How Captain Marvel Changed the Skrulls…

– This video contains all of
the spoilers for Captain Marvel and probably some other films
that you’ve already seen or honestly don’t really care about. Captain Marvel had the
task of finally introducing the shapeshifting alien
Skrulls into the MCU. Able to impersonate just about anyone down to the genetic level, the Skrulls can secretly
invade any society and take it over from the inside. It’s an incredibly fun
concept to play around with, and many writers have used
the alien baddies effectively since they were established
in the Marvel Universe all the way back in
Fantastic Four #2 from 1962. But back then, they were just
these generic alien enemies who wanted to conquer Earth
for no explained reason. Not much separated them
from any other creature of the week story Marvel was telling. Over the years, the
Skrull history and culture have been expanded upon, and their motivations
changed or clarified, but they have still been
predominantly used as a menacing, invading force of aliens
who can copy the appearance, and sometimes the powers, of Earth’s citizens and super-people. (wood thudding) Anyway, the Captain Marvel
film had the task of adapting the plight of the Skrull for the MCU, and it made some radical
changes to the avocado aliens. No longer are these shapeshifters
a violent invasion force, but instead, they are oppressed refugees merely seeking a home
somewhere in the galaxy. Meanwhile, it’s the Kree
warriors who are revealed to be the actual bad guys of the film who hunt down and kill those that refuse to live
under their fascist rule. Wait, no, sorry. I’m not trying to force any politics into a completely
apolitical superhero story. The Skrulls? The Skrulls are just, they’re
aliens, you know aliens! You’ve seen a Star Wars! There’s absolutely no political allegory that could possibly be read into… (wood thudding) (upbeat rock music) Welcome to Comic Misconceptions, the show that takes you into detail about the things you think
you know about comics. I’m your host, Scott Niswander, and today, we’re gonna talk about green people, because that limits it down. The second issue of Fantastic Four opens with what appears to be The Thing swimming up to an oil
rig and clobbering it for no reason whatsoever. Then we see the Invisible Woman steal a $10 million gem from a
jewelry store, jewelry, I always get mixed up on that word. Cut to the Human Torch flying by what looks to be a dedication of a Union Civil War monument
and purposefully melting it. Meanwhile, Mr. Fantastic flips a switch and turns off all the power to the city, plunging it into darkness and chaos. Can we believe our startled eyes? Is it possible that the Fantastic Four have really perpetrated
those criminal acts? Or is there more to
this than meets the eye? I knew it, they’re Transformers! Nah, they’re Skrulls, obviously. And they plan to turn the public against the Fantastic Four for their own mysterious purposes. To their credit, their
plan starts to work. The Fantastic Four are quickly arrested by the U.S. military. But the team escapes capture and tracks down their Skrull doppelgangers to find out their true motivations. The Skrull’s plan is simple. Step one: Impersonate
Marvel’s First Family. Step two: Cause enough chaos
that the public hunts down and kills the real Fantastic Four. Step three: Send a message to a Skrull spaceship hovering in
Earth’s orbit to launch a full invasion of the
newly helpless human planet. So even if the FF capture
these four Skrull agents impersonating them which,
of course, they do, they still have to deal
with an entire Skrull army above the atmosphere waiting
on an order to strike. They can’t fight them all, so Mr. Fantastic suggests
that they instead go up to the Skrull ship, pretend like they are the Skrulls who are impersonating the FF, and just tell the Skrull
leader that no, actually, the Fantastic Four are too
powerful, so don’t even bother. Oh, and Mr. F cuts out
drawings of monsters from other Marvel comic books and convinces the Skrull
leader that the Earth is also protected by monster warriors and space mines and an army of giant ants. I really love comics, gang. Picture any alien invasion movie. Now imagine that all the humans had to do to stop the threat was doodle something vaguely scary and say, yeah, we got one of those, so turn that spaceship around, buster! I’m not gonna lie, I would watch that. Anyway, back on Earth, the Fantastic Four now need to decide what to
do with the Skrull agents that were left behind. Against the idea of outright killing them, Mr. Fantastic tells the
Skrulls to transform into cows and then he hypnotizes
them into forgetting that they were ever shapeshifting
aliens to begin with. Ha, what a wacky story! Nothing to read into here! Certainly no political
allegories that I can think of! Like, comment, and subscribe if you just want more
videos of a generic nerd man recapping comics without forcing politics into clearly apolitical superhero stories! (wood thudding)
– Let me out! Let me out, come on! You can’t keep pretending
like comics aren’t political, please, I can explain this. Oh, how are you doing,
you wonderful nerds? Scott here, unfortunately. And look, I know some of you guys hate it when I talk about the political
nature of superhero comics, but there really is no escaping it here. Early Fantastic Four stories were some of the most
blatantly political stories that Marvel was printing
ever since they had that Chris Evans wannabe punch Hitler. Fantastic Four is dripping, gushing with cold war themes, some of them subtle, and
some of them very much not. The Skrulls here, for example, disguise themselves as the Fantastic Four, people with power in
whom the public trusts. But what if it was revealed that you really shouldn’t trust them? What if, secretly, they
were foreign invaders infiltrating American society
to weaken it from the inside, preparing it for a be takeover? And if the Fantastic Four
are really enemy spies, then anyone could be. Your neighbor, your boss,
your friends, your family, your favorite YouTuber. Can you really trust anyone? And these are real fears that Americans had during the 1950s. – [Announcer] A malicious
force is sneaking through the land of the brave, one
that threatens to tear down the very foundations of our republic. Beware the creeping
influence of the Red Scare! This infamous menace infiltrated every layer of government in
the late ’40s and early ’50s. It created a state of fear, and destroyed many a person’s life! Our story begins in 1947. President Harry Truman
signed executive order 9835, asking for loyalty. He wanted to expunge from the government anyone who held a totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive beliefs. The first real signs of
fear of a subversive threat came in 1949 with a double punch. That year, the Soviet
Union successfully tested its own nuclear bomb, much faster than the U.S. had anticipated. Also, despite U.S. support
for their opposition, Mao Zedong became the
leader of continental China, making it a communist state. In 1950 several high profile cases emerged of Soviet espionage, including that of Julius
and Ethel Rosenberg, who the U.S. executed in 1953 for stealing nuclear secrets for the reds. In the case of Soviet Spy Alger Hiss, newspapers published coast to coast his story of hiding state documents, including the famous pumpkin papers, named as such because they
were on undeveloped film hidden within a hollowed-out
