Monday, October 12, 2015

Rise Of An Empress!

Before the attack of Galactus destroyed the Skrull throneworld and threw the ruling hierarchy of the Skrulls into chaos, the Skrull Empire was ruled by the iron fist of Dorrek. Unfortunately for Dorrek, he already had his own power struggle brewing, one that came to a head as he attacked the interconnected world of Xandar--dissension which sprung not from an ambitious member of the military, but from his own wife, R'klll, who became a thorn in his side and undercut his authority, humiliating him at every opportunity. And given the unexpected and effective resistance of Xandar, R'klll had a number of opportunities to assert herself, with blunt criticism of Dorrek's decisions that put at risk his standing with his soldiers.

As we can see, Dorrek, an aggressive emperor who has reined in the likes of the Super-Skrull, isn't one to suffer R'klll's insolence for long; in fact, it's likely his preoccupation with both Xandar and the Fantastic Four has kept him from turning his focus to her, for the time being. But with the Skrulls, plotting to overthrow your enemies often cuts both ways--and as the situation with the FF results in their escape from the throneworld, we discover that R'klll has plans, and ambitions, of her own.

R'klll would probably do well to keep in mind that a man who attained power by murdering the father of his prospective bride isn't going to be kept at bay by the stinging words of his wife for long. Yet when the war with Xandar escalates to such a degree that Dorrek is forced to consider withdrawing from close proximity to the battle, R'klll sees the perfect opportunity to make her bid for power.

We never learn the extent of R'klll's success or failure in the war against Xandar. Since Xandar would repel the Skrulls and continue on (at least for a time), we can assume that she eventually withdrew her forces, perhaps in an effort not to squander her political capital in what was proving to be a fruitless campaign. Yet she appeared to later establish herself as impressive and imposing an empress as Lilandra of the Shi'ar when involved in interstellar affairs.

(Though it's clear Lilandra isn't about to brook interference from anyone in a Shi'ar matter.)

It turned out that the enmity between the Kree and Skrull liaisons led to an opportunity for R'klll to broker a solution with the Kree Supreme Intelligence to end the continuing Kree-Skrull war, which had to be a feather in her cap--er, crown.

It's unclear how long R'klll's reign lasted; given time, she may or may not have turned her attention to Earth to pursue its conquest. With a truce now in effect between the Skrulls and the Kree, there would be no strategic point to it; but a spy planted in FF headquarters during Dorrek's time as Emperor had nevertheless provided an invaluable advantage too tempting to ignore for long.

Regardless, R'klll's time was fated to run out when the arrival of Galactus ended her reign, as well as the dominance of the Skrulls for some time to come. (For what it's worth, at least it appears she never had to be concerned about an assassination attempt from her pacifist daughter, Anelle.)

One last commendable note regarding R'klll--we can probably assume that Dorrek would have kept a contingency ship prepped for launch and made sure he was witnessing the throneworld's destruction from a safe distance.  (Though small comfort to the ruling family at this point!)

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