The Chitauri are a sentient species of cybernetically enhanced beings operating under a hive mind intelligence. Subservient to the overlord Thanos, they were most notable for being the first major threat to Earth that required the formation of the Avengers when they attempted to commence a planetary invasion as part of an alliance between Thanos and Loki.
Once having gained the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D., Loki was able to open a portal to Earth, with the Chitauri fleet standing by, thanks to the help of a brainwashed Erik Selvig. The Chitauri immediately started to wreak havoc on New York City, destroying buildings and gunning down civilians in the streets. The National Guard could not deploy enough troops quickly enough to counter the invasion. Luckily, the Avengers arrived, having fought Loki repeatedly in an attempt to hinder his efforts at summoning the Chitauri. Soon after their arrival, a major battle ensued between them and the Chitauri.
Not expecting such a resistance, the Chitauri were initially overwhelmed, but soon their numbers increased so much that the superheroes found some difficulties in containing them. Captain America took command of the Avengers as well as the police forces, and thanks to his command, the Avengers' powers were properly used while they fought the menace. Eventually, the World Security Council attempted to destroy Manhattan with a nuclear bomb in order to contain the Chitauri invasion, but Iron Man intercepted the bomb and disposed of it into the portal, where it impacted and obliterated the Chitauri Command Center, instantaneously disabling all Chitauri forces on Earth, thus ending the invasion.
After their defeat, pieces of Chitauri technology were recovered by both S.H.I.E.L.D. and various other parties.
Many years later, a Chitauri guarded Thanos' daughter Nebula, and was tasked with reassembling her cybernetics. It was killed when Nebula tricked it by faking a malfunction and taking it by surprise.
The Chitauri are a powerful, reptilian warrior race, a hybrid between organic beings and machines. They have a caste-like society, with each caste (nearly a different species in itself) fulfilling a different role in Chitauri society. They are controlled by a Mother Ship which never shows on the battlefield, and act as one during war. They have superhuman physical attributes, superior strategy, energy-based rifles and flying vehicles, but their main strength is in their great numbers. The Chitauri, unlike their sister species, have no sense of self preservation, as they will attack their opponents regardless of how strong they may be.
Despite the Chitauri's cybernetic augmentations, they are not seen to have any superhuman abilities such as enhanced strength, speed, or reflexes. They are seen to be agile and strong enough to climb on buildings and Leviathans with relative ease, but they were not quick nor strong enough to avoid or stand against Asgardians nor skilled Humans. They presumably have superior communication with each other via their Hive Mind, and thus are apt at strategy and coordination. Despite their interconnectedness, they are seen to be able to act independently, intelligent enough to engage in combat, assess various situations, and assist each other.
A form of ailment that plagues their race was inadvertently discovered by firefighters and apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. via a Chitauri Helmet salvaged from the Incident. Due to their half biological and half cybernetic bodies, this "virus" has both biological and cybernetic properties. It interacts with biological tissue, such as affecting nervous tissue and lying dormant in epithelial tissue, but it is transmitted by electrical shocks, such as the static of rubbing against an infected item. In humans, it causes a gradual buildup of electrostatic energy in the brain, eventually releasing a burst of 2,000 megajoules. This massive amount of energy leaves a burn mark on the forehead and just before erupting causes nearby metallic objects to float, caught in the resulting electric field. Additionally, the virus alters the host's molecular density and polarity, resulting in the affected bodies found dead floating in the air.
- Outriders - Sister Species
- Thanos - Master
- Loki † - Former Commander
- The Other †
- Black Order
- Beth - Hostage
- United States Armed Forces
- New York City Police Department
- Guardians of the Galaxy
|Appearances for Chitauri|
In chronological order:
- In the Ultimate universe, the Chitauri are a shapeshifting race kin to the Skrulls, but far more mutated and dangerous. They were one of the first threats faced by the Ultimates, but their background story reveals that they were present on Earth since World War II.
- Following their appearances in The Avengers, the Chitauri were introduced for the first time in the Mainstream Comic Universe. This version resembles much more their Cinematic counterparts.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Chitauri is similar to the Phalanx, a cybernetic alien race from the comics who communicated through a hive minded intelligence.
- The name "Chitauri" derives from Chi Tauri, the name of a binary star in the constellation Taurus.
Behind the Scenes
- Joss Whedon revealed that he chose to include the Chitauri over Skrulls or Kree because this particular race didn't have any wide background story and they could be used even for a small part.