Official Name: Carpiax IV
Nature: An extraterrestrial planet located in a planetary system within the Andromeda Galaxy (Skrull Galaxy)
Environment: Possessed a life-sustaining biosphere.
Gravity: Unrevealed (but presumably possessed a gravitational field in which it was comfortable for Skrulls to live)
Atmosphere: An unspecified combination of gases (mostly nitrogen and oxygen)
Natural Satellites: Unrevealed (see comments)
Natives: Unknown. It has not been revealed if there were any native sentients before (or after) the Skrulls colonized the planet
Capital City: Name unrevealed
Government: Skrull Empire, presumably ruled by a governor
Major Languages: Skrull
Monetary Unit: Unrevealed (presumably Skrullian)
Major Resources: Unrevealed
Planetary Defense: Unrevealed
Places of Interest: The creches
Brother Dakr't, Lord Merrek,
formerly six K-class mutants (unidentified)
Visitors: Cadre K (Fiz, Nuro, R'Tee, Spunje, Zcann), Professor Charles Xavier
First Appearance: Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (October, 2000)
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - The planet later known as Carpiax IV was located somewhere within the Andromeda Galaxy.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some unspecified time in the past, this planet was discovered by Skrull explorers within a planetary system that they had named Carpiax. Being the fourth planet out from its sun, the Skrulls named the planet "Carpiax IV."
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some unspecified time in the past, Carpiax IV was colonized by the Skrulls and became one of the worlds in the interstellar Skrull Empire.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some unspecified time in the past, Carpiax IV was chosen to be a creche-world, one of the planets on which the Skrulls consolidated the hatching of their young. Its location within the Andromeda Galaxy made Carpiax IV one of the creche-worlds that served the hubward reaches of the Skrull Empire.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some unspecified time in the past, the Skrull Empire adopted a policy of maintaining the "genetic purity" of the Skrull race. This goal was accomplished by examining all hatchlings at birth and killing those who were determined to be "K-class" mutations. These "cullings of the hatch" were meant to keep the Skrull race pure.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some unspecified time in the recent past, Lord Merrek came to be in charge of some (or all) of the hatcheries on Carpiax IV
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Lord Merrek ordered the initiation of some fecundity-supplement programs. Subsequently, his subordinates noticed that there were more and more K-class mutations being born which led to more and more culls having to be performed.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)) - During a certain hatching cycle a worker named Trl'k who was scanning a new hatchling observed that he or she was a K-class mutation and that there had been more and more of them ever since Lord Merrek had begun the fecundity-supplement programs. His colleague quickly warned Trl'k to not let the Hatchwardens hear him say that unless he would prefer patrolling Gaum to his current duties.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS) - That season's get was well in excess of their productivity goals, resulting in a fine, healthy clutch of hatchlings, but there were also six K-class mutations amongst them. As was standard operating procedure, these mutations were gathered together and placed within a containment field, and the Purifiers were summoned to perform the culls.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)) - As he examined the gathered mutants, Brother
Dakr't observed that there were six of them and that that was a clutch record. He then ordered that the Purifiers be
called in and was told that they awaited them already and that a clean-up was under way.
Soon afterwards, three Purifiers and three technicians prepared to perform the culls, and the containment field was being cycled to extreme permeability so as to permit the energy bolts fired by the weapons of the Purifiers to penetrate the field and kill the hatchlings.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)) - However, two mejens before that permeability was achieved, five members of Cadre K suddenly descended from a vessel hovering in the sky above and attacked the Purifiers. Using their mutant powers, this band of young rogue K-class Skrulls swiftly used non-lethal means to overcome all armed resistance. Once the "callous genetocrats" had been telepathically put to sleep, Cadre K took the hatchlings with them to their vessel with the intention of transporting them to a secret colony where they would be raised in safety.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 - BTS) - Not long afterwards, at a meeting of the intergalactic council that had been convened on the planet Selandiar to discuss the admission of a new civilized star-faring race called the Ruul into their group, the Skrull ambassador, Kreddik, spoke about Cadre K's recent attack to the assembled council, citing it as evidence that humanity was a menace. The then-leader of the council, the Shi'ar Majestrix Lilandra, tried to avoid discussing the issue but Kreddik forced her hand by demanding that the question of the threat posed by humanity be raised and that it be judged by M'ndavian justice.
