Earth-1610's counterpart to the Skrulls, the Chitauri 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 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 SHIELD 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 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.
Although Iron Man and Thor were able to damage the ships (who as well in ridding the Chitauri bomb by teleporting it to the wastes of Nastrond, where its detonation caused only a small ripple in space-time), it was the Hulk who downed the majority of the fleet. 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.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Chitauri are 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. The remaining Chitauri in New York collapsed, apparently showing a vital connection to that ship. When the Other reported the Chitauri's defeat to his master, Thanos only grinned with anticipation of things to come.
In the Ultimate Avengers Universe, much like their Earth-1610 counterpart, the Chitauri are 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.
Chitauri later focus their attentions on the African country of Wakanda in seeking its store of vibranium, the metal the Chitauri use to manufacture their ships and weapons. Led again 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 can be weakened by gamma rays and crucially provided this valuable information to the Avengers, in which Giant Man and Iron Man use a gamma-ray projector in destroying the Chitauri's mothership and stopping the invasion. Herr Kleiser is defeated by Captain America and Black Panther by drowning him in liquid vibranium.
This version of the Chitauri are reptilian creatures capable of shape-shifting and fire energy blasts from their hands.
Powers and Abilities
The Chitauri were able to mimic human form and absorb human knowledge, apparently by ingesting the bodies or brains of the humans they imitated. In their natural form, they appear to be large, and reptilian, but no clear images of their native form have been shown. Although the drone workers were nearly mindless and not much more durable than humans, the high-ranking officers such as Kleiser possessed super-strength to rival Captain America, superhuman stamina and durability, extremely rapid regeneration, and the ability to see or sense invisible objects or people.
Average Strength level
Habitat: Habitat of this race is unknown.
Gravity: Gravity of this race is unknown.
Atmosphere: Atmosphere of this race is unknown.
Population: Population of this race is unknown.
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 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.
- No trivia.
Links and References