"How long did you fight these guys?"
"About, uh, two or three hours."
"Hours? The Chitauri are the suckiest army in the galaxy. Why didn't you just blow up the mothership?"
"We didn't know that was a thing."
Rocket Raccoon, Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers[src]

The Chitauri are a sentient species of cybernetically enhanced beings operating under a hive mind intelligence. Subservient to 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.


Massacre of the Zehoberei


The Chitauri Army prepares to slaughter half of the Zehoberei

The Chitauri were Thanos' infantry during his attack against Zen-Whoberi, where he massacred half of the Zehoberei species in order to prevent overpopulation from condemning the planet. However, he chose Gamora, a little Zen-Whoberi girl, to be one of his adoptive daughters whereas he gave his adoptive son Ebony Maw the call to allow the Chitauri to wipe out half of the population.[1]

Chitauri Invasion

"He has an army called the Chitauri. They are not of Asgard or any world known."

When the exiled Loki allied himself with the warlord Thanos, the Chitauri were granted to him as his personal army to conquer Earth and gain the Tesseract.

Once having gained the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D., Loki was able to open a portal to Earth and allow the Chitauri to arrive, 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 army. Soon after their arrival, a major battle ensued between them and the Chitauri.


The Chitauri Army attack New York City

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 their forces and ending the invasion.[2]

After their defeat, pieces of Chitauri technology were recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D., HYDRA[3], Hammer Industries engineers[4], and Adrian Toomes' Crew.[5]

Collector's Museum

Chitauri Museum

A Chitauri inside the Collector's Museum

A Chitauri was one of the specimens being held in Taneleer Tivan's museum before its explosion.[6]

Infinity War

Many years later, Thanos ordered Chitauri to guard Nebula and also tasked him to reassemble her cybernetics. It was killed when Nebula tricked it by faking a malfunction and taking it by surprise.[1]

Battle of Earth

Following the end of the Infinity War, where half of all life in the universe was wiped out, the Avengers time traveled to the past in order to recover the Infinity Stones and resurrect the victims. However, when the Thanos of 2014 was informed about this due to Nebula's glitching, he captured the future self of his adoptive daughter and along with the Black Order, the Outriders, the Leviathans, the Sakaarans and the Chitauri, he traveled to 2023 with a new plan: destroy the universe and rebuild it as he wanted.

However, when Thanos seemingly was going to win again, all of Thanos' victims came back to life and the decisive battle for the fate of the universe took place. Alongside their fellow alien soldiers, many Chitauri warriors ended up losing their lives against the Avengers' forces. However, the battle came to an end when Thanos attempted once more to use the Infinity Gauntlet, only for Iron Man to use the Infinity Stones, causing Thanos' army, including the surviving Chitauri, to fade away into nothingness before Thanos himself turned to dust.[7]

Characteristic Traits

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 the 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, as well as their sister species, have no sense of self-preservation, as they will attack their opponents regardless of how strong they may be.


The Chitauri are a cold-blooded, technologically advanced race. They are born as fully organic beings, but their soldiers are cybernetically enhanced at an early age with electronic neural networks and armor fused into their bodies. Infantry are now dependent upon chemical stimulants to enhance their strength and agility and internal reactors to power their cybernetic implants.[8]

Despite the Chitauri's cybernetic augmentations, they are not seen to have any superhuman abilities such as speed, durability, or reflexes. However, they are shown to possess enhanced strength, being agile and strong enough to climb on buildings and Leviathans with relative ease, as well as one temporarily restraining Captain America. 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.[9]


The virus present in its victim's blood

A form of ailment that plagues their race was inadvertently discovered by firefighters and apprehended by Coulson's Team via a Chitauri Helmet salvaged from the Battle of New York. 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.[10]





Appearances for Chitauri

In chronological order:


  • In the Ultimate universe, the Chitauri are 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 of 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.
  • In a deleted scene in Avengers: Endgame, Rocket Raccoon reveals that everyone in the galaxy knows to blow up a Chitauri Mothership to defeat them and criticized the time it took for the Avengers to defeat them when Black Widow mentioned it took 2-3 hours, citing that the Chitauri are the "suckiest army in the galaxy".

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.


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