pumpkin in a pumpkin patch! (laughs) Really? Their fever was high, and
Americans feared their own shadow thinking it was a communist spy! – [Man] If a person consistently reads and advocates the views expressed in a communist publication,
he may be a communist. If a person supports organizations which reflect communist
teachings, she may be a communist. – [Man] If you go to the
family reunion to meet women. (people laughing) – [Man] She may be a communist. – [Announcer] Sensing an
opportunity to strike, American conservatives who
considered many changes made in the last several decades such as the ending of child labor, women’s suffrage, and the New
Deal to be communist plots began to use this anxiety
to make political hay. In February of 1950, Republican
Senator Joseph McCarthy held up a piece of paper
announcing that on it he had the names of 205 communists working for the state department. The Red Scare was now in full swing, and McCarthy became an
overnight celebrity, with some even using his namesake as a synonym for the paranoia. From local governments all
the way to the White House, the U.S. government set
up anti-communist panels, and loyalty review boards to
root out any secret communists. They produced a list of
subversive organizations, counting over 100 across the nation. Under J Edgar Hoover, the FBI grew massively to
conduct this witch hunt! Most infamous of all these efforts was the House Un-American
Activities Committee or HUAC. Their most famous case
brought in film executives, Hollywood celebrities,
and renowned film makers to interrogate them over any possible communist sympathies they might hold. Those they found a bit too left of center wound up blackballed, banned
from making movies ever again! It took several years for this Red Scare menace to dissipate, but the damage had already been done. America was paranoid, whipped up into a frenzy
through propaganda and sensational journalism. These committees managed
to destroy the lives and took jobs away from tons of Americans for either associating
with communist groups, no matter long it had been since they had, and people whose political opinions were too far to the left. One story often not told is that during these
searches of people’s privacy, they uncovered many secret
lives of LGBTQ+ people, and fired them on those grounds. Historians today call
this the lavender scare. This era of paranoia had a lasting impact on American politics. Unlike many western countries, the U.S. doesn’t have a labor party, and socialist ideas
were considered verboten in political discourse, until now? And there you have it! The Red Scare! A terrifying, spookifying
hysteria on American culture. Beware, beware, beware! – There were tons of propaganda films released for decades about the Red Scare and the threat of communism. And another common theme was individualism versus the collective. Communism emphasized the
community, naturally, which contrasted American culture that aimed to celebrate the individual. A film by the Department of Defense called Red Nightmare proposed
an alternate universe where a typical American
nuclear family in a white, suburban, middle-class neighborhood suddenly woke up under a
hyperbolic communist rule with their individuality taken away. The daughter works for a farm collective, the father is forced to give a speech about the glory of
communism against his will, and you wouldn’t believe
the kind of wacky hijinks that ensue when he refuses and tries to stand up
for his autonomy, oh boy. This individualism is even at the heart of superheroes themselves,
as Matthew J. Costello writes in Secret Identity Crisis. – [Man] An ardent individualism underlies the superhero in general. A private citizen who becomes
a vigilante to seek justice, the superhero almost by definition champions the private over the public. Like the frontiersman, cowboy, or private detective
heroes who preceded them, the superhero has a more
certain sense of justice than legal authorities who are limited by bureaucratic procedures,
legalities, or politics. – When Superman was created, he didn’t come out of the
gate fighting alien monsters. He was written to combat
real-world injustices like domestic abuse, political corruption, and unsafe working conditions. These issues were being handled
so poorly in the real world that two kids in Ohio
thought the only person who could possibly fix
it was a super strong, super fast, bulletproof,
self-appointed vigilante righting wrongs and generally acting independently of the proper authorities. Or, hey, take the Fantastic Four who in their debut issue go
against the powers that be and launch themselves into
space without proper clearance. When they discover they have superpowers thanks to exposure to cosmic rays, they declare that their
special, individual gifts have made them uniquely qualified to take matters into their own hands and do what more official agencies cannot. When you look at other
early Fantastic Four comics, you can see this theme of characters being brainwashed, or
mind-controlled, or hypnotized, like how Mr. Fantastic
hypnotized the Skrulls at the end of the second issue. This again symbolized a
threat to one’s autonomy. By the end of the story,
the Fantastic Four, they have a full grasp of
their own self-determination but the Skrulls have
been completely stripped of their own autonomy. And Mr. Fantastic is a prime example of one of Marvel’s
favorite character types, the maverick scientist. Like Iron Man, Ant-Man, or Spider-Man who would all debut in
the years following, Reed Richards is a brilliant inventor whose scientific achievements are only made possible
through his independence. In contrast, Costello
writes, take Bruce Banner, a scientist who worked
directly with the military, and who suffered the most violent of transformations as a result. – [Man] This celebration
of the maverick scientist brings the cowboy into the atomic age, riding his microscope or computer to the frontiers of knowledge in ways organizational scientists cannot. – So fittingly, outside
of government-issued propaganda films like The Red Nightmare, there were also films made
by private film studios like The Red Menace which was distributed by Republic Pictures who– – Did you know that Republic Pictures also produced the popular Adventures of Captain Marvel serial? But, it was a different Captain Marvel than Carol Danvers in the MCU. This Captain Marvel now
goes by the name Shazam and is actually a DC Comics character! How wacky and fun and not at
all challenging to think about! – Didn’t you already make that
video like four years ago? And then you made it again
two years after that? I mean, look, look, you’ve
laid down the groundwork, and that’s great, but don’t
you think we should maybe take the time to actually
analyze the stories? – No, stop! – Okay, is there anything
else you’d like to add that people haven’t
heard 200 times already? – Uh, Shazam, right, used
to be called Captain Marvel! – Yeah, I know, buddy,
Shazam is Captain Marvel. – So. – Okay. With films like The Red Menace
explicitly framing a story around the perceived threats of communism, it wasn’t long before
fears of the Red Scare started permeating into
other genres like Sci-Fi, perhaps the most famous example being the 1956 film Invasion
of the Body Snatchers. Directed by Don Siegel,
Invasion of the Body Snatchers stars Kevin McCarthy, what a coincidence, as Dr. Miles Bennell. The story starts with Miles observing several people
