Worst Things Marvel’s Kro Has Ever Done
Warlord Kro is the long-lived Deviant who’s been both the bitter foe and reluctant ally of the Eternals. He’s had to keep his immortality a secret from his own kind, because most Deviants have short, unstable life spans. In that respect, he has more in common with the Eternals than his own kind. One of the biggest secrets he maintains is his on-again, off-again romance with the fierce Eternal warrior Thena. One of the most ferocious fighters of her kind, she and Kro fell for each other in a pause between hostilities, and they’ve reconnected at times over millennia. Kro has revealed that he isn’t evil, per se, but that his ambition often drives him to do horrible things.
Kro is a pragmatist, serving at the pleasure of boorish Deviant rulers like Brother Tode. This often led him to do horrible things in order to please his rulers, making war against the Eternals or involving the human race in his fiendish activities. He’s also a shrewd manipulator, using Thena and his own children as part of his plans to rule the Deviants.
Kro has nearly caused the end of the world — and reality for that matter — several times, and his bitterness at having his plans of rule thwarted often leads him to extreme actions. Even if he didn’t always intend to commit such atrocities, his worst tendencies still often lead to them happening. Now, as the character gets ready to make his cinematic debut as one of the villains in Marvel’s “The Eternals” movie, let’s take a deeper dive into the worst things Warlord Kro has done.
Kro pretended to be Space Satan
Kro was present at the time of the coming of the Second Celestial Host. The Celestials are the mysterious, omnipotent space travelers who created the Eternals and Deviants by altering the DNA of humanity’s evolutionary ancestors. When the Second Host arrived 20,000 years ago, the Deviants had conquered the planet and then dared to challenge the Celestials themselves. This did not go well, as the Celestials simply flooded the Earth to wipe most of them out.
When the Fourth Celestial Host arrived, Kro did everything he could to destroy the Eternals’ beacon for the Celestials, a sort of giant landing strip. He failed and was tortured by Deviant leader Brother Tode, but he concocted a new plan. Changing his shape to add horns and using his natural red skin, it involved taking a Deviant army into the atmosphere and then landing it in New York City.
There, he declared “I’ve returned from space to claim this domain!” as he and his minions dressed up like demons and set New York ablaze, the image of Deviants as devils and demons now burned into humanity’s collective memory. With the Celestials landing on Earth, his scheme was to manipulate humanity into attacking the Celestials and hopefully destroying them, while the Deviants waited underwater. While he was thwarted by Thena and Makkari, he was successful in pushing the idea of connecting the Space Gods with his “space devils.”
Kro mind-controlled Thena
When Thena became leader of the Eternals, she was the only one who knew she had freed Kro from the fate of being blasted into space. Unbeknownst to her, he slipped her a brain mine, a sort of Deviant mind-control device. He set it so that it would subtly influence her decisions, softening her general behavior as the greatest warrior of the Eternals.
Kro is the sort of fellow who wants it all and isn’t shy about doing what it takes to get it. After the humiliation of having to serve Brother Tode for so long, he was now in line to become ruler of the Deviants. He also knew he had one shot at claiming Thena as his true love, so he implanted the brain mine at a very low level of influence, just enough to impact her decision-making and push Thena firmly into his corner after years of undying fealty to the Eternals.
When Kro was forced by Ghaur to lead the Deviants against the Eternals, Ikaris was on the verge of destroying them all, once and for all, with a super-weapon. However, Thena intercepted the deadly beam of light and saved Kro. When the Eternals tracked hi, down, she attacked Ikaris and stopped them from killing Kro, making both of them renegades. When Ghaur’s scheme was revealed and the only way to stop it was a Uni-Mind, Kro had to free Thena so she could join it — and she was furious.
Kro nearly destroyed reality
Ghaur returned from the dead and took control of Deviant Lemuria, their kingdom under the water. Ghaur was able to take control because he promised he could fix the Deviants’ most pressing problem: the widespread sterility of all Deviant males. Kro pretended to work closely with him, even as he worked in secret with another Deviant who was scheming to take control: the exile Ereshkigal.
Ershkigal had stolen a weapon of nearly infinite power from the ruins of Asgard, called the Unbinding Stone of Oshemar. It was brought into our universe by the creator of the stone, who was also the sole surviving member of his universe. The Stone had the capacity to destroy everything in its path, but there was no way to stop its annihilation.
