The Skrulls were born from their homeworld Skrullos within the Andromeda Galaxy, but they have found their way to many parts of the known universe.
Skrulls are a Reptilian-Humanoid race, most are physically malleable, able to alter their shape, size, and/or color at will. Skrull females lay eggs like Earth reptiles but have mammary glands and nurse their young like Earth mammals.
- Note, the Skrull are biologically compatible with both Humans and Kree, and are able to produce fully viable offspring.
The Deviant branch of the Skrulls has produced a few sub-species / races, all of which retained the racial shapeshifting abilities of the Skrulls:
- Dire Wraiths: By sucking out the brains of their target via a retractable long barbed tongue, they retain the victim's memories and personality strengthening their disguise. In the process killing their victim. While they use technology it is inferior to that of the Skrulls, with their main strength being their mastery of dark magic.
- Warskrulls: Possess the ability to mimic the powers of any alien super hero / villain or mutant, without the aid of cybernetics or genetic manipulation. Basically they are like the Super-Skrulls but are born with that ability. A sub-species that is nearly extinct.
- K-class Skrull Mutants: Have the "K" gene which is similar to the human "X" gene, which gives those mutants powers. A wide variety of Skrull mutants and their powers have been shown. It is a sub-species whose numbers have been growing due to increased births.
The Skrull empire is at least tens of millions of years old, making it the oldest continuous interstellar empire in the universe. They have conquered or colonized every suitable world in the Andromeda galaxy and a 1000 races throughout the galaxy. Since the reign of Dorrek the First (10 million years ago) the Skrull empire has also reached into neighboring galaxies which makes it also the oldest intergalactic empire in cosmos. The Skrull Empire has laid waste to a 1000 galaxies.
It has had two mortal enemies for millions of years, the Kree and the Dire Wraiths (a splinter branch of Skrulls who practiced dark magic and became a vampiric psychic race whom were chased out of the Andromeda galaxy). In addition they have warred with the Badoon (a reptilian race) who have at times allied with the Kree. The Skrulls are members of the Galactic Council, along with the other major galactic and interstellar powers and together with them have faced major threats to the Local Group of galaxies.
It is the most resilient empire in the Local Group of galaxies, despite the catastrophes it has experienced (e.g. the Shaper of Worlds, Galactus, or the Annihilation Wave). Unlike the Shi'ar (Kree) or the Kree (both the Shi'ar and Phalanx), it has not been known to have been conquered by an alien empire. Neither has it experienced an alien infiltration of it's worlds unlike the Shi'ar (both the Brood and the Phalanx). Nor has it witnessed a hostile alien or groups of aliens seize the throne unlike both the Kree (the Inhumans and the Skrull infiltrator Nenora) or the Shi'ar (the human mutant Vulcan).
The Skrull Empire is a totalitarian monarchy with an emperor or empress at the head of state. Prelates are in charge of the quadrants and each world is run by a governor. Generals and commanders are in charge of the Skrull fleets. During the periods of fragmentation or civil war, it is the warlords who dominate the empire and control elements of the Skrull military. The emperor is assisted by various imperial bodies, including the Imperial Council, the Priests of the Sciences (Royal Scientists), the High Command (military), and the Priests of the Mind (Royal Telepaths).
Though the Skrulls are conquerors, they don't attempt to conquer every world. There are worlds that have been willing to be annexed by the empire. These worlds have been given varying degrees of autonomy. Even some of the races that the Skrulls have conquered, have been granted a degree of autonomy. One such example being the Yirbek who prior to being conquered, had a minor interstellar empire. Now they serve the Skrulls as mercenaries, have their own interstellar fleet, and fight in minor interstellar conflicts. In the Skrull Empire all the worlds are represented by Skrulls, regardless as to whither they willingly joined the empire or were conquered.
Society and CultureEdit
Within the Skrull Empire are trillions of Skrulls, and numerous subject races. The Skrulls are organized into castes which include the aristocracy, the warrior caste, the scientist caste, the priest caste, and the worker caste. It's a race which believes in a Skrullian Manifest Destiny. That every world in the cosmos is destined to become a Skrull homeworld. In the eyes of the Skrulls to bring peace to the universe, they will have to subjugate or conquer every world.
