SKRULLS of KRAL IV
Membership: Barnsworth, Boss Barker and his harem and gang, Floyd Donahue, Bumpy Johnson, Lippy Louie and his gang, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Napoleon G. Robberson, One-Eyed Joe, Poog, Rocco, Biggie Smalls and his gang, Whitey, others
Purpose: Living out a lifestyle in
mimicry of that of 1930s era Earth, specifically Chicago and New York
Actually, it's more extensive than this, but this profile focuses on this sub-section (see comments)
Affiliations: "Machine Gun" Martin
Prince Dezan, Raksor, Skrull Slave-master;
possibly the other nine planets in the Kral system (see comments)
Enemies: Fantastic Four (Black Panther (T'Challa), Crystal, Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch (Storm), Storm, The Thing (Grimm)), Myrn, Zabyk
Cat-Man, Magno-Man, "Pokey", Primitoid, Rhinogron, Taxtor, Torgo, the Werewolf of Sirius, (former slaves, many others unidentified)
Base of Operations: Planet Kral IV,
Andromeda galaxy (in an the outermost inhabited section of what
is referred to as the Skrull galaxy (see comments));
Floyd Donahue works aboard the Big Casino
First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#91 (October, 1969)
Powers/Abilities: Like all Skrulls, the Krallians can assume any physical form within a certain range of their own mass. They all take the appearance of Prohibition Era America humans, and their weaponry, while as advanced as any others in the Skrull repertoire, is also in the form of the equipment of that era. Their weapons appear to be tommy guns, and they ride around in what appear to be 1930s era automobiles (some of which are equipped with flight capabilities), biplanes, or zeppelins.
In addition to their sonic disruptor, the Krallians utilized other equipment to control their slaves, including: Slave-Collars, which release an incapacitating neuro-ray on command; a Hypno-Glow generator, which can force those exposed to it to obey others; and Brain-Blast Guns.
(Fantastic Four I#91(fb)) - In the early 1930s, a murderer known as "Machine Gun" Martin broke out of prison on Earth. He managed to elude the pursuing guards just long enough for him to be found by a Skrull slave ship. Martin thought he had discovered an escape vehicle, but was instead taken to the planet Kral as a slave. However, the Skrulls of Kral were fascinated by the gangster and films taken by the Skrull slavers (and presumably actual movies monitored, recorded, or stolen by the Skrulls). The mannerisms of Martin and the people of Earth of that time period began to spread rapidly, and before long the entire planet had adopted the styles, manners, and speech of the gangster era.
Gangs of mobsters
ruled the area, and they eventually decided to settle disputes
regarding territory, profits, etc. by fighting champions in the
gladiatorial ring. Skrull slavers gathered champions from around the
galaxy, and mobsters purchased and trained these slaves, and used them
to fight the champions of rival mobsters. These gladiatorial combats
were referred to as the Great Games.
They used a sonic disruptor, which could be targeted at and potentially destroy any of the slaves' home planets, to force the slaves to do their bidding.
(Fantastic Four I#91-93) - The Earth's Thing was captured by a Skrull slavemaster and brought to Kral, where he was purchased by Boss Barker. The Thing was trained against a number of aliens by Slave-Keeper Napoleon G. Robberson. The Thing ultimately faced Torgo, the champion of Barker's rival, Lippy Louie, but when the Thing's allies--the Fantastic Four--arrived and destroyed the sonic disruptor, the Thing was able to convince Torgo to lead the slaves to rise up and overthrow their former masters.
(Marvel Two-In-One #45(fb)) - Many of the gangsters involved with the gladiatorial combats were slain in the uprising. Boss Barker survived by impersonating a corpse.
(Black Panther IV#33 (fb)) - In the aftermath of the slave revolt, the survivors went one of two ways -- some choosing to rebuild the arenas, others, feeling guilty for what they'd done, looked for new inspiration from Earth. Finding a different Earth than the one they'd first discovered, they embraced the ideals of the Civil Rights movement, emphasizing morality and self-worth. Two of their numbers assumed the identities of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, the latter forming a Black Panther organization to protect Harlem.
(Marvel Two-In-One #45(fb)) - Sometime afterwards, Barker got his revenge on Torgo, decapitating the Mekkan and keeping his head as a trophy.
(Marvel Two-In-One #45) - Barker and some of his agents traveled to Earth to gain revenge on the Thing, but also fought the Kree Captain Mar-Vell, and was ultimately apparently slain by Torgo, who had only been inert and released an energy blast at his enemy.
