The MCU has done a lot of cosmic movies already. Guardians of the Galaxy expanded the comic book action beyond Earth with its band of funny characters. Said film introduced Ronan the Accuser, a major soldier for the Kree. Then Agents of SHIELD had the Kree play a major part in its storylines. These aliens came to Earth long ago to experiment on humanity. This explains how special “Terrigen mists” allowed humans to become super-powered Inhumans. The Kree really stepped up in season five as the team found themselves in a future where the Kree had enslaved what was left of the survivors of a destroyed Earth.
This is leading up to Captain Marvel, one of the MCU’s most anticipated films, putting the Kree front and center big time as Carol Danvers finds herself recruited as a Kree warrior. The movie should play on the Kree’s history, their long conflict with the Skrulls. Given that this is one of the oldest races in the Marvel Universe, (both in-universe and in terms of the comics,) there’s a lot of potential for story-telling. However, like so much in the Marvel Universe, there’s a lot about the Kree that non-comic fans don’t know. Even a few Marvel buffs may be unaware of some aspects to this unique culture.
20 EVOLUTION IS THEIR WEAKNESS
While strong, the Kree are less durable than humans, requiring a special chemical to breathe oxygen. In turn, the Kree don’t have the same evolutionary track as other races. This turned out to be a problem. Long ago, the Kree came to what amounted to an “evolutionary dead end.” While humanity went from Neanderthals to Cro-Magnon to Homo sapiens, the Kree have been stuck in the same DNA and form for millennia.
A millennia ago, one Kree attempted to use a living crystal to become a god-like being. The crystal retaliated by “freezing” the Kree into their present state. That’s why the Kree are so interested in Earth as they hope to use foreign DNA to correct their own problems.
19 MAR-VELL WAS THE FIRST ANIMATED KREE
While short-lived, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was hailed by fans as a fantastic series. It perfectly adapted the Marvel comics in both characters and story-lines. It’s actually Mar-Vell who first appears on the show as Ant-Man and Wasp help their old friend Carol, and her partner Phillip Lawson, investigate space signals. This brings a massive Sentry to life and Lawson reveals himself as a Kree Soldier. The Avengers are suspicious, but aid Mar-Vell in stopping the Sentry.
During the fight, Carol takes a blast of energy that changes her body. This allows her to become Captain Marvel herself later in the show. It’s a great look (with Carol in her classic 1970s costume) yet it makes sense it was Mar-Vell who was the first Captain on screen.
18 THE FANTASTIC FOUR WERE THEIR FIRST ENEMIES
It should be no shock that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Kree. The duo had already introduced the Skrulls in the Fantastic Four and thought another big alien race would be fun. While on an island vacation, the FF discover a massive robot boasting amazing powers left behind by an alien race. This was in issue #64, although the robot is simply called a “Sentry” who gives the FF a rough time before they destroy it.
The next issue has Ronan coming to Earth to explore what happened to the Sentry. He tries to “judge” the FF before they beat him back. It also introduced the Supreme Intelligence. Even Lee and Kirby had no idea how future writers would make the Kree such a huge force. Yet, like so much else in the MCU, the new movie and all its characters owe their existence to the Man and the King.
17 ULTRON ONCE RULED THEM
Annihilation: Conquest was a huge 2007 cosmic crossover. The Kree Empire was still recovering from the first Annihilation which devastated most of the galaxy. The Space Knights came to Hala with the aid of Star-Lord to use their technology to rebuild the planet. Too late, Peter Quill realized the Space Knights were actually the techno-organic Phalanx. They unleashed a virus that turned the Kree into controlled slaves and surrounded their space in a massive force field. Quill escaped to form the first version of what would become the new Guardians of the Galaxy.
Aided by Nova, Moondragon, and others, he soon found who was behind all this: Ultron. The dangerous robot had used the Phalanx in his plot to wipe out all organics. He was eventually defeated yet the fact he briefly ruled the Kree is one of Ultron’s greatest achievements.