throughout the town convinced that their relatives
aren’t who they say they are. – You talk to him, what do you think? – It’s him, he’s your uncle Ira, alright. – He is not. – Look, school isn’t as bad as all– – School isn’t what upsets
him, it’s my daughter-in-law. He’s got the crazy idea
she isn’t his mother. – She isn’t, she isn’t! Don’t let her get me. – Miles’ friends Jack and Teddy find a curious body that looks like Jack, but isn’t fully formed yet. There’s this amusing shot of them looking over the doppelganger’s body while a poster hangs on the
wall labeled Mirroir Noir. God, my French is incredible. Which incidentally uses an
uncommon spelling of the word. Almost like a callback to the idea that doppelgangers are subtly imperfect. The mirror is slightly off, so to speak. – That’s a bit pretentious,
don’t you think? – [Dungeon-Scott] We find
out that these doubles are birthed from strange plant pods that have come from outer space. They wish to strip away
everyone’s humanity and individuality as they all become part of a collective identity, and they’ve taken over
nearly the entire town. As more and more of these bodies sprout, so too does paranoia among the group. Their fears are brushed
aside by a local psychiatrist who tries to explain
things away rationally. But can they trust him? Maybe he’s already a pod person? Can they trust any authority figure? Can they trust their own family? Can they even trust each other? – Oh Becky.
– Stop acting like a fool, Miles, and accept us. – [Dungeon-Scott] The
answer, of course, is. – No. – [Dungeon-Scott] Trust no one! – You fools, you’re in
danger, can’t you see? They’re after you,
they’re after all of us! Our wives, our children, everyone! They’re here already, you’re next! – [Dungeon-Scott] Right here was initially where Invasion of the Body
Snatchers was supposed to end, with Miles trying to get somebody, anybody to believe him
about an oncoming invasion. But no one takes him seriously, and the pod people go on
to infect more cities, unchallenged. But the studio insisted
on framing the story in a new way with a more hopeful ending; bookending it with scenes
of Miles at a hospital after all of the events have taken place. At the start, we see the physical and mental strain Miles
has suffered through without yet knowing what has occurred. Everyone around him treats
him like he’s lost his mind. He’s paranoid, the things he
fears aren’t really happening. That would be ridiculous and absurd! But by the end of the story, after we see all of the events unfold and we’re back in the hospital, the movie makes its stance
clear: he’s not paranoid. He’s right, listen to
him before it’s too late. Invasion of the Body
Snatchers clearly reflects many fears and anxieties in
American culture at that time. The detonation of nuclear
weapons, for example, made people worried about the dangers of science and radiation. – Where did they come from? – So much has been discovered
these past few years. Anything is possible. Maybe the results of atomic radiation on plant life or animal life. – [Dungeon-Scott] But, of
course, there are distinct themes of McCarthyism in the
drama of never knowing who the characters can trust, and making accusations without
proper regard for evidence. – [Miles] How is he different? – That’s just it. There is no difference
you can actually see. He looks, sounds, acts, and
remembers like Uncle Ira. – Then he is your Uncle Ira. Can’t you see that? No matter how you feel, he is. – But he isn’t, there’s something missing. – [Dungeon-Scott] And hey,
might as well wrap it all up with a threat against individualism. Not only in people being
physically duplicated, but also that the pod people seem to be one collective identity with one shared goal and
no independent thoughts. – Your new bodies are growing in there, they’re taking you over cell
for cell, atom for atom. There’s no pain, suddenly
while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds, your memories. And you’ll reborn into
an untroubled world. – Where everyone’s the same? – Exactly!
– What a world. – No, no, no! Quit reading so much into it! Look, the filmmakers themselves insisted that this movie
was completely apolitical. It wasn’t meant to be an
allegory for anything. – [Man] People began to
read meanings into pictures that were never intended. The Invasion of the Body
Snatchers is an example of that. I remember reading a magazine article arguing that the picture was intended as an allegory about the
communist infiltration of America. From personal knowledge, neither Walter Wanger nor
Don Siegel, who directed it, nor Dan Mainwaring, who wrote the script nor original author Jack Finney, nor myself saw it as anything
other than a thriller, pure and simple. – You see? – Oh, yeah, that’s right. It’s just a fun thriller with no social commentary whatsoever. Isn’t that right, movie? – But what is it? What’s going on? – I don’t know, a strange
neurosis, evidently contagious. An epidemic mass hysteria. In two weeks, it spread all over town. – What causes it? – Worry about what’s going
on in the world, probably. Worry about what’s going
on in the world, probably. Worry about what’s going
on in the world, probably. – Hey, stop injecting your
politics into my movies, movie! – Look, here’s the thing. I don’t think it’s any secret to say that sometimes people use art as a way of processing
events in the real world, either by consuming it or by making it. Maybe it’s a conscious decision, maybe it’s completely unconscious, but parts of your world and the context in which you live, it still gets in there. Tolkien famously rejected the idea that The Lord of the Rings
was an allegory for anything, but the influences that living
through World War I and II had on his writings are undeniably there. – [Frodo] There are so some
things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, but have taken hold. – My buddy Matt Draper
who makes excellent videos about comics and superheroes
that will make you cry, that monster, sent me a very
detailed message on Twitter about the 1968 zombie classic
Night of the Living Dead and how many have regarded the film as a biting commentary on racial tensions in the United States
during a turbulent decade even though Romero stood firm on the idea that it was never meant to be that. Matt, you sent too much. I can’t read all of this. I haven’t talked about
Skrulls in like 10 minutes. But thank you, you’re a
sweetheart, I love you. As far as I could find, neither Jack Kirby nor Stan
Lee ever explicitly stated that the idea for the Skrulls were based off of the Red Scare, but clearly, those fears were
still relevant at that time. Fantastic Four #2 which
marked the first appearance of the Skrulls hit stands in 1962, which was the same year that Red Nightmare aired on American television. So worries were still in the air, and maybe the people at Marvel were using the medium of comics to work through some of their anxieties. This first event with the alien invaders is even referenced as
The Menace of the Skrulls which once again draws
upon propaganda films like Red Menace. Although to be fair, J. Jonah Jameson did warn us of the true red
menace of the Marvel Universe, and we didn’t listen. So that is the unnecessarily long and detailed context around
the creation of the Skrulls. And if Cold War era themes make for a traditional
reading of the Skrulls, then why would the Captain
Marvel film change them to be a much more sympathetic
