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The Chitauri are the secondary antagonists in the 2012 action film The Avengers. They are part of Loki's Army.

Appearances

Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Avengers

The Chitauri are a powerful, technologically-advanced race of extraterrestrial cyborg-like creatures, and they serve Thanos. They were trapped for eons in the dead space between dimensions. The Chitauri have waited, planning and building for the day their ruler would lead them back into the world of light and life. When the Mad Titan allies himself with the exiled Asgardian Loki Laufeyson, the Chitauri are granted to him as his personal army to conquer Earth and gain the Tesseract.

Once gained the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D., Loki is able to open a portal to the Chitauri's world, thanks to the help of a brainwashed Erik Selvig. The Chitauri immediately start to wreak havoc and destruction on New York, destroying buildings and attacking civilians in the streets. They quickly established superiority in the city before any significant military force can respond. Soon after their arrival, The Avengers appear, and a major battle begins.

Not expecting such a resistance, the Chitauri are initially overwhelmed, but soon their numbers increase so much from the portal that the superheroes find some difficulties in containing them. Captain America takes command of the Avengers as well as the local police forces, and thanks to his command, the Avengers' powers are properly used as well as displayed while they face the menace. Hawkeye positions himself on top of a building and takes out several Chitauri flyers, Thor bottlenecks the Chitauri's advance using lightning storms, the Hulk smashes Levithians, Iron Man focuses on establishing general air superiority, and Captain America and Black Widow fight off numerous Chitauri infantry on the bridge. SWAT teams and patrol officers also fall back and hold Thirty Ninth Street against a Chitauri platoon, stalling the Chitauri advance and allowing civilians to escape.

Eventually, the World Security Council decides to blow up Manhattan with a tactical nuclear weapon in order to contain the Chitauri's invasion at the cost of the civilians' lives as collateral damage there, much to Nick Fury's chargin. Despite Fury's attempts to stop it, a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. harrier under orders from the Security Council launches off the carrier and fires a small nuclear missile at the city. Iron Man chooses to bravely intercept the missile and dispose of it. Stark manages to intercept the missile and throw it through the portal, where it blows up Chitauri's fleet, including their Mother Ship, without sacrificing Manhattan to do so. This evidently cuts the link off from the aliens' collective minds and kills all the Chitauri in the immediate vicinity on the other side of the portal. Later, news channels confirm the invasion as genuinely extraterrestrial.

Marvel One-Shot: Item 47

A husband and a wife found a Chitauri weapon and used it to rob banks. However, SHIELD caught them and worked on experimenting the technology.

FZZT

A Chitauri helmet was recovered after the Battle of New York and contained a virus that is transmitted by electrostatic.

Iron Man 3

The Chitauri were referred to as aliens and glimpsed in Tony's nightmare.

Guardians of the Galaxy

A Chitauri warrior was shown in a case, in the Collector's collection.

Captain America: Civil War

Chitauri attacking New York was seen in the footage of Thunderbolt Ross showed the Avengers as one of the reasons the Sokovia Accords.

Marvel Animated Universe

Ultimate Spider-Man

The Chitauri serve Korvac as troop, they fight against the Guardians, Spider-Man and Nova because they seek to destroy the entire galaxy. After a fierce fight, the Chitauri and Korvac are defeated.

Avengers Assemble

The Impossible Man says that the Chitauri are the most hostile race of the galaxy. The Chitauri go to Earth to kill the Impossible Man since he made a documentary about them. The Avengers fight against the Chitauri but thanks to Falcon and Impossible Man, they managed to defeat them.

Character traits

The Chitauri are a warrior race, a hybrid between organic beings and machines. They're controlled by a Mother Ship which never shows up on the battlefield, instead preferring to stay in the Chitauri's own dimension, far away from the conflict. Other than being minions to Loki, the Chitauri are never really elaborated upon, but it is known that they have superhuman physical abilities, as they are seen several times climbing up buildings. However, they still seem to be no more durable than an average human, and are seen being dispatched by a variety of weapons including bullets, blunt objects, and explosives. Notably, they seem to like getting into close combat when possible.

