The Marvel Cinematic Universe knows what it's doing. The MCU has taken its time in cultivating characters, establishing stakes, building teams and borrowing from the comics. The stories on the big screen are not direct adaptations of the comics, allowing filmmakers to take liberties with events. Avengers: Infinity War, actually borrowed from several comic storylines, such as Thanos Quest and Infinity Gauntlet. The backstories for the Guardians of the Galaxy were heavily modified for the big screen, and Spider-Man seems to be heavily dependent on tech from Tony Stark, opposed to Peter Parker inventing most of the things that he needs. Skrulls will be making an appearance in 2019's Captain Marvel, but the question is: will that be their first appearance? Or, have skrulls already been lurking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If so, for how long? Who amongst our favorite MCU characters are actually skrulls?
Skrulls are a race of shape-shifters, and rumor has it that they have already infiltrated the MCU. There are very powerful superheroes on the planet Earth, so it would make sense for the skrulls to try and plant spies near them. What are the odds that Maria Hill is a skrull, put on Earth to influence Nick Fury? If the skrulls were interested in the mystic arts, would they have replaced Wong with a skrull impersonator? There's also a chance that some of Marvel's heaviest hitters are actually skrulls. Could Tony Stark or even Thor be a skrull? Some of our ideas will raise eyebrows, others are completely preposterous and will make you laugh. Post your comments below and place your bets on which Marvel Cinematic Universe character is most likely a skrull!
Would skrulls be interested in magic? In the comics, a group called Deviant Skrulls knew magic, but in general the race is known for their shape-shifting and their technology. However, learning about magic could provide them with an upper hand. So who infiltrated Kamar-Taj?
Wong would be a possible candidate. Being the sidekick of the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme has its benefits, but he also at one point was in charge of Kamar-Taj's magic library. Was Wong also stealing spells and sending them back to the skrull Throneworld? Does this also explain why he doesn't have money to buy himself food?
19 PEGGY CARTER
Just how long have the skrulls been among us? In present day, we have Iron Man flying around, but back in World War II we also had a number of advances in technology. One such innovation was the Super Soldier Serum, which allowed for the meek Steve Rogers to become the beefcake Captain America.
If the skrulls can shape-shift, then advances in biology would be of special interest to them. Peggy Carter could be a skrull spy sent to not only infiltrate the Army, but to seduce Rogers and get him to work for the skrulls either willingly or inadvertently.
18 CAPTAIN AMERICA
At the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers made the ultimate sacrifice by preventing a plane filled with weapons from detonating over America. He decided to crash his plane into the Arctic and was presumed lost. However, his body was recovered decades later... or was it?
Could skrulls have swapped out Cap's body? Would this idea of an Evil Cap mirror the controversial plotline Secret Empire, involving Cap as a Hydra Agent? Is Cap resisting the Sokovia Accords an act of patriotism, or a way for skrulls to undermine the American government?
17 HANK PYM
What's more awesome than a suit of armor that can fly and shoot cool weapons? How about technology that allows you to shrink to microscopic size yet (illogically) allows you to retain the strength you had at regular size? Move over, Stark Tech... Pym Particles are here!
Are Pym Particles so advanced that it actually is alien technology? The technology to access the Quantum Realm is dangerous, so perhaps Earth is a testing site where Pym can play with tools and not worry about any repercussions of things going wrong. If something blows up... hey, it's only Earth!
16 PEPPER POTTS
Tony Stark is a wild card. Although he's dependable, he's not really someone that likes to play by the rules. Instead of following the speech given to him by S.H.I.E.L.D., he decided to declare at the end of his movie "I am Iron Man." Stark may not be someone that can be controlled, he is someone that can be influenced.
In the comic storyline Demon in a Bottle, we saw how Tony was being controlled by his addiction. He also enjoyed being around the ladies, so to speak. It would make sense for the skrulls to send in an influential woman to manipulate Stark. It worked: Stark even put Pepper in control of his company in 2010's Iron Man 2!