(Avengers Annual #14 (fb) - BTS) - Floyd Donahue, owner of the Big Casino, allied himself with Raksor and Prince Dezan in order to stop the mad plot of Zabyk and Myrn.
(Avengers Annual #14) - Donahue encountered the Avengers and used a seemingly routine power stone refueling to smuggle Raksor, Dezan, and the Avengers aboard the Imperial Power Asteroid. There they defeated Zabyk, then the heroes of Earth allowed Myrn's weapon (the Hyper-Wave Bomb) to be activated, trapping every Skrull in the universe in the form that each was currently inhabiting.
(Spider-Man Team-Up #2) - Krallian space biplane pilots fired on the Silver Surfer when he wandered too close to the Big Casino. When the Surfer boarded the zeppelin, Donahue apologized to him, but the Surfer suddenly remembered someplace else he had to be, and took off.
(Black Panther IV#31) - The Fantastic Four (Black Panther, Human Torch, Storm, and the Thing) were teleported to Kral by King Solomon's Brass Frogs, and soon confronted by gun-toting mobsters who blasted them into unconsciousness.
(Black Panther IV#32) - Leaving an arena match after being notified of the return of the Fantastic Four, Boss Biggie Smalls and his men arrived just as they'd regained consciousness and were making their way past Smalls's other men and the police. With several of his slaves as back-up, Smalls separated the Four, capturing the Thing and the Human Torch. The Black Panther managed to leap up to Smalls's hover-car, threatening him to get his men to stand down. More of Smalls's men arrived and the Panther was captured. Storm escaped before the mobsters shot her down.
(Black Panther IV#33) - Pursued by Smalls's men, Storm passed 125th street into Harlem and Smalls's men were stopped by a force-field. Welcomed, Storm was, to her surprise, introduced to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and told the story of how they found their new way of life after the revolt years earlier. Introducing Storm to Bumpy Johnson, their double-agent inside Smalls's organization, the Black Panthers began their revolution against Smalls and his ilk. Meanwhile, the Human Torch was forced into his first arena fight, which he won by blinding his winged opponent, and the Black Panther fought and bested his opponent, the Werewolf of Sirius. The Thing was brought out to fight the Panther next, but refused to fight. Smalls threatened to use the Planet-Smasher to destroy the Earth if they didn't.
(Black Panther IV#34) - As the Black Panthers began their revolution in the heart of the downtown, the Thing tried to rally the arena crowd, reminding them of how he destroyed the arena fighting before. Making good on their threats, the Planet-Smasher was readied but demolished by Storm's lightning. As the Thing freed the other slave fighters, including the Human Torch, the Black Panther made good on his threats to Smalls and slit his throat. Emerging as the arena went down in flames, the Black Panther was introduced to Martin Luthor King Jr. and Malcolm X, whom he suggested would be best suited to lead the new society. Captured, Johnson offered up the location of Smalls's escape craft to get the Fantastic Four home. As Johnson prepared the craft, King Solomon's frogs reappeared and teleported the Four away.
(Skrulls!#1 - BTS) - Chancellor Kal'Du advised Empress Veranke that they leave the Kralian Skrulls alone during their preparations for their "Secret Invasion" of Earth, deeming their fascination with human gangsters disgraceful.
COMMENTS: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby.
The comments from the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four for issue#91 indicate that while #91 refers to Kral as the outermost planet in the Skrull Galaxy, #92 refers to it as deep within the Skrull galaxy. These descriptions are not necessarily contradictory and may indicate that the outer portions of the Skrull Galaxy are devoid of habitable worlds. In addition, as far back as Fantastic Four I#18 (September, 1963), the Skrull home planet was identified as existing within the fifth quadrant of the Andromeda galaxy. Their empire has at times comprised such a large portion of it that it has been referred to as the Skrull Galaxy.
The Skrulls of Kral IV received a profile in the Skrulls! handbook.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#10 revealed:
The whole Gangsters of Kral storyline always reminded me of two episodes of the original "Star Trek" TV series:
Info about Kral's appearance in the original FF cartoon:
Episodes 91 to 93: The Skrulls Of Kral In these excellent episodes, the Skrulls of Kral have modelled themselves on prohibition-era gangsters and organize colourful and bloody games with gladiators snatched from various parts of the galaxy.
It is interesting to note that both these plot ideas have appeared in the second series of the original episodes of Star Trek (1968), in two consecutive episodes. No wonder old Stan Lee grouped these two plot ideas in his 1969 episodes of the Fantastic Four. This only shows how much Star Trek was popular and an inspiration at the time.
