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Talos the Untamed
Cover of Fantastic Four vol. 1, 2 (Jan, 1962)
featuring the first appearance of the Skrulls
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Incredible Hulk #418
(June 1994)
Created by Peter David (writer)
Gary Frank (artist)
In-story information
Species Skrull
Place of origin Earth-616
Notable aliases Jonathan Richards

Talos the Untamed is a fictional alien appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is a well known member of the Skrulls due to not being able to shape shift. Despite this, he has become a notable adversary to various characters, both good and bad, throughout the Marvel Universe.

Ben Mendelsohn portrays Talos in the 2019 film Captain Marvel set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Publication history

The character was created by Peter David and Gary Frank and first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #418 (June 1994). His story did not get told until Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files (August 2006).

Fictional character biography

Talos, considered a Mutant by his people, is a Skrull that was born without the ability to shape shift. He made up for it by becoming one of the most feared Skrulls on his planet earning the title Talos the Untamed due to his savage and sinister nature. However, after getting captured by the Kree, he refused to commit suicide in the hopes of gaining glory for his survival. Instead, he was ridiculed and renamed the more humiliating Talos the Tamed.

Talos soon found himself at the wedding of Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler, courtesy of the Impossible Man. He found himself confronted by the Hulk and tried to get him to fight him in an attempt to reclaim glory from his people. When the Hulk found out what he was up to, he ceased fighting him. Talos left in frustration, but the Skrulls found his attempt to battle him impressive.

Talos was called to the planet Godthab Omega by Glorian where he ended up battling Devos the Devastator. They were both captured and imprisoned when the planet suddenly came under attack by the Annihilation Wave allowing the two to escape. Talos soon ran into Ronan the Accuser, whom he hated for being a Kree, but was forced to head his warning about leaving the planet. He was once again humiliated, this time by his own people, when Queen Veranke refused to allow him to be a part of the Secret Invasion due to him not having the ability to shape shift.

Talos became a member of the United Front to fight the Annihilation Wave.

Talos next showed up at Howard the Duck's private investigations in make up and a beard as Jonathan Richards. He tasks the duck with finding a necklace that was stolen by the Black Cat. When Howard finally retrieves it, Talos abandons his disguise to reveal that the necklace contains the Abundant Gems, less powerful versions of the Infinity Gems that can still make one "marginally" powerful, which he plans to use to gain favor with the Skrulls again. He was defeated by Howard and his friend Tara Tam, and apprehended by the Fantastic Four.

Powers and abilities

Unlike his Skrull brethren, Talos is incapable of shape shifting and has been branded as having a genetic defect by his people. To make up for this, he has been granted superhuman strength and durability and can hold his own against the likes of the Hulk. He possesses a cybernetic eye after losing his real one in combat.

In other media

Ben Mendelsohn will appear as Talos in the 2019 film Captain Marvel. Talos is the shape-shifting leader of the Skrull invasion of Earth, who is working undercover within S.H.I.E.L.D. as Nick Fury's boss. Mendelsohn described Talos' human persona as "buttoned up" and his natural Skrull persona as "more laid back, a bit tougher, [and] a little bit nastier." Mendelsohn elaborated, "The thing is, when you're Skrullin', there's a kind of take-no-prisoners vibe about it, which is more relaxed. [As a human] This guy’s got to follow protocol because it's S.H.I.E.L.D." When portraying Talos, Mendelsohn uses his native Australian accent, and an American accent when he is in his S.H.I.E.L.D. disguise, which Mendelsohn compared to that of American politician Donald Rumsfeld. Mendelsohn noted there was "a very lengthy discussion" regarding the accent for the Skrulls, adding "There's a certain kind of earthy correctness to an Australian delivery". It took Mendelson a "couple of hours" to have his makeup and prosthetics applied to portray Talos.