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March 09, 2009


Chris Tolworthy

Why were the pictures so big? How did Reed get them? How did he have pictures from comics that were not even published? The answer is in the later issues (the visit with the FF, the return of Dr Doom, etc.) where it's revealed that the FF had regular story conferences with Stan and Jack.

As for the Skrulls confusing pictures and photos, this is just the kind of detail that makes it believable: we're so used to aliens being "just like us" that we never expect serious differences - like poor eyesight, or that a commander might actually trust the judgment of his underlings (remember that the FF were posing as Skrull spies at the time)

They don't write 'em like that any more.


...the difference between drawings and photos?

Reminds me of the gag in the movie "Ed Wood" when a character can't tell the difference between a red dress and a green one -- because he's in a black & white movie! (And also colorblind.)

Pat Curley

Perhaps Reed had written in to Marvel gushing about their magazines and Stan had sent him some oversized original art?

Hey, it worked for Tom (Funky Winkerbean) Batiuk with Julie Schwartz. (Shameless plug for my next post).

Didn't the Skrulls stuck on Earth get turned into cattle somehow? Or am I confusing that with another story?

I'll check the Strange Tales issues I have to see if I can identify any of those three panels.

Mark Engblom

"Didn't the Skrulls stuck on Earth get turned into cattle somehow? Or am I confusing that with another story?"

Nope, you're right about the Skrull-cows. That was the fate of the Skrull spies posing as the FF, after Reed brainwashed them into believing they were actually cows.


I demand an epic face-off between Krang and Grottu. Are you listening, Marvel?

George C

I think John Byrne came back to this story and hung a lampshade on the incredibly gullible Skrull commander by having Reed explain that his study of the Skrull captives showed him that Skrull have lousy eyesight - but you'd think a highly advanced race of shapeshifters would have fixed that.

Iron Maiden

Byrne did follow this up in an FF annual where the Skrull cow's milk had an effect on the local townsfolk. Later, they were slaughtered for their meat and thus were born the Skrull Kill Krew..who resurfaced in Secret Invasion

Chris Tolworthy

> you'd think a highly advanced race of shapeshifters would have fixed that.

Ah, but that's what makes it so believable! A highly advanced race of shapeshifters would never be defeated by anyone, UNLESS there was some fundamental weakness that they could not overcome. Maybe the genetic price for shapeshifting is low IQ and poor eyesight. I mean, the fact that the Skrulls continually try to defeat earth people and fail, that must prove something.


I had forgotten that the Skrulls originally didn't have those jaw-furrow things that were such an important part of the "Embrace change"


LMAO at this post! Once again you strike comic gold, Mark! It took me about a good 10 minutes to compose myself from laughter to write this comment!

Best line: How did the Fantastic Four resist bursting out into loud, bawdy laughter at the toolish idiocy of the Skrull commander? Their poker faces in the final panel are amazing!

Just looking at the FF and imagining them trying to contain themselves ... LOL!!

I keep saying this, but THANKS for gut-busting giggles, Mark!

Mark Engblom

My pleasure, Hube!

John Nowak

I hate to admit it, but I found myself thinking, "What if the Skrulls have no tradition of flat, visual art?"

If we pretend for a moment that you're an alien who has seen photographs but has never seen drawn art, would you necessarily realize that you were looking at drawn art?

Mark Engblom

Always a possibility, but I think any race that's advanced to the point of interstellar space travel has figured out drawings vs. the photographic capturing of light rays. I've seen other theories around the web that claim the Skrulls may have had bad eyesight and couldn't distinguish from drawings and photographs...which again doesn't seem likely from a space-faring race, especially one that can alter its body shape (and eye-focus) at will.


Even worse, in later stories Lee and Kirby established that the Skrulls had first landed on Earth in the 1930's. How the Skrulls could have contact with Earth for decades and not realize that these were drawings is beyond me.

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