15 Captain Marvel comics you need to read before seeing the movie

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Ms. Marvel #25 (Cover image via Marvel)

3. Secret Invasion

Yes, for one last time, we have to look at that unfortunate Ms. Marvel outfit. It’s starting to sound like a broken record is playing in here, right? Can’t we just give female superheroes some pants, or even just a high-quality pair of leggings? Sure, some of these stories were from the far-off era of… oh, the early 2000s. There really isn’t all that much of an excuse. But, for the sake of the story, let’s go with the oddly high boots and space bathing suit and learn more about the Secret Invasion.

It’s a little strange that we’ve gotten this far and haven’t talked about the Skrull. From what we can tell in the Captain Marvel movie trailer, Carol is going up against them, or at least one very likely shapeshifter in the form of an old woman on a train.

What’s up with the Skrull? They’re a species of aliens who have the ability to shapeshift and take the place of seemingly “normal” people, which made them a pretty powerful Cold War metaphor during the early days of their publication history. That shapeshifting remains a big deal in the world of Marvel, representing about as many different story possibilities as there are forms to mimic.

In Secret Invasion, we learn that the Skrull have been undertaking a long-term invasion of Earth by replacing many superheroes over the course of a few years. They’ve got a good reason, to their view: Galactus has eaten up their throne world, and the latest Empress, Veranke, is driven by prophecies and religious extremism to find her people a new home.

In Ms. Marvel #25-30 (collected as Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5), Carol is forced to prove that she’s not a Skrull imposter, though S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty convinced that she’s lying. Even Ms. Marvel gets confused when she sees that the Lightning Strike Force chasing her contains its very own Ms. Marvel. Who is who?