It is not known to what degree the Chitauri are sentient, and to what degree they are just bio-mechanical drones of Thanos. Their cybernetic enhancements, as well as the fact that they're vitally linked to the mother ship, seems to imply that they are little more than slaves. One is seen fumbling with a grenade and getting scared when it goes off in his face, meaning that they are able to react to and perceive danger like sentient beings. When the first Leviathan to come through the wormhole is destroyed by The Avengers, the Chitauri react with, what seems like, rage. They also appear to scream in pain when they die, and bleed when hurt. They are as frail as humans, much like their comic book counterparts.

It's heavily implied by The Other that the Chitauri's military intelligence gravely underestimated the human forces, even discounting the presence of The Avengers.

Weaponry and Vehicles

The service rifle of the Chitauri is a long, thin weapon with a bayonet on the end. These weapons seem to be plasma based and are fired semi-automatically. The weapon is simple to operate, and humans (namely Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton) have been seen using it without much trouble. Chitauri infantry also appear to be equipped with armor, but not in vital spots. This leaves them vulnerable to bullets, arrows, and other ranged weaponry. They also employ an arm cannon similar to a grenade launcher (dubbed Item 47 by S.H.I.E.L.D.)

The main aircraft employed by the Chitauri is a small, flying chariot-like vehicle crewed by a single Chitauri warrior hooked up to the craft via a neural interface, with room for three passengers. On the front of the vehicle is a plasma cannon operated by the driver. These cannons have modest fire power, capable of destroying cars in single shots injuring the Hulk, and doing noticeable damage to Iron Man. While these craft are fairly fast, it is shown that human aircraft (such as the one piloted by Clint Barton) can take out several of them easily. They also move slowly enough to be tagged by Clint Barton using his signature bow.

Their troop transports take the form of the Leviathans, very large serpent-like creatures. These Leviathans can carry hundreds of Chitauri infantry, and are quite durable. However, they do not have any weaponry aside from simply ramming their target, and are shown to be vulnerable to large amounts of explosives, electricity, or kinetic force.

Relationships


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.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Chitauri were originally from the Ultimate universe franchise in place of the existing Marvel Comics alien species, the Skrulls. Later, Marvel would choose to distinguish between the Skrulls and Chitauri of the Ultimate universe. The species would later be adapted to other media, most notably in The Avengers.
  • The Chitauri are mentioned in the pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Grant Ward retrieves a Chitauri neuro-link in Paris, France.
  • Though the Chitauri share the same name as the extraterrestrials from Mark Millar's The Ultimates, there is little resemblance between the two versions. In the comic book, the Chitauri are never shown in their true form, leaving the reader to use their imagination as to what these aliens look like. Throughout The Avengers, these Chitauri appear as tall, grey-skinned reptilian creatures. The Chitauri tended to eat humans to take their form; these savage tendencies are not included in the film. The Chitauri of the Ultimate Comics universe are shape-shifters who have been manipulating mankind for centuries, including putting the Nazi Party in power of Germany in the 1930s. Captain America encountered these aliens several times in World War II, including the mission which left him frozen in the ocean, and then fought them with the Ultimates in 2002. In the comics, they are led by a member of their own species taking the form of a Nazi Commandant named Herr Kleiser, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe they are led by Thanos.
  • Like their comic book incarnations, they are devoted to subjugating humanity and are a scientifically advanced culture.
  • A new iteration of the Chitauri, inspired by their portrayal in the movie, will appear in the mainstream Earth-616 continuity as enemies of the new Nova.
  • Besides the reason stared by Whedon, the reason the Chitauri were chosen is because Fox owns the rights to the Skrulls.
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Media
Movies: The AvengersIron Man 3Thor: The Dark WorldCaptain America: The Winter SoldierGuardians of the GalaxyAvengers: Age of UltronAnt-ManCaptain America: Civil WarDoctor StrangeGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Spider-Man: HomecomingThor: RagnarokBlack PantherAvengers: Infinity WarAnt-Man and the WaspCaptain MarvelUntitled Avengers filmInhumansSpider-Man: Homecoming 2

