SUPER SKRULL / SKRULL SOLDIER
I have this post labeled “Super Skrull” but technically this isn’t a Super Skrull action figure, it’s intended to be a generic Skrull soldier. He was released as part of the Avengers movie toy line. If you’re a casual super hero fan, the type who watches the movies but doesn’t read the comics, you might be wondering just who the hell this guy is. Were there Skrull soldiers in the Avengers movie that you missed? No, not really. The Skrulls are a shape shifting alien race that first appeared in Fantastic Four issue 2, way back in 1962. The Skrulls are easily recognizable when in their natural form because they have green skin, pointy ears, and a rigid chin. They usually run around in purple outfits and have laser guns too; pretty classic alien kinda stuff. In the half century since their creation the Skrulls have appeared in a ton of stories and have faced off against numerous opponents in the Marvel Universe. There have been dozens of named Skrulls who have had their time in the spotlight but far and away the most popular individual Skrull, is Kl’rt, who is better known as the Super Skrull.
The Super Skrull first appeared in Fantastic Four issue 18 in 1963. Since the Fantastic Four thwarted the Skrull empire’s initial attempt at invading Earth, they determined the best way to battle the FF was to infuse their greatest warrior with the combined powers of all 4 members of the team. When the process was complete Super Skrull was able to stretch like Mr. Fantastic, flame on like the Human Torch, rock on like the Thing, and turn invisible like the Invisible Woman. He also has the natural ability to shape shift as well as the powers of flight and super strength.
Kl’rt is usually portrayed as a villain to the likes of the FF, Silver Surfer, and the Avengers but he has also been shown to have an honorable side. The heroic side of the Super Skrull was probably best showcased in the 2006 story line, Annihilation. The Annihilation mini series revived Marvel’s cosmic heroes who had been unused for several years. It prompted sequels and a few ongoing series spun out of it as well, includng Nova and the new Guardians of the Galaxy. The ragtag version of the GotG that formed during the Annihilation War is the one that will be appearing in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film from Marvel Studios. Super Skrull played a big part in defeating Annihilus in that first series and could have easily been cast on the team but unfortunately he did not make the final cut. Adding the Super Skrull may have been problematic the Marvel’s cinematic Universe though because he couldn’t have his trademark FF powers (Fox has the rights to the Fantastic Four) and having a Skrull in the same shared universe as the Chitauri might be confusing.
When Marvel launched their Ultimate line of books (read more about that here or here) they made some changes to differentiate it from the main Marvel Universe. One of those changes was altering the look of the shape shifting alien force that invades Earth and renaming them the Chitauri. I’m not sure why they did this but everyone knew that the Chitauri were supposed to be the Skrulls. When Marvel began producing their own movies they borrowed elements from the Ultimate and regular Marvel Universes. Casting Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury was the most obvious nod to the Ultimate Universe in the early films. Naming the invading aliens from the Avengers flick the Chitauri instead of the Skrulls was another clear nod the the Ultimates. So you see, the Skrulls did not appear in the Avengers movie but the Ultimate version of them did.
I find it rather odd that the Avengers movie line included both a Chitauri Soldier and a Skrull Soldier but whatever, the more the merrier I suppose. I wish they had done the same with Nick Fury. I like my Sam Jackson figure but would still like to have a comic accurate version of the character as well. I’ve been seeing the Skrull and Chitauri figures sitting on toy store shelves for months now but haven’t bothered to pick up either one. I don’t care for the look of the Chitauri and I have grown to hate the Ultimate Universe so I feel no reason to purchase that figure. I actually liked the look of this Skrull figure but I got a 3.75″ Skrull Soldier figure not too long ago as part of the Marvel Universe line of figures and I didn’t feel like I needed two of them.
However, I’ve been visiting the toy stores twice a week lately as I’m hoping to find the new G.I. Joe Retaliation figures, which as of yet, I have not. I hate leaving empty handed though so on one recent failed visit to Toys R Us I picked up this Skrull Soldier figure to appease my inner collector. I justified the purchase by telling myself that this was not just another nameless grunt, but actually the Super Skrull himself. Seeing him as an individual character made the figure much more appealing. There’s nothing about the figure to indicate that it’s not Kl’rt, although I imagine an official figure would probably have a flaming “Thing” hand and an invisible leg or something.
This is actually a really well sculpted figure. I much prefer it to the Marvel Universe Skrull Soldier so I’m glad I finally decided to pick it up. I don’t think that the outfit is specific to any one comic appearance but it’s very “Skrully” and looks pretty cool. I like the metallic purple paint that they used on the armor. This guy is a fair amount bulkier than the Marvel Universe version which I like because it helps to establish him as the Super Skrull. He comes with an axe that can be broken down into two bladed brass knuckle type weapons which is pretty badass.
It’s funny to score a toy that I passed on so many times so highly but when viewed as the Super Skrull this is a pretty fantastic figure. He’s well sculpted, well made, brightly colored and just overall cool. Pick one up. 9 out of 10.