Once upon a time, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar co-wrote a nasty little Marvel series about a band of brutal oddballs who ate one skrullburger too many (and for the record, one is too many) and used their newfound skrull-infected bodies to eliminate the skrull menace from the land. Once upon a time long before that, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby gave us a tale about skrulls turning into mindless cattle, and that dangling skrull-cow plotline became (decades later) the impetus for the Morrison/Millar Marvel not-quite-masterpiece.
Nobody read the original Morrison/Millar “Skrull Kill Krew” series, apparently, as it only lasted for five issues before cancellation. And it was neither Morrison nor Millar’s best work, not even close, and Steve Yeowell’s art didn’t reach the stark boldness of his “Zenith” pages, but for it was certainly better than a lot of Marvel’s output during the time. Its unusual tone (caustically bombastic) and its unorthodox focus (a group of Marvel UK-looking characters hunting skrulls? Where was Wolverine? Couldn’t Punisher handle this stuff?) surely contributed to its demise, even though it was its very strangeness that made it worth reading.
Now, post-“Secret Invasion,” the Krew returns, minus any of its original creative team. It looks different, it sounds different, it is different, in almost any significant way. Instead of Morrison and Millar, we get Adam Felber, who brings a Joss Whedon, jaunty sitcom-style flair to the writing. Instead of Yeowell, we get Mark Robinson, a man trained in the ways of the Skottie Young. It’s a much more lively series than the original, lighter in its way, even as it deals with the capture and murder of attractive young humans. It has death and bloodshed and yet it is playful in a less savage way that the first series. One extended joke, for example, features a skrullian Thor who can’t nail down the appropriate diction for the god of thunder. That doesn’t stop him from trying, though, and the joke works because of the taunting that occurs from the eager and pathetic attempts to sound Thor-ish.
Felber’s “Skrull Kill Krew” hasn’t developed into all that much of a “Krew” yet. Ryder, the team leader from the original comic, is back as the protagonist here, and he has a small support staff, although the recently assembled “Avengers: The Initiative” version of his “Krew” doesn’t seem to be around, at least not fully. That’s okay, though, because this Felber-driven pseudo-team works better than what we saw from those “Initiative” issues. His Ryder is more ironic, and while the twist at the end of this first issue doesn’t necessarily come as much of an interesting surprise, at least Felber’s dialogue and characterizations make this comic worth reading.
In look and attitude, this comic seems less like something that’s a sequel to a Morrison/Millar series and more like something that could have launched as part of Marvel’s “Tsunami” line earlier in this decade, but this would have been one of the better comics from that largely ill-fated bunch, and I look forward to reading more of Felber and Robinson’s take on the “Skrull Kill Krew.”