TV Shows: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Agent CarterDaredevilJessica JonesLuke CageIron FistThe DefendersCloak and DaggerThe InhumansDamage ControlRunawaysMarvel Studios: Assembling a UniverseMarvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop
Marvel One-Shots: Item 47Agent CarterAll Hail the King
Books: The Avengers Movie StorybookThe Art of Marvel's The AvengersThe Avengers: Assemble!The Avengers: Battle Against LokiIron Man 3 Junior NovelSuits of ArmorIron Man Fights BackThor: The Dark World Junior NovelThor: The Dark World Movie StorybookThor: The Dark World: Warriors of the RealmsHeroes of AsgardCaptain America: The Winter Soldier: Falcon Takes FlightCaptain America: The Winter Soldier Reusable Sticker BookCaptain America: The Winter Soldier – The Movie StorybookCaptain America: The Winter Soldier: Rescue at Sea
Video games: Marvel Avengers: Battle for EarthIron Man 3: The Official GameDisney INFINITY: 2.0 EditionDisney INFINITY: 3.0 EditionMarvel: Contest of ChampionsMarvel: Avengers Alliance
Soundtracks: The AvengersIron Man 3 • Thor: The Dark World • Captain America: The Winter SoldierGuardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Disney Parks
Ant-Man RideGuardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!Iron Man ExperienceIron Man Tech ShowcaseSuper Hero HQ

Shops: Expo Shop
Firework: World of Color: Celebrate!

Characters
Heroes: Iron ManBlack WidowCaptain AmericaThor OdinsonHulkHawkeyeFalconWar MachineStar-LordDrax the DestroyerGamoraRocket RaccoonGrootScarlet WitchQuicksilverVisionHank PymScott LangDaredevilJessica JonesLuke CageIron FistDoctor StrangeSpider-ManBlack PantherCaptain MarvelPunisherTrish WalkerMisty Knight

Villains: WhiplashJustin HammerRed SkullLoki LaufeysonThanosAldrich KillianTrevor SlatteryEric SavinMalekithAlgrimThe Winter SoldierAlexander PierceCrossbonesArnim ZolaThe OtherNebulaRonan the AccuserThe CollectorUltronFranklin HallLeaderAbominationBaron StruckerEllen BrandtThe KingpinKilgraveBaron ZemoCottonmouthBlack MariahShadesDiamondbackBaron MordoKaeciliusThe VultureShockerTinkerer
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters: SkyeGrant WardLeo FitzJemma SimmonsMelinda MayJohn GarrettMichael PetersonAce PetersonChan Ho YinMiles LydonVictoria HandAkela AmadorRainaElliot RandolphIan QuinnLoreleiAudrey NathanAgent KoenigAntoine TriplettMockingbirdAbsorbing ManIsabelle HartleyLance HunterDaniel WhitehallCalvin ZaboRobert GonzalesAlphonso MackenzieLincoln CampbellGordonYo-YoGhost RiderHolden RadcliffeJeffrey Mace
Other characters: Nick FuryPhil CoulsonMaria HillJ.A.R.V.I.S.Virginia PottsJane FosterErik SelvigMaya HansenHarley KeenerOdin BorsonHeimdallVolstaggHogunFandralSifHarold HoganPeggy CarterSharon CarterSenator SternDarcy LewisFriggaBorRhomann DeyYonduKorathCarinaRaelHope Van DyneVice President RodriguezHoward the DuckGarthan SaalCosmo the SpacedogEdwin JarvisCassandra LangAncient OneClaire TempleChristine PalmerHoward StarkAunt May

