Credits: Alan Davis (plot & pencils), Terry Kavanagh (script), Mark Farmer (inker), Marie Javins (colors), Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Outside of the facsimile New York City, Nightcrawler spots the long-dead Thunderbird. He explores the area with Shadowcat, and they discover more duplicate heroes around the city. Shadowcat abducts her duplicate and has Nightcrawler teleport her to Xavier. She then explores the city’s underground, and is discovered by Thunderbird, Captain Marvel, and Adam Warlock. Meanwhile, Storm and Wolverine are attacked by Human Torch and Thing duplicates while searching for medical supplies for Marrow. Elsewhere, Xavier scans Shadowcat’s duplicate and learns she’s a Skrull. Realizing that they’re on the Skrulls’ planet in the past, the X-Men wonder if Galactus is coming.
Review: I’ve always liked this story arc. It’s not particularly deep, but it has some sharp ideas and the art is fantastic. The story is reminiscent of something Davis would’ve done in Excalibur, as the X-Men find themselves stuck on the Skrull’s planet, running into bad impersonations of Marvel superheroes circa 1981. Meanwhile, Galactus is coming to eat them all. The Skrulls have to monitor Earth’s media reports in order to learn about the heroes, so we end up with a Spider-Man inspired by Daily Bugle articles (“I am en route to perpetrate a meaningless crime even now, fellow outlaws, but I can spare time to assist your own campaign first.”) and a group of X-Men who don’t know where their headquarters is, or even who their leader is supposed to be. Not only are these scenes legitimately funny, but they’re also realistic. How would the Skrulls know which member leads the X-Men? The media reports about the team are so inconsistent, the Skrulls have no idea what to think. I remember people complaining that this wasn’t a “real” X-Men story, but it’s the type of story I wish we’d seen more often.
Credits: Alan Davis (plot), Terry Kavanagh (script), Adam Kubert (penciler), Tim Townsend (inker), Liquid! (colors), Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Gambit heads for the Skrull’s Shi’ar simulation city, hoping to find better medical care for Marrow. Meanwhile, Wolverine learns from Nightcrawler that Shadowcat is missing. Wolverine leaves on his own to search for her. He soon meets his Skrull doppelganger and steals his costume. However, security cameras expose him to the Skrulls. Meanwhile, Xavier attempts to warn the Skrulls about Galactus’ arrival. As the team follows Gambit to the Shi’ar city, the disbelieving Skrulls attack. Gambit manages to place Marrow inside a healing pod, but he’s soon discovered by the Skrulls. In the skies, Galactus’ ship arrives.
Review: It’s more running around in the Skrull world, which is fun. The gimmick doesn’t work quite as well in this issue, because Adam Kubert’s style doesn’t fit in with the look of early ‘80s Marvel, but it has its moments. The Skrull imposters of Thunderbird, Captain Marvel, and Adam Warlock tell Shadowcat that they gave up their true forms to “avoid the pitfalls of detection that have foiled our previous attempts to infiltrate other races”. Because the heroes they impersonate have now died, they live in exile, “our loyalty rewarded with a death-sentence”. It’s another example of Davis actually trying to apply logic to the Skrull’s world, and it’s pretty clever. There’s not a lot of character work here, but everything’s moving at a brisk pace and the story’s hook is strong enough to keep it interesting.