Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Ultimates #8 (November 2002)
Created byBryan Hitch
Mark Millar
Notable membersSee Known Chitauri
Inherent abilitiesUltimate: Shapeshifting

The Chitauri (/ɪˈtri/) are a fictional race of extraterrestrial shapeshifters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, specifically in Ultimate Marvel. They were created by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch[1] for the Ultimate universe franchise in place of the existing Marvel Comics alien species, the Skrulls, which play a similar role in the franchise's mainstream continuity. Marvel later chose to distinguish between the Skrulls and Chitauri of the Ultimate universe. The race first appeared in Ultimates #8 (Nov 2002),[2] and later had counterparts on Earth-616.

The species was also adapted to other media, most notably for films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fictional species biography


The race called Chitauri appeared as Ultimate Marvel's (Earth-1610) counterpart to the Skrulls. They are a shapeshifting alien species who have attempted to conquer the Earth, most notably during World War II and again in the early 21st century.

The Chitauri claim to be part of "the immune system of the Universe", wiping out disorder and free will wherever they find it. They seem to prefer to act behind the scenes, mimicking and influencing the social and military methods of the species they are currently infiltrating. For example, they aided the Nazis in their attempt at world conquest by providing them with the technology to create a nuclear bomb carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile. However, this attempt was thwarted by the prototype super-soldier codenamed Captain America. Through the entire conflict of World War II, the Chitauri were being driven out of their operations in Africa and Europe, even from their main Japanese training camps in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Following the end of the war, the Chitauri withdrew to make new plans.

The next attempt at conquest was more subtle (at first), involving long-term methods of manipulation such as will-inhibiting drugs in many nations' water supplies, influencing the media, and R.F.I.D. (radio-frequency identification) microchips to be implanted in schoolchildren, among other means. The Chitauri also infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D., particularly the Psi-Division which could telepathically ferret out Chitauri agents. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to detect some of the low-ranking "drone" staff of the aliens, disguised as common office workers, and wiped them out in an assault led by Black Widow and Hawkeye.

The Chitauri planted false information through the compromised Psi-Division that led S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Ultimates into a trap on a small Micronesian island; due to the combined efforts of Iron Man and Thor, the Ultimates, Nick Fury and a handful of S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers survived, but thousands of S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers were killed and dozens of Helicarriers were destroyed.

The Chitauri then counterattacked by infiltrating the Triskelion and capturing The Wasp. The Chitauri leader (known only by his former Nazi identity as Herr Kleiser) took the Wasp to a hidden Chitauri base in Arizona. However, their location was given away when a fleet of damaged Chitauri starships suddenly entered Earth's atmosphere to hover above the formerly secret base, claiming that they were fleeing major defeats across the galaxy by their intergalactic enemies and that the remainder of their forces are forced to the "backwaters" of the Milky Way Galaxy (i.e. Earth's Solar System). Disregarding Herr Kleiser's long efforts, the Chitauri ordered him to destroy Earth and the Solar System with a doomsday bomb as part of a scorched-earth policy and retreat to the "lower fourth-dimension". The Ultimates and all available S.H.I.E.L.D. and military forces immediately converged on the alien fleet.

At the same time, Captain America battled his old enemy Kleiser, but was unable to defeat him alone. At Captain America's urging/mocking of Kleiser touching Betty Ross (Hulk's crush), the Hulk was able to beat, chop, and devour Kleiser. It is presently presumed that the combination of the Chitauri's series of intergalactic defeats and the destruction of the Chitauri fleet on Earth spelled the complete and total defeat of the alien race.[3]

During the Chitauri-Kree War, an entire Chitauri (whose true forms resemble their Avengers counterparts) armada was fighting their enemies when they encountered Gah Lak Tus. When their ships were being heavily damaged by the entity, a rift in the fabric of reality brought a being from another universe, which called itself Galactus. Gah Lak Tus merged with the visitor, and created an even more powerful Galactus with need to feed.[4]


A new iteration of the Chitauri (inspired by their portrayal in The Avengers film) first appeared in the mainstream Earth-616 continuity and unlike their Earth-1610 counterpart, they are a distinct species from the Skrulls. Most of them are simple-minded dogged creatures, similar to insects, to the point of following a queen.[5]

The Chitauri first appeared as enemies of the new Nova.[6][7] Nova was able to defeat an entire Chitauri armada and Titus with the Ultimate Nullifier that he stole from them in the first place. They are currently holding Nova's father Jesse as an hostage on a planet similar to Saturn.[8]

The Chitauri have Jesse Alexander captive on their planet Chitauri Prime as one of the Chitauri's slaves that fight in their gladiatorial arena.[9]

The Chitauri are revealed to have made a Chitauri clone of Jesse Alexander (Nova/Sam Alexander's father) which also has Jesse's memories.[10]

At the time when Captain America's memories were rewritten by Red Skull's clone using the powers of Kobik to be a Hydra agent, Red Skull's clone had Captain America steal some Chitauri eggs to lure the Chitauri to Earth so that they can raze it. The Alpha Flight Space Program had to fight the Chitauri swarms where they took out four different swarms in a month.[11]

During the "Civil War II" storyline, a larger Chitauri swarm was defeated by Quasar where it was predicted that a much larger Chitauri swarm will appear that will be larger than the Annihilation Wave.[12]