(Skrulls! (fb) - BTS) - Several years later, in preparation for the then-upcoming Secret Invasion of Earth, Queen Veranke's faithful Chancellor Kal'Du included dossiers on Cadre K and Ambassador Kreddik as part of the "Warbook Files" he compiled for her. However, neither of the analyses directly mentioned Carpiax IV.
Comments: Created by Kurt Busiek, Jerry Ordway, and Will Blyberg & Paul Ryan.
According to the Xandar Worldmind Nova Corps database entry on the Skrull Empire that appeared in Annihilation: Super-Skrull#1, the Annihilation Wave from the Negative Zone had destroyed "several hundred Skrull worlds" before it was defeated. If this report was accurate, then that would mean that about one-third of all of the planets that were part of the Skrull Empire had been wiped out. However, the names of only a few of those destroyed worlds have ever been revealed so there's no way to know if Carpiax IV survived. We readers will just have to wait for some continuity-conscious writer to provide the answer in some future story.
Although the main image definitely depicts Carpiax IV, I honestly don't know for sure which of the planets it is supposed to be. Normally an image of a planet is centered on that planet but in this case the center of the image is midway between the two largest spherical bodies. Plus, there are two smaller spherical bodies visible which, although they are probably meant to be moons of the non-ringed larger planet, could also be planets themselves that just happened to be farther away. In any event, my best guess is that Carpiax IV is meant to be the non-ringed larger planet because it is the one that is shown in its entirety. However, the fact that the ringed planet is depicted as being so close to it suggests that the two planets must actually be a double planet, a binary system in which two planets are close enough that their gravitational attraction causes them to orbit each other around a common barycenter even as they orbit their parent star.
The meaning of the word "crèche" that is relevent to the story is (I think) that of a child care center where an organization of adults takes care of children in place of their parents. I have the impression that the word has a different and more definitive meaning in science fiction literature but I couldn't find any examples. Also, the first "e" should have a grave accent over it but the story doesn't use one so I've chosen to not do so either.
The idea that Skrulls were born on "creche-worlds" was interesting but, sadly, it was given very little development in the story and left a number of significant questions unanswered. For one thing, exactly what role do the creche-worlds play in Skrull reproduction? Are they planets where all Skrulls who want to have offspring go to mate? Or are they where female Skrulls who are already pregnant go to give birth to their eggs? Or are they places to which all eggs that have been laid are transported to await their hatching? Since so very little has been revealed about the day-to-day life of the Skrulls, any of those three possibilities could be valid.
How the creche-worlds operated could also reveal how much influence Lord Merrek had over the family planning and reproductive health services within the Skrull Empire. If only Skrulls who went to Carpiax IV to mate or to give birth were affected by his fecundity-supplement programs, then those programs (and his influence) probably did not extend beyond the planet. On the other hand, if eggs were brought to Carpiax IV from other planets and they were the source of the increased number of K-class mutants, then those programs and his influence must have been more widespread throughout the empire.
According to several "official" texts, although newborn Skrulls are hatched from eggs, they are nursed by their mothers. This suggests that, although eggs are incubated and allowed to hatch in groups, those hatchlings that are not culled are then united with their biological families to be raised by them. However, while it is known that the offspring of Skrull royalty and nobility are definitely raised by their families, it's possible that some (or many) Skrulls are raised communally. Since their advanced technology enables the Skrulls to be fully aware of the lineage of any Skrull by reading their genetic code, the chances that any newborn Skrull could be mistakenly switched with another are presumably extremely low.
It's also possible that not all Skrull eggs are hatched on these creche-worlds and that some are instead hatched in more private surroundings. Presumably such preferential treatment would be given to eggs belonging to members of the higher classes of Skrull society. However, since this has not yet been documented, this is only speculation.
The fact that creche-worlds are known to have Hatching Cycles could mean that Skrulls experience one breeding season per year, with females all becoming fertile at the same time of the year and those who become pregnant all giving birth to their eggs at the same time. However, since the idea that they are seasonal breeders has not been established/confirmed, Skrulls could also be continuous breeders like humans and apes, species in which the females experience multiple periods of fertility throughout a single year and can become pregnant during any of these periods. Again, the lack of documentation makes any definitive statements impossible.
