EARTH'S MOST WANTED: The Queens

Fri, January 18th, 2008 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

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Last week in our second installment of EARTH'S MOST WANTED, CBR News along with Marvel editor Tom Brevoort unveiled The Kings, a diverse collection of possible threats to the Skrulls' "Secret Invasion" of Earth. This week, Brevoort is back as we unveil the second set of face cards in the Skrull's poker deck, The Queens.

QUEEN OF SPADES – MS. MARVEL

Carol Danvers' ability to absorb and shoot blasts of energy along with her powers of flight, superhuman strength and durability already make her a dangerous foe for any opponent. But in the pages of "Ms. Marvel," the vast cosmic powers she once possessed as the heroine Binary seem to be returning. Brevoort said if -- and stressed it's a very big if -- Ms. Marvel retains her Binary abilities, she'll become infinitely more dangerous to the Skrulls' master plan.

But even if she doesn't hold onto her Binary abilities, Ms. Marvel is still a strong threat to the Skrulls by virtue of her ties to the superhero and military communities. "If the Skrulls replace Ms. Marvel, they gain a high-ranking operative in the heart of both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Mighty Avengers," Brevoort said. "[She's] an operative with ties to most of the rest of the superhuman players on Earth."

Ms. Marvel's powers and military training make a very difficult opponent to come at directly, but as the Skrulls' invasion of Earth is a secret one, it's likely they'll employ something Ms, Marvel's especially vulnerable to: psychological warfare. Brevoort concurred, "For all of her struggles towards self-improvement, Carol seems to be an emotional basket case much of the time."

QUEEN OF HEARTS - THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

The Invisible Woman's abilities would be especially useful in combating the Skrulls' stealthy incursion of Earth, but like her husband Reed Richards, it's what the Invisible Woman already knows that worries the shape shifters the most. "While everyone with superhuman abilities is potentially a threat, Sue's one of the few on Earth with extensive experience dealing with the Skrulls, and more than a passing familiarity with their culture," explained Brevoort.

Being a member of the Fantastic Four not only makes Sue Storm dangerous to the Skrulls, it insures they'll go after her with rancor.  She may not be as loathed as her husband, but given the number of times The Fantastic Four have foiled Skrull schemes, there's bound to be a number of Skrull invaders who see the 4 symbol emblazoned on the Invisible Woman's chest as a big target.

The Fantastic Four is more than a super team; they're a family, and like all families they sometimes fight amongst each other, and when they do Sue Storm often serves as peacemaker. This is a fact that's not gone unnoticed by Skrulls. "If the Skrulls replace Sue they gain access to their longest foes, the Fantastic Four," Brevoort stated. "And they gain entry into their headquarters, the Baxter Building."

QUEEN OF DIAMONDS – EMMA FROST

The appropriately named White Queen has two very powerful mutant abilities: her telepathic powers, which almost rival those of Charles Xavier himself, and her ability to transform into a nigh invulnerable diamond form. But it's Emma Frost's position as headmistress of the Xavier Institute that the Skrulls find most threatening.

"While her powers make her formidable, it's her political position which makes her especially dangerous," Tom Brevoort told CBR News. "Because of her place in the hierarchy of mutant affairs, Emma is in a position to be especially dangerous to the Skrull plans. She can mobilize the remainder of the mutant population, and she's ruthless enough to get down and dirty fighting a war."

As such, the White Queen's position of prominence in the Mutant community makes her a prime target for replacement by a Skrull imposter. "If the Skrulls replace Emma they gain the ability to sway, distract or strike discord among the remaining mutants upon the planet," Brevoort explained.

Should Emma Frost prove too difficult for the Skrulls to capture and replace, it's likely the Skrulls will attack her where she's most vulnerable, her heart. "She's currently got a pretty pronounced weakness in the form of her love for Cyclops, which leaves her more emotionally vulnerable than she likes being," Brevoort said. "Beyond that, there's her concern for the welfare of her students, especially given what happened to the original Hellions."

QUEEN OF CLUBS - STORM

When you're looking to take control of Earth, fighting someone like Storm, an actual Queen who has the ability to drastically alter the planets' atmosphere with just a thought, is clearly a strategic nightmare. But like the other Queens, it's more what and who Storm knows that makes her dangerous to the Skrulls, and marrying the Black Panther and becoming the Queen of Wakanda has made Storm especially threatening. "Storm's marriage has certainly made her more dangerous than she was on her own," Brevoort remarked. "Her new role gives her access and authority over whatever hidden safeguards T'Challa may have put in place in the event of a Skrull invasion."

Replacing Storm with a Skrull doppelganger would give the alien invaders eyes into not one but two communities dangerous to their machinations. "A Skull impersonating Storm becomes a player with connections and respect among the mutant community," Brevoort said. "And a player with access to the shadowy goings-on within Wakanda, one of the most technologically-advanced and secretive nations on the planet."

When fighting a shadow war, the slightest weakness can be exploited and lead to disastrous consequences, and Storm has two disadvantages that can be used against her. "Storm's claustrophobia is an obvious drawback," Brevoort stated. "More subtle is the fact that, since her marriage to T'Challa, Storm's been living in a land far removed from those who know her best, and who would be most likely to be able to detect a substitution."

EARTH'S MOST WANTED
The Aces
The Kings

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