Provide Some Answers – Where the Heck did the Fourth Skrull Go?

by  in Comic News Comment
Provide Some Answers – Where the Heck did the Fourth Skrull Go?

This feature is basically a counterpart to our Left Unresolved feature. That feature is for plotlines that were, well, left unresolved. In this one, though, we spotlight examples of long unresolved stories that WERE ultimately resolved by later writers. The only rule is that at least four years have to pass between the plot point being introduced and it being resolved.

Today we take a look at the decade-long mystery that was accidentally introduced in the second issue of the Fantastic Four!

Just the other day, I did an article about the outlandish way that Reed Richards succeeded in convincing the Skrulls not to invade Earth way back in 1961’s Fantastic Four #2 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and George Klein). He showed them panels from Marvel monster comics and the drawings convinced the aliens that Earth was too dangerous to invade.

Here’s the issue, though. So four Skrulls were sent ahead of the invading fleet to get rid of the Fantastic Four ahead of the invasion. The FF then capture them, but have to think of a way to get rid of the invading force, as well…

The FF impersonate the Skrulls and convince the invading force to leave through the aforementioned comic book strategy.

When they return to where the four Skrulls were kept captive. The Skrulls try to attack them, but what is most interesting is that there now THREE Skrulls there!

This was almost assuredly just a mistake by Jack Kirby. This was done Marvel Method style, so Lee scripted the book after Kirby did the art, so Lee almost certainly saw that Kirby had forgotten to draw a fourth Skrull, so Lee came up with an explanation for why there was only three Skrulls there…

Obviously, though, as we just saw – the entire point of their mission with the invading fleet was to keep them from learning the truth about Earth and NOT letting them talk to their captors, so it makes no sense to say that they then let one of the Skrulls go with the fleet (not to mention we never saw it happen).

So anyhow, the remaining three Skrulls were put out of commission in a peculiar fashion…

What, then, happened to the fourth Skrull? It would take us a decade for the answer to be revealed! It will only take YOU the time it takes to go to the next page…

It all began in 1970’s Avengers #92 by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema and George Roussos, where a government official accuses the Avengers of helping the aliens known as the Kree…

At the end of the issue, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man show up to disband the now seemingly-disgraced Avengers.

The next issue (now with Neal Adams and Tom Palmer artwork), the Vision shows up gravely wounded to a confused Cap, Iron Man and Thor, who never disbanded the Avengers. After Ant-Man fixes the Vision, the VIsion recalls what had happened to him…

We then see the three former cow Skrulls in action attacking Rich Jones while pretending to be the Fantastic Four. They explain their situation and how come they’re not cows anymore…

But what about the fourth Skrull?

Well, in Avengers #97, in late 1971, by Roy Thomas, JOhn Buscema and Tom Palmer, Rick Jones (through some weird twists of fate) ends up revealing Skrulls’ “true” selves, and that jerk government official rallying people against the Avengers?

At the end of the issue, we learn that HE was the fourth Skrull!!

Crazy. Ten years later, the answer is revealed!

Now, even LATER, twenty-four years later to be precise, the Skrull Kill Krew mini-series revealed that the government forced the three living Skrulls to return to being cows, but then they sent them to a slaughterhouse. The beef from those cows ended up giving the people who ate it Skrull-like powers.

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