(Home of the Skrull "Milk")

Classification: Terrestrial city affected by extraterrestrial (Skrull) DNA

Creator: Founder unrevealed;
    The town's transformation was unintentionally caused by the three unidentified Skrulls, and Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards)

User/Possessors: Residents of the town (including Sheriff Chet Rollins, Jack Strzltski, Barney White, Emmett, "Tiny")

Base of Operations: King's Crossing, upstate New York (around a lonely service road four miles off interstate 90, see comments)

First Appearance: (unidentified) Fantastic Four I#2 (January, 1962);
    (named) Fantastic Four Annual I#17 (1983)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: After ingesting the cow-Skrulls' "milk," natives of King's Crossing had the similar metamorphic ability of the Skrulls. They had a militaristic level of organization and were extremely xenophobic. Those passing through the town were at risk of becoming assimilated into the colony. Resistance was futile (unless you knew the Fantastic Four, of course).

    While the Skrulls could simulate most body functions, they could not actually lactate. Instead--as each Skrull is like a living unstable molecule, and their every atom functioned like human DNA--the milk equivalent they produced carried the genetic matrix of a fully developed Skrull, and would have attacked and modified any non-Skrull cell it encountered. The Skrull "milk" actually had a life of its own, reproducing itself and taking its nourishment from the basic elements in air. The Skrull "milk" would--when consumed by other living beings--convert cells it encountered to mimic its own shape-shifting ability. In addition, the genetic matrix of the Skrulls also carries their war-like tendencies.

    Following exposure to the spray of Mr. Fantastic's inhibitor, all citizens of King's Crossing were restored to normal, albeit with beneficial side-effects.

The past history of King's Crossing is unrevealed.

(Fantastic Four I#2 - BTS) - Four Skrulls came to Earth and shape-shifted their forms to impersonate the Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Susan Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm). The aliens framed the heroic quartet by committing crimes--according to their plan, the military would destroy the Fantastic Four, leaving Earth open for conquest. Long story short, the FF foiled the Skrull plot and cleared their names. Mr. Fantastic then hypnotized three of the Skrulls (see comments) into believing that they were cows, and he sent them off to graze in the fields near King's Crossing.

(Howard the Duck V#5 (fb)) - A fifth Skrull, who claimed that he was just passing through, was hypnotized by Mr. Fantastic to become a duck. (see comments)

(Fantastic Four Annual I#17 (fb) - BTS) - The three cow-Skrulls mixed with a local farmer's herd. The people of King's Crossing consumed the milk produced by the "cows" and were transformed by it. Those initially affected made certain that more and more people were similarly affected until the entire town had been transformed, and it made their naturally insular community even more so; but rather than setting off to conquer the world, their energies went along more familiar lines--they became extraordinarily efficient farmers. They built up their town into a large farming community, where immense vats of  "milk" were "grown." The Skrull "milk" was pumped through their irrigation systems, and used in place of water for their crops, so that the crops were also transformed by the "milk".
    Those who wandered into King's Crossing seldom wandered out--they, too, were exposed to the "milk" and transformed.

(Fantastic Four Annual I#17) - Sharon Selleck's car broke down outside of King's Crossing. She scaled a chain-link fence and walked through an unusually clean and organized field, but was discovered by a couple of locals. They brought her car into town, but kept delaying her--telling her that she needed a new part that they had to order, the mechanic taking the day off to go fishing when the part was supposed to arrive, etc. Meanwhile, all the food Sharon ate there had been exposed to the Skrull "milk,"and even though it was not true milk, her milk allergy began to make her violently ill. From her hotel room, Sharon called her roommate Julie Angel, but the phone cut off before she could reveal her location. Sharon then sneaked out to a pay phone and called the Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, she was only able to speak to their robot secretary Roberta for brief time before the mutated natives captured her.

    However, the Fantastic Four did get her messages, and as Johnny knew Sharon personally, they traced her call. Recognizing the significance of the name of the town Sharon had called from, Reed suspected what had happened and devised an inhibitor to counteract it. Arriving in King's Crossing, the FF found and freed Sharon. However, as they investigated the town to confirm their suspicions, the mutated natives attacked them and stole the inhibitor canister Reed had brought with him. Retaking the canister, Reed activated it and immediately began to restore to normal the organisms in his immediate vicinity. Using the Fantasticar, Reed then dusted the entire town with his formula, curing everyone in it, and Johnny burned all of the infected crops.

    A fortunate effect that the FF learned was that despite having been transformed into pseudo-Skrulls for several years, the restored townspeople had not aged at all, and all of them were, in fact, much healthier. As the team flew back home in their Fantasticar, Reed commented that they should be grateful that no one of a more militaristic nature was exposed the the Skrull "milk"... but a truck carrying canisters of milk could be seen pulling into Camp Merlo, a US Army depot.

Comments: Indirectly conceived by Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby.
    The whole Skrull Milk concept was created by John Byrne.


What do we call the mutated natives of King's Crossing? Pseudo-Skrulls? Skrullactians? Lactoskrulls?

    Ironically, this type of infection (transmitted by pure DNA) would be closer to a Prion than a virus, which is actually along the same lines as BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) , or Mad Cow Disease! I call this affliction Pseudo-Milk Induced Skrullophilia (PMIS), which is not to be confused with PMS, although the two are not mutually exclusive.