The only documented case of the Skrull birthing process occurred in Fantastic Four I#382-386 (November, 1993 - March, 1994) when Lyja "gave birth" to an egg that she initially claimed was her and Johnny Storm's child. Although this claim would turn out to be false and the egg was revealed to actually be that of a Sha'Barri that had been implanted within Lyja by her vengeful ex-lover Paibok, some of the information that Lyja provided to her human doctors was unquestionably accurate. According to Lyja, the trauma of the birthing process causes Skrull mothers-to-be to lose their mental control over their shape-shifting abilities, thereby endangering both the mothers and their children. To minimize the risk, Skrull doctors developed a birthing medicine known as a Lacaroo, a special salve that, once applied to the mothers, temporarily reduces their bodies to a near-liquid state so that their eggs can be easily removed.
There are several aspects of Skrull reproduction that have never been explained in any Marvel story. For one thing, given that Skrulls lay eggs, how many do they usually lay at a time? Many reptile species on Earth lay multiple eggs in each clutch but, since laying even a single egg without special medicine can endanger the lives of both mother and child, it may be that evolution favored those Skrulls who laid fewer numbers of eggs per clutch. Additionally, since hatchlings appear to be about the size of normal human newborns, the eggs from which they hatched are somewhat larger and it seems unlikely that there could be enough room within a normal female Skrull's body to hold more than one egg at a time.
Two other unknowns are how long Skrull eggs remain within their mothers after they've been fertilized and what the incubation period is for Skrull eggs once they've been laid. Many reptiles on Earth lay their eggs 4 to 6 weeks after a successful mating and the incubation periods for their eggs range from 30 to 90 days, depending on the species. However, since Skrulls are a species of intelligent aliens, data about Earth reptiles is probably inapplicable.
Although K-class mutants are the only hatchlings that are regularly culled soon after hatching, it is known that other Skrulls are sometimes born without the ability to shape-shift. Although this technically makes them mutants, such Skrulls are not immediately killed as soon as their limitations are detected. In some cases, this disability is caused by a genetic defect that also gives the afflicted phenomenal strength and endurance, with Talos being an example. However, there are conflicting accounts as to how negatively this inability to shape-shift affected their lives. On the one hand, Talos has stated that he would not have been allowed to reach maturity if he had not been of the royal family. Similarly, Titannus claimed that his inability to shape-shift caused him to be sent to the Division of Scientific Achievement to be experimented upon as a test subject. On the other hand, the bounty hunter Raze was also born without the ability to shape-shift but was not killed or otherwise penalized despite the fact that his family did not seem to have had a high social status.
The term "genetocrats" was used to describe the Skrulls who were in charge of the facilities on Carpiax IV but this is not a real word and I'm not sure how it should be defined. The only definition for "genetocracy" that I could find online was "Rule of the genetically-enhanced" which refers to a (so far) hypothetical system of government in which power rests in the hands of people who have been genetically-enhanced. In this system, the underclass would be made up of merely human people who were considered to be genetically-challenged because they were born with "defective" genes. However, this term doesn't exactly fit since the Skrulls controlling this Carpiax IV were regarded as normal (for shape-shifting Skrullian Deviants) instead of enhanced. I think "eugenocracy" might be a better term but I suspect that that is somewhat inaccurate as well. Any suggestions?
In Avengers I#97 (March, 1972), the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree Empire told Rick Jones, "For untold eons, Skrull and Kree have stalked the cosmic corridors like twin races of malevolent gods -- never knowing that each of their star-spanning clans has reached -- a dead end. Live a billion, billion years, neither will ever advance one more rung up the ladder of evolution." Fifteen years later, a reason why was presented in X-Men Annual I#11 (1987) when an alien named Horde abducted some of the X-Men and coerced them into stealing the Crystal of Ultimate Vision from the extraterrestrial structure known as the Citadel of Light and Shadow. During the story, the Omniscient Narrative revealed that anyone who obtained the Crystal and actually tried to use it proved themselves unworthy and were transformed into the Citadel's eternal guardians while their races were genetically frozen in place and would never evolve another step. The fact that a Skrull and a Kree were among those eternal guardians indicated that failing the test of the Crystal was why their races could no longer evolve.
