When you’re part of a culture in which everybody can look like anybody you don’t have much use for ideas like diversity and individuality. But that doesn’t mean shape shifters like the Skrulls don’t understand these concepts. They know if their “Secret Invasion” of Earth is going to be successful they’ll have to be prepared to destroy one of the most eclectic groups of beings they’ve ever faced, the defenders of Earth. In today’s installment of EARTH’S MOST WANTED, “Secret Invasion” writer Brian Michael Bendis helps us profile an especially diverse collection of Earth’s champions-The Fours, in the Skrulls’ “Secret Invasion” poker deck.
FOUR OF SPADES – DAISY JOHNSON
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Daisy Johnson’s superhuman ability to generate earthquakes would surely be especially useful in combating the Skrulls. This power allows her to cause as much damage as an air strike or to attack with surgical precision like a sniper. “Her earthquake abilities are very wide yet they can be very pointed,” Brian Bendis told CBR News. “She can throw a building down in a potential battle but she can also point her finger and blow up your brain. She can give you an earthquake in your head.”
The other thing the Skrulls find troubling about Daisy Johnson is her connection to former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. Johnson was taken in by S.H.I.E.L.D. at an early age and placed under Fury’s supervision, and is fiercely loyal to him even now after he’s left the organization and gone underground. Johnson’s devotion to the former director and her level 10 security clearance within S.H.I.E.L.D. give her access to a variety of secret intelligence, so the Skrulls have no way of telling just how much Daisy knows about their plans.
Replacing Daisy with a Skrull doppelganger would grant the Skrulls’ a number of strategic advantages, the biggest one being an agent within striking distance of Nick Fury, whose-off-the-grid status and access to secret information sources the Skrulls find very troubling.
However, replacing Daisy isn’t the only way for the Skrulls to neutralize her. They could also remind her in a variety of subtle ways that her father is the villainous Calvin Zabo, also known as Mister Hyde. “She’s got major daddy issues,” Bendis remarked. “Finding out your dad is a complete scumbag can be rough on a person.”
FOUR OF HEARTS – VENOM
As the current host of the Venom Symbiote, Mac Gargan has a number of superhuman abilities perfect for Skrull hunting like superhuman strength, the agility to rapidly heal from injuries and the ability to generate natural weaponry such as claws, fangs. Perhaps his most useful power for preying on Skrulls is Venom’s camouflage ability. Using this power, Gargan and his symbiote can blend into any surface, pop out to take out a Skrull, and blend back in again.
The Skrulls would certainly find Venom’s powers troubling but what they find truly frightening is the mind which commands those abilities. “Venom is most dangerous to the Skrulls because he’s crazy,” Bendis explained. “And as Warren Ellis’s ‘Thunderbolts’ series goes on he’s getting even crazier. Crazy people are hard to predict and anticipate.”
Venom’s membership in the U.S. government’s Thunderbolts program makes him a candidate for replacement by a Skrull agent. “Replacing Venom puts you inside the Thunderbolts program and that puts you close to the program’s leader Norman Osborn,” Bendis stated. “Having a soldier within the Thunderbolts would allow you to muck up a big part of whatever defense Earth was going to throw at you.”
If Venom proves too dangerous to capture and replace it’s likely the Skrulls will use his biggest strength against him. Being crazy may make Venom unpredictable and dangerous but it also leaves him open to a number of psychological warfare tactics.
FOUR OF DIAMONDS – HERCULES
The prospect of facing Hercules on the battle field has got to make the Skrulls more than a little anxious. The Olympian god’s vast superhuman strength and nigh invulnerability makes him an awe inspiring opponent. Also truly dangerous to the Skrulls is the fact that Hercules is part of a large extended family of deities. “There’s the threat that if you push too hard you’re not just fucking with Hercules you’re fucking with other gods,” Bendis explained. “And that’s not a fight that mortals from any culture can necessarily win.”
Hercules loves to join superhero groups and over the years he’s been part of many. This means a Skrull doppelganger of Hercules would be quite useful. “He’s beloved,” Bendis remarked. “He’s been part of the Avengers, the Champions of Los Angeles, Heroes for Hire, and the Defenders at one point. A Hercules impostor could be a gun to use against whoever they’re fighting.”
The Skrulls could also end the threat of Hercules by exploiting one of his many weaknesses. The Olympian god is notorious for his love of alcohol, his uncontrollable temper, and his arrogance.
FOUR OF CLUBS – JOHN THE SKRULL
The old saying, “It takes a thief to catch a thief” is why MI-13 operative John the Skrull is dangerous to the Skrull invaders. John originally came to Earth in the ’60s as part of an earlier invasion attempt by the Skrulls. He and his bandmates The Skrull Beatles were to replace the original Fab Four and use their influence for Skrull gain. John has come to enjoy living on Earth and “Captain Britain and MI-13” writer Paul Cornell told CBR News the zealotry of the Skrull invaders attacking Earth means the pragmatic John would have stood against them even if was back on his home world. This makes John a traitor in the invaders’ eyes, so it’s most likely they’ll either work to kill him or neutralize him psychologically. There’s no telling what kind of damaging information John could supply to Earth’s defenders.
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EARTH’S MOST WANTED
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