We now know what Captain Marvel is up against in her upcoming feature film. When Entertainment Weekly unveiled a first look at her costume, it also revealed Ben Mendelsohn will play the Skrull leader Talos. Under his leadership, the Skrulls will stage an invasion of Earth.
In the comics, Talos isn’t quite like the other Skrulls: he was born without his people’s signature shapeshifting ability. To compensate for this birth defect, he fought harder than his peers and rose through the ranks of the Skrull Empire, becoming a decorated commander. He is also a cyborg with enhanced strength and the propensity to wield a large battle ax. His ferocity and prowess earned him the nickname “Talos the Untamed” — but not for long.
During the events of The Kree-Skrull War, which is the story that inspired Captain Marvel‘s plot, Talos was stripped of this fearsome nickname and became known as “Talos the Tamed.” Despite his capture by the Kree, Talos couldn’t bring himself to commit ritual suicide; because of this, he was seen as weak and stripped of his honor. Worse, he became a disgrace to the Skrull Empire. The Skrull Empress offered him the opportunity to win his honor back by committing ritual suicide, but he refused, preferring to die in battle.
Nevertheless, Talos managed to win back some favor in a two-issue story arc from The Incredible Hulk. When Talos was invited to Earth for Rick Jones’ wedding (a prank on the part of the Impossible Man), he confronted the Hulk. He believed that, if he died at the hands of such a worthy foe, he would be redeemed in the eyes of the Skrull Empire. However, Hulk quickly got wise to Talos’ plan and didn’t want to be part of it. In an effort to end the violence, Hulk halted the fight and begged for his life. When Talos returned to the Skrull ship orbiting space, he discovered his compatriots were not only impressed by the fight, but loyal to him once more.
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