As Ereshkigal tried to figure out how to activate it, hoping to get control of Lemuria, Kro found her and talked his way into getting his hands on the stone. Covered in runes, Ereshkigal kept trying to figure out a verbal command for the stone. The long-lived Kro recognized the language and knew it was from another dimension. Furthermore, he remembered it was a race of telepaths who built it, so the stone was touch-activated.
Well, he managed to activate it and nearly destroyed the entire universe when he did. He regretted his thirst for power that led him to this point. Luckily, Thor saved the day with anti-metal Vibranium, allowing Kro to rule after all.
Kro pretended to be a Hitler-style dictator
The Warlord Kro’s first official appearance came in “Eternals” #1, in 1976. However, it was later retconned that the World War II superhero, first named Mercury, was actually the Eternal Makkari. Of course, in his first appearance, Mercury was sent by Zeus to battle his cousin Pluto, god of the underworld. However, given the ways in which both Deviants and Eternals have been mistaken for gods, this was yet another “mix-up” in the telling. Pluto would later be revealed as a disguise for Warlord Kro.
In Mercury’s first appearance, he was sent by Zeus to punish Pluto’s interfering with the human race. He had taken the form of the dictator of a certain Teutonic nation called “Prussland,” and sought to make humans fight each other as brutally as possible. He called himself Rudolph Hendler, a barely-disguised swipe at Hitler, but this was 1940, when being anti-Hitler sentiment was still somewhat controversial.
Mercury tracked Hendler down and tried to literally strangle him, but Hendler’s guards chased him away. He responded by using his super-speed to destroy the infrastructure of the Prussland army, steal secrets, and thwart U-boats. Eventually, he prevented any orders from reaching the frontlines, resulting in an armistice. Kro had the ability to change his shape and tried to manipulate humanity into fighting wars, so this retcon made some degree of sense, even if things were a bit exaggerated.
Kro killed people on subways with Death boxes
Kro kept on evil-doing in his various devilish disguises. One of his more brutal escapades came in a place called Groton City, where its subway cars kept getting into gruesome accidents. Mercury/Makkari had taken on the superhero name of “the Hurricane” and the secret identity of “Mike Cury.” Makkari saw an “infernal Death Box” in the wreckage of a destroyed subway car. The Hurricane tracked one of Pluto’s men named Scarface Rispoli to his hideout, beating up the gang as he pumped them for information.
He learned that their boss, one “S. Devile,” was staying in a downtown hotel. Kro went a tad over the top in his whole devil disguise, complete with a red tunic, pencil-thin mustache, and red, pointy cap. Kro was ready for the hero, using sleeping gas on him. The villain nearly managed to destroy two lines’ worth of subway cars, but Hurricane/Makkari woke up and stopped him just in time. Then Makkari punched him so hard that S. Devile was launched into the atmosphere, and that was the last time “S. Devile” bothered the Hurricane, but certainly not the last time Kro fought Makkari.
Kro unleashed monsters on the world
After failing to destroy humanity in the 1940s, Kro tried some new tactics in the ’50s. Once again, Makkari was there to stop him as the Hurricane, but this time around, Makkari had some new allies. Under his government guise of Mike Curry (and Mike Curtiss), he recruited a young Dr. Druid, Ulysses Bloodstone, and Zawadi of the Wakandas to help him hunt down some monsters. Each had defeated monsters on their own, with Bloodstone cleverly dispatching a giant, intelligent ant who threatened to summon a swarm to devour a city.
This new rash of monsters unleashed on the world was the doing of Kro, of course. Using a mix of monstrous Deviant mutates and controlling other creatures with brain mines, Kro actually allied with Communist saboteurs to destroy America. Or rather, he was looking to inflame Cold War tensions and ignite a war that would destroy humanity. He turned the giant ape Gorgilla against humanity with a brain mine. When Makkari’s monster hunters destroyed the mind-control advice, the ape went after his would-be masters.
Kro lured the heroes to Monster Island, where he captured Makkari and set out to torture him. The other heroes stormed and caused a distraction. Kro unleashed more monsters, but Makkari and his friends defeated him. Kro’s plot to cause worldwide paranoia with monsters was foiled, but he did inadvertently create a new menace; the frustrated explorer who would become the Mole Man tracked them to Monster Island.
Kro imprisoned the Eternals
After Zuras, leader of the Eternals, sacrificed himself to defend humanity against the judgment of the Fourth Celestial Host, the grieving Eternals returned to their home in Olympia. An elite force of Deviants had observed Zuras’ death and took the opportunity to get the drop on the Eternals, rendering them all unconscious with brain mines.
