The Chitauri are a race of shapeshifting aliens who have attempted to conquer the Earth, most notably during World War II and again in the early 21st century. The Chitauri claimed 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 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, and 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 them 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 were forced to the "backwaters" of the Milky Way galaxy, specifically Earth's solar system. Disregarding Herr Kleiser's long-term efforts, the Chitauri ordered him to destroy Earth and its 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.
Iron Man and Thor were able to damage multiple ships, the latter whom destroyed most of the Chitauri fleet and disposed of a Chitauri bomb by teleporting it to the wastes of Nastrond, where its detonation caused only a small ripple in space-time. At the same time, Captain America battled his old enemy Herr Kleiser, but was unable to defeat him alone. At Captain America's urging, the Hulk was able to beat, dismember, 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.
During the Chitauri-Kree War, an entire Chitauri 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 the need to feed.
A group of Chitauri worked with Titus and, like him, were enemies of Nova Corps' Supernovas; more specifically members Sam Alexander and his father Jesse. Sam was able to defeat an entire Chitauri armada and Titus with the Ultimate Nullifier that he stole from them in the first place.
The Chitauri were holding Jesse captive as one of the numerous slaves forced to fight in their gladiatorial games on their homeworld, Chitauri Prime, until Alexander was able to successfully rally a slave uprising and escape the planet in a captured Chitauri ship.
Based on a rejected plan created by the Red Ghost for his Soviet superiors, the Red Skull ordered Captain America (whose past had been rewritten by the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik to become a Hydra double agent) to lure swarms of Chitauri using eggs he kept hidden on Earth. The Chitauri would be driven into an instinctive frenzy to find them, and would destroy anything in their path. The Red Skull planned to have one of the Chitauri fleets raze the Earth.
The amount of Chitauri swarms that attempted to enter the Earth began to grow in both number and frequency. At one point, the Alpha Flight space initiative had to fend off the planet from four Chitauri waves in a single month. After a gigantic Chitauri fleet was destroyed by Quasar, it was expected that the next Chitauri fleet would be the largest single alien army to ever come to the Earth, and even bigger than the Annihilation Wave.
Another Chitauri fleet was approaching the Earth as the Hydra-loyalist Captain America was putting into motion a plan of conquest. While Alpha Flight and numerous other heavy-hitter heroes were deployed in orbit to fight the aliens, Captain America activated the Planetary Defense Shield, sealing the heroes off from Earth. The Chitauri Wave continued mobilizing despite not being able to enter Earth, wearing off Alpha Flight and the heroes that were left stranded. The Planetary Defense Shield was eventually destroyed by Quasar, and Captain Marvel destroyed the Chitauri queen eggs, whose location had previously been pinpointed, putting an end to the Chitauri's invasion attempt.
For a brief time, the Chitauri were subjugated by Thanos after the Mad Titan decided to conquer Chitauri Prime on a whim. His reign lasted until his death at the hands of Gamora. Some time later, Chitauri Prime became one of five planets targeted by Dormammu during an invasion from the Dark Dimension. Each world he targeted was the birthplace of a star-spanning race, and he intended to connect them to form a galaxy-sized pentagram to merge the Dark Dimension with Earthspace. Due to the simplicity of the Chitauran mind, Dormammu managed to take control of every single Chitauri by possessing their hive queen. When the Guardians of the Galaxy arrived at Chitauri Prime, their new ally Doctor Doom carried out a ritual to siphon the power of Dormammu's possession into himself, weakening the Faltine and making the opening for his defeat. In the aftermath, Doctor Doom handed over the Chitauri to his ally, the Skrull Sister Talionis. Becoming the new Chitauri queen, she intended to amass enough power to separate the Skrull from the Kree/Skrull Alliance.
Much like their Earth-1610 counterpart, in this universe the Chitauri were led by Herr Kleiser and plotted to invade Earth since the 1940s. The Chitauri helped Nazi Germany by providing an intercontinental missile in the last days of World War II in Europe. However, the plot was foiled by Captain America. Seventy years later, the Chitauri reappeared and forcing S.H.I.E.L.D. to implement Project Avengers. The Chitauri made an all-out assault on S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, whom they succeeded in defeating the aliens.
This version of the Chitauri were reptilian creatures capable of shapeshifting and firing energy blasts from their hands.
2010s Marvel Animated Universe (Earth-12041)
This version of the Chitauri were led by Korvac. When Korvac set out to destroy the Earth, the Guardians of the Galaxy attempted to stop him, but were captured. Rocket Raccoon, the only Guardian to escape, headed to Earth to get help from Nova. With help from Nova and a stowaway Spider-Man, Rocket Raccoon was able to free the captive Guardians, and stop Korvac's plan, destroying the Chitauri ship in the process.