How 'bout that Floyd Donahue? Is he supposed to look like Humphrey Bogart or what? Maybe even like Rick, from Casablanca?
I don't know what it is about a Skrull planet populated by 1930s-era mobsters, but it seems like every ten years or so some creators dusts off the idea and brings the characters back. Better that than someone remembering it during a big crossover and blowing it up, I suppose.
The entry covers the conventional, prohibition era Skrulls of Kral who live on Kral IV.
and then there's the MEDIEVAL WORLD...
In Fantastic Four I#173-175 (1976), a Medieval World appeared in which Skrulls posed as knights of Earth's medieval era and slaughtered dragons native to that world.
In FF#174, after the "knights" were revealed as Skrulls, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) noted..."...This was just like that other world, that the Skrulls turned into an older gangster movie set" (clearly referring to Kral IV, from FF I#89-93 (August-December, 1969).
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10 (October, 1983) contains a one-page entry for the Skrulls. The seventh paragraph on that page reads as follows:
"One of the Skrulls' more unusual accomplishments was the conversion of the Kral System's ten worlds into an amusement and resort center for the idle rich of the empire. The ten worlds feature recreations of certain alien cultures' habitats. Kral IV boasts a replica-city of Prohibition Era New York and an Earth village of the medieval age. The Kral System is the permanent site of the galactic gladiatorial tournaments."
The Deluxe Edition of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12 (1986): Skrulls entry expanded this concept by now stating that Kral IV boasted "replica cities of Prohibition Era American cities, as well as a replica of medieval Earth village" and added that "The Skrulls of Kral IV have adopted the forms of Earth humans on a permanent basis."
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Fantastic Four (2005): Skrulls entry discussed that the gangster culture that human criminal Machine Gun Martin represented had "eventually spread planetwide" across Kral IV, and it further noted that one of the ten worlds of the Kral system "resembled medieval Earth."
The Skrulls entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (hardcover) reiterated that information.
The SKRULLS! (2008) Kralians of Kral IV entry, which is an in-universe account by Skrull Chancellor Kal'Du, notes:
"All ten planets in the Kral system are themed resorts, emulating different planets. One Kral resort (possibly elsewhere on Kral IV) emulates Earth's medieval period, and is inhabited by the Dark Knight of Astrolon."
Courtesy of Donald Cambell:
There are certain problems the idea that the medieval world is part of a Kral system, and especially part of Kral IV.
Here are your options:
Profile by Snood. Updated by G Morrow.
No known connection to:
Floyd Donahue has no known connection to:
Biggie Smalls has no known connection to:
The Skrull slave-master has no known connection to:
The Big Casino has no known connection to:
The Great Games have no known connection to:
The Cat-Man has no known connection to:
The Magno-Man has no known connection to:
Rhinogron has no known connection to:
Biggie Smalls's right hand man, Barnsworth kept Smalls abreast of information on his gladiatorial arenas while trying to keep his boss even-keeled. As the Black Panthers began their revolution against Smalls and his mob, Barnsworth deserted his boss during the chaos.
--Black Panther IV#32 (33, 34
The head of the Big Casino, he is much more cooperative than your average Skrull. Seeing when fighting was futile, he cooperated with the Avengers when their agenda dovetailed with his in helping Raksor and Dezan stop Zabyk and Myrn. He told the Avengers they could call him Mr. Donahue, but after talking to the Wasp he told her that SHE could call him Floyd. He was similarly diplomatic with the Silver Surfer. However, whether he is actually benevolent or just knows when it is good to behave, is unclear.
--Avengers Annual#14 (1985) (Spider-Man Team-Up#2
An opportunist looking for his big break, Bumpy Johnson worked as a double-agent for the Black Panther resistance, giving them access to the sewers in the heart of the downtown to launch their attack. Doubting Johnson's trustworthiness, Storm sent him out ahead of the group, uncovering Johnson's tip-off to the mob about the attack. In the aftermath of the revolution, Johnson was captured and tried to explain his actions as "business". Fearing for his well-being, Johnson told the Fantastic Four about an escape craft concealed beneath the city. Instead the Four were teleported away by King Solomon's Frogs, leaving Johnson unable to believe his luck.
--Black Panther IV#32 (33, 34
Martin Luthor King Jr.
