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When Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke joined the cast of the upcoming MCU Disney+ series Secret Invasion, fans immediately asked, “Who is she playing?” And when the rumor mill suggested that she would play Veranke, many fans had a follow-up question: “Who is Veranke?” Over the years, the MCU has not been afraid to dig deep into the comics to find obscure and exciting characters. While you may not know Veranke’s name, you’ll soon see why she’d potentially be a great MCU villain and a fitting role for Clarke.

In short, Veranke is the queen of the Skrull Empire who served as the primary villain of the 2008 crossover Secret Invasion. For fans of the MCU, Skrulls are a relatively recent and largely sympathetic alien race. They first showed up in Captain Marvel, and while they initially clashed with Brie Larson’s Vers and the other members of Kree special forces, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his fellow Skrulls soon revealed themselves to be refugees, seeking shelter from the imperialist Kree. The Kree of the comics may be as militant as their MCU counterparts (governed by a giant green head in a jar instead of Annette Benning), but Marvel Comics have rarely used the Skrulls as anything but bad guys.

Since their debut in 1961’s Fantastic Four #2, the Skrulls have been Marvel’s first and most important evil alien race. Initially, shapeshifters who troubled Marvel heroes, the Skrull soon were revealed to be a military force, rallying behind warriors such as Kl’rt the Super-Skrull, who had all the powers of the Fantastic Four. Although later stories would show the Kree’s part in transforming the Skrulls from peaceful explorers to conquers in their own right, most stories position the Skrulls as bad guys.

Varenke came to power after her religious zeal got her banished to a prison planet by Emperor Dorrek VII. After Dorrek VII died in Galactus’s destruction of the Skrull throneworld, Varenke’s popularity grew, allowing her to establish a theocracy. But that’s not how readers first met Veranke. Upon its initial release in 2004, no one reading New Avengers #1 would have recognized Veranke, or any other Skrull, because she took the form of Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman.

Source: Den of Geek

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