Among the Skrulls, many are religious or have some level of faith in their gods. They have a pantheon of Skrullian gods, whom are ruled or led by the goddess Sl'gurt and her consort Kly'bn. Every time the Skrulls have conquered a race, the Skrull gods in turn have gone to war against the gods of that race and conquered them. In bondage to the Skrull gods are thousands of slave gods, who now fight for the Skrull gods. Skrulls pray to these gods, some of them believe in prophecies, and a minority are religious zealots.
There is much variety among the Skrulls when it comes to their careers and lifestyles. Despite the fact that the Skrulls have a well earned reputation for being a race of ferocious warriors, most of the Skrulls live normal peaceful lives. Skrull families consist of a father, mother, and the children. Like most sentient human races in the Marvel Universe, Skrulls likewise have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Parents have demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice for their offspring, even at the cost of their lives. They enjoy the fine arts, and even members of the warrior caste enjoy listening to non-martial music.
Some of the Skrulls follow a code of honor. In which debts are repaid, especially if it's to someone or some group that saved the Skrull race, a Skrull world, a loved one, or your own life. The Skrulls respect and honor enemies who have demonstrated great courage, going so far as to award them the highest military honor in the empire. Among the warrior caste, there are cases where despite greatly outnumbering a foe, they will only face them in equal combat (e.g. one on one, or squad vs squad). They also have a moral code, demonstrated when they developed a genocidal biological weapon that would have wiped out their ancient enemies the Kree and declining to use such a horrifying weapon.
In the Skrull Empire, all Skrulls are drafted into the military upon reaching the age of service. Any Skrull that becomes a deserter is pursued and if caught faces the death penalty. Training in the Skrullian armed forces is brutal, with the weak perishing and the strong graduating. Skrull warriors fight with a fanaticism, often refusing to surrender and fighting to the bitter end. To drive their warriors into a frenzy, martial music (e.g. war chants) will be broadcast to their warriors for hours. Skrull warriors are taught to be merciless in battle, shooting to kill not wound. They will slaughter innocents or civilians if it serves a purpose, without any qualms. Skrulls do find it both distasteful and wasteful, to annihilate a world or population simply for annihilation's sake.
The Skrull Imperial Starfleet is an incredibly powerful deep space armed service and consists of thousands of warships, from the house-sized scout and patrol ships to mile-long and mountain-sized capital ships to worldships the size of planetoids. Warships of incredible power, with the smallest being able to deliver nuclear type attacks (kiloton or megaton) with a single burst of a concentrated beam. The capital ships may be equipped with planet destroying missiles, which can shatter gas giant planets. Skrull warships are deployed individually, as part of a squadron, or in battle fleets that can have hundreds of such warships. The Skrull Empire also has weaponry that can blow up stars, with the targeted star going supernova within minutes.
When it comes to waging war on a planet, they have the Skrull Army. Whose duties include defending Skrull worlds, invading enemy worlds, and occupying worlds that have been recently conquered. They can be deployed in units as small as a squad to as large as a division. Skrull warriors usually are not armored but a minority (commandos, shock troops, etc) are heavily armored. Supporting the soldiers are a variety of combat vehicles which are armored and/or shielded, both the ground and aerial kind. Ground vehicles can be over 12 ft tall and dozens of ft long. They also have mecha, both multi-story humanoid robots and two-legged and multi-legged walkers. Some of these vehicles are equipped with weapon systems that are powerful enough to kill a lower tier Earth god.
The Skrull Empire has a super soldier program, the Super-Skrulls. Which turns volunteers into Super-Skrulls and has grown Super-Skrull clones. Super-Skrulls are usually given the super powers of Earth super heroes (or super villains), though some receive the powers of aliens (e.g. the Silver Surfer or members of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard). Members may receive the super powers of a specific individual, several individuals, or all the members of a team of super heroes (or super villains). In the beginning these Super-Skrulls were given bionic implants which emulated these powers and received energy beams from power transmission facilities or satellites that boosted their powers.
By the dawn of the 21st century, the Super-Skrulls are being given these super powers at the genetic level. No longer were they reliant on bionic implants that could malfunction or a power transmission network in their sector of space. The empire has various facilities to train it's Super-Skrulls. The size of the Super-Skrull force is unknown but at minimum it's in the 1000s. During the Skrull invasion of Earth, units of Super-Skrulls were deployed both to defend the fleet in orbit and as assault shock troops on the planet's surface, with 1000s deployed in New York City alone. Super-Skrulls are deployed individually, as part of a squadron, or in armies of hundreds or thousands. They are used to defend Skrull worlds, to support their battle fleets and ground forces, as deep cover sleeper agents who are awaiting activation, and as covert operatives (dopplegangers).