16 THEIR EMPIRE IS VAST
They’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but the Kree remain one of the most powerful empires in the universe. It’s stated that at one point, the Empire extended to a thousand worlds and nearly two trillion inhabitants. Of course, like any far-flung empire, the Kree have had issues controlling some planets. A few have managed to break away and there are also the inevitable conflicts with other races. “Operation Galactic Storm” devastated the Kree, wiping out nearly 90 percent of their worlds’ populations and left them conquered by the Shi’ar.
The Kree have rebounded to regain their territory, but other events continue to take a toll. That said, the Kree can still count on numerous resources to expand their power and remain one of the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe.
15 IT’S MILITARY Control
Like many galactic powers, the Kree tend to look down on Earth. They dismiss humanity as divided and weak because so many nations are in conflict with one another. The Kree boast that unity is their strength. This ignores the fact that “unity” is an utter military dictatorship. They practically worship the Supreme Intelligence as a god and the military enforces everything.
There are no elections and any dissident outcry is dealt with swiftly and brutally. They are about controlling everything, including themselves. When Ronan took over, he realized he had to become an emperor as the Kree couldn’t govern themselves. Even the Inhumans were forced to have it be a monarchy as the Kree wouldn’t know how to handle a democracy.
14 THEY CREATED HULKLING
Most Hulks gain their powers from exposure to gamma radiation. Teddy Altman had never been near any in his life so he couldn’t explain how he was able to turn into a green skinned powerhouse at will. Joining the Young Avengers, Teddy was jarred when the Super-Skrull claimed he was one of their people. It turned out he was half right as Teddy’s mom was a Skrull who had secretly been protecting him.
It would turn out years before, Captain Mar-Vell had a brief affair with Skrull Princess Anelle. The Kree and Skrull are ready to wipe out Earth to get this hybrid child back, but Teddy and Super-Skrull are able to pull a trick to call it off. While happy on Earth, Teddy does have hope he can be a way to bridge the hate between Kree and Skrulls.
13 THEY RECENTLY LOST THEIR HOME WORLD
Hala has been one of the most important planets in the Marvel Universe. It circles the star Pama which the Kree once worshipped as a deity (thus their phrase “In Pama’s name”). Hala is the core world of the Kree Empire, the heart of their vast government. The Kree were once a quiet race until the Skrulls tried to turn them into slave labor. That allowed the Kree to grow more powerful while instigating a massive war. While it’s been rocked by various events, Hala was always the center of the Kree and the backbone of their rule.
That changed when Gamora was granted massive cosmic power by the Black Vortex. That set off a huge battle just as the Slaughter Lords came in to try and grab the Vortex. The conflict literally broke Hala in half, killing billions. While the Kree are trying to rebuild, the loss of their home world is a major blow.
12 MINN-ERVA HATES MARVEL
A brilliant scientist, Doctor Minerva’s genius allowed her to rise up in the normally male-dominated Kree society. She came to Earth in hopes of mating with Captain Mar-Vell as she thought their DNA could produce a new breed of Kree. Obviously, Cap wanted nothing to do with her, pushing Minerva into a criminal career.
While a gifted scientist, Minerva has no morals whatsoever and sees nothing wrong with using “lesser races” like humans as her lab rats. This has led her to clashing with Carol Danvers constantly. Minerva makes it clear she despises Carol and has often tried to use her as part of her experiments. Gemma Chan will play her in the movie and it’ll likely show how Minerva is a major part of the Marvel mythos.
11 THEY HAVE THEIR OWN AVENGERS
As a galactic power, the Kree have to maintain a strict defense of their empire. As much as they look down on Earth, the Kree have to admit the Avengers prove how a band of champions can face huge odds. More important was the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, a team of super-powered fighters. Thus, the Kree followed suit with the Starforce.
While Ronan works with them at times, he lets powered Captain Atlas be the leader. Doctor Minerva provides science know-how; Supremor is a host for the Supreme Intelligence; Korath is a top soldier and Ronan’s good friend; Ultimus is super-strong and can absorb energy; and Shatterax is a cyborg. They protected the Empire during “Operation Galactic Storm” and have returned a few times. While membership shifts, the Starforce show the Kree have their own team to take on the Avengers.
