself sadistic, ruthless, and very good at what he does. Perhaps no obstacle stood in the way of the Skrulls' plans more than the 50 State Initiative assembled in the aftermath of Civil War, but the Skrull who would be Henry Pym hurdled said challenge with grace under pressure. However, the twisted pleasure Criti Noll seemed to take in callously sabotaging Pym's longtime love the Wasp-and with her, the Earth-put him over the top as a truly slimy Skrull." -Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #2-"Yellowjacket" puts his life on the line to save the president!

4. XAVIN First Appearance: RUNAWAYS v2 #7 (2005) Secret Invasion Role: Chose to betray the Skrull Empire by saving his Runaways teammates from execution. Saved Hulkling from Skrull assassins and helped the Young Avengers get him to safety. Why He Makes the List: "Sure, it sucks that Karolina's parents made an arranged marriage for her without her knowledge, but when it's to a 'guy' like Xavin, who could complain? The Runaways' resident Skrull, who spends much of the time in the form of a human woman, proves that ultimately it's what's on the inside that makes you who you really are, and 'his' heroism with the team has shown time and time again that underneath it all, Xavin's one stand-up individual." -SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: RUNAWAYS v2 #8-Sparks fly between Xavin and Karolina!

3. HULKLING First Appearance: YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (2005) Secret Invasion Role: Attempted to use his royal heritage in order to cease the Skrulls' hostilities against Earth, but was targeted for assassination under Veranke's orders and saved by Xavin. Joined the rest of the Young Avengers and other heroes and villains in battling the Skrulls. Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes the List: "You've got to give Teddy Altman, aka Hulkling, aka Dorrek VIII, props for being cool under fire. Teddy had his whole life turned upside down the day that the Super-Skrull showed up to tell him that his destiny was to rule the Skrull Empire moments before Kree soldiers try to draft him. Teddy proved himself the son of Mar-Vell when he worked out a plan to fool both Skrull and Kree so he could stay behind and protect Earth. Even after losing his entire family and finding out that he wasn't human, Teddy remains the same heroic person, making him very special indeed." -LiterateNitz18 Spotlight Comic: YOUNG AVENGERS #7-The power of Hulkling on display!

2. EMPRESS VERANKE (AKA "SPIDER-WOMAN") First Appearance: As "Spider-Woman"-NEW AVENGERS #1 (2004); as Veranke-NEW AVENGERS #40 (2008) Secret Invasion Role: Made Skrull Empress following years of imprisonment for "false prophecies" after her warnings manifested as truth in the form of the Annihilation Wave, Veranke conceived, planned and spearheaded the Secret Invasion against Earth. Posing as Spider-Woman, she infiltrated the Avengers and gained valuable intelligence before leading her people against Earth's protectors. Why She Makes the List: "She did what no other Skrull-what no other villain period-has been able to do before: she successfully took over the Earth. From her first appearance in NEW AVENGERS #1, she had everyone, readers included, fooled into thinking she was the real Spider-Woman. Little did anyone know that it was the Skrull Queen, leading her troops in their infiltration and invasion. Talk about your hands-on leaders! 'He' must truly love her for being the most efficient and devious villain the Marvel Universe has ever seen!" -RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS #32-"Spider-Woman" betrays the New Avengers!

1. SUPER-SKRULL First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #18 (1963) Secret Invasion Role: Hitched a ride to Earth with Nova via stargate, then pretended to slay his ally, in actuality allowing him to travel planet-side undetected. After briefly aiding the Skrull fleet, tracked his estranged daughter, Jazinda, and fought both her and She-Hulk but ultimate saved both from a Skrull called the Talisman. Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes the List: "He's the first, he's the best. Sure, Super-Skrull has gotten his tail kicked all around the universe since debuting 40 years ago, but he's always been one hellacious Fantastic Four foe and a hero to Skrulls far and wide. However, he truly stepped up to superstar status when he stood against Annihilus' forces during Annihilation and lived to tell the tale. Heck, he battled back, faced down near-impossible odds with a rag-tag crew and unleashed his Skrulltastic fury all over the Negative Zone creeps. Super-Skrulls? They got it right the first time." -Agent_M Spotlight Comic: ANNIHILATION: SUPER-SKRULL #1-Kl'rt fights to save his people from the Annihilation Wave! Check out the official Marvel Shop for the best mighty Marvel merchandise!

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