The Skrulls evolved on the planet Skrullos in the Drax system in the Andromeda Galaxy. Almost a billion years ago the early Skrulls were visited by the alien giants known as Celestials. Like they had done on many other planets, the Celestials experimented on the Skrulls ancestors and divided the species into three branches. The "normal" branch which while powerless had the potential for benevolent mutations, the shapeshifting Deviant branch and the near immortal Eternal branch.
Ascendancy of the Deviant SkrullsEdit
Like on many other planets, the Deviant and Eternal branches went to war and in the case of the Skrulls, the Deviant branch won and wiped out all of the normals and the Eternals, with the excepion of Kly'bn who convinced the Skrulls to spare him in exchange for becoming their everlasting embodiment of what it meant to be a Skrull. The leader of the Deviants, Sl'gurt accepted his offer and volunteered to become his bride. Since Kly'bn was to represent the eternal nature and true form of the Skrulls, Kly'bn vowed never to stay in a single shape for an exteneded time. The two would become the Skrulls gods.
In time the Skrulls abandoned their warlike ways and became peaceful and scientifically minded. Their shapeshifting abilities allowed them to make great contacts with other alien races by simply changing their appearance to look like them. The early Skrull Empire that resulted from these contacts was one based on free trade and mutual co-operation.
Eventually the Skrulls would voyage to the Magellanic Clouds where they discovered the Kree homeworld of Hala. The Kree and Cotati who were the two races that shared the planet were still in the dawn of their civilization. The Skrulls decided to manufacture a test in order to determine which race was worthy of receiving Skullian aid and support. A band of Cotati and Kree were transported to the Moon of Earth in the Milkyway Galaxy. Here the Skrulls created an artificial environment called "The Blue Area of the Moon" and left the two races to accomplish what they could.
The Skrulls deemed the work of the Cotati to be superior which greatly angered the Kree band who killed their Skrullian judges and Coati competitors. They stole the Skrulls advanced technology and due to the immense travel distances, it would take the Skrulls decades to learn of the Kree's activities. By the time they did, the Kree had grown advanced and audacious enough to attack the Skrullian home galaxy which launched the Kree-Skrull war which would last for millennia.
The Skrulls developed the vicious streak required for intergalactic war and with the millennia their entire culture was remade in the warrior image. The Skrulls would come across the Earth which held strategic importance in their war against the Kree and decided to attempt to conquer it. Afraid that the Kree would learn of a full scale invasion, they decided to initially only send a few agents. These agents were foiled by the humans however who had also been manipulated by the Celestials and whose "normal" branch was beginning to manifest super-human powers at a greater scale.
The humans strongest representatives would arrive on the Skrullian throneworld and demand that the Skrullian Emperor leave their planet alone. The same demand would be made towards the Kree who had also gained an interest in Earth. The Skrulls would send many agents in an attempt to subjugate Earth but no full scale invasions.
Fall of the Skrull EmpireEdit
Eventually the Skrull throneworld was consumed by Galactus, a cosmic force of nature who devours planets in order to maintain the cosmic balance. With the loss of their central government the Skrull Empire collapsed into several warring factions with each governor declaring himself "emperor". The Skrulls would only fare worse when they were one of first major interstellar empires to be targeted by the Annihilation Wave. The Annihilation Wave was a gigantic army that came from the Negative Zone, a Universe outside our own. The Annihilation Wave's superweapon, the Harvester of Sorrows would destroy 90% of Skrull controlled planets before it was destroyed by a Skrullian champion; Kl'rt. With their empire decimated, a large faction of Skrulls lead by the extremist Queen Veranke launched an all out invasion of Earth.
Veranke was a religious extremist and was convinced that the Skrullian holy texts promised the Earth as a new throneworld for the Skrulls. Using their shapeshifting powers, the Skrulls replaced several of the Earth's superhuman heroes and several key members of both major criminal, terrorist and police organisations. With the worlds greatest heroes incapacitated, the majority of its superhuman populance (the mutants) de-powered (prior to the Skrull invasion) and with mistrust spreading among the humans, the invasion seemed guaranteed. But failure would come when Reed Richards, a human genius who had opposed the Skrulls since he first learned of their existence used a device to pierce through the Skrull's shapeshifting. With their enemies clear before them, the Skrull's fleet crippled and with all the heroes and villains united, the Skrulls would fail in their invasion, thus decimating the once mighty Skrull Empire.