group of alien refugees? Right, like, why not just make a straightforward Sci-Fi thriller like Invasion of the Body Snatchers where enemy spies have infiltrated society making our hero question
who they can trust? Well, uh, probably because Marvel already made that film five years ago. Captain America: The Winter Soldier kinda already tackled Red Scare themes with the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by Hydra agents all the way to the top of the
chain with Alexander Pierce being a senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official secretly pulling strings for the enemy. Much like Body Snatchers, the central thread of this
film asks who can you trust? – Granddad loved people, but
he didn’t trust them very much. – You know, it’s kind
of hard to trust someone when you don’t know who
that someone really is. – Don’t trust anyone. – He told me not to trust anyone. – [Man] I wonder if that included him. – I wasn’t sure who to trust. – Soldiers trust each other,
that’s what makes it an army, not a bunch of guys running
around shooting guns. – Last time I trusted
someone, I lost an eye. Aren’t you the cutest little thing? – Hey buddy, you wouldn’t
betray me, would you? Captain Marvel revisits
this theme a little bit with Talos in disguise as
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Keller telling Fury that they can’t trust anyone, not even their own men. But it’s not really the
central threat of this movie because, again, it would’ve
just been the same thing. Which, admittedly, a
movie about doppelgangers which intentionally hit the same beats as another movie in its
same connected universe would be kinda fun and meta, but no! The filmmakers behind Captain Marvel are a lot smarter than I am and
they made a better decision. They decided to change the story of the Skrulls for a modern audience. And this, to me, is where Captain Marvel does something interesting,
not only with the Skrulls but with another race of
aliens called the Kree as well. The movie starts with the audience believing that Skrulls
are hostile alien invaders who infiltrate countless worlds and take them over from the inside while noble Kree warriors are the heroes saving the universe from
the Skrull infestation. – So, Skrulls are the bad
guys, and you’re a Kree, a race of noble warriors? – Heroes, noble warrior heroes. – But as the movie progresses, we see that there’s much more going on than a simple black and white good guy versus bad guy scenario. The Skrulls aren’t an elite
force of alien invaders. They’re a smattering
of a diminishing people barely getting by. Their science guy can’t
even do science good. (chuckles) Captain Marvel has been told that Skrulls are intergalactic terrorists who kill innocents, but head Skrull boy and my new favorite MCU character Talos explains that his people
don’t wanna conquer anyone. In fact, it’s the Kree who do. The Kree want to rule over everyone, and when the Skrull people
refused to that rule, their planet was destroyed. The remaining Skrulls
fled in search of safety, fearing slaughter. They’re refugees seeking asylum
somewhere in the universe. They’re scared and scattered and tired, they just want a home. You see, it’s not an
invasion, it’s an inversion. Because now, it’s the Kree who embody the Cold War fears of deceitful leaders and a threat to individualism. Carol’s mentor Yon-Rogg is
revealed to be a murderous, manipulative meanie this whole time. I did say spoilers. He and the other members of Starforce all wear matching uniforms
that Carol changed at the end of the film so
that she could be more unique. And let’s not forget about the
Supreme Intelligence, okay? It’s a propaganda-spreading
authority figure which is composed of all of the knowledge of all of the Kree maybe ever? I mean, it’s literally
referred to as the collective which you know, is not exactly subtle. I think there’s a lot to be said about still personifying
misrepresented communist ideas as walking, talking villains, but maybe that’s just my socialist agenda. But in terms of the Skrulls, I actually really like the
change the movie went with. Not only did I enjoy seeing the Skrulls presented with an unexpected
level of humor and heart, but I’m glad that the Captain Marvel movie didn’t take the easy route with them. But instead, Captain
Marvel used the Skrulls to tell a decidedly different message. You know, that a group in power wanting to control and
oppress another group with significantly less
power is bad, actually, and creating paranoia that
the marginalized people are violent invaders plotting to take over and destroy other cultures
for the group in power to justify violence against
refugees is also extremely bad! Good thing that’s not a thing that’s been happening
in real life recently. And again, I don’t think it’s any secret that people use art as a way of processing real life events either by
consuming it or making it. And if the Skrulls were possibly invented as one sociopolitical
allegory decades ago, I personally don’t see a
problem with reinventing them in a modern context as a
different sociopolitical allegory. – Would you stop that? – Stop what? Analyzing these superhero stories beyond surface-level entertainment? Reading between the panels? That’s the whole mission statement of this channel, you know? – It never used to be this way, though. Years ago, I started out just talking about the wacky weirdness in comics. Superman’s strangest powers! – That’s boring. – That time Captain
America was a werewolf! – Cap-Wolf is canon. – Top five weight-loss stories in comics! – Ugh, did I really do that? I guarantee that was not
handled with care at all. – They’re just silly comics,
they don’t mean anything! – Don’t you think believing
that does a massive disservice to the entire medium of comics, and perpetuates the annoying idea that comic books and
superheroes are just kids stuff with no grander cultural
or artistic value? – You belong down there. You know, NerdSync used to be this generic happy-time superhero channel that didn’t make people
think and you ruined that! But you know what, after all these years, I think I’m finally taking
my channel back, you Skrull! – Yeah, yeah, you’re right. You fit in better up
there than I ever did, so. I was never really a part of the comic book YouTube community, and quite frankly, I
feel a lot of my analyses is quite shallow to be a part
of the video essayists, so. Maybe it’s best if you
stay up there for now. – Thank you. Okay, let’s try again. Welcome to Comic Misconceptions, the show that takes you into detail about the things you think
you know about comics. I’m your host Scott Niswander. – [Dungeon-Scott] And today, we’re gonna talk about green people, because that limits it down. The second issue of Fantastic Four opens with what appears to be The Thing swimming up to an oil
rig and clobbering it for no reason whatsoever. Then we see the Invisible Woman steal a $10 million gem from
a jewelry store, jewelry, I always get mixed up on that word. Cut to the Human Torch
flying by what looks to be a dedication of a Union Civil War monument and purposefully melting it. Meanwhile, Mr. Fantastic flips a switch and turns off all the power to the city, plunging it into darkness and chaos. Can we believe our startled eyes? Is it possible that the Fantastic Four have really perpetrated
those criminal acts? Or is there more to
this than meets the eye? I knew it, they’re Transformers! (suspenseful music)

