Secret Invasion: Super-Skrulls explained

Cameron Frew
Gravik the Super-Skrull in Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion features a new enemy: Super-Skrulls, a major part of Gravik’s plan to seize Earth from humanity – here’s what you need to know.

The premise of Secret Invasion is rather frightening: what if there were hundreds of nefarious alien invaders roaming the Earth, taking over governments, inciting wars, and planning to seize the planet under the cover of our self-destruction?

These efforts are spearheaded by Gravik, a rebel Skrull leader who’s fed up with being an errand boy for Nick Fury. He promises to find them a home, and his excuses are no longer sufficient — he’s taking matters into his own hands and pitting nations against each other in a bid to take our planet for themselves.

If that wasn’t enough, he’s got something else up his sleeve: he’s transforming himself, and perhaps many others, into Super-Skrulls — here’s everything you should know.

Secret Invasion: What are Super-Skrulls?

Super-Skrulls are genetically modified and enhanced Skrulls who’ve been given superhuman abilities.

In Episode 2, Pago goes to see Dr Rosa Dalton. “You don’t have it,” she says. “Harvest wasn’t there,” he replies. “Then it’s back to scavenging. Our DNA selection remains extremely limited,” she says.

Later, G’iah breaks into a computer and finds records of everyone’s DNA, as well as a list of “harvest DNA samples” from Groot, Frost Beast, Cull Obsidian, and Extremis. When Brogan is being tortured by Sonya, he also reveals that Gravik is “building a machine to make us stronger.”

In Episode 3, he outlines his plan to the council: his men are sneaking into the Royal Navy to execute a strike on a key United Nations target. “The heroes of Earth will react, and the only way we can counter that and claim this planet as our home, is to become super ourselves,” he says. In other words, they’ll become Super-Skrulls, “uniquely programmed weapons of mass destruction… I invite you to join me in the extinction of the human race.”

Gravik in Secret Invasion with Super-Skrull powers

During a tense face-off with Talos, he ends up with a knife in his hand. After Talos walks away, Gravik simply pulls his hand through the blade, at which points it radiates orangey energy and heals itself – this is the Extremis virus in action. In a later episode, he uses Groot-like abilities to crush a soldier to death and impale a dissenter.

In Episode 5, we learned more about “the Harvest”, which is essentially a collection of Avenger DNA that’ll make him the most formidable Super-Skrull we’ve ever seen – read more here.

We’ll update this space with more information as the series develops.

Secret Invasion: What is Extremis?

The Extremis virus was first seen in Iron Man 3. It was a serum developed by Maya Hansen and Aldrich Killian that gave people extraordinary abilities, such as being able to not only heal from grave injuries, but regenerate limbs and other superhuman powers.

“Extremis enhances the user’s physiology by rewriting their DNA. It harnesses the body’s bio-electricity and uses it to activate parts of the brain that govern repair and chemically recode them. This can allow Extremis to hack into the basic operating system of living organisms,” the wiki explains.

Pepper Potts after getting the extremis virus in Iron Man 3

“If the user’s body chooses to accept it, they will gain regenerative healing abilities, enabling to heal all wounds, including previously amputated limbs or even physiological damage. When regenerating lost body parts, the wounds take on the appearance of burning embers while growing back the limb in a matter of minutes, and then cools into regular flesh, blood, and bone. Extremis also enhances physical performance, granting superhuman strength, reflexes, and overall higher resilience.”

However, Extremis was infamously unstable from the point of conception. Not only does their sky-rocket temperature make them easy to spot, but people can explode if their body rejects the serum.

Killian explained: “At this moment, the body is trying to decide whether to accept Extremis or just give up. And if it gives up, I have to say, the detonation is… it’s quite spectacular. But until that point, it’s really just a lot of pain.”

Cull Obsidian from Avengers: Infinity War

Secret Invasion: Who is Cull Obsidian?

Cull Obsidian was one of the Children of Thanos who appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

He first appeared on Earth along with Ebony Maw, battling Iron Man and Spider-Man before having his hand severed by Wong. Later in the movie, he faced Bruce Banner in the Hulk Buster suit and was blown up during the Battle of Wakanda.

After 2014 Thanos time travelled in Avengers: Endgame, he brought the 2014 versions of his children with him, which included Cull Obsidian. He was webbed by Spider-Man and crushed under the heel of Scott Lang’s Ant-Man in the Battle for Earth.

Secret Invasion: Super-Skrulls in the comics

Super-Skrulls debut in the Marvel comics in Fantastic Four #18 in 1963, coming in the form of Kl’rt, the “original and greatest” of all Super-Skrulls.

In a bid to defeat the Fantastic Four, Skrull emperor Dorrek VII tasked scientists with giving Kl’rt the ability to simulate the superhero team’s powers. He became a formidable foe, but ultimately failed. Later, the Illuminati visited the Skrulls to warn them against coming to Earth again, but this led to them being captured and their DNA was stolen.

This was a key step in perfecting the Super-Skrull program: with genetic modification, they were no longer simulating the powers, now “imbued with the memories and powers of the subjects and [they] could not be detected by technology, magic, telepathy, or various superhuman senses.”

Here are a few notable Super-Skrulls: Queen Varanke, who combined her powers with Spider-Woman; X’iv, who has the powers of Daredevil, Elektra, Cloak, and Dagger; and the Sinister Six Skrull, who has the powers of — you guessed it — the Sinister Six, including Sandman, Hydroman, Rhino, Electro, Venom, and Lizard.

That’s everything we know about Super-Skrulls in Secret Invasion. Episode 6 hits Disney+ on July 26. Check out our other coverage below:

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