Since mutations are essential to evolution, this inability to evolve should have meant that members of either the Kree or the Skrull race could not be born as mutants. And yet, K-class mutants continued to be born to the Skrulls. This seeming contradiction was resolved in the Skrulls! one-shot (2008) when, in his Warbook File on the Citadel of Light and Shadow, Chancellor Kal'Du revealed that Skrulls are only able to move forward in their evolution through artificial genetic manipulation. Presumably it was the something about the fecundity-supplement programs ordered by Lord Merrek that (inadvertently or not) introduced a mutagen into the unhatched Skrulls and thereby transformed them into K-class mutants. However, wouldn't that make them "mutates" instead?
I thought of subtitling this comments section "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Skrull Reproductive Practices But Were Afraid to Ask" but that would be misleading since I can't actually provide any answers.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
The planet Carpiax IV has no known connections to:
Brother Dakr't has no known connections to:
Lord Merrek has no known connections to:
The Purifiers on Carpiax IV have no known connections to:
A male Skrull who held a position that required him to assess the genetic purity of new hatchlings and, if necessary, authorize their culling. The fact that he was addressed as "Brother Dakr't" could mean that his position and eugenic duties were part of a Skrull religion. However, this has not been confirmed (or, as far as I know, even been suggested elsewhere) so the term "brother" could just have been used to express comradeship.
During a Hatching Cycle that occurred shortly before the Maximum Security event, six K-class mutants were detected among the hatchlings from that season's clutch. When the six mutants, contained within a spherical force field controlled by another Skrull, were brought before Brother Dakr't, he stated, "Six. Six! A clutch record! Ah well -- call in the Purifiers." A third Skrull informed him that they awaited them already.
It is not clear if Brother Dakr't was present at the attempted culling of the hatch that was interrupted by the arrival of Cadre K who swiftly overcame the three Purifiers before they could kill the mutants. Since the Skrull who was controlling the force field was there, Dakr't might have been one of the other non-Purifiers who were nearby. The Skrull who cried out, "N-No --!" after being grabbed by an enlarged Fiz could have been Dakr't. Or he could have been the Skrull who remained silent on the other side of the Skrull who was holding the containment field controls. In any event, if Brother Dakr't was in the area, then he was one of the Skrulls who were made to harmlessly fall asleep by a psi-bolt from Zcann.
Although Brother Dakr't did seem to slightly regret that there were a record number of K-class hatchlings in the clutch, there was no indication that he disagreed with the idea of culling them. This suggests that he was indeed one of the "callous genetocrats" that Fiz and the rest of Cadre K hated.
--Maximum Security Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)
Skrulls who were charged with supervising the hatcheries and ensuring that the regulations associated with them were obeyed. Their duties apparently included making sure that the workers maintained the proper attitude towards their work. For example, if the hatchwardens discovered that workers were questioning the policies of a superior (like Lord Merrek), then they could have those workers transferred to less pleasant duty assignments.
--Mentioned in Maximum Security Dangerous Planet#1 (fb) - BTS
Six hatchlings who were rescued by Cadre K before they could be culled by the Purifiers on Carpiax IV. All six of them had abnormalities in the structures of their heads and bodies that were clearly visible.
During a Hatching Cycle that occurred shortly before the Maximum Security event, Trl'k and other hatchery workers detected a number of mutations among the newly-hatched children. After all of them from that clutch had been gathered together and placed within a spherical containment field, Brother Dakr't arrived to review the situation. Dakr't was surprised that there were six of the K-class, a clutch record, and ordered that the Purifiers be called in.
Held in mid-air within the containment field, the mutants were defenseless as the three Purifiers prepared to cull them. However, before that could happen, members of Cadre K dropped down from the sky and attacked. Using their mutant powers, they swiftly overcame the Purifiers and then made all the other Skrulls in the immediate area fall asleep. After taking the device that controlled the containment field, the five Cadre K members were pulled up to their hovering starship by a tractor beam, bringing the six hatchlings in the containment field with them.