100 thoughts on “How Captain Marvel Changed the Skrulls…

  1. The response to this video has been amazing so far you wonderful nerds! We cannot thank you enough! The amount of people who picked up on Skrull-Scott being an allegory for my own recent battle with Impostor Syndrome without me having to be super-obvious about it has been overwhelming to say the least!

    This was the first video I have produced using the new set/surroundings/audio set up/lighting and I appreciate you guys sticking with me while we get things optimised!

    Along with you guys watching I have so many other people to thank for their help in making this video including:

    – DKlarations who did an incredible 1950s announcer! (
    – Mydumbquestion who voiced a smug film producer!
    – TristanPEJ not only voiced a couple ofquotes about Cold War Marvel heroes, but also wrote the chunk of the video summarising the Cold War! (
    – DaveDJJohnson for supporting on the community side of things, and helping my plot to replace all of SCB with Skrulls! (
    – MattDraper who gave me so much info on Night of the Living Dead! (

    All of the thanks! Be sure to let me know what you think of the new set up, the video, the subject and anything you can think of in the comments!


  2. CAME ON!!! How the hell I've discovered this channel only now!? IT'S AMAZING! Every single one of you that worked in this glorious piece of deep content is amazing! I've seen three of your videos and this is already my favorite channel.

  3. Stop using left leaning allegories in your videos. Obviously this liberal slant beats people over the head. But to correct the allegory the skrulls are illegal, they did not land on earth and file the proper paperwork to be allowed on the planet. I can think of some other countries on our country that they would be kicked out immediately and not have a option to claim refugee status. But that would be a fact not an allegory

  4. However I do like the anti communism bent as in the 50s and 60s that was a real threat. Unlikely but there were communist trying to overthrow the govt see Matthew Cvetic

  5. Not gonna mention that McCarthy was right and there were literal communist spies that were actually, according to their own words, trying to destroy America? No? It was all scare tactics with no truth to it? No mention at all that McCarthy's list was real and had real communist spies on it? None?

    Okay then, how about instead we maybe mention the whole concept of the Kree and Skrulls history together, and how they were both the bad guys? What about what they both represent in terms of both their original themes and how it's changed over time? No? Not going to talk about the Kree at all other than vaguely calling them both fascist and representative of "modern politics"?

