She-Hulk vs. Super-Skrull’s parenting, Pt. 2Posted: 08/24/2014
As we concluded our first part, She-Hulk and her Skrull bounty hunting partner Jazinda had kidnapped a major Skrull religious leader in an attempt to halt the Skrull invasion of Earth. From Skrulls. While the plan went off magnificently (with some involvement from X-Factor), only one more obstacle stands in the way of our two green heroines: Jazinda’s daddy. Jazinda betrayed the Skrull people, and unfortunately, Papa Jazinda must be the one to murder her to save all that pesky honor and whatnot. Today, we’ll read the conclusion of She-Hulk and Jazinda versus the Super Skrull. Has Kl’rt learned anything from these past few years of war and trauma? Has the Annihilation Wave and his time with Nova taught him anything? Is he still a remorseless supervillain who’ll stop at nothing to massacre his only remaining family? I mean, I already know the answer, but I like to build suspense.
Indulge me while I talk about myself for a moment. I’ll hit my 400th article next Friday, and besides the writing experience, I’m most proud of how much appreciation I’ve gained for the slew of B- and C-list characters I’ve learned and read about. Like Ursa Major, Amadeus Cho, Jack Flag, Moon Knight, Taskmaster, Black Mask, Lady Shiva, Wildcat, and even Hawkman. I adore these character who two years ago I wouldn’t have recognized if you forced me at gunpoint to memorized their entire Wikipedia entries. Now I add Super-Skrull to that list. His minor supervillain status hasn’t changed. He still gets treated as a joke in the Marvel Universe. His name will always be silly. But I’m a fan — forever. If today’s article hasn’t convinced you yet about the Super-Skrull, then go be a Negative Nancy somewhere else. I’m biased now.
I know She-Hulk’s getting dressed in the first two panels below, but she wears jeans, not spandex.
She-Hulk takes the Thing’s place on the Fantastic Four roster whenever he quits or stomps off on his own for a while. Same basic powers (super-strength/super-durability). Unfortunately, the Super-Skrull has the Thing’s powers along with the other three members, so it’s not so much a fight between She-Hulk and Super-Skrull as a frantic search for She-Hulk to hold out until Jazinda’s safe. Spoiler alert: there’s a snag in that plan — turns out spaceships aren’t great boats.
I’m skipping the flashback of Jazinda’s treachery, but I’ll give you a brief summary. Jazinda and her team broke into a Kree base to steal back a precious Skrull artifact. Faced against odds that would have surely killed her, she swallowed this Skrull gem, rendering herself immortal. The mission failure, eating the gem, and fleeing the judgment of the Skrulls — those all pretty much doomed Jazinda to be a fugitive for the rest of her life. And it’ll be a very long life, being immortal and all.
The Super-Skrull and She-Hulk battle each other as comics demand, but every great fight demands a philosophical discussion between punches. By the way, She-Hulk is mean. Like movie-lawyer-about-to-play-the-trump-card mean.
Of course She-Hulk makes some great points (and maybe sprung a tear from poor Super-Skrull), but she’s wrong about that age-old dilemma of duty versus family. That’s not why he has to kill Jazinda. It’s always been about legacy — the theme that started our two weeks of articles and ends it today. His son was supposed to be the torchbearer of Kl’rt’s family. The kid rocked. But with his death, only the daughter is left — a daughter that oozes betrayal and deceit into the bowels of the Super-Skrull’s proud legacy. His name and heroic actions will live on in Skrull history books, but so will Jazinda. Only by making things right (brutal murder) will his legacy’s honor be restored and his heroism remain untainted. So in summary: it’s an uphill battle for She-Hulk.
And She-Hulk’s psychological assessment of Super-Skrull nailed the other major theme of the past two weeks: failure. The Super-Skrull’s a supervillain. The definition of that word ensures that he loses battles far more often than he wins them. His reputation caught up to him. He knows full well what the Marvel universe thinks of him. He failed in saving his son and the millions living on that planet. He failed when he trusted the wrong Skrull as his protégé and solider-in-arms. He failed as he watched his empire become a horde of religious zealots. As the most powerful Skrull in the galaxy, all the Super-Skrull seems to do is lose. But with Jazinda, finally he can win. She-Hulk can’t stop him. He and the Skrull Talisman will kill his daughter and the Super-Skrull leaves Earth victorious. But you know how this goes. At what price?
At the cost of his legacy and his continued existence as a failure, he gained something much more important: redemption. I know, that was cheesy. I’m sorry. But wasn’t that a satisfying ending? This was six years in the making, five brilliant writers, seven gorgeous artists, and everything came back around in a perfect full circle. We saw the Super-Skrull evolve into a character rich with layers and complexity — it’s beautiful. All I hope is that the next time you see him grace the comic book pages, you have a newfound appreciation for this angry green Fantastic Four-ripoff. I do, but I already told you I was biased.