VOICE OVER: Rudolph Strong
WRITTEN BY: Timothy MacAusland
The Super Skrull is one of the deadliest enemies the Fantastic Four have ever faced. For this video, we'll be taking you through the fascinating origins of this classic comic villain. We'll take you through his species' debut in the early 1960s up to how he's been used in the modern era.
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re examining the Origins of Super-Skrull. For this video, we’ll be looking at the Marvel Comics history of this classic Fantastic Four adversary. What do you hope to see of Super-Skrull in the MCU? Let us know in the comments!
The Origins of the Super-Skrull
The Skrulls as a species have been associated with the Fantastic Four since the latter’s second-ever issue in 1962. So it makes sense that the individual known as Super-Skrull would also have close ties with Marvel’s first family. In fact, they’re pretty much the reason he has “Super” in his name. But his real name is Kl’rt.
Before being endowed with superpowers, Kl’rt was a renowned soldier in the Skrull Army. This led to his marriage to a Skrull countess from the planet Zaragz’na. They had two children together, but a string of defeats in battle led to his banishment from Zaragz’na and being prohibited from seeing his family.
Despite this, the Skrull emperor recruited Kl’rt to be their new weapon against the Fantastic Four. They found a way to imbue Kl’rt with each of the Four’s powers: Reed Richards’s elasticity; Sue Storm’s invisibility and force fields; Johnny Storm’s pyrokinesis and flight; and Ben Grimm’s strength and durability. Not only that, Super-Skrull’s abilities surpassed those of the Four, as he gave them more than they could handle in their first confrontation. However, Mr. Fantastic figured out that Super-Skrull was getting these powers beamed directly to him from the Skrull throneworld. From there, all it took was a jammer to cut off Super-Skrull from his power source, which led to his immediate defeat and imprisonment.
If you’ve read a comic book, though, you know you can’t keep a supervillain in confinement for long, as the Skrulls were able to merely bolster the signal and restore his Fantastic powers. But keep in mind that Kl’rt also possesses the Skrulls’ inherent ability to shapeshift, and it’s this that he used to enact his next plan. Only this one had deadly consequences. He disguised himself as Franklin Storm, father of Sue and Johnny, and was able to escape and commit crimes under his new visage. The ensuing conflict eventually saw Super-Skrull retreating to his homeworld and the safe return of Franklin. However, the Skrulls placed a bomb on the latter in the hopes of destroying the Four. They survived, but only because Franklin sacrificed himself in the process.
Afterwards, Super-Skrull engaged in subsequent bouts with both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, one of which ended with him being trapped in the Van Allen radiation belt. Shortly after being retrieved, Kl’rt discovered that his prolonged exposure to the belt caused him to develop leukemia. This led him to making a deal with the sorcerer Master Khan, whereby the latter cures his cancer in exchange for him going after Iron Fist. In order to get Super-Skrull close to the hero, Khan had him take the form of an innocent, young boy and implanted him with a new set of memories. “Bobby” was supposedly exposed to an alien spore that simultaneously gave him a powerful yet terminal set of powers that could turn him into the superhero “Captain Hero.” This “tragic” ruse proved effective, as Captain Hero fought alongside Iron Fist only to savagely beat him to death. What Master Khan didn’t know, however, was that this too was a doppelganger. This mattered not to Super-Skrull, though, who returned to his cancer-free base form with no recollection of his experiences.
Throughout all of this, the Skrulls were engaging in an all-out war with their mortal enemies, the Kree. Not only was the Skrull homeworld destroyed, but the entire species lost their ability to shapeshift, save for Super-Skrull. During the “Annihilation” storyline, he tried to prevent the destruction of Zaragz’na and thus save his son, the only child he truly loved, but was betrayed and failed. The arc also saw him take on an android lover named Praxagora, but she too was killed, this time at the hands of the villain Ultron. But Super-Skrull didn’t let all this loss get him down. Threats from the Builders and Thanos prompted numerous Skrull warlords to band together and ally with the Avengers. In the aftermath of his victory, Super-Skrull was crowned the new Skrull emperor and established a new throneworld.
Despite his new standing, Super-Skrull looked to restore the Skrull empire to its former glory and sought after the Infinity Stones. He actually got his hands on the Time Stone, but it was subsequently stolen by Doctor Strange, who deemed the stone to be too powerful to be left in his hands.
As much as Super-Skrull pined for the glory days, he did make a progressive move as well - he helped form the Kree/Skrull Alliance in the face of a greater threat, the plantlike race, the Cotati. Needing a figurehead to strengthen the two races, the Alliance looked to Hulkling, who was half-Skrull and half-Kree. After aiding the Avengers and Fantastic Four against a Cotati invasion of Earth, the Alliance faced a threat from within when Hulkling’s grandmother R’Klll impersonated him and attempted to make power plays in his stead. Super-Skrull temporarily aided R’Klll, and their defeat prompted a response from Hulkling. Also looking to punish Super-Skrull for killing his adoptive mother Hulkling demoted him to a purely diplomatic position, thus forbidding him from ever getting blood on his hands again.
Having been around for several decades, Super-Skrull has naturally crossed over into a variety of additional media. He’s appeared in several animated shows and video games, but has yet to make the leap to live-action. While the Skrulls as a species made their MCU debut in 2019’s “Captain Marvel,” the movie rights to Super-Skrull were for many years held by 20th Century Fox, he being too closely associated with the Fantastic Four. However, with Disney’s subsequent acquisition of the studio and announcement of a “Fantastic Four” movie, things are looking up for a Super-Skrull debut. Some have even speculated we may see him even earlier, with 2023’s “Secret Invasion” series featuring the Skrulls prominently.