Marvel’s Original Cosmic Phase: The Kree/Skrull War

by Blaise Tassone

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While we wait for the ‘Captain Marvel’ full length movie and the highly anticipated sequel to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, I can’t help think that the unfolding of this expanding cosmic phase of the MCU will have a pronounced effect on more than just Captain Marvel comics or books featuring Thanos.

In fact, long before the Infinity War and the Infinity Gauntlet comics, and just before Thanos was pursuing the Cosmic Cube, the very first story arc that really sets the stage for all Cosmic tales to follow in the Marvel Universe appeared in the Avengers.

This story, plotted by Roy Thomas (scripts) and brought to life by the illustrating talents of Sal and John Buscema and Neal Adams, is known as the Kree-Skrull War.

This larger cosmic tale has been late to make it into the movies, but was the original cosmic soap opera in the Marvel universe. However, although the Kree-Skrull conflict first erupted in the pages of the Avengers, it’s roots, like many other significant Marvel firsts, can be traced back to the Fantastic Four. Within the pages of Marvel’s first family both of the two major alien races: the Skrulls (first appearance Fantastic Four #2) and the Kree (first mention: Fantastic Four #64) were first introduced.

These two races, as the name of the conflict implies, are the major players in the Kree-Skrull War. However, it really begins with two important individual figures; one who has already seen screen time and another that may appear in a future Marvel movie.

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Fantastic Four #65 (August 1967) – First Appearance of Ronan the accuser and the Supreme Intelligence

Ronan the Accuser is a high ranking Kree aristocrat, and the Supreme Intelligence is the ultimate creation of Kree science. In the Kree-Skrull War story line, Ronan takes the supreme intelligence hostage and assumes command of the Kree forces. The first thing he does is awaken Sentry 459 (who first appeared in FF #64) and attempt to destroy Captain Marvel. But that only happens in Avengers #89 (see below), where Marvel is helped by the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Clint ‘Goliath’ Barton and the Vision. However, both Ronan and the Supreme intelligence first appear in this comic: FF #65. Currently Silver Age Fantastic Four comics are hot and this issue is no exception. While you can pick up a mid-grade (7.0) certified copy for around $140.00, get it before prices start to rise. The last six years alone have seen 9.8 certified copies go from sales of $1, 135.25 (in 2012) to over $4, 000.00 by 2018.

Avengers #89 (June 1971) – Part One of the Kree-Skrull War

122755_4b61fbb0a98de59db85bc81e34ac98c38da166b7-199x300 Marvel’s Original Cosmic Phase: The Kree/Skrull War The last of the major players in the story are introduced in this comic. They include Captain Marvel (the original, not Carol Danvers – although she also appears in the story), and Rick Jones. After Ronan’s attempt to destroy Marvel, the Skrulls presence on earth is revealed. The Skrulls role is twofold. First, they initiate the war with the Kree. Second, they draw in both the rest of the Avengers and the Inhumans. As an earlier Kree creation the Inhumans are viewed as a threat by the Skrulls, so those on left on earth at the end of Fantastic Four #2, take it upon themselves to destroy the Inhumans as a way to weaken the Kree. With the help of the Avengers, the Skrulls are stopped, but not before the Super-Skrull takes Captain Marvel and the Mutant siblings Wanda (Scarlet Witch) and Petro (Quicksilver) Maximov hostage. Not quite at the level of the above mentioned FF comics regarding price, this comic is slowly increasing in value. Currently it shows mixed returns but certified 9.8 copies have broken the $700.00 mark, and 9.4 certified copies have jumped a positive + 75.7% over the last two years.

123304_575fb1a915856e14a5b6b4b21390eeb7ed8b7b0a-203x300 Marvel’s Original Cosmic Phase: The Kree/Skrull WarAvengers #96 (February 1972) – Penultimate Chapter of the Kree-Skrull War, Awesome Neal Adams Cover

The many details of the Kree/Skrull War are too nuanced and subtle to recount in a blog post. The only way to appreciate what Thomas and his colleagues have accomplished, and how they’ve woven this epic tale out of earlier Marvel mythology, is to read the story. Regarding monumental chapters in the actual story, after Avengers # 93 “This Beach-head Earth” (a comic I discuss here), issue #96 of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes features the moment when the stakes are raised to the highest. With the fate of the Earth on the line in this comic, featuring a brilliant Neal Adams cover, the Vision throttles a Kree commander out of concern for Wanda’s safety. A high point of the story for sure and strong returns recorded for this issue. A 9.8 certified copy will cost you around $700.00. Again, this comic shows mixed returns but the strongest, after 28 recorded sales since 2003, can be found on 9.2 certified copies (positive + 61.5% roi); and that Adams cover!

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