Restoration of the EmpireEdit
With their Empress dead, the remaining Skrull worlds fell into civil war once again. Eventually, six Warlords rose to prominence. By this time, the ancient race known as the Builders invaded several space empires, among them the divided Skrull territories. An alliance was created, and the Skrull warlord Kl'rt was chosen to represent their people and lead their armies. Kl'rt and the rest of the generals led the alliance to victory, and for his great actions, Kl'rt was crowned Emperor of a reborn Skrull Empire.
The Skrulls have mastered a wide variety of technologies and sciences.
- Cosmic Cube: An artifact which can be held in one's hands, which pulls energy from another dimension and gives the user the ability to alter reality (potentially up to galactic scale).
- Intergalactic warp drives (sub-space): Starships can travel from the Andromeda galaxy to the Milky Way galaxy (distance of 2.5 million light years) within seconds or minutes.
- Intergalactic communications: Nearly instantaneous audio or video.
- Intergalactic scanners / sensors: The Cosmos Radar spans galaxies and can identify an enemy starship landing on Earth.
- Intergalactic power transmission: An asteroid sized power station satellite could transmit power from the Skrull throneworld in the Andromeda galaxy to the Super-Skrull on Earth.
- Intergalactic transport ray: Capable to transporting to or from a destination with pinpoint accuracy, both organics (e.g. human) and inorganics (e.g. bomb).
- Shapeshifting technology: Such as the Skrull-X, a humanoid robot that could shapeshift just as a Skrull could and in addition was able to mimic the powers of the Fantastic Four.
- Miniaturization technology: Which permits a Skrull infiltrator carry equipment (e.g. computers and assault rifle-type blaster) in a miniaturized form without interfering with their shapeshifting. Items were as small as action figure accessories and were easily and quickly restored to original size.
- Shape-changing technology: Hand held device the size of an early 21st century flip phone can alter the shape of a parked Skrull flying saucer (disguising the vessel) to shapeshifting humanoid robots (e.g. Skrull-X).
- Brain-wave scanning: Skrulls can scan and track the brain waves of a specific individual anywhere on a planet from orbit.
- Robotics: Creating humanoid sized robots to multi-storied robotic machines.
- Cybernetics: From cybernetic enhancements and bionic parts to full blown cyborgs.
- Genetic engineering: Which resulted in the Super-Skrull program of Skrull warriors given the powers of human super heroes and mutants.
- Cloning: Able to produce fully grown clones within 24 hours.
When it comes to war, the Skrulls have developed a great war machine with formidable defenses which is capable of inflicting great devastation.
- Galactic Defenses: Energy dampening field which "cloaks" the inhabited worlds of the Andromeda galaxy from the world devourer, Galactus (successfully for a thousand years).
- Weapons of Mass Destruction:
- Planet Smasher (aka, Sonic Disruptor - a cannon that from the Andromeda galaxy can destroy the Earth in the Milky Way galaxy)
- Star Killer weapons (cause stars to go supernova)
- Thermonutron missiles (within minutes burn all life on a planet's surface and in a few hours can shatter a gas giant)
- Planetary Defenses: Planetary-wide force field and ground-to-space pulse cannons.
- City-sized Starships: Battleships that are miles-long.
- Worldships: The planetoid-sized Destructor-class of warship, disguised as asteroids.
- Energy weapons: Photon torpedoes and blasters, neutrino beams, and pulse cannons.
- Mecha: Bipedal mult-story humanoid robots and one or two-story multi-legged walkers.
- Biological warfare: Genocidal biological agents which can be customized to target the DNA of specific races, which are highly infectious and without a cure.
- Super-Skrulls: Warriors that are given the powers of alien (e.g. human) super heroes / villains and mutants. Could be the powers of one individual or multiple individuals. Originally done via technology (cybernetics, power transmission, etc) and thereby could be sabotaged or interrupted, but eventually it was done via genetic manipulation and permanently given those abilities.
- Brain-wave Camouflage: The Skrulls developed a method for the Super-Skrull program which prevented the discovery of Skrull infiltrators by technology, magic, or telepathy.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Skrulls were already a peaceful race until the Kree empire destroyed their homeworld Skrullos and left them homeless, living as refugees on planet Torfa.