Real Name: Gorth

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Skrull deviant)

Occupation: Governor of an unidentified Skrull colony world;
    would-be emperor

Group Membership: Leader of a Skrull faction (his own colony world and Skrull worlds conquered by Nebula)

Affiliations: Unidentified aide; his world's population
    formerly Nebula and her crew (Gunthar, Kehl, Levan, Skunge, over 10,000 others unidentified; he only actually met Levan)

Enemies: Nebula, Zedrao and the Imperial armada;
    presumably Karza, Kylor, S'Byll, and Yorak (see comments)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Emperor Gorth (a title he sought, but never actually achieved), Most High One

Base of Operations: Unidentified Skrull colony world in the Andromeda galaxy

First Appearance: Avengers I#259 (September, 1985)

gorth-skrull-facePowers/Abilities: As a Skrull, Gorth presumably possessed all of the standard capabilities and weaknesses of a normal member of the Skrull Deviant species. Specifically, Gorth could alter his size, shape, and color through mental concentration. Presumably Gorth was somewhat limited by his volume.

    Additionally, Gorth did not demonstrate any significant combat abilities. he required "a moment" to make himself a little larger and more physically imposing, presumably his metamorph abilities were relatively minimal for a Skrull.

    Though possessing aspirations of power and seeking to intimidate others to gain respect, Gorth was ultimately weak and cowardly.

    According to Chancellor Kal'Du, Gorth neither deserved nor had the competence to rule as Emperor.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'); variable
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 110 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed; dark, perhaps black or brown; variable
Hair: None; variable

(The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10: Skrulls entry) - The Skrull Empire was governed by a totalitarian monarchy, with one supreme emperor or empress, and a governor for each of the 978 member-worlds in the empire.

(Skrulls!: Gorth profile) - Gorth was governor of one of the outer colony worlds of the Skrull Empire.

(Fantastic Four I#257/Fantastic Four I#262 (fb) - BTS) - Galactus consumed the Skrull Throneworld, Tarnax IV, killing all seven billion Skrulls who were there at the time, including Empress R'Klll and her daughter Princess Anelle.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - After Throneworld's destruction and the deaths of Empress R'Klll and Princess Anelle, chaos and rebellion spread throughout the Skrull Empire. Seeking to fill the power vacuum left by these deaths, all of the planetary governors declared themselves emperors or empresses and rallied their forces to bring the Empire under their personal control, and civil war broke out. In only a few days, more Skrulls had been killed by other Skrulls than had perished with the Throneworld.

(Skrulls!: Gorth profile) - Gorth dreamed of obtaining power and becoming Emperor.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - Gorth arrived with the space pirate Nebula, who promised to make him Emperor.

    Backed by a great mercenary army with warriors from the Andromeda galaxy and beyond, Nebula brought down Skrull world after world. However, even her forces failed to penetrate the defenses of the "Prime Skrull star-base."

(Skrulls!: Gorth profile) - Via Nebula's support, Gorth became a contender for the title of Emperor.

(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#9: S'Byll entry) - Presumably via Nebula's forces, Gorth warred against the forces of rival emperor-contender S'Byll, and likely Karza, Kylor, and Yorak.

(Avengers I#259) - Begging forgiveness for the interruption, Gorth's aide informed him that Commander Nebula had arrived and sought an audience with him.

    Having anxiously awaited Nebula's arrival, Gorth instructed the aide to give him a moment before sending her in, during which time Gorth -- having decided that he should start presenting a more imposing image to his hirelings -- made himself larger.

    Nebula then entered alongside her crewman Levan, greeting Gorth and telling him she had news of great successes. However, when Gorth arrogantly demanded she address him as Emperor and that she remember who pays her, an indignant Nebula informed him that he had best remember what he paid her for, and she then instructed Levan to cut him down to size.

gorth-skrull-governor-cower    Levan blasted Gorth, knocking him to the ground and causing him to revert to his true size. Gorth argued that as she had promised to make him emperor that it was only fair that he looked imperial. Unimpressed, Nebula told him to save the shape-shifting for the underlings and that he was nothing without her backing.

    After Gorth cowered and admitted this to be true, Nebula decided to get down to business. She led him to his balcony and pointed out the immense ship Sanctuary II that she had stolen. As his subjects stared agape at the immense craft, Gorth asked what it was, and Nebula told him it was the weapon that would make this backwater planet the next Skrull throneworld.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - Nebula brought Gorth aboard Sanctuary II and gave him a tour.

