Meet the Skrulls #2 // Review
It’s a common trope in spy fiction that espionage wears down the spy’s identity; that in taking different faces and different lives makes it hard to hold on to the “real” personality. Meet the Skrulls #2, a take on spies in the Marvel Universe literalizes that question by featuring a group of undercover Skrulls who can change shape at a whim. What face is real? Does it matter?
This issue continues to focus on all four members of the undercover Skrull family, the Warners, as each of them pursues their own individual missions. We see team leader/mother Gloria in the field, hyper-competent and capable, as well as mean teen Madison using ingenuity and improvisation to meet her objective. Alice, the troubled youngest member of the group, continues to act out of desperation, using her powers without sanction and making the family vulnerable to the mysterious threat introduced the last issue. Father Carl continues to be the glue holding the family together, and in this chapter, we get a tantalizing glimpse at his past, which may motivate the (relative) lenience he shows to Alice.
Writer Robbie Thompson admirably juggles all of these different characters and stories, as the issue never feels cluttered or confusing. Thompson even manages to make us root for his protagonists, also as we know that they don’t have our-humans’-best interests at heart. It’s difficult to write a villain story, and Thompson very smartly makes this a personal, family story to keep us sympathizing with his four heroes.
Niko Henrichon’s art (with color assistant Laurent Grossat) continues to be moody and kinetic. His faces and body language, while seemingly simple, are expressive--a must in a comic where even the characters’ faces change from page to page. VC’s Travis Lanham obviously has a blast lettering the different “voices” of the alien characters.
Unlike the first issue, which seemed to be trying too hard to be The Vision, with this issue the series has clearly found its own voice. Meet the Skrulls is an excellent mashup of sci-fi, espionage, and family drama, and is shaping up to be a must-read part of the Marvel Universe. Highly recommended.