Impossible Man was filming a documentary on the Chitauri when they spotted him and followed him to Earth. The Avengers helped Impossible Man by fighting the Chitauri until Impossible Man came up with a trick that sent the Chitauri off of Earth.
Some Chitauri were seen watching "Mojo-Pocalypse."
Ultimate Larval Earth (Earth-14094)
Ultimate Thor is President (Earth-20604)
The Skrulls stated that the term "Chitauri" as it relates to their race, is a "very offensive term." Skrulls regard the word as "politically incorrect," believing the Chitauri to be merely a gang of criminals.
In this universe, the Chitauri focused their attention on the African country of Wakanda in seeking its store of Vibranium, the metal the Chitauri used to manufacture their ships and weapons. Led by Herr Kleiser, the Chitauri made a massive invasion of Earth from their mothership hovering over Wakanda. During the planetary battle, Bruce Banner discovered that the Chitauri's vibranium-made technology could be weakened by gamma rays and crucially provided this valuable information to the Avengers, for which Giant-Man and Iron Man used a gamma-ray projector to destroy the Chitauri's mothership and stop the invasion. Herr Kleiser was defeated by Captain America and Black Panther by drowning him in liquid vibranium.
This version of the Chitauri were similar to those of Earth-3488.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Chitauri were an alien race led by Thanos. After he was cast out of Asgard, Loki approached the Other offering a deal: he would retrieve the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D. for Thanos, and in return would receive an army of Chitauri which he could use to conquer Earth. Using a mind-controlled Dr. Selvig, Loki opened a portal between the Chitauri's realm and Earth over New York City. After a destructive battle with the Avengers, the Chitauri were defeated when Iron Man sent a nuclear weapon through the portal, destroying the Chitauri's base and cutting the neural link. The remaining Chitauri in New York collapsed from the destroyed neural link. When the Other reported the Chitauri's defeat to his master, Thanos only grinned with anticipation of things to come.
It was later revealed that a Chitauri helmet was salvaged at the time when every firefighter helped in the relief of the Chitauri invasion. However, it had an alien virus that charges up whoever was exposed to it with electrostatic energy.
Marvel Avengers Academy (Earth-TRN562)
A large number of Chitauri were members of the Cosmic Conservatory's student body. Many joined Thanos when he attempted to utilize the Power Gem and a platoon joined Ronan when he invaded Earth to capture the twelve students that opposed them.
Powers and Abilities
On Earth-1610 they have shapeshifting powers made possible by first consuming the being they will then turn themselves into. Some were also shown to possess superhuman strength capable of demolishing solid metal doors with ease and throwing vehicles as weapons. They were also shown to be highly resistant to damage and to possess some form of healing factor that causes their injuries to very quickly regenerate which may also extend their lifespan as one Chitauri, Herr Kleiser, had not appeared to age in a time period exceeding fifty years. as well as having thermal vision and being able to survive a shot to the head with no difficulty. These extra powers did not appear to be prevalent in the average Chitauri drone as they died as easily as a normal human would and were only able to shapeshift.
Type of Government
New World Order
Level of Technology
The Chitauri had access to advanced technology including a bomb powerful enough to destroy Earth's solar system and starships capable of faster-than-light travel.
- The Earth-1610 counterpart to the Chitauri race may be an offshoot, cult or separate civilization from Earth-1610's Skrulls, since a separate "Skrull" race later visited Earth, who recognized the name but disclaimed any common motives between them.
- The design for Earth-199999's Chitauri (later used as the definitive design for the Chitauri across the Multiverse, except Earth-3488) were created by Phil Saunders and Justin Sweet, Ryan Meinerding developed the final look.
- The appearance of a Chitauri in Earth-1610 was shown only years later after their introduction, in the mini-series Hunger, drawn to be similar to their Earth-199999 counterpart's.
- The Chitauri have mentioned taking human form to better move around in three dimensional space and retreating to other dimensions but do not make it clear whether these dimensions are somewhere they are native to or just somewhere they have travelled.
- The name "Chitauri" probably originates from the name of the binary star Chi Tauri.
- On Earth-1610 this alien race was named "Chitauri" by the African tribes they had visited.
- Chitauri is seemingly the plural form, the singular form being "Chitauran".
- The Chitauri's language has one hundred ninety-two ways to say the word "hate."
- 116 appearance(s) of Chitauri
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Chitauri
- 32 minor appearance(s) of Chitauri
- 74 mention(s) of Chitauri
- 3 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Chitauri
- 49 image(s) of Chitauri
- 2 victim(s) killed by Chitauri
- 16 representative(s) of Chitauri
- 4 item(s) used/owned by Chitauri