(Avengers I#259) - After Nebula noted how she had picked up her flight squadron and had over ten thousand trained warriors on board, Gorth noted how he had never seen such a ship, which was nearly a small world unto itself, and he asked her to please show him more.

    They were interrupted by Levan, who informed them that their probes had picked up traces of the Imperial Armada (led by General Zedrao, in pursuit of Nebula). Terrified, Gorth told Nebula she must return him to his palace at once and then use her ship to lure the armada away from his world. Nebula informed Gorth that she would be the judge of how best to fight the armada.

    As Nebula began to instruct Levan to have Gunthar prepare something, Gorth grabbed Nebula by the shoulder. She warned him to remove his hand from her person, but he insisted that she had to listen: "My world has been spared thus far! You must--!"gorth-skrull-death

    Stating that no one told her what she "must" do, Nebula blasted Gorth, apparently killing him.

    Nebula then instructed Levan to prepare a propaganda statement, noting that Gorth had died in battle with the enemy.

(Silver Surfer III#2 / Silver Surfer III#6 / Silver Surfer III#13 / Silver Surfer III#14 / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#10: Skrulls) - Eventually, there were five Skrull warlords who contended for the role of Skrull Emperor (or Empress): Gorth, Karza, Kylor, S'Byll, and Yorak.

(Skrulls!: Gorth profile) - The official proclamation noted Gorth to have been killed in battle.

(Skrulls!: Gorth profile) - Evidence eventually arose that Gorth was murdered by Nebula.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern, John Buscema, and Tom Palmer.

    In the Skrulls! handbook, Emperor Kal'Du noted:

"What can we take away from Gorth's failed attempt at gaining the throne is conviction that only death and dishonor will fall upon any Skrull who would ever place any of their allegiances to an an alien species, or place personal glory before the glory of the Empire itself"

That statement is solid political rhetoric. S'Byll obtained power with solid aid from the Silver Surfer (Zenn-Lavian Norrin Radd) and Reptyl (unidentified reptilian race). Almost every would-be emperor (just like most politicians) seeks personal glory and believes he or she is the best one to rule.

    I did this profile in response to a discussion with a respected colleague, who is one of the most versed people on Marvel Continuity of whom I know. In response to his concerns, and our differing opinions:
Why is Gorth one of the "five" Skrulls competing for Emperor? There are matters to be considered.

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

gorth-skrull-subjectsGorth's subjects

    Gorth was planetary governor of an unidentified colony world on the outer fringe of the Skrull Empire.

    During the civil war that followed Galactus' consumption of Tarnax IV, the Skrull Throneworld, Gorth's world was spared from the conflict.

    Gorth's subjects were astounded by Nebula's Sanctuary II ship as they saw it on the edges of their world's atmosphere.

--Avengers I#259

Note: None of Gorth's subjects were identified by name

gorth-skrull-worldGorth's world

Gorth was planetary governor of an unidentified colony world on the outer fringe of the Skrull Empire.

    During the civil war that followed Galactus' consumption of Tarnax IV, the Skrull Throneworld, Gorth's world was spared from the conflict.

    Gorth's subjects were astounded by Nebula's Sanctuary II ship as they saw it on the edges of their world's atmosphere.

--Avengers I#259

Note: Gorth's world was not identified.

images: (without ads)
Avengers I#259, pg. 11, panel 3 (Gorth's world's capital city);
          panel 4 (true form, seated);
          panel 5 (growing);
       pg. 12, panel 3 (cowering);
          panel 6 (subjects);
       pg. 2, panel 3 (face);
          panel 4 (blasted);

Avengers I#259 (September, 1985) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (penciler/breakdown), Tom Palmer (inker/finisher), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#9 (November, 2006) - Jeff Christiansen (head writer), Chad Anderson, Chris Biggs, Ronald Byrd, Madison Carter, Anthony Flamini, Michael Hoskin, Sean McQuaid, Eric Moreels, Mark O'English, Albert Sjoerdsma, Stuart Vandal (writers), Michael Short (assistant editor), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editors)
Skrulls! (September, 2008) - Ronald Byrd, Michael Hoskin, Gabriel Shechter, John Rhett Thomas, Stuart Vandal, Jeph York (writers), John Rhett Thomas (editor), Cory Levine & John Denning (assistant editors),
Jennifer Grunwald & Mark Beazley (editors, special projects), Jeff Youngquist (senior editor, special projects)

First posted: 10/31/2019
Last updated: 11/08/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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