Or – “Secret Invasion Is Dead…  Long Live The Secret Invasion!”

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Years ago, Reed Richards transformed five Skrull invaders into cows and consigned them to a field to live out their lives.  It’s odd that someone who is supposed to be so smart didn’t realize that most cows end their lives with a hammer to the head and a trip through the grinder.  In any case, cow-meat made it’s way into the general population and turned several people into Skrull-hybrid monsters.  I wonder if this wasn’t a part of the Secret Invasion from the get-go?

Previously, on Skrull Kill Krew:  The aforementioned cows were turned into hamburger SKK.jpgmeat, and fed to the general public in fast food (another good reason to avoid those kind of places.)  A young man named Ryder assembled several of the hybrid-mutant beefeaters, and turned them into a Skrull Kill Krew, working to destroy an alien menace years before anyone else realized that there was even an invasion going on.  The tainted meat gave powers, but at a price, and every member of the SKK found that their health was deteriorating, until only Ryder and a young girl who called herself Riot were left, and she was essentially trapped in a monstrous insectoid form.  They managed to hook up with the 3-D Man (another Skrull fighter) during Secret Invasion and were key to wiping out the Skrull infestation in the Fifty-State Initiative, after which all the Kill Krew, save Ryder himself, finally gave up the ghost.  Now, alone (but vindicated) Ryder walks the Earth, searching for those lost outposts of shapeshifters, wiping out the dregs of the invading force because it’s the only life that he knows.

“It’s Spring!  When a young bovine’s mind turns to love!  Or something like it, anyway,” explains the first page of this issue, as we see a Skrull cow smitten by the urge to procreate on an unsuspecting heifer.  We cut to two heifers of the human variety, very drunk and in party clothes, accompanying a man they just met to a club hidden in a dark alley.  Makes you wonder which species is actually the dumb one.  The ladies are unsure for a moment, but the appearance of Thor (!) convinces them that this is legit, and they enter the club freely and without fear.  Across the alley, we witness Ryder himself, hiding out in a local diner and watching the festivities with a weary eye.  He makes a phone call, and tells an unknown person that he’s watching a nest of “greenies.”  “Are they rampaging?” asks his friend, and he indicates the opposite.  “I think they’re partying…”  He tells the voice that he doesn’t need help, and she responds that he ain’t getting any, and Ryder reveals her to be Riot, back from the dead.  “You were gone, what, a week?”  She tells him hie’s on his own, as he moves towards the  nightclub, wherein one of the girlsfinds herself roped and hanging from the ceiling.  Her friend asks if she’s okay, and the host smiles and tells her that one part of the party might get a little rough…  “The part where we slaughter her.”  That’s a seriously creepy and effective moment right there.

After a brief moment of flashback to the aftermath of cow-love (hint: shapeshifting bossy) we see our screaming victim begging Thor for help, only o have him ready to join in killing HER as easily as they killed her friend.  Thankfully for our bimbo, the doros blow open and Ryder leaps in to try and save the day.  Surrounded by nearly a dozen Skrulls, he mows them down one by one, killing the Thor-impersonator with a bullet to the face, and saving a drunken harlot.  “Like…  you [superheroes] have something that stops you from taking random women home, right?  Like dark secrets or girlfriends or something?” she slurs as a come-on.  “My girlfriend is a head in a jar…  Come on.”  HA!  I have to say that surprised me.  Back in the past, the cow with whom the Skrull mated trasnforms into a human and skulks away, but he’ll be back later in the picture.  Ryder and Britney head for home, and have a night of “you saved my life” sex, while somewhere else, a sample of Ryder’s blood is being analyzed, with surprising results.  “Happy birthday, kid,” says the analyzing agent sardonically, “you’re not a mutation.  You’re actually a SKRULL.”

Well, THAT was unexpected…  Though it does explain why he, and only he, survived the “mutation” that killed the rest of the Krew.  There are some issues with the storytelling here, as the art has moments of clarity, and the whole premise feels a bit out of sync, what with the Secret Invasion over.  You wonder why HAMMER isn’t taking out all these Skrull nests for the good publicity, right?  It’s not a bad book at all, but not really anything that leaps up and grabs you by the throat either.  The dialogue is servicable (though a scene with the African-American Ryder requesting “Crackers!” in the diner and being misunderstood is a little cringe-worthy) and the overall effect, even from the big reveal at the end.  The original SKK was the brainchild of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, and had a wicked edge throughout, while this one seems somewhat defanged.  Perhaps the rest of the issues will change my mind, but Skrull Kill Krew #1 ranks an undecided (but not unmoved) 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.  It’ll be interesting to see where Ryder and his seemingly inevitable New Krew end up…

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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2 Comments

  1. Ricco
    May 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm — Reply

    In Dark Avengers 2 we have this bit of dialoge about the remaining Skrulls: Noh Varr points out that they have to deal with the skrulls still in hiding, Osborn’s answer: “We have people on that. No, Skrulls are yesterdays news we need you, us, to make people safe for tomorrow”

    So HAMMER probably has a couple of units looking for them and most likely will run into Ryder soon, but Osborn doesn’t care about the, all that much.

    Also ” Back in the past, the cow with whom the Skrull mated trasnforms into a human and skulks away” actually it’s the calf of said cow who turns human after his “mom” is taken to be slaughtered, the female cow has a bell on her in all the scenes and the male Skrull/cow hybrid , Hector, doesn’t.

  2. May 1, 2009 at 10:02 pm — Reply

    Mea cowlpa.

    Heh.

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