In addition, as detailed further in the Skrull Kill Krew profile:
    (Skrull Kill Krew#2 (fb) - BTS) - The remaining three former cow-Skrulls were handed over to the Alien Activities Commission, who forced them to become cows again. This time, however, they sent the cow-Skrulls to the slaughterhouse, along with the rest of the beef. The Skrulls were slaughtered and mixed with other real beef meat and distributed across the country. In the form of hamburgers, the Skrull meat was consumed by an unknown number of Americans. Some of the people who ate the beef proved immune to the Skrull DNA. Some died horrible deaths. A small number, were "infected" and developed metamorphic powers, along with progressive and terminal neurologic disease.
    Among those infected/empowered were the Skrull Kill Krew, who went on to try to kill every Skrull on Earth.  I have called this affliction Skrullovoria Induced Skrullophobia (SIS), perhaps better known as Mad Skrull-Cow Disease (MSCD).

    I'm going to ASSume that the names and appearances of those seen in the main part of the story were their actual names and appearances, as (1) they would have had no reason to use false names and/or appearances, and (2) the police chief looked exactly the same after reverting to normal. This is unconfirmed, and the sheriff was the only one clearly seen after the wrap-up.

    According to Mr. Fantastic's computer map of New York state, King's Crossing is an unspecified number of miles north of Syracuse.

    That fourth Skrull involved in the FF impersonation plot (@ Fantastic Four I#2) escaped and would later impersonate H. Warren Craddock.

Howard the Duck ally Tara Tam was similarly mutated as the Skrull Kill Krew when she ended up eating the fifth Skrull that had been turned into a duck. It is possible that her family was from King's Crossing, but not confirmed.
--Markus Raymond

    Also of potential interest is that Jack Strzltski's garage was a subsidiary of Roxxon Oil, meaning those power mongers could have obtained a sample of the Skrull "milk".

Several people, including our own Luis, as well as Shad Z made comments to this effect:
   Just read the new profile on King's Crossing, and I just felt it should be mentioned somewhere in the profile that the character of "Tiny" is visually based on Al Capp's comic strip character Li'l Abner. (John Byrne did this several times in his FF run, basing minor characters on comic strip folks.
When Reed & Sue briefly lived in the suburbs, their neighbors were Hi & Lois and the Mitchells (from Dennis the Menace)!) -- see this profile for details.

Profile by Snood.

The Skrull "milk" of King's Crossing should not be confused with:

Sheriff Chet Rollins

The chief of police of King's Crossing, Rollins made certain that Sharon Selleck had stumbled onto their town by accident, then arranged for her to stay in town while they repaired her car, which he made sure would never happen. He continued to delay Sharon no matter how much she complained.

After Mr. Fantastic used an inhibitor to restore the citizens of King's Crossing to normal, he met with Sheriff Rollins. Mr. Fantastic told him that Fantastic Four Inc. would establish a trust fund to cover the rehabilitation and reorganization of the town. Although Rollins was grateful, he was concerned about the lost years that he and the other townspeople experienced during their infection with Skrull DNA; but Mr. Fantastic assured him that a happy side-effect of the combination of human and Skrull genes had slowed the aging process of everyone in town, so no one was any older than they were when they were first infected, plus they were much healthier.

--Fantastic Four Annual I#17

Jack Strzltski

The owner of Strzltski's Garage, he told Sharon Selleck that he had to order a new fuel pump for her car, then disappeared, allegedly on a fishing trip.

--Fantastic Four Annual I#17

Barney White

   He was the desk clerk at Lord's Hotel in King's Crossing, and he rented a room to Sharon Selleck after her car broke down.

--Fantastic Four Annual I#17


A farmer and co-worker of Tiny, he brought Sharon Selleck to Sheriff Rollins.

--Fantastic Four Annual I#17


A farmer and co-worker of Emmett, he caught Sharon Selleck walking through their field.

--Fantastic Four Annual I#17


When Mr. Fantastic learned that the citizens of King's Crossing were infected with Skrull DNA, he created this chemical mixture before he and his team left New York and went to the town.

The townsfolk had similar metamorphic abilities as the Skrulls, and some of them shape-shifted into monstrous forms to attack the Fantastic Four. But Mr. Fantastic sprayed the transformed citizens with the inhibitor, which neutralized the effects of the Skrull DNA and returned them to normal.

Afterward, Mr. Fantastic attached the canister to the Fantasticar, then flew overhead and sprayed the entire town -- the mixture replicated itself, so the single canister was enough to accomplish this task. 


--Fantastic Four Annual I#17

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p26, pan3 ("milk" processing plant workers shape-shift to monstrous forms)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p25-26, pan1 (interior of "milk" processing plant)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p4, pan3 (Sharon Selleck walking through "milk" irrigated field)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p32, pan3 (Thing battles transformed King's Crossing citizens)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p10, pan3 (Roxxon gas pumps [in red circle] at Strzltski's Garage; Sharon Selleck [foreground])
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p7, pan3 (Sheriff Chet Rollins)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17
, p10, pan4 (Jack Strzltski)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p8, pan1 (Barney White)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p7, pan3 (Emmett)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p5, pan4 (Tiny restrains Sharon Selleck)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p35, pan5 (Mr. Fantastic spraying inhibitor canister)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17, p37, pan4 (Mr. Fantastic in Fantasticar, spraying attached inhibitor canister on King's Crossing)

Fantastic Four I#2 (January, 1962) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), George Klein (inks)
Fantastic Four Annual I#17 (1983) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Glynis Wein (colors), Jim Novak (letters), Carl Potts (editor)
Howard the Duck V#5 (October, 2015) - Chip Zdarsky (writer), Joe Quinones (pencils), Joe Rivera with Paolo Rivera (inks), Wil Moss (editor)

First Posted: 01/28/2004
Last updated: 09/24/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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