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LACAROO

Classification: Extraterrestrial (Skrull) medical technology

Creator: Unrevealed Skrull scientists

User/Possessors: Lyja the Laserfist (along with billions of expecting Skrull women)

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Fantastic Four I#378; (seen) Fantastic Four I#383 (January 1994)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Lacaroo is a special salve designed to aid Skrull women during childbirth. Once exposed to the Lacaroo, the body of any expecting Skrull deviant female is reduced to a near liquid state, allowing for a relatively easy delivery. Without the benefits of a Lacaroo, childbirth is exponentially more dangerous and possibly even fatal to both mother and child.

 

 

 

History:
(Fantastic Four I#378 (fb) - BTS) - For an untold number of years, Skrull women relied on the use of a Lacaroo during childbirth. This special salve greatly reduced the risk of complications during delivery.

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(Fantastic Four I#378 - BTS) - When Paibok and the Fearsome Foursome fought Lyja and the Fantastic Four, he took great pleasure in reminding his old lover Lyja (who was allegedly pregnant with the Human Torch's baby) that her child would stand little chance of survival without the benefit of a Lacaroo. Realizing the truth in his words, Lyja was so shocked and demoralized that she fell to her knees, forcing the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) to rescue her. After the fight, Lyja kept quiet about the potential threat to their child. 

(Fantastic Four I#382 - BTS) - Returning to Four Freedom's Plaza following a mission to Latveria where they aided Doctor Victor von Doom in defeating the alien menace known as Hunger (which seemingly cost the lives of both Doom and Mr. Fantastic), Lyja and the Human Torch took a moment to reflect their current predicament. When Lyja was suddenly overcome with a severe cramp, she could no longer hide the fact she needed help. Lying in her old lover's arms, she told Johnny that without the special birthing medicine known as the Lacaroo, their baby would surely die. A few hours after that revelation, Paibok and Devos managed to overcome Lyja and the FF and took all of them to the Skrull Throneworld where they were to stand trial for their crimes.

(Fantastic Four I#383 - BTS) - When Devos betrayed the trust of Paibok and resumed his crusade to rid the galaxy of violent races by attacking Throneworld with his massive death cruiser, Lyja and the FF were able to escape their prison. Planning to use one of the Skrulls' ships to go home, the entire FF was alerted to Lyja's condition when she had a violently painful spasm in front of them. Initially attempting to downplay the incident, she was forced by the Torch to explain she was in need of a Lacaroo. The team decided to visit the nearest Skrull medical center to procure one.

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(Fantastic Four I#383) - As the FF burst into one of Throneworld's hospitals, a Skrull doctor overheard the team discuss their need for a Lacaroo. Puzzled why aliens from Earth would need a Skrull birthing tool, he nevertheless rushed to the apothecary to secure the one Lacaroo they had in stock. Just as he tried to escape with it, he was knocked out by the Invisible Woman who had secretly followed him. Susan Richards took the Lacaroo with her as the team made their way to Throneworld's space port where they hijacked the experimental Stealth hawk ship to return to Earth.

(Fantastic Four I#385 - BTS) - Shortly after she and the Human Torch had saved the Inhuman Triton who was trapped on the bottom of the Amazon, the excitement and tension of the situation was enough to induce labor. Thanks to Triton's superior speed underwater, Lyja and Johnny quickly reached the nearest hospital.

(Fantastic Four I#386 - BTS) - On their way to the hospital, Johnny made a quick stop at Four Freedom's Plaza to pick up the Lacaroo.

(Fantastic Four I#386) - Wheeled into the delivery room, Lacaroo in hand, Lyja explained her predicament to the perplexed medical staff. Revealing she was a Skrull, she went on to point out the salve's function in the birthing process, claiming labor is so stressful and draining Skrull women lose the ability to properly alter their form. The Lacaroo helps by reducing the female form to a near liquid state. Somewhat dumbstruck by this, the gynecologist on duty nevertheless started the delivery. As soon as the salve was applied and Lyja had turned into a semi-liquid, her cybernetic Laserfist implant fell out, followed shortly thereafter by the "egg" believed to be her child (see comments).

Comments: Created by Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks).

    Oh boy, talk about a shameless MacGuffin... You'd think that of all races, the Skrulls would have the least trouble giving birth. Especially if you consider they lay eggs, which I assume are easier to pop out than an actual baby with their pointy shoulders and big heads (not to mention the added hassle of those pointy ears and cleft chin getting stuck). Still, I fondly remember the initial mystery of the Lacaroo, wondering what it could be and how it would affect Lyja or her baby. The 12 year old me figured it could be some kind of genetic compound essential for the survival of Skrull hybrids, after all the baby was half human. But no, turns out it was just an industrial strength muscle relaxant.

    Once the "egg" hatched (with the FF away), Lyja was forced to fight and kill her own "child" by mimicking its form and killing it in FF I#391. An issue later, Johnny and the others returned and Lyja revealed she' actually been carrying what is known among Skrulls as a Sha'Barri, a mindless creature programmed with a single goal: to destroy the FF.

    The whole pregnant/not pregnant angle on Lyja was classic opaque DeFalco storytelling at its finest. When he introduced Lyja as a regular cast member after she was revealed to be an Alicia Masters impostor for years, it became obvious she might be with child. She was left behind for dead on the Skrull base the FF invaded t to retrieve the actual Alicia, only to be used by her old lover Paibok the Power Skrull (and Devos) as Lyja the Laserfist... Who even before reforming teased the Torch about their baby.

    Far as I can tell, the official reading is that IF Lyja (as Alicia) had been pregnant prior to her reveal, that pregnancy was effectively terminated when Paibok and Devos turned Lyja into the Laserfist and also implanted that Sha'Bari device in her womb.   

    Provided she knew that her baby had not survived, why did she insist on telling Johnny the egg she was expecting was theirs? That was never explained, which is especially odd when you consider Lyja acted like she knew all about the implant, it's origins and even the creature's full name once it hatched and died at her hands. Sloppy storytelling, to say the least. Either way, the Sha'Bari died, leaving Lyja and Johnny free to try again (which they eventually did in the MC2 universe (Earth-982))

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Item name has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#386, p16, pan4 (main image)
Fantastic Four I#378, p22, pan1 (first mentioned)
Fantastic Four I#383, p21, pan3&4 (in the apothecary)


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#378 (July 1993) -
Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor) 
Fantastic Four I#382 (December 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#383 (January 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#385 (March 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#386 (April 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 03/06/14

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