A Krallian who found inspiration in images of the Civil Rights Movement and assumed the form of Martin Luthor King Jr., he became a leader to the others who followed the same path, working alongside the Krallian Malcolm X. Seeking a non-violent solution to the problems between his people uptown and the downtown Mobsters, "the Rev" (as he was called), joined the Fantastic Four and Malcolm X's Black Panthers downtown after the successful overthrow of the mob and assumed leadership of the new society alongside Malcolm X.
--Black Panther IV#33, 34
A gangleader, he was the rival of Boss Barker, and he employed Torgo as his champion. He tried on more than one occasion to off Barker before the big contest, but always denied his involvement when questioned. He was presumably slain when the slaves revolted.
--Fantastic Four I#91 (92, 93
A Krallian who found inspiration in images of the Civil Rights Movement and assumed the form of Malcolm X, he became a leader to the others who followed the same path, working alongside the Krallian Martin Luthor King Jr.. Leading the Black Panthers, Malcolm X saw little choice other than to take down the mob by force, and saw the return of the Fantastic Four to Kral as that opportunity. Malcolm X joined Storm and the Black Panthers on their revolutionary mission that brought the mobsters and their gladiatorial arenas down, and assumed leadership of the new society alongside King.
--Black Panther IV#33, 34
Formerly a janitor whose job included cleaning out Ben Grimm's stall when he was first forced to compete as a warrior-slave, One-Eyed Joe became an informant to mobster Biggie Smalls, who tolerated Joe in spite of his curmudgeonly temperament. One-Eyed Joe was one of the first Krallians to identify the Fantastic Four on their return and repeatedly warned the others about them, telling them about how the Thing took them down before. His pleas ignored, Joe exasperatingly watched the Four fight their way through mobsters and police officers.
-- Fantastic Four I#91-93 (BTS), Black Panther IV#32
A rival of mobster Biggie Smalls, Poog planned a take-over of Smalls's operations, but was unable to enact his plans before Smalls's downfall.
--Black Panther IV#32
A character plotting to take Biggie Smalls down and assume control of his empire appears in Black Panther IV#33, but lacked Poog's bald head and distinctive facial hair. It's possible it was either an off-model Poog or his associate from #32, but remains unclear.
This is not a name, but rather a title, and there are likely many others with the same job. This guy, anyway, arrived on Earth, impersonated Reed Richards, and used a nerve ray gun to capture the Thing. He brought the Thing to Kral, and sold him to an agent of Boss Barker. The Fantastic Four later located his ship in orbit of Kral, boarded it, and then forced the slave-master to lead them to Ben. When the slaves of Kral revolted, the Fantastic Four made certain that the slave-master was one of the ones to face justice. He was presumably slain by the slaves.
--Fantastic Four I#89 (90, 91, 93
A mobster involved with the original Krallian gladiatorial arena fighting, Biggie Smalls was instrumental in it's rebuilding and seen as the de facto leader of the operation. Upon hearing of the return of the Thing and the Fantastic Four, Smalls joined his men in capturing them and found himself facing the Black Panther who threatened to slit his throat unless he called his men down. Successfully bringing in the Thing, the Black Panther, and the Human Torch, and drafting them into his slave fighting, Smalls angrily watched the Panther best his first opponent and refuse to fight his second -- the Thing. Threatening to use the Planet-Smasher to destroy Earth if they refused to fight, the Thing instead helped the Black Panther leap up to Smalls's balcony, whereupon the Panther lived up to his earlier threat and slit Smalls's throat. Deserted by his men, Smalls bled to death amid the chaos of the revolution.
--Fantastic Four #91-93 (BTS), Black Panther IV#32 (33, 34
The zeppelin-like ship of Floyd Donahue, it travels throughout the Kral system. It serves as a port to bi-plane-like fighter ships, but is also literally a big casino, and likely hotel for the wealthy and soon to be not-so-wealthy.
--Avengers Annual#14 (1985) (Spider-Man Team-Up#2
The weapon with which the Krallians controlled their slaves, it could target and destroy the home planet of any who resisted their masters. It was destroyed by the Fantastic Four, allowing the slaves to revolt against their masters with impunity. Years later, the Sonic Disruptor was rebuilt and renamed the "Planet-Smasher". To prove to the Thing -- who recalled the destruction of the original -- that the new Planet-Smasher wasn't a fake, it was tested on a satellite.
--Fantastic Four I#92-93, Black Panther IV#33-34
If the Skrulls have weapons like this, then you'd think that the Earth would have been wiped out many moons ago. I guess it's not worth the loss of good stories!