10 THEIR NAMES
The Kree names have long held a unique touch. They basically are two names linked by a hyphen as evidenced by Mar-Vell. Other Kree include Yon-Rogg and a few can be fun. For example, one Kree soldier who gets beaten down badly by the heroes is called Dee-Sea (say it out loud and you’ll get it). Another is called Att-Las, which honors Atlas Comics, the forerunner to today’s Marvel Comics. Another Kree is named Star-Lyn, a tribute to popular cosmic writer/artist Jim Starlin.
A few Kree buck this trend like Nenora, Sintaris, and Ultimus. A recent controversial retcon has been Carol Danvers discovering her mother was actually a Kree soldier who crashed on Earth. That includes revealing Carol was originally named “Car-Ell.” That can be a bit much, but it showcases how Kree names allow writers to have some fun.
9 THE WOMEN HAVE MIND POWERS
The Kree have long been a male-dominated society. Women are allowed to serve in their military but rarely do they serve in leadership roles. A few female Kree have special mind abilities which can make them more dangerous. Una-Rogg is a major Kree villainess who can drain a man’s energy with a kiss which allows her to absorb their energies and memories. As it happened, the male powers of the Empire were very uncomfortable with this, believing it to be a threat to their way of life. They thus forced female Kree to undergo an operation that destroys the “pleasure center” of the brain which is why so many Kree women are cold. It shows a true dark side to the race and why female Kree aren’t seen all too often.
8 THE SUPREME INTELLIGENCE
Many empires have a single ruler or at least a council. The Kree are different. The Supreme Intelligence looks like a giant green tentacled head inside a massive glass case. Whenever a major Kree thinker (artist, general, philosopher, etc) passes away, their brains are literally removed from their bodies and placed into a machine. That adds their intellect to the Intelligence which boasts of being the most brilliant being in the universe. It has a council to aid it, but the Intelligence (also known as Supremor) is the final word on all Kree matters.
Of course, some of its actions can be rather brutal and more than once has put its own people in danger for what it sees as the greater good. It’s seemed to have been destroyed a few times but keeps being recreated as the Kree need it as a guide. Set to debut in the movie, the Intelligence may look a bit silly but is a serious galactic force.
7 THE NEGA-BOMB
Operation Galactic Storm was a massive 1992 Avengers crossover. In it, the Avengers discover the Kree and Shi’ar Empires are going to war. Normally, the Avengers would just stay out of it. However, both sides were drawing energy from Earth’s sun to power “star warps” which threatened to cause it to go nova. Thus, the Avengers broke into teams to try and stop the conflict. It culminated in the detonation of a “nega-bomb,” a massive device that devastated the Kree Empire. Billions lost their lives to allow the Shi’ar to take over.
It turned out the Intelligence had planned this whole affair. He felt the nega-bomb was just the thing to “kick-start” the Kree’s evolutionary track. That he had to sacrifice billions of his own people to do it was a small price. A group of Avengers broke off to defeat the Intelligence to avenge so many lost (naturally, he survived). It took quite a long time for the Kree to recover from this blow.
6 THE RUUL
As noted, the Kree have tried numerous times to fix their genetic dead-end to little avail. One attempt shifted some segments of the Kree into a new race. Their blue skin was the same but now mutated so they appeared to be an entirely new race. Calling themselves the Ruul, this new race began telling other galactic powers that Earth was a major threat. They brought up the numerous cases of Earth heroes getting involved in major galactic affairs and won support. This set up the Maximum Security crossover where Earth was surrounded by a force field and turned into a prison planet for the criminals of the universe.
This was all part of the Supreme Intelligence’s overall plan to destroy Earth and absorb the power of the living planet Ego. The Intelligence would then expand the Kree to wipe out all other races. The heroes of Earth fought him off and the other galactic powers ended the “prison planet” plan. The Ruul were later explained to have reverted back to their normal Kree selves to show another “evolutionary kick” plan that failed.
