Necessary Evil: Marvel 1999
A Brief History of the Alien Invasion
The invasion began in 1993. In the U.S., Bill Clinton had just been elected president, capitalizing on economic frustration and voter fatigue after 12 years of Republican stewardship of the White House. The Cold War was over and the economy showed nascent signs of recovery from the recent recession. In New York City, it had been years since the last massive superhuman-related disaster — most people were convinced that even the demonic siege of Manhattan in 1989 was all just a shared hallucination.
The climate of optimism came to an end with the appearance of the dimensional portals. There was no prelude and no demands. The creatures just poured out and attacked, focusing first on military targets. They were a strange race of saurian cyborgs called the Chitauri. They were the stuff of nightmares to most and it was impossible to predict when and where their portals would appear.
With conventional forces unable to cope, Earth’s superheroes fought back immediately. The Chitauri were terrifying, but no one ever doubted the heroes would win out in the end. After all, aliens and other threats had attacked the Earth many times before, and earth’s defenders had always emerged triumphant.
But the Chitauri possessed advanced technology and savage bloodlust, so the losses were heavy and the war raged on for almost a year. New York became a war zone, Tokyo burned, and even Wakanda with its wealth and Vibranium-based defenses was rubbled. Earth’s heroes began to worry.
Then came the turn of the tide the people had come to expect in these epic wars of aliens and supermen. Advance forces of another alien race arrived in earth orbit — the Kree, a scientifically and technologically advanced militaristic race. A decade ago, Earth’s heroes helped the Kree leadership, the Supreme Intelligence, bring an end to their millennia-long war with the shapeshifting Skrull. Now, the Kree announced, they would repay the favor. The Kree claimed the Chitauri were rampaging mercenaries who ravaged world after world, but the Kree had fought them before and would help Earth against them now.
The world’s greatest superheroes, the Avengers, flew into space to meet the Kree. When they returned, Captain America gave a stirring speech that called for humanity to hold out for just a bit longer. They did, though the final cost in blood was great.
The Kree deployed ground forces with the technology to predict the appearance of Chitauri dimension portals. Wherever the Chitauri arrived, the Kree fought titanic battles alongside Earth’s heroes to drive them back. At the end of each encounter, Kree technology served to seal the portals for good. Across the globe, television networks carried images of the victories.
Humanity cheered their saviors and welcomed the advanced alien protectors with open arms. Anxious youths danced in the streets, proclaiming an era of peace and love. Less trusting commentators were booed and mocked in the national press. And some appeasement-minded governments even offered the aliens the figurative keys to their states.
Of course that’s just what the Kree wanted all along. In every major city, heroes and world leaders joined together to welcome the aliens. The crowds cheered as the Kree ships appeared overhead. Every superhero, sidekick, president, and even stars of sports, movies, and music attended these grand galas. The people of earth cheered as they watched their heroes greet the alien saviors on the news networks.
The cheers turned to screams when the Kree ships opened fire on the gathered throngs. Moments afterward, the Chitauri portals reopened and the cybernetic savages returned — servants of the Kree Empire.
Some of Earth’s best known heroes — the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X-Men — were standing before the cameras when the Kree hit. These groups were targeted directly with concentrated Uni-Beam energy weapons that turned the heroes into a pulpy mass. The massive death rays then swept over the gathered throngs, slaying thousands of heroes, officials, generals, and innocents in moments.
Within 30 minutes, the unthinkable had occurred. Earth’s greatest heroes were dead and its leaders vaporized. The Kree even targeted Earth’s great criminal masterminds— Doctor Doom, Magneto, Apocalypse — bombarding their palaces, headquarters, and hideouts from orbit with their Nega-Bombs.
The aliens had won.
Live Kree or Die
Soon, televisions and radios around the world carried an announcement from the admiral of the Kree fleet, Ronan the Accuser. Earth was now under the control of the Kree Empire. Resistance would be met with death.
The Kree Empire, they claimed, needed Earth’s resources (see, however, the real reason for the invasion). So they devised a way to study our defenses, and then take them out with a surprise strike of surgical precision. They succeeded flawlessly. They claimed destroying more of our infrastructure and our people would counterproductive to their goal, gaining a new self-sufficient source of raw resources.
The Kree placed Governors in charge of the former nations of Earth. These Governors co-opted the remnants of Earth’s law enforcement and militaries, including surviving agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., to maintain order among the civilian human population. The invaders and their Chitauri servants concentrated on rounding up the surviving superheroes.
Fugitive squads ensured that anyone exhibiting superhuman abilities would be placed in centralized prison camps. The aliens appropriated the former U.S. Government’s Sentinel technology and put the giant robots to work tracking down and apprehending mutants. They even imprisoned some people with no obvious abilities or signs of superpowers. Rumors arose that the Kree were taking detainees out of the camps and shipping them off-world, never to be seen again.
Five Years Later
The year is 1999 and the world has been under Kree rule for five years. Global economic collapse has made the Great Depression look like a minor downtick. Radio and television are monitored and run by Kree censors. Human bureaucrats who co-operate with the aliens are rewarded with luxury goods and advanced technology, while ordinary citizens use 19th century means to eke out a meager living.
The aliens have quashed various resistance movements over the years. Humans who had extraordinary abilities and used them for altruistic reasons used to be known as superheroes. Now somewhere around 98% of them are gone — killed or placed in the camps. The Kree and their Chitauri servants are our overlords. There isn’t a single government left to oppose them, and they feel they have nothing to fear from Earth.
But they are wrong.
Earth’s heroes are dead, but there are other beings with extraordinary abilities on our planet. They were experts at avoiding capture long before the aliens invaded.
They are supervillains. And they are a necessary evil.