15 NICK FURY
Nick Fury is a spy's spy. He's got more secrets than anyone knows about, and that would be an immense victory for the skrulls if they were to replace America's super-spy an actual shape-shifting alien. But, did even the skrulls know that S.H.I.E.L.D. was under the control of Hydra?
Any invading alien will tell you to destabilize the planet you want to take over before you arrive. The collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D., the disbanding of the Avengers, the public's general mistrust of superheroes after the events of Sokovia... all engineered behind the scenes by Fury?
14 SHARON CARTER
Are we just labeling every member of the Carter family as skrulls? Given the skrulls and their ability to shape-shift, they probably would have a great deal of interest in the body-changing Super Soldier Serum. Now that Cap is alive and well in the 21st century, what better way to connect with him then through his past?
By having a skrull masquerade as Sharon Carter, Cap would have an interest based on her "relationship" with Peggy. She's shown an interest in Cap, but this may only be to forward the needs of the skrulls.
13 HELMUT ZEMO
The backstory to Helmut Zemo is a tragic one. His family was lost during the Battle of Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Fueled by grief, he successfully plotted the demise of the Avengers by turning them against each other. The big problem? It's theoretically a bunch of lies.
Are you telling us that this dude was able to get the Winter Soldier cheat codes, frame Bucky for the assassination of T'Challa's Dad and reveal the secrets of Stark's parents all by himself? No way, we think this is the act of a skrull spy using significant skrull resources to take down Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
12 JANE FOSTER
According to Thor in the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok, his breakup with Jane was mutual. If Jane did leave Thor, was it to take all of his Asgardian secrets back with her to the skrull homeworld? When it comes to breakups, some women just steal hoodies and sweatpants!
In the 2011 Thor, Odinson told Jane about how Asgardians viewed magic and technology as the same, and how everything was connected through the Yggdrasil. In Thor: The Dark World, Jane was possessed by the Aether. Thanks to Jane, the skrulls could potentially have tons of Asgardian secrets at their disposal!
11 BRUCE BANNER/HULK
Even we're a bit skeptical on this one, but the theory has been doing the rounds so we'll give it a go. The reason why Bruce Banner couldn't transform into the Hulk was because he wasn't Bruce Banner! He actually was a skrull masquerading as the real deal.
Or, since the skrulls shape-shift, the skrull did attempt to mimic the Hulk in size but couldn't do so in power, resulting in Thanos thrashing the doppelganger Hulk. Once realizing he couldn't do an accurate impression, he pretended that he lost the ability to transform. Eh, it's a stretch, but still an entertaining theory.
10 BLACK WIDOW
In Iron Man 2, she infiltrated Stark Headquarters and flirted with Tony hard enough to let her wear one of Iron Man's gauntlets. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's revealed that she's the trigger that converts Hulk back to Banner. Sounds like she's got sway with two of the most powerful Avengers. She was even able to manipulate information out of Loki.
Although she has an elaborate backstory, for all we know it was manufactured by skrull intelligence. She's worked for Soviets, for the KGB, the Avengers, Stark Industries and for S.H.I.E.L.D., and intelligence from any one of those organizations would benefit the skrulls.
9 IRON MAN
Say it ain't so! Are we saying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was started by a skrull? Not necessarily. Similar to other characters on our list, our theory with Tony was that he started out human but at one point in time he was replaced by a skrull imposter. The question would be, when?
Could it be during the events of Iron Man 3? Is that why the rest of the Avengers were not called upon for help? Perhaps it was after the events of Captain America: Civil War? After his battle with Cap, his suit was damaged and he could have been taken without much of a struggle.
Hey, Hawkeye, we haven't seen you in awhile. Where were you in Avengers: Infinity War? Supposedly, you were at home with your family, but were you really spending time with your skrull superiors? Would being a skrull explain how he's been able to hold his own with Thor, Iron Man and Cap?