    Okay then let's stick to the Skrulls completely then if we're ignoring all that. How about the fact that Skrulls were shapeshifters didn't matter in the slightest cause the fact that they're refugees means they're supposed to be sympathetic. So they stay unchanged through most of the story specifically to make you familiar with them, even when it made much more narrative sense to be cloaked. Or about the change that it had on the Marvel cinematic universe moving forward?

    And maybe, just maybe, it might possibly a bad idea to talk down to your audience by straw-manning the opposition to politicizing everything as people who pretend politics aren't there as opposed to people who either want it to be subtle or don't like the fact that it is there? Or even worse, simply disagree with the messages being sent?

    Look, I like the channel, I enjoy the content. Even the more political videos. However, I do disagree with the politics that the movie was trying to push, (if it wasn't obvious) and it made it less enjoyable for me and a lot of other people. I did not like Captain Marvel. And that's ok, not everyone has to like everything. The tone of this particular video I understand was meant to say "hey we're adults, we can talk about politics in our media" but I didn't take it that way at first. It sounded to me more like "the adults are talking, go have your opinions elsewhere".

    I get that you were trying to say that we should be able to talk about these things, but it just made me feel like people like me aren't welcome.

  6. From the amount of anti-Communist paranoia after 1947, one would never think that the US had emerged in a strong position after WW2.

  7. So the Skrull are now the Jews in Victim Mode, and the Kree are the Israelis slaughtering Palestinians…

  8. Nope. Nobody's freaking out about refugees. They're freaking out about mass migration. People running for their lives need help, people running to a country with welfare need sent back home to work.

    It's colonialism when Europeans flood into other parts of the world, what makes the migrant crisis different?

  9. It’s a miracle, you are legitimately one of the few YouTubers I’ve ever seen (left or right leaning) that actually made politics interesting

    Also I thought the skrulls were 1000x more interesting than Danvers’ story. Idk how to properly explain it but, the movie just feels like a missed opportunity to me Carol Danvers wise

  10. On the point of Communism, Socialism, and other forms of Marxism, crimes against humanity were being committed by Stalin's USSR and Mao's China. More people have died under such regimes than in both World Wars.

  11. It's a great reference to their origin story, in which they helped the Krees with Technology… And they simply slaughtered them, because the Skrulls withdraw their previous offer of sponsorship… But would have been interesting that there was a Skrull defender… Such as Super Skrull… Also, would've been nice to have the original Capitan Marvel Mar'Vell (God, the redundancy), as a link explaining the powers of the Brie Larson's character…

  12. Your video montage about the HUAC, McCarthy & others was poorly done and listed many events out of chronological order. Please review the actual historical records, rather than the leftist propaganda.
    Note that I am not saying that the HUAC was justified, or that McCarthy was right or any of that. But I am saying that you're implying that McCarthy had much more power and influence over events than he did and that certain events happened because of other events when they did not.

    I have to say that, around 12:30, when you talk about the early Fantastic Four comics, you got it *entirely wrong*. It's right there on the panel *you show*. Ben Grimm says "we've gotta use that power to help mankind". Then, in the stories that followed, they used their powers to stop extra-ordinary threats that the ordinary police/military/etc. could not. They went on scientific adventures, not brought criminals to justice. This is the real reason the Fantastic Four comic fell out of favor for so long under the SJW Marvel… because the Fantastic Four aren't SJWs. The Fantastic Four are "Science Heroes" in the tradition of Doc Savage… not vigilante heroes in the tradition of The Shadow, or even Spider-Man.
    Also, they didn't "Go Against The Government" in order to launch their rocket… they circumvented regulations in order to advance scientific knowledge. It was never about "fighting the power" or "taking matters into their own hands", but instead about "fighting against ignorance". Of course, it turns out that the Government was right to tell them not to go… without a fluke of comic-book physics, Reed Richards leads his three friends to their horrific deaths of *all the cancers*.
    Great… then you bring up Bruce Banner & the Hulk and somehow blame the government for Banner becoming the Hulk instead of blaming the idiot Rick Jones for ignoring the warning signs and driving out into the absolute middle of nowhere to be a hippie.

    At 24:50, when you said the filmmakers behind Captain Marvel are a lot smarter than you… I'm not sure if you're overly-praising them, or under-estimating yourself. Having the Skrulls turn out to be "space refugees" made at least half the scenes in the first half of the movie *make no sense in context*. They amounted to "Danvers thinks that Skrulls are bad-guys, so they should act like bad-guys until suddenly they don't!" Also, anyone who knew anything about Marvel Comics… or just watched Agents of Shield… already knew that the Kree were bad-guys.
    A movie where Captain Marvel has to race (and fight) against two evil alien forces that both have the same goal would've made for a better movie. The "reveal" that the Kree are just as bad (if not worse) than the Skrulls would've made for much better conflict and character growth.

    Comic Books DO have significant cultural and historical value… not because they provide social allegory, but because they provide inspiration. The comics of the 50's, 60's & 70's showed "the good one man can do". They showed us that "with great power, comes great responsibility". Comic Books often showed the importance and value of the Police & Firefighters as well. The X-Men showed us that, even if you're different and people don't like you, it's still better to be a good person and work towards acceptance instead of trying to force people to accept you.

  13. I have theese charecters that i made in a dream named the sprinkles who look almost exactly like the person they become but have slight imperfections their look. The sprinkles are evil by the way.

  14. Lol now we have avowed communists in our government. And there's a new "red" scare. Fear of conservatives and blackballing them from work or outing them and beating them in public settings like in Portland.

    Oh how time changes.