Iron Man (then Jim Rhodes) was summoned to Olympia. Thinking he was a robot, Kro had his men attack Iron Man, but he gave them the slip. He then saw Kro atomize an Eternal, feeding his energy to the Deviant leader Brother Tode. Tode and the other Deviant elite hoped to gain immortality by siphoning off the Eternals’ energy, which horrified Iron Man.
Rhodey then watched Kro unfreeze Thena from paralysis, offering to run off with her if she would leave this all behind. She refused, so he put her back under brain mine sedation, but Iron Man freed her when Kro left. Iron Man woke Thena up, but she was insane, nearly killing Rhodes and destroying his armor in a rampage before Kro put her down again. Rhodes managed to rebuild his armor with the help of an Eternal computer, and he freed the Eternals.
They made quick work of the Deviants and turned them into a single mass of matter, which they planned to dispose of in outer space. Thena spared Kro despite all that he did in nearly exterminating the Eternals, even if he did it under orders.
Kro accidentally helped Ghaur gain the power of a Celestial
When Kro sought to rule Lemuria after the death of Brother Tode, he had to be nominally approved in order to become king by the Deviant High Priest, Lord Ghaur. The priests were regarded as a slightly ineffectual class in Lemuria, but that was all a ruse. While Kro ruled Lemuria in theory, Ghaur was working in secret to obtain real power. Because Kro was obsessed with maintaining the throne, he went along with Ghaur’s little side tasks, which included obtaining for him a flask that contained the essence of a certain Celestial.
That would be the Dreaming Celestial, whose brothers had buried him under California millennia earlier for daring to question their mission. While he dreamed, his life force was guarded elsewhere. Kro stole it and brought it to Ghaur, who used its power to become almost as powerful as a Celestial. An all-powerful Ghaur was a big enough problem on its own, but he was just a pawn. The Dreaming Celestial guided him to California in order to awaken him for his terrible vengeance.
It took the combined force of the West Coast Avengers and an Eternals Uni-Mind to stop Ghaur from opening the Dreaming Celestial’s chamber. While Kro helped win the day when he released Thena from being his mind-slave, his ambitions had nearly destroyed the world.
Kro buried Ikaris at the bottom of the ocean
While Warlord Kro isn’t as cruel and sadistic as the other Deviants, that isn’t to say he’s very nice. Nor does he care much about either humanity or the Eternals. When he attacked New York City as part of a plan to pit humans against the Celestials, he was frustrated because the Eternals were immediately there to get in his way. That started with Ikaris, who foolishly took on Kro’s entire army single-handedly, getting plastered with a brain mine for his troubles.
Kro knew that he didn’t have the means to kill Ikaris, since Eternals are exceedingly hard to kill, but he could keep him out of the way for a long time. He and his men loaded Ikaris into a torpedo and aimed it at the bottom of the ocean. He would have been perfectly content leaving Ikaris down there forever, but Sersi forced a group of Deviants to tell her where Ikaris had been sent, and she rescued him. Meanwhile, Kro formed a truce with Thena, as she was once again the only Eternal he had any interest in talking to. Ikaris was understandably incensed when he came back and a truce had been made, but for Kro, it was just another day at the office.
Kro tried to steal Mjolnir
When the Fourth Celestial Host landed on Earth, Thor eventually caught wind of it and decided to investigate. After a scuffle with Ajak, the Eternal who served the Celestials, as well as a human SHIELD agent and the Deviant Ereshkigal, Thor escaped the dome that surrounded the Celestials. Returning to New York, he was met by the Karkas, the Deviant mutate who became a friend of the Eternals. He learned that Kro had kidnapped Thena, Ikaris and the human Margo Damian, threatening her life in order to get Ikaris to surrender.
Thor found Sersi, who had captured a Deviant, and they hatched a plan to capture Kro. The three of them burst into Kro’s subterranean lair, but Sersi ran off. The Deviants downed Karkas and Kro threatened to kill him if he didn’t immediately surrender his hammer Mjolnir to Kro. Though it seemed impossible, Thor handed his mighty weapon to the Deviant warlord, and he held it high.
Bringing his party before Brother Tode, he offered Thena her freedom if she’d join him, which she refused. That’s when the trap was sprung: Sersi revealed that she was pretending to be Thor via an illusion, and Don Blake came out of the shadows to grapple with Mjolnir — now revealed to be Blake’s walking stick. Striking the staff on the ground, he turned back into Thor and the gang easily trounced the Deviants. Poor Kro. In daring to steal Mjolnir, he thought he was going to become all-powerful.