Over the past several weeks, Marvel Comics Senior Editor Tom Brevoort and “Secret Invasion” writer Brian Michael Bendis have joined forces with CBR News to help us profile some of the most dangerous possible threats to the Skrull’s invasion of Earth; those heroes and villains ripe for neutralization or even replacement. A number of these threats have been actual Skrulls living peacefully on Earth, but not all the Earthbound shapeshifter are all that opposed to a Skrull occupation of their adopted home world. Indeed, some of these expatriated Skrulls could go either way, and — with a little convincing — they could become allies to the invading forces.
In our final installment of EARTH’S MOST WANTED, Tom Brevoort returns to examine two of these wild cards; The Jokers in the Skrulls’ “Secret Invasion” poker deck.
Xavin may be a member of the Runaways, but he doesn’t see himself as a protector of Earth’s people. The Super-Skrull in training is hanging around only because his betrothed Karolina Dean, another Runaways member, wanted to remain with her friends. As such, Skrull invaders wouldn’t have to do much convincing to get Xavin to side with them.
“Xavin shares his fellow Runaways’ point of view on the worthlessness of most adults, so the notion of striking down the existing system and replacing it with something that might be better would possibly be very appealing to him,” Tom Brevoort told CBR News. “Xavin was a Super-Skrull in training, so theoretically he’s already been indoctrinated into the cause [of taking over Earth], and spent a considerable amount of time and energy in advancing in the Skrull military to get to the point where he was enhanced. So I don’t think the Skrulls would have to offer him much–his only real attachment to the Earth is Karolina.”
If any conspirators were able to sway Xavin’s loyalty, they’d gain a way to sabotage or destroy The Runaways and be one step closer to gaining a toehold in the Southern California area. But ff Xavin remains true to his teammates, the defenders of Earth will be given vital insight into Skrull culture. “Xavin’s still just one Super-Skrull against many, but he’s got an intimate understanding of Skrull psychology and tactics, and an insider’s viewpoint on the Skrull military machine,” Brevoort explained.
New Initiative recruit Aubrey Thompson, AKA Crusader, has a secret: he’s a Skrull. But unlike Xavin, he’s come to like Earth. “As we saw in ‘Marvel Team-Up’, Crusader ‘went native’ while on assignment to Earth, and went AWOL from his mission,” Brevoort said. “He’s in no hurry to rejoin the Skrull race, so their invasion would be an unwelcome turn of events to him. Plus, if there’s a witch-hunt for Skrull agents hiding on Earth, it’s likely to turn him up.”
Crusader might like living on Earth, but he enjoys LIVING more, and demonstrations of power would be the best way for the conspirators to recruit Crusader. “I think that, if Crusader’s back was against the wall, he might turn around and try to get back in the good graces of his fellow Skrulls,” Brevoort agreed. “But he wouldn’t enjoy it–it would be like going back behind the Iron Curtain after living in Florida for years during Spring break.”
The disloyal and self-serving Crusader is uniquely valuable to both the Skrull invaders and Earth’s defenders, as he’s the wielder of an immensely powerful weapon. “Crusader’s Freedom Ring is a fragment of a Cosmic Cube, so within a radius of about 15 feet he can affect just about anything–matter, energy, time, whatever,” Brevoort explained. “But the effect only lasts while the object acted upon is still within that fifteen foot radius. So he can do an extraordinary amount of damage at close range.”
CBR News would like to thank Jim McCann and Arune Singh in Marvel’s Sales department for their help make this feature a success. We’d also like to thank Brian Michael Bendis for his input and an extra special thank-you goes out to Tom Brevoort, whose input kept this series going strong through its 14-week run.
“Secret Invasion” #1 is on sale now — let’s see how on the money we were!
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EARTH’S MOST WANTED