During the "Secret Empire" storyline, the Chitauri arrived at Earth where the Alpha Flight Space Program, the Ultimates, Quasar, and Hyperion of Earth-13034. As Hydra began its takeover, Captain America activated the Planetary Defense Shield trapping the Chitauri and those fighting them outside of Earth.[13] As those trapped outside of Earth continue fighting the Chitauri, they are unable to convince the representatives on the Galactic Council into helping them against the Chitauri.[14] As Spectrum tells Captain Marvel that they are able to make inter-dimensional supply runs and have found the location of the Chitauri Queen Eggs, the waves of Chitauri and their Leviathans are increasing in size and frequency leaving the technicians without enough time to fix the severe structural damage to the station. Monica suggests that America Chavez relocate the heroes and people stuck outside the Planetary Defense Shield to an alternate reality given the Intergalactic Council in their reality are unsympathetic to Earth's plight. Captain Marvel rejects this idea stating the heroes were charged with a mission to protect the Earth against the Chitauri invasion and they are the only thing standing in the way if the Planetary Defense Shield were to go down for some reason. Captain Marvel then turns her attention to a comatose Avril Kincaid who we find out did survive being swallowed by the Leviathan and was pulled out of the wreckage by Nova. Captain Marvel admits her fault in the situation and the raising of the Planetary Defense Shield and pleads for Avril to wake up because the team desperately needs the strength of her powers.[15] After Quasar awakens from her coma thanks to Sam Wilson using the Cosmic Cube fragment he had to find a way to take down the Planetary Defense Shield, she takes down the Planetary Defense Shield allowing Captain Marvel to fly to the location of the Chitauri eggs which she destroys.[16]

Known Chitauri

Earth-1610 version

Earth-616 version

Powers and abilities

The Chitauri were able to mimic human form and absorb human knowledge, by sucking the organs or brains out of the humans they imitated, as seen in a scene from the first movie, where a Chitauri pulls a military officer onto the roof of a building, stabs the officer's gut, and starts to suck something out. In their natural form, they appear to be large and reptilian, but no clear images of their native form have been shown.


Millar's conception of the Chitauri was inspired by the British conspiracy theorist David Icke.[20]in his interview with Credo Mutwa, Icke learned of the Chitauri and believes the world is secretly run by an elite called the Illuminati who are in reality shape-shifting reptilian humanoids.[21] The term Chitauri to describe these shape-shifting reptilian humanoids was taken from Icke's The Reptilian Agenda, where Zulu Shaman and historian Credo Mutwa and David Icke reveal the story of the Chitauri (reptilian) takeover of planet Earth and how a shape-shifting Chitauri (“Talker”) race has controlled planet Earth for thousands of years. Essentially, the term Chitauri is the Shona term meaning “talker” in reference to the reptilians, as shown above in the two different meanings referenced in parentheses.[22]

Comparison with Skrulls

Another race called Skrulls, physically resembling the Skrulls of the mainstream Marvel universe, appear later (led by the billion-year-old Skrull Emperor, Kl'rt); these Skrulls dislike being confused with the Chitauri, whom they call terrorists. They have extremely advanced technology, but have not been observed to shapeshift. These Skrulls were seen only in an alternate timeline in which Reed Richards contacted their world via his teleporter. The events leading to that timeline were altered in Ultimate Fantastic Four #29, and contact was never made.[23]

In other media



The Chitauri appear in Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers 2. This version of the species are dark green reptilian creatures who can generate fire blasts from their hands and largely lack shapeshifting abilities, with the exception of their leader Herr Kleiser (voiced by Jim Ward). In the second film, the Chitauri attempt to destroy Wakanda, but are ultimately defeated and imprisoned in Vibranium.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Chitauri appear in live-action media set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This version of the species are grey reptilian humanoids with bio-mechanical physiology who lack shapeshifting abilities and are allied with Thanos through his vizier, a hooded being called the "Other" (portrayed by Alexis Denisof). Their technology ranges from hovercraft-like skimmers and Necrocraft, to living airborne troop carriers called Leviathans that are all neurally linked with a mothership.

Video games


The MCU version of the Chitauri appear in the Marvel Universe LIVE! arena show.[28]


  1. ^ The Ultimates #8
  2. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  3. ^ The Ultimates #8–13. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ a b c d Hunger #1. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Captain America: Steve Rogers #8. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ "The Chitauri Invade Loeb and McGuinness's NOVA #4". 10 April 2013.
  7. ^ "'Avengers' Villains The Chitauri To Make Marvel Debut In 'Nova' #4". MTV. 10 April 2013.
  8. ^ Nova vol. 5 #5. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Nova vol. 5 #25. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Nova vol. 6 #5. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Captain America: Steve Rogers #8-10. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Civil War II: The Oath #1. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Secret Empire #0. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Secret Empire #3. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Secret Empire #7. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ Secret Empire #8. Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ a b c Ultimates #11. Marvel Comics.
  18. ^ Ultimates #10. Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ Nova vol. 5 #29. Marvel Comics.
  20. ^ Godfrey, Alex (August 8, 2013). "Kick-Ass 2: Mark Millar's superhero powers". The Guardian. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  21. ^ Tappin Coelho, Janet (December 21, 2006). "So was David Icke right?". Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  22. ^ "Dr Credo Mutwa On Africa's Chitauri Aliens | Interesting History Facts". 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-09-03.
  23. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four #27–29 (2004)
  24. ^ "The Underdog: Kevin Feige on 'The Avengers'". 2 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Loki's alien army finally identified". 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  26. ^ Webb, Kevin. "'Fortnite' teamed up with Marvel for a limited-time 'Avengers: Endgame' mode — here's what it's like to play". Business Insider. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  27. ^ Goslin, Austen (April 26, 2019). "How to win in Fortnite's new Avengers: Endgame mode". Polygon. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  28. ^ Wheatley, Cliff (19 November 2013). "Marvel Universe LIVE! Reveals Villain Characters". IGN.
Preceded byRed Skull Marvel Cinematic Universe film villain (with Loki) 2012 Succeeded byAldrich Killian