In the Marvel Universe, Earth may be just one of many inhabited planets but it's a very significant one. So significant, in fact, that the ramifications of the Skrulls "Secret Invasion" of Earth will stretch all the way into the far reaches of space and force Marvel's cosmic champions like Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy to get involved. CBR News spoke with writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known to their fans as DnA, about their plans for tying the "Nova" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" series into "Secret Invasion."
The Skrull Invasion storyline has been in the works for a number of years and tying into the epic event was part of DnA's plans for their two cosmic titles from the get-go. "Given that "Secret Invasion" is a Marvel Universe Event of cosmic origin, we could hardly ignore it in our cosmic books," they told CBR News. "The 'Nova' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' SI stories will examine the event from a galactic perspective in contrast with the great Earth-based stories in other books."
The months of August, September and October is when DnA's protagonists are drawn into the conflict of "Secret Invasion." "Nova" #16-18 will feature art by regular penciller Wellinton Alves and "Guardians of the Galaxy" #4-6 will be drawn by regular artist Paul Pelletier.
Normally Nova and the Guardians operate independently of each other. Nova works as a lone, roving, law man while the Guardians serve as a strike team against powerful intergalactic threats. For the most part this will continue when the characters embark on their "Secret Invasion" adventures. "They have their own distinct missions in this case," DnA said. "Although, because we are writing both books and there is a connection between Nova and the Guardians, expect a kind of subliminal 'background' connectivity between the books."
The Guardians and Nova may not be spending much time on Earth or in the remnants of the Skrull Empire these days, but that doesn't mean their shape shifting foes are without intelligence on them. "The Skrulls don't have much on the Guardians because they're new as a team (but they know of them as individuals of great power and ability)," DnA explained. "They've got plenty on Nova. He's a human, he's the last of the Xandarian Corps and he's fully loaded with the Worldmind and the Nova Force. He's very high on their target list. They have to eliminate him before he gets involved."
The beginning of "Nova" #16 finds the Human Rocket distracted and dangerously unaware of the Skrull invaders. "Nova's back on duty and trying to catch up with the back log of emergencies," DnA said. "He's properly back in the game for the first time since he got 'selected' by the Phalanx."
Nova may be back in the game but he'll have to be on top of his game because the Skrulls have done their homework and have a specific plan of attack. "Nova's initial motivation is self-preservation as he is targeted for destruction," DnA stated. "After that, his concerns rest with his home world and his family in particular. Beyond that, we'd like to save the surprises for the story."
Nova's concern for his home planet means he'll be back on Earth by the story's end and there's a good chance he won't be heading home by himself. "Super-Skrull is the major guest star in this story arc. Once a classic Marvel super-villain, he has become much nobler of late with his exploits in the Annihilation Wars," DnA explained. "He has fought side-by-side with old enemies against a common foe. The question is, which way willSuper-Skrull ally himself this time as the aggressors are his own people?"
The Guardians of the Galaxy will have to contend with Skrull invaders attacking their home as well. "The Guardians story will be an extremely focused and paranoid story set entirely on Knowhere [the Guardians' headquarters] during a lock down due to Skrull infiltration," DnA said.
The Skrull invaders inside Knowhere may not be looking to engage the Guardians in direct combat, but instead hit them in a far more dangerous and insidious manner; by sowing fear and suspicion. DnA revealed, "In this story the Guardians are trying to figure out which one of them is the Skrull!"
To make matter worse, The Guardians' short time together as a team make them especially vulnerable to this type of attack. "The Guardians have newly formed and because they were put together quite rapidly, they have not had time to gel as a unit," DnA explained. "They're eager enough but their team dynamics will be put under great tension during this very paranoid and suspicious time."
The Guardians won't be the only ones targeted by the Skrull invaders' psychological warfare tactics. "Supporting characters like Cosmo, Mantis and Groot as well as the inhabitants of Knowhere form an important part of this story." said DnA. "This story is very much set on home turf."
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