Current Reviews


Skrull Kill Krew #1

Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By: Charles Webb/Michael Colbert

Adam Felber
Mark Robinson (p), Andres Mossa (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Skrull Kill Krew #1 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 22.

Charles Webb:
Michael Colbert:

Charles Webb:

Plot: Ryder, the last(ish) member of the Skrull Kill Krew has his sights set on a nest of shape shifters who weren't part of the invading force.

Comments: Given that most of 2008 was spent mired in Skrull-o-mania (or phobia, I suppose) it's a surprise that Marvel hasn't retired them as a threat for the time being. In an interesting move, Marvel has actually brought back one of Grant Morrison's early concepts: the Skrull Kill Krew of the late 90's.

In their original concept, they were a motley assembly of shape-shifting young men and women given Skrull-like powers after ingesting meat made of hypnotized Skrulls (a long story detailed at length in the back of this issue). Now, with most of the team dead, the only remaining member of the Krew still out hunting Skrulls is Ryder, the team leader.

Writer Adam Felber makes a clever homage to Blade and other modern monster hunter fiction with our hero staking out a club frequented by Skrulls of unknown origin who lure ditzy party girls in order to eat them. It's a little broad but it's also an enjoyable twist on the horror/sci fi trope with the Skrulls being too distracted by their own bickering about how Thor really talks to strike back at Ryder.

Meanwhile, in slightly confusing flashbacks, we see some strange goings-on at the farm where the Skrull cows were penned years ago. There's an explanation at the end that seems to resolve what's visually occurring during these segments and how they tie into the present, but in the first analysis, artist Mark Robinson's illustrations are unclear.

Throughout the rest of the issue, however, his work is serviceable, with jangly-limbed characters given a sense of movement. Ryder is made to look particularly athletic during action scenes and his actors convey the moments of comedy throughout.

My one complaint – issued as someone unfamiliar with the original run of the SKK – is that Marvel has, for the time being, killed off the remaining members of the team. Based on the "Kill Krew Saga" that occupies the last few pages of the issue, they seemed to be interesting, original creations ripe for continued exploration in the post-Secret Invasion Marvel Universe. As a matter of fact, besides Ryder and some offscreen, thought-dead help, there's nothing much in the way of an actual Krew in this issue. I'm curious about how Felber will fill out the ranks of the team in future issues.

Final Word: The rating is deserved if only for dusting off the Kill Krew as an ongoing, and the dark humor (if not the story) has me interested in the next issue.

If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the author’s work at Monster In Your Veins

Michael Colbert

Plot: Cow love, heads in jars, bimbos and huge automatic weapons… what's not to like?

Comments: There are two unshakeable laws governing the entertainment universe: First, every band eventually gets back together and second, no comic character(s) ever really go away. The return of The Skrull Kill Krew has been a foregone conclusion since they were mentioned in "The Skrull Files" (a free catch-up book Marvel put out just before Secret Invasion blew up). After a modified version of the team blasted its way through the "50 State Initiative" it was only a matter of time till the limited series. The real question is how would the subversive brainchild of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar play out in a vastly different world (Marvel U and reality)? Could the ironic line-up of 90's pop culture archetypes get traction in a "post-ironic" age where pop culture is basically a parody of itself?

As most anybody knows, irony didn't die, it mutated… got stronger and became even more prevalent. So it's a good sign that things are on track when the new version of Skrull Kill Krew does the same. Adam Felber opens with (as most great works of literature do) cows, specifically one of the Skrull cows of Reed Richards fame about to put the moves on a regular earth cow. Fast forward to present day downtown LA. Some dude is leading a pair of drunken girls into a back alley bar called "The Ranch." This bar is filled with beautiful people, to such a disproportionate degree that a drunken LA club hopper notices. Or as one of the girls puts it "It's like a show on the CW." That line makes perfect sense, and I don't even watch any CW shows. The snarky pop culture references are right on target. Oh yeah, Thor is the door man. Of course "The Ranch" is filled with Skrulls or else Ryder, pretty much working solo at this point, wouldn't be staking it out. The curious thing is that these Skrulls are more concerned with swilling beer and partying than taking over the world. Ryder crashes the party just in time to save one of the drunken girls. The action has a fierce rhythm to it, plenty of shots of four barreled superweapons erupting at the camera and broken glass. At the same time it never ceases to be amusing – Ryder's opening line as he smashes into the club is "Let's play Ragnarok." Skrull Thor's last word before his head gets blown off is "Gevalt." The sequence hits all the right beats for some amped up mayhem with a chuckle thrown in. Mark Robinson's pencils help immensely, striking the perfect character balance between cartoonish and sinister. Skrulls dispatched, Ryder even gets the girl (and takes her back to the Valley no less… this is obviously fiction). Intercutting with all this mayhem are flashbacks of that lone cow, now displaying Skrull capabilities. Not since the premier episode of South Park has the word "Moo" been used so effectively. The issue ends with a twist, plenty of questions about what's going on, and a strong need to know more about that damn cow!

Pretty much everything works here and surprisingly well. Just don't take any of it too seriously. The humor is at turns sharp, flippant and outright silly. There are a few nice character bits and the dialogue is winking and fun. As said above, Robinson's work has a cartoonish and comic flair to it but can also be creepy and expression filled exactly when it needs to be. Mossa's colors are swirling and heady. They also do extra duty with a Skrull green visual cue through the book. And Mike Getty's inks seem to simultaneously rein in the chaos and enhance it; all in all, a really fun and well executed book.

Points of Interest:
There sure is a lot of cow motif in the Ranch bar.

BRITNEY – "You heroes have a code or something that stops you from taking some random girl home."
RYDER – "My girlfriend is a head in a jar… My place is in the Valley. Come on."

The recap of SKK's history is a laugh. It is told in the form of a "Weekly Weird News" article by Norman Osborn loving arch-conservative Ed Fury.
The cover of the Weekly Weird News has a Skrull picture that looks a lot like the Batboy.


If you can, get the "Cow Thor" Variant Cover.

Can't wait for the inevitable team-up with Deadpool!

Final Word: The best way to describe Skrull Kill Krew is "snarky fun." Skrull Kill Krew has made the leap into the 'oughts with a keen sense of what works now. Now all we have to fear is the inevitable "Creed" reunion.

My LINK: "Who is Crazy Mary?"

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