  15. Honestly I still want them to be bad. Haveing tricked captain marvel they knowing they couldn't beat her at the time so they tricked her and then in the next movie at the end they capture her and infiltrate as a fake captain marvel the new villian. Bringing up the question, how do the avengers deal with someone who pretty much owned Thanos. This also sets up a lot of conflict with captain marvel and gives her something to potentially build off of.

  16. For the record, if you give in to the wilfully ignorant, too afraid to confront politically controversial topics, in the future, then I will unsubscribe from this channel out of sheer disappointment. Shaking my head like a disapproving father.

  17. a few years ago I commented that I wished you would stick closer to the comic. what I ment by that, was a deeper analysis of the character or event in the comicbook. what you did back then was picking a topic on psychology and then wrap the whole thing around that, instead of picking a character or event, and look at it from diffrent angles. I kinda get that these days from wisecrack, but if this is your jam keep at it. Im glad you went away from the cheap facts, (even though I did like them quite a bit) I like this video though.

    good seeing you in good health.

    also Neighborhood man!

  18. Honestly, I like the skrulls idea in concept, but the fact that captain marvel had little to do with her own finding out skrulls=good kree=bad, I honestly think it would be better if she found this out on her own, having not been told by talos, but rather figured it out after committing war crimes or something, and had more emphasis put on smuggling them through.

  19. This video made me subscribe to your channel. I want you to know this was a a great video and I like the content of your channel.

  20. If the skrulls are an allegory for muslims, Super Skrull could possibly be an allegory for people who gave all of them a bad name, like Bin Laden, and lead to them being generalised in some kind of prequel.

  21. Scott, THANK YOU for making us think! I love the direction you've given to your channel. Your video essays are always carefully crafted and honestly I believe that you have many interesting and thought-provoking things to say. Don't doubt yourself!
    Love, a comic-book nerd.

  22. Trump ain’t lying he says crimes they really do most don’t but there is a risk and I can’t trust them when most criminals are refugees I not against the race bu the crime

  23. i just dont like it because of 2 reseons.
    this means secret invasion is not gonna happen.
    and captain marvel whas not that good of a movie.
    the idee tho is great. its just i would like it that some other race whas chosen besides the skrulls.
    welp maybe they are gonna make a secret invasion somehow

  24. Interesting and entertaining video like always! Mirroir Noir is French for Black Mirror which would suggest that the doppelgänger was a bit French. Québécois perhaps?

  25. I feel like you could have explained the original comicbook Skrulls origins, The Red Scare and McCarthyism faster and stay on theme more. The title is how the movie, Captain Marvel changed who the Skrulls are, not what the origins and real world representation of the Skrulls are. Both of those things do have a role in this video but not they should not be the majority of the video length. You get into the actual topic 23:00 minutes into the video, that is ridiculous! You change topics at 28:30. This video really should only be 6 or 7 minutes long depending on how long you make your intro and outro. Take out your manufactured plot with your "Skrull" imposter and the video should be even less.

    To boil it down, the reason Captain Marvel changed the Skrulls is 1. Captain America Winter Soldier already did it like you mentioned. Doing the Hydra invade SHIELD early in the MCU caused Marvel to make two big changes to future movies. Cap and Tony switch ideologies for Civil War and Captain Marvel's Skrulls and Kree switch roles. The Skrulls are not a warlike race who invade planets to conquer them but refugees trying to hide from the ever expanding Kree Empire. 

    What you did not mention is that there is also a second reason as to why Captain Marvel "probably" changed the Skrulls. I say probably because I don't know if this is a legit reason or not but I find it a very convenient correlation. Reason #2: Guardians of the Galaxy already introduced us to a bad, world conquering Kree. It planted the idea that the Kree are a bad, conquest seeking empire race. Even though Ronan was a rogue Kree in GOTG, he still was the first introduction to the Kree race for us. We found out in Captain Marvel Ronan wasn't a radical in the movie and defected because of his militaristic ways. He acted alongside his fellow Starforce teammates to eliminate Carol. All the Kree were ruthless and those high enough in the government to know the truth about the Skrulls were even worse. Ronan as a Starforce member would know about the true motives of the Kree Supreme Intelligence. 
    Plot wise AND already hinting at what the race actually are like is why Marvel changed who the Skrulls are.

  26. very insightful and very entertaining video full of history and facts you are my favorite youtube channel to watch and I personally think that you do not have Impostor syndrome as you put it but that you are exploring your personal development and evolution which is always a good thing

  27. I may be late to the party, but… Well done, sir. Well done. Your best video so far. #freeBasementScott

  28. They do it in Doctor Who. Hostile Aliens wish to conquer and Doctor Who which is the third doctor in the new series, says that you must have a file on me and I am protecting Earth, so do you really want to go against me. And that works the invasion is about it and the hostile aliens leave.

  29. An unjustly oppressed figure living in the basement, underneath the wooden floor? Where have I seen that before?

  30. I don't comment often and watch waaaay to few of your videos but i have to say i love your deep looks into comics and i hope you keep up this awesome work.

  31. I'll grant the fear of Communism in the Red Scare was somewhat overblown, but as we're discovering, it was founded on a core of truth. Communism is indeed taught at universities, and used to skew the results they give us, a process that is direct fraud. This needs to be stopped, not applauded.

  32. I’m still not happy that the Skrulls aren’t evil and we’ll never get the Secret Invasion storyline. That’s the one loss from this.

  33. Jump to 24:50 if you just want to know about skrulls in captain marvel without hearing this guy blabbering for 25 minutes

  34. The plot about the monsters defendign earth is taken from history

    When Harald Bluetooth sought to invade iceland he was deterred by stories of fantastical monsters defending the land.