Perhaps this is how Ronin is introduced. Once it's revealed that Hawkeye is a fake, they find the real Clint Barton and he's now transformed himself into Ronin. Does this mean his family in Montana are also skrull operatives? Can we revisit his safehouse to see his skrull kids?
7 MARIA HILL
If Nick Fury wasn't a skrull, wouldn't he know if Maria Hill was a shape-shifting alien? The Russo Brothers said that some heroes would not be returning from Thanos's snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, and a Skrull presence might allow them to keep their word.
To still have the impact of Thanos's actions be felt, a skrull impersonating Maria Hill could have still perished (they way she did in the post-credit scene of Infinity War) but then the actual human version of her could be revealed to be alive. This could make for a clever fake out to explain the character's passing.
Why would the skrulls want to replace Falcon? In the comic books, Sam Wilson stepped down from being Falcon to actually hold the mantle of Captain America for a short period of time. Is this how the skrulls take over America? By replacing Cap with a skrull?
In the MCU, it doesn't really make sense for Falcon to replace Steve Rogers, but the events of Avengers 4 may change all of that. Falcon is a trusted ally of Rogers, and having a skrull spy that close to the living, breathing symbol of America puts them in a powerful position.
5 WAR MACHINE/RHODEY
During the climactic battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War, War Machine is accidentally hit with friendly fire by the Vision and falls to the ground from a tremendous height. Things look grim for Rhodey, and although he survives, the implication is that his injuries may prevent him from being the person he once was.
In Avengers: Infinity War, we see Rhodey walking around with the help of some mechanical augmentation, but he's looking pretty good. Is that because he's been replaced by a skrull? Skrull Rhodey would have access to the government as well as Stark and leftover Hammer technology.
The Grandmaster is one of the oldest beings in the universe, and for his amusement runs the Contest of Champions, which pits the galaxy's strongest beings against each other. Having a skrull spy would keep tabs on the Grandmaster as well as possibly recruit any powerful beings for the skrull cause.
At the end of Thor: Ragnarok, we learn that Miek met his demise when Korg stepped on him on the bridge, but then Miek comically comes to life at the last minute. What if... he was actually a skrull replacement to infiltrate Thor's attempt at creating a new Asgard?
3 OBADIAH STANE
Tony Stark built an incredibly impressive power source that produced 8 gigajoules of energy a second. In a cave. With a bunch of scraps. That kind of technology is years ahead of any other energy source on Earth, and naturally Stark's mentor/rival Obadiah Stane would want to get his hands on it. So would the skrulls!
Planting a skrull spy in Stark Industries is a genius idea, since Howard and Tony were designers of advanced weapons. It was an added bonus that he would also invent the Iron Man armor! Stane wasn't acting in his best interests, but in the interests of the skrulls!
2 SAM STERNS/THE LEADER
The year 2008 was huge for Marvel, because the Cinematic Universe was launched with Iron Man. The same year, a new Incredible Hulk movie was launched. Characters were introduced into the timeline that we never saw again, such as Betty Ross, Leonard Samson, and Samuel Sterns.
In the comics, Mr. Blue was an alias used by Betty to communicate with her fugitive husband. In the movie, it was used by Sterns, who would later become the villain known as the Leader. Considering the Hulk's strength, Sterns keeping tabs on Banner and getting blood samples from him would be the best way for the skrulls to secretly harness the Hulk's power.
1 GENERAL THADDEUS ROSS
When we first see Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he's trying to bring Bruce Banner under control in the 2008 Incredible Hulk. We don't see him again until 2016's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he's now demanding the Avengers be supervised. See a pattern?
When he's reintroduced, he also offers unprompted exposition, explaining that he had a heart attack and is a new man. Perhaps this might justify to those close to him changes in his personality or demeanor. This would be our top pick for who might be hiding in plain sight!