One of my absolute favorite Arrested Development gags comes from that master of sleuthery, Gene Parmesean. His ability to sneak into nearly any scene (to the delighted terror of Lucille) tickles me every time. Just when you forget about good ol’ Gene, there he is again, ready and waiting.
The Skrulls are the Gene Parmesean of the Marvel Universe, but significantly less jovial.
The shape-shifting alien race with frequent dreams of Earth-takeovers debuted all the way back in 1962, during Fantastic Four #2. I’d make the argument that the Skrulls are the genesis of Marvel Cosmic, the now beloved category of Marvel’s space-faring races and adventurers.
Below you’ll find a complete chronological guide to essential Skrull comics, with my favorites marked by the Comic Book Herald logo!
Related Reading Orders:
Origins of the Skrulls!
Collects: Fantastic Four (1961) #1-30, Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #1
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby debuted the Skrulls all the way back in Fantastic Four #2, returning to the alien conquestors in Fantastic Four #18 (the Super Skrull!), and Fantastic Four #32 among others.
Collects: Fantastic Four (1961) 61-93, Annual (1963) 5-7, Not Brand Echh (1967) 5-7
Fantastic Four #91 to #93 mark some of the final Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic Four comics together, as well as one of the stranger Skrull sagas in the 60’s!
Collects: Black Panther (2005) 19-34, Annual 1
Stick with me here: Reginald Hudlin’s time writing Black Panther takes a wild left turn when Black Panther and Storm join the Fantastic Four in the aftermath of Civil War. In particular, Black Panther #26 to #30 make a return to the Skrull planet we saw way back in Fantastic Four #91! In case you were worried this was already too simple, these issues also feature a healthy heaping of Marvel Zombies.
Collects: Avengers (1963) 89-97
Skrulls In The 80’s
Collects: Fantastic Four (1961-1998) Annual #18
Kree and Skrull vs. X-Men and Fantastic Four!
Collects: Marvel Teamup (1972) #61-62; Marvel Two-In-One #50; Fantastic Four (1961) #215-218, #220-221, #232-262 And Annual #17; Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #42; Avengers (1963) #233; Thing (1983) #2; And Alpha Flight (1983) #4
Fantastic Four #257 showcases Galactus vs. the Skrulls!
Collects: Hercules: Prince Of Power (1982) #1-4 And Hercules: Prince Of Power (1984) #1-4
Hercules totally makes a Skrull friend.
Skrulls In The 90’s
Collects: Fantastic Four (1961) #347-361 And Annual #24 And Material From Marvel Holiday Special #1
In the “New” Fantastic Four issues (#347 to #349) with Walt Simonson writing and Arthur Adams on pencils, the Hulk, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and Spider-Man have to step in and help the FF battle off a Skrull invasion. Then, Fantastic Four #357 reveals that Lyja the Skrull spy has been impersonating a major Fantastic Four player for *years*.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1963) 273-280; X-Factor (1986) 63-70; :X-Men (1991) 1-9, 10-11 (A Stories)
Uncanny #275 to #277 in particular feature Chris Claremont and Jim Lee detailing a wild Skrulls vs. Sh’iar vs. X-Men story
Issues: Incredible Hulk #419
Technically Talos shows up in Incredible Hulk #418 (the wedding of Rick & Marlo), but issue #419 is all Talos backstory and Hulk-sized brawl!
Collects: Skrull Kill Krew (1995) 1-5, Avengers: The Initiative 16-19, Skrull Kill Krew (2009) 1-5, Material From Dark Reign: New Nation
Definitely worth noting that only the 1995 5 issue miniseries co-written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar should be read prior to Secret Invasion.
Collects: X-Men 89-#90, Uncanny X-Men #375, X-Men 95
The X-Men run into all sorts of wild Skrull confusion.
The Secret Invasion Era!
Collects: Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet, #1-3, Captain America (1998) #36, Thor (1998) #30, Uncanny X-Men #387, Bishop: The Last X-Man #15, Iron Man (1998) #35, Avengers (1998) #35, Gambit (1999) #23, X-Men (1991) #107, X-Men Unlimited (1993) #29
For the full reading order, check out Comic Book Herald’s guide to Maximum Security.
Collects: Runaways (2005) 1-18, Free Comic Book Day 2006 (X-Men/Runaways) 1
The debut of Xavin, the Skrull fiance of Karolina Dean!
Collects: Drax The Destroyer #1-4, Annihilation Prologue, Annihilation: Nova #1-4, Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4 And Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1-4
For the full reading order, check out Comic Book Herald’s guide to Annihilation.
Collects: Young Avengers #7-12 & Young Avengers Special
Collects: New Avengers: Illuminati #1-5
Collects: Secret Invasion (2008) #1-8
For the full reading order, check out Comic Book Herald’s guide to Secret Invasion.
Secret Invasion is Marvel’s major event of 2008, and is stuffed full of tie-in series. I highly recommend at least explore New Avengers and Mighty Avengers alongside the core event issues, and there are some great crossovers such as a Black Panther story written by Jason Aaron.
Collects: Spider-Woman #1-7, And Spider-Woman #1 Motion Comic
Skrulls In The 2010’s
Collects: Infinity 1-6, New Avengers 7-12,Avengers 14-23
For the full reading order, check out Comic Book Herald’s guide to Infinity.
Infinity is not a Skrull heavy story, but the cosmic implications do impact the alien race.
Collects: Occupy Avengers #5 to #9
Collects: Venom: First Host #1-5