Great Moments In Comic Book History #27: The Skrulls Are Here

Just a few months after introducing themselves to the world, the Fantastic Four appear to be on a crime rampage!  The Thing swims out to an oil rig and knocks it over with one punch.  The Human Torch melts a memorial.  The Invisible Girl steals jewelry.  And when New York suffers a huge blackout, witnesses report seeing an arm stretching it’s way into a powerplant and flipping the off switch!

The Fantastic Four claim that they’re innocent and it turns out that they are.  Four shape-shifting aliens, known as the Skrulls, have traveled to Earth and are pretending to be the Fantastic Four so that the government will turn on them and it will be easier for the Skrulls to take over the planet.  Fortunately, Mr. Fantastic figures out what’s going on.  Not only does he fool the Skrull commanders by showing them back issues of Journey Into Mystery and Strange Tales and saying that they’re actual newspapers about the monsters that exist on earth but he also hypnotizes three of the Skrulls on Earth and convinces them that they are cows.

I’ve always liked the Skrulls and it’s always bothered me that they seemed to lose almost every war that they got involved in.  How could the Kree defeat the Skrulls?  And was it necessary to add insult to injury by having Galactus eat their homeworld?  The Skrulls just could not catch a break and I think that’s one reason why they’ve always been popular.  With their ability to change their shape and adopt the powers of the heroes that they’re imitating, the Skrulls should have been unstoppable.  They should have conquered this planet a long time ago.  But the Skrulls, for all of their powers, could just never seem to get it together.  To paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great power comes truly rotten luck.

Fantastic Four #2 was not only the first appearance of the Skrulls but it was also the first instance of a Marvel super hero team thwarting an invasion of Earth.  (Eventually, Earth being invaded would become a monthly occurrence in the Marvel Universe.)  The issue also introduced a major Marvel theme.  The Fantastic Four may have saved the world from Mole Man just a few weeks before the Skrulls arrived but it didn’t take long for the general public to turn on them.  It was a lesson that would later also be learned by Spider-Man and the X-Men.  The general public is extremely fickle when it comes to its super heroes.

And it all started with four shape-shifters coming to Earth.  The Skrulls may never win but Marvel still owes much to them.

Fantastic Four Vol. 1 No. 2

(September, 1962)

“The Fantastic Four Meets The Skrulls From Outer Space”

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: George Klein
Letters: John Duffy

Previous Great Moments In Comic Book History:

  1. Winchester Before Winchester: Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #45 “Ghost Dance” 
  2. The Avengers Appear on David Letterman
  3. Crisis on Campus
  4. “Even in Death”
  5. The Debut of Man-Wolf in Amazing Spider-Man
  6. Spider-Man Meets The Monster Maker
  7. Conan The Barbarian Visits Times Square
  8. Dracula Joins The Marvel Universe
  9. The Death of Dr. Druid
  10. To All A Good Night
  11. Zombie!
  12. The First Appearance of Ghost Rider
  13. The First Appearance of Werewolf By Night
  14. Captain America Punches Hitler
  15. Spider-Man No More!
  16. Alex Ross Captures Galactus
  17. Spider-Man And The Dallas Cowboys Battle The Circus of Crime
  18. Goliath Towers Over New York
  19. NFL SuperPro is Here!
  20. Kickers Inc. Comes To The World Outside Your Window
  21. Captain America For President
  22. Alex Ross Captures Spider-Man
  23. J. Jonah Jameson Is Elected Mayor of New York City
  24. Captain America Quits
  25. Spider-Man Meets The Fantastic Four
  26. Spider-Man Teams Up With Batman For The Last Time

6 responses to “Great Moments In Comic Book History #27: The Skrulls Are Here

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