The Skrulls of Kral used warrior-slaves to fight for their masters to settle disputes between their rival ganglords. A variety of weapons, including the sonic disruptor, insured their cooperation. When the disruptor was destroyed, Torgo led them to rebel and slaughter their former masters. In the aftermath, the Krallian arenas reopened and the sonic disruptor was rebuilt. New slaves were captured to fight in the arenas.
--Fantastic Four I#91 (92, 93), Black Panther IV#32 (33, 34
Cat-Man and Primitoid
These two slaves served as the first combatants in the final gladiatorial slave-war before the big revolt. The Cat-Man was victorious, and the Primitoid was listed as probably slain. It is unclear if either or both of these are mutates or members of unidentified alien races.
One would guess that the Cat-Man had superhuman speed, agility, strength, claws, etc.; while the Primitoid may have been savage and had great strength, yet limited intellect and fighting skill.
--Fantastic Four I#92 (93
Apparently bred by the Skrulls, he possessed the ability to manipulate opponents via magnetic force. He faced the Thing in a training session designed to humiliate the human. He smashed the Thing through a wall and then pinned him to the ground, but the Thing knocked him off his feet by smashing the group and then pounced on him before he could regain his wits.
--Fantastic Four I#92
The unnamed winged creature was forced to fight the Human Torch in a flying competition. Mockingly called "Pokey" by the Torch for the spikes along the creature's head, arms and legs, the creature was stopped when the Torch flared up enough to temporarily blind it, in the process, burning the oxygen in their spherical arena.
--Black Panther IV#33
Rhinogron faced the Thing in a trial combat, and was defeated. It is unclear whether he is a mutate or a member of an unidentified alien race.
He presumably possesses superhuman strength and durability.
--Fantastic Four I#92
One of the Tekton race, he grew up on the jungle planet of Tekton. He was the first of the slaves to face the Thing in trial combat. Their struggle seemed equal (though the Thing complained that his slave collar was sapping his strength), until Taxtor used his tail to toss him through the air. The bout was halted, as the Thing had learned his lesson.
Taxtor possesses superhuman strength and durability and a prehensile tail.
--Fantastic Four I#91
The Werewolf of Sirius
Hailing from the Dogstar Nebula, the Werewolf of Sirius faced the Black Panther in the gladiatorial arena, outmatching him in strength and size, but unable to compete with the Black Panther's agility. Leaping at the Panther, the Werewolf was knocked back, giving the Panther an opening to leap on his back and snap the Werewolf's neck. The Werewolf fell to the ground, presumably dead.
--Black Panther IV#33
images: (without ads)
Black Panther IV#32, p11, pan1 (Hover-car attack)
Black Panther IV#33, p16, pan6 (Bumpy Johnson)
Black Panther IV#33, p6, pan4 (Martin Luther King Jr.)
Black Panther IV#33, p12, pan3 (Malcolm X)
Black Panther IV#32, p4, pan1 (One-Eyed Joe)
Black Panther IV#32, p2, pan2 (Poog)
Black Panther IV#32, p2, pan1 (Biggie Smalls)
Black Panther IV#33, p8, pan1 ("Pokey")
Black Panther IV#33, p13, pan4 (The Werewolf of Sirius)
Fantastic Four I#89-93 (August-December, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Joe Sinnott (#89-92) & Frank Giacoia (#93) (inks)
Fantastic Four I#173-174 (August-September, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Marvel Two-In-One #45 (November, 1978) - Peter Gillis (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Avengers Annual #14 (1985) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Kyle Baker (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Spider-Man Team-Up #2 (March, 1996) - Roger Stern & George Perez (writers), Tom Grindberg (pencils), Bill Anderson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Panther IV#31 (December, 2007) - Reginald Hudlin (writer), Francis Portela (pencils & inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Black Panther IV#32 (January, 2008) - Reginald Hudlin (writer), Francis Portela & Andrea DiVito (pencils & inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Black Panther IV#33 (February, 2008) - Reginald Hudlin (writer), Andrea DiVito (pencils & inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Black Panther IV#34 (March, 2008) - Reginald Hudlin (writer), Cafu (pencils), Bit (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Skrulls!#1 (July, 2008) - Ronald Byrd, Michael Hskin, Gabriel Shechter, John Rhett Thomas, Stuart Vandal & Jeph York (writer), John Rhett Thomas (editor)
First Posted: 11/24/2003
Last updated: 03/08/2012
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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