What Happens To Humans Whose Identities Are Taken By Skrulls?

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Secret Invasion episode 1.
Secret Invasion sheds light on what happens to humans whose identities are taken by Skrulls in the MCU. While the MCU made some substantial changes to the Skrulls from their introduction into the franchise, it wasn't clear how different they were from the comic Skrulls other than efforts being made to show them as more morally complex than their inked page counterparts were initially made out to be. However, Secret Invasion makes it clear that some aspects of the two versions of the figures are in fact the same.
This is because the Secret Invasion Skrull faction headed by Gravik have intentions that parallel that of the Skrulls in the Secret Invasion comic, even if the MCU storyline sees them employ different means. Indeed, Gravik's plan to destroy humanity by replacing key figures with Skrull imposters bares some striking parallels to the comics, especially in terms of building suspense for audiences. As such, it makes sense that the MCU takes care in Secret Invasion to let audiences understand just how it's possible that the Skrulls are able to replace figures so well that even those near them are unable to tell, setting the stage for some truly unexpected character reveals.
Secret Invasion Reveals How Skrulls Take Over Human Identities Secret Invasion episode 1 sheds further light on how Skrulls manage to disguise themselves as people without those around them becoming suspicious. In fact, the entire process is shown, with a Skrull named Brogan first transforming into a human target, and then taking his target's memories. Though it's been shown less overtly before, this explicitly makes the process Skrulls can use to fully take over a human identity clear - and explains how the humans in question don't end up discovering their alter ego, as they appear unconscious after the process.
That said, it's worth noting that this doesn't have to be done in order for Skrulls to change form into that of someone else, which is made especially clear at the end of the episode when Gravik transforms into Nick Fury. However, this version of the Skrull transformation process presumably comes with none of the memories or understanding of the individual transformed into, which would make it far harder to replicate them convincingly. This would also explain why Agent Prescod attacks the Skrull imposter of Everett Ross at the beginning of Secret Invasion episode 1, as it's unlikely said Skrull was able to take Ross' thoughts and mannerisms fully for their own.
What Are The Pods The Skrulls Keep Humans In? These memory probes (also known as fracking pods) have been used before by the Skrulls in the MCU - as can be evidenced by watching Captain Marvel. In the movie, the titular character was subjected to a similar looking experience so that Talos could gain access to her memories. The pods in Secret Invasion appear to be of a similar construction, though they appear somewhat even more brutal while not in the hands of someone like Talos. Indeed, the selection of unconscious humans in Secret Invasion's Skrull base serves to drive home the reality of Gravik's plot.
During the sequence wherein Brogan takes on a human's thoughts and mind, the target in question is shown placed in one of the pod-like machines before having their mind stolen. The Skrull compound is shown to have plenty of these pods, all containing unconscious humans within them. The machines are made to keep those within them docile, as the panicking man Brogan becomes the doppelganger of goes immediately still and seemingly unconscious when the machine powers on and sends a current towards his head.
How Many Humans Have Skrulls Taken Over In The MCU? G'iah helpfully sets the tone towards the ending of Secret Invasion episode 1 by explaining that there are "over a hundred" of Gravik's agents in the field. While this alone paints a picture of the huge number of Skrulls who have taken over human identities to set the MCU villain's plan in motion, it's worth considering that there will also be Skrulls who don't wish to be part of this plot who are themselves in disguise to blend in with society, putting the actual number even higher.


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