Exactly what happened to these six K-class mutants has not been revealed. If Cadre K followed their standard operating procedure, then the hatchlings would have been taken to one of the secret K-class colonies that had been established under the guidance of the human, Charles Xavier.
--Maximum Security Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)
Note: In Marvel Time, only 4-6 (Earth) years have passed since these particular mutants were rescued so they are probably still only young children...unless young Skrulls mature far more rapidly than humans do?
A male Skrull who had been given some responsibility in overseeing the generation of new Skrulls. At some point, Lord Merrek implemented certain fecundity-supplement programs that some workers on Carpiax IV noticed coincided with more and more K-class mutations being hatched on their creche-world.
--Maximum Security Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)
Trl'k and his co-worker
A male Skrull who worked at a hatchery on Carpiax IV, Trl'k's job was to scan infant Skrulls as they hatched in order to determine if they were genetically pure or if they were mutants who were to be terminated soon after birth.
During a then-recent hatching cycle, while inspecting a group of ten eggs, Trl'k (on the right, holding the scanner) was at work in the hatchery when his scanner identified the newborn Skrull who had just hatched as a mutant. Trl'k mentioned this to his co-worker, saying, "Another K-class - - a mutation. More and more of them, ever since Lord Merrek began the fecundity-supplement programs..."
Trl'k's co-worker (the one holding the newborn) interrupted him, saying, "Don't let the Hatchwardens hear you say that, Trl'k -- unless you'd prefer patrolling Gaum to this..."
The K-class hatchling they had detected was subsequently passed on to Brother Dakr't to be dealt with along with the other mutations found in that clutch.
--Maximum Security Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)
Skrulls on creche-worlds like Carpiax IV whose job was to cull any hatchlings that had been determined to be lacking in genetic purity. Such hatchlings were classified as K-Class mutations and often displayed visible deformities. Once a hatching cycle had been completed and the mutants who were to be culled had been gathered together and contained within a force field, then the Purifiers would be called to carry out the "clean-up" by using energy-weapons to kill them all.
In an incident that occurred shortly before the Maximum Security event, three Purifiers had been notified that their services were needed to cull the record number of hatchlings in the most recent clutch. The trio were ready and waiting when Brother Dakr't authorized the culling. Once the six mutants where brought before them in the force field that contained them, the Purifiers held their weapons at the ready as they prepared to carry out the clean-up. One of them asked the technician controlling the force field if things were ready and was told that the containment field was cycling to external permeability and would be ready in two mejens. However, before that time could elapse, the Purifiers were taken by surprise when Cadre K suddenly dropped from their ship in the sky and attacked them. Two of them were quickly rendered unconscious, one by being punched in the face by the extra-pliable Nuro and the other by being shot by something fired at him by R'Tee. The third Purifier was able to get off one shot but Spunje absorbed the power blast and fired it back at him.
As Cadre K escaped with the six hatchlings, other armed Skrulls were seen running towards the scene. However, if they were other Purifiers or just guards has not been revealed.
It has not been revealed how many Purifiers were stationed on Carpiax IV. If K-class mutations were as rare as was claimed, with only a few culls being needed each hatching season, then three Purifiers may have been enough to handle the entire creche-world. Alternatively, there may have been three (or more) Purifiers assigned to each hatchery on the planet, which could mean there were dozens or hundreds of Purifiers on Carpiax IV.
--Maximum Security Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)
images: (without ads)
Maxim Security Dangerous Planet#1, page 1, panel 1 (main image)
page 1, panel 3 (authorizing the cull)
page 1, panel 4 (preparing for the cull)
page 2, panel 1 (Cadre K to the rescue)
page 3, panels 2-3 (escaping with the mutant hatchlings)
page 1, panel 3 (Brother Dakr't)
page 2, panel 3 (confronted by Cadre K)
page 1, panel 4 (the six K-class mutants)
page 1, panel 2 (Trl'k and his co-workers)
page 1, panel 4 (Purifiers at the ready)
page 2, panel 1 (Purifiers taken down by surprise attack)
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (October, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer) & Jerry Ordway (penciler), Will Blyberg & Paul Ryan (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 07/10/2022
Last updated: 07/10/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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