Episodes
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Season One: "Pilot" • "0-8-4" • "The Asset" • "Eye Spy" • "Girl in the Flower Dress" • "FZZT" • "The Hub" • "The Well" • "Repairs" • "The Bridge" • "The Magical Place" • "Seeds" • "T.R.A.C.K.S." • "T.A.H.I.T.I." • "Yes Men" • "End of the Beginning" • "Turn, Turn, Turn" • "Providence" • "The Only Light in the Darkness" • "Nothing Personal" • "Ragtag" • "Beginning of the End"
Season Two: "Shadows" • "Heavy is the Head" • "Making Friends and Influencing People" • "Face My Enemy" • "A Hen in the Wolf House" • "A Fractured House" • "The Writing on the Wall" • "The Things We Bury" • "...Ye Who Enter Here" • "What They Become" • "Aftershocks" • "Who You Really Are" • "One of Us" • "Love in the Time of HYDRA" • "One Door Closes" • "Afterlife" • "Melinda" • "The Frenemy of My Enemy" • "The Dirty Half Dozen" • "Scars" • "S.O.S."
Season Three: "Laws of Nature" • "Purpose in the Machine" • "A Wanted (Inhu)man" • "Devils You Know" • "4,722 Hours" • "Among Us Hide..." • "Chaos Theory" • "Many Heads, One Tale" • "Closure" • "Maveth" • "Bouncing Back" • "The Inside Man" • "Parting Shot" • "Watchdogs" • "Spacetime" • "Paradise Lost" • "The Team" • "The Singularity" • "Failed Experiments" • "Emancipation" • "Absolution" • "Ascension"
Season Four: "The Ghost" • "Meet the New Boss" • "Uprising" • "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire" • "Lockup" • "The Good Samaritan" • "Deals With Our Devils" • "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics • "Broken Promises" • "The Patriot" • "Wake Up" • "Hot Potato Soup" • "BOOM" • "The Man Behind the Shield" • "Self Control" • "What If..."

Agent Carter
Season One: "Now is Not the End" • "Bridge and Tunnel" • "Time and Tide" • "The Blitzkrieg Button" • "The Iron Ceiling" • "A Sin to Err" • "Snafu" • "Valediction"
Season Two: "The Lady in the Lake" • "A View in the Dark" • "Better Angels" • "Smoke & Mirrors" • "The Atomic Job" • "Life of the Party" • "Monsters" • "The Edge of Mystery" • "A Little Song and Dance" • "Hollywood Ending"

Songs
Shoot To ThrillBlue (Da Ba Dee)Trouble ManHooked on a FeelingSpirit In The SkyCherry BombCome and Get Your LoveI Want You BackEscape (The Piña Colada Song)Ain't No Mountain High EnoughGo All The WayMoonage DaydreamI'm Not In LoveFooled Around and Fell in LoveO-o-h ChildMagicLive To RiseI've Got No StringsLeft Hand FreeThe Chain
Weapons/Objects
Captain America's ShieldMjolnirTesseractChitauri ScepterIron Man (armor)ExtremisIron LegionIron Patriot (armor)AetherInfinity StonesCentipede0-8-4Berserker StaffWidow's BiteEXO-7 FalconOrbUniversal WeaponGravitoniumPym ParticlesDivinerVibraniumInfinity GauntletWeb-Shooters
Vehicles
S.H.I.E.L.D. HelicarrierQuinjetValkyrieMilanoThe BusDark AsterLola
Organizations/Groups
The AvengersChitauriStark IndustriesS.H.I.E.L.D.A.I.M.AsgardiansDark ElvesFrost GiantsHYDRAWorld Security CouncilGuardians of the GalaxyNova CorpsKreeSakaaransRising TideCentipede GroupCybertekXandariansStrikeRavagersThe Inhumans
Locations
New York (state)New YorkAvengers TowerAsgardCalcuttaIndiaStuttgartGermanyNine RealmsLondonEnglandProject P.E.G.A.S.U.S.Tony Stark's MansionTriskelionXandarMorag • Guest House • The HubKnowhereShawarma PalaceSanctuaryHong KongAvengers Tower