5 THEY CONSIDERED MAR-VELL A TRAITOR
Genis Mar-Vell was sent to Earth as a spy and agent to see if Earth was becoming a galactic threat. He took on the identity of human Walter Lawson to fit in with his pale skin. When an alien attacked, Genis donned his uniform to fight him off as the Kree wanted Earth for themselves. Hearing him announce his name, a reporter labeled him as “Captain Marvel.” Eventually, Genis realized Earth deserved to be protected and turned on his superiors.
This had him instantly labeled a traitor to the Empire and he barely escaped a firing squad. Taking on a new uniform, Marvell protected Earth until he succumbed to cancer. Even then, the Kree weren’t willing to forgive him. In fact, the Skrulls actually honored Mar-Vell as a worthy foe while the Kree shamed his memory. No matter how he saved the entire universe, Mar-Vell could never return to his own people.
4 THEY’RE MULTI-COLORED
Usually, the Kree come in blue skins to set them apart. A few have further mutations of powers and pointed ears yet the blue skins is standard. However, there’s also a race of “pink-skinned” Kree who look like Earth Caucasians. The coloring difference isn’t just skin deep. A major belief of the Kree is that the blue skinned ones are “pure” Kree who are quite superior and make up the ruling class of the Empire. The “pink skins” are generally the grunts of the army given they’re stronger than regular Kree.
Yet the Kree hold to the idea that the “purer” blue skins are better. Indeed, mating outside the Kree species is considered a capital offense. This has led to a lot of conflict and a couple of civil wars. It showcases that even aliens can be wrapped up in their prejudices to mar Kree development.
3 THEY CREATED THE INHUMANS
Millions of years ago, as their conflict with the Skrulls began, the Kree had an outpost on what we now call Uranus. There, the scientists recognized the potential in human beings. They began experimenting on humans both in hopes of overcoming their own evolutionary issues and to create a race of super-beings to use against the Skrulls. The Kree gave up the plan when they thought the race could become a threat.
They were right to be worried as this newly advanced species broke off from humanity to live in secret. They became the Inhumans, granted super-powers by the Terrigen Mists. The Kree had long feared their secret would come back to haunt them and it was true. Black Bolt eventually got the Inhumans to conquer the Kree empire as their old shame bit them back.
2 THE ACCUSERS ARE THEIR LEGAL WARRIORS
Ronan the Accuser has been a longtime familiar face for the Kree in comics. Indeed, whenever a big Kree storyline comes along, Ronan is at the forefront. As it happens, the “Accuser” label is not a nickname but rather his title. The Accusers are basically the Kree legal system and police force put together. Each carries a hammer with various powers from ray blasts to energy scanner. Each Accuser is given the authority to enact Kree law and see justice done by any means necessary.
There are female Accusers as well as they are soldiers as well as judges. Their mantra, “know that you have been judged,” has been quite the sentence for countless aliens and even worlds. The Accusers are all highly trained and their word is literally law within the Kree Empire. Needless to say, there’s no such thing as a final appeal with these guys.
1 THEY HATE THE SKRULLS
There are beefs… and then there are beefs. Before human civilization began, the Kree and the Skrulls had been hated enemies with an on/off war that raged for a millennia. It’s doubtful either side even remembers what started the whole thing in the first place. The Skrulls claim the Kree invaded them while the Kree claim it’s the other way around. Whatever the case, each side absolutely loathes the other to the core. From childhood, every Kree citizen is taught to despise the Skrulls and the feeling is mutual.
The big Kree-Skrull War is still one of the greatest Avengers stories ever to spotlight their utter hatred. While there’s been the occasional alliance against a greater threat, it never lasts long. In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, when Thanos “snapped” half the universe out of existence, the Kree and Skrulls each assumed the other was responsible to wage war. The film appears ready to explore how the hate of these species is a fact of the universe.