  35. Sorry you had to do disclaimers to have an intelligent discourse in your videos. You make me wonder how much hate mail Rod Serling received in his hayday. Oh and FCUK McCarthy.

  36. It is just beyond naive to just label sides of a war, an intergalactic war at that, as good or bad. There are simply factions that work to support their interests, the conflict comes when those interests conflict with each other. Talos might be a "good" skrull, bit there are multiple galaxies with these aliens who might not be as peaceful.

  37. Should the Kree be Always Chaotic Evil race?

    n general, some were disappointed the Captain Marvel film largely did not explore the Kree society or make them more sympathetic than Always Chaotic Evil space fascists, since in the comics they have frequentely helped heroes like Nova and the Avengers in the storylines Annihilation and Infinity and they have cool giant robots and heroic characters like Noh-Varr, Ko-Rel, Bean and the Priests of Pama. Though, at least Wendy Lawson/Mar-vell was a purely heroic Kree. I mean, they turned the Skrulls into teddy bears just to make the Kree more hateful for Odin's sake.

    We need a Star Trek VI like scenario where the Kree after the Snap are put in the position of needing to make peace wih the rest of the galaxy in order to survive with Carol having to re-evaluate her angry views on them in order to protect the peace.

  38. I'm fine with how the skrulls were potrayed. In the movie it is established that the skrulls are fractured. There could be different factions.

  39. This video, and some of the comments, made me wonder: has any major comic company done a story where the various aliens just get sick of Earth's superheroes playing spoiler in their wars, both internal and external? The only piece of media I've seen that addressed at all was in Soon I Will be Invincible, and it's a minor plot point to explain why the premier superteam disbanded before the beginning of the novel.

  40. How do you think Marvel will work in a Secret Wars storyline with their current interpretation of the Skrulls?

  41. Everything id political. It's nearly impossible to make a apolitical story. And those who don't see that are just having the political themes going over their head.

  42. I think it's pretty obvious that the skrulls in Captain Marvel are an allegory to the Palestinians and changing attitudes toward them.

  43. Americans during this period: the Communists want to destroy our freedom and democracy! we must root out anyone who harbours these political beliefs!

  44. Your insight is wonderful, as always. I enjoyed the change made to the Skrulls because I find shape-shifting villains to be a headache, but pointing out the contextual irony of their paradigm shift allows me to appreciate them on a whole new level!

  45. 25:33 "Not black and white"? Are you serious? Where exactly was the gray in that "all kree are abusive, facist monsters" message?

  46. Don't criticize my brain, before my brain, criticizes my brain. If you do that we might disagree, in which case you're wrong until I realize how wrong I was(am?)
    Regardless Eff Yew! Or Eff Yea! IDK. JK. LOLOLZ.

  47. Just wanted to add this point concerning the Kree – There is some serious indoctrination going on. From a young age they're taught that Kree are right and that the Skrulls are evil. Even in the deleted scene of Yon-Rogg and the Supreme Intelligence, the Supreme Intelligence comes off as mentally and emotionally abusive as a way to insure it gets its way. It makes me think of the family that makes up the Westboro Baptish Church and other organizations like it: As soon as you think for yourself, you're disowned (or probably in the Kree's case, killed/imprisoned).

  48. Not everything needs to be political but when something is political I don't think that there is a problem pointing it out.

  49. Hmmm … Captain Marvel could almost be a complete reflection on our own government oppressing immigrants trying to find a better place to live huh?

  50. One of your best videos, man. Seriously, I love to perceive these political / cultural influences and the allegories when I read comics, specially in the 60s and 70s era.

  51. Sorry, had to thumb down this one because you crossed the line from analysing political messaging in media to pushing a political message known by its working title "Orange Man Bad".

  52. For me, it isn't the thing that comics or movies are political, that's fine, there always has been like that. The problem is that now on everything in comics and movies are so into the left.

  53. I am pretty sure there was always or at least a shallow dive beyond the surface of comics with this channel. Can't we have content from both Scotts?

  54. I do think that in many, maybe even most cases that artists don't intend to include political messages into their art. However, it's near impossible for one to divorce themselves from their beliefs, so their political and moral ideologies are reflected in their creations.

    People will still read too much into or put too much importance on some of these messages, but it doesn't mean they don't exist in the medium and that they aren't worth discussing.

  55. 6:15 and a little after..
    These are real fears that Americans have.
    Today. I dont know how youve missed it but. The red scare is back.

  56. In the 2010 Disney series, "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" the Skrulls AND the Kree were fighting over the real estate occupied by earth. Both races wanted to conquer earth. The Kree introduced Ronan – the Accuser, to judge whether earth is worth saving or should instead be destroyed. He judges the earth unworthy of being saved but before the Kree can destroy earth, the Avengers pound Ronan to the ground while S.W.O.R.D takes over the orbiting Kree ship, which is preparing to destroy earth. It's a pretty good story, which is entwined within the Kang the Conqueror story. Very Marvel-esque. Avengers – Earth's Mightiest Heroes series only lasted two seasons (produced by Boyd Kirkland, who died before the end of season 2) but was superior to all subsequent Avengers series' on Disney. (For example: The Disney series(es), "Avengers Assemble", looks like it was written for kids, with the super heroes acting like children playing in a playground. And by season 5, it had COMPLETELY jumped the shark with the whole series revolving around Black Panther.)

  57. This feels like a creative art film with layered references to things like the double and the films you mention in the video itself. Please keep making what you make because it genuinely gives me hope in this bleak absurd existence.

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