Why Is Skrull Kill Krew a Thing?

By | Tuesday, September 26, 2023 Leave a Comment
When I first read Skrull Kill Krew back in 1995, I thought, "This doesn't make sense." Setting aside the continuity issues about how the Skrulls-turned-to-cows thing from Fantstic Four #2 was resolved TWICE already by then (first during the Kree-Skrull War storyline in Avengers #89–97 and next in Fantastic Four Annual #17) and setting aside the general poor quality of the actual script, the very concept doesn't make sense.

The basic idea is that the Skrulls from FF #2 were turned into cows, which were later killed and processed as hamburgers. Humans who ate those hamburgers gained the ability to see Skrulls in their true form, however they happened to be disguised, and they also gained the ability to shape-shift like the Skrulls. The downside was that they would slowly begin to take the form of whatever it was they hated the most. Also, the DNA is killing them, kind of like a cancer.

Let's set aside that dairy cows (which the original Skrulls were turned into) are not used as beef cows, even if they can no longer produce milk. Let's set aside how these Skrull-cows, when they were killed, would revert to their natural Skrull form so that, in order to be processed as meat, they would've gone through several rounds of post-death processing in which dozens if not hundreds of workers would've seen these very-much-not-cows on the line and would've had to have conveniently ignored. Let's set aside that the Skrulls only took the shape of cows and their "meat" would have been very much something that was picked out as a contaminent even if they got through all the initial processing. So let's say the human workers and the FDA and everyone failed at every single level between when the Skrull-cows died and they showed up in a burger bun. Even if you want to include all that as part of your origin-story-free-pass to go along with a "Skrull meat changes human DNA enough to grant super powers" miracle, you're giving the human characters to change their appearance. So how the hell does it make sense that their "punishment" is changing into something they hate? Seriously.

One big 'hook' is that the Nazi-sympathizer is slowly turning into a Black man... but he can change to something other than a Black man any time he wants. He can literally change his appearance to exactly what he looked like before he ate that Skrull-burger. Why is this a story element at all? And even if it is, why does no one even suggest, "Dude, just shape-shift into something that isn't a Black man"? They don't even try to come up with a bullshit rational for his not being able to even attempt it, even just to lampshade the point.

Fine, it was only five issues back in the mid-1990s when Marvel was producing a lot of less-than-stellar material. But I found out recently that Marvel did another five issue series in 2009 as part of their broader "Secret Invasion" storyline. Totally different creative team on it and all five issues were in the dollar bin, so I gave it a shot.

The first problem was that they didn't address the fundamental problems from the original concept. In fact, it seems to add to the issue by giving them the ability to regrow their entire bodies from a severed head, negating the trite-but-at-least-plausible cancer-like stakes of the original. They keep the turning-into-what-you-hate idea and still no one suggests, "Just shape-shift into something else." They throw in a random "your DNA is now totally Skrull" element but don't do anything with it besides make the Ryder character depressed for half an issue, and most of that isn't even shown; he just disappears out of the story for a while. They compound things with not-great storytelling and they do a very lack-luster job on scenes that aren't totally straight-forward. (Of which there are many.) And then, to top it all off, they tack on a meta "it's a comic within the comic" ending saying that the whole thing was just propaganda to lull humans into thinking they're safe from Skrulls.

And, again, this is all on top of the fact that the Skrull-cow point was addressed and resolved before all this anyway, and the series' very existence causes continuity problems.

There were fourteen years between the original series and the second one, and it's been fourteen years since that second series. Not only do I think it is NOT due for another revival, I think it should never even be mentioned ever again. It was awful the first time, even more awful the second. Please let this idea die.
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