By Robbie Graham
Marvel’s The Avengers has previewed to high praise from critics, currently scoring an impressive 96% at RottenTomatoes.com.
Empire Magazine calls the movie “A joyous blend of heroism and humour that raises the stakes even as it maintains a firm grip on what makes the individual heroes tick.” Empire does have some minor complaints about The Avengers, however. One of which is that:
“The alien army... are very throwaway, bland types who serve as little more than intergalactic cannon-fodder. Yes, they’re from the Marvel universe (we won’t name them, but they’re not who has been rumoured [the Skrulls]), but they display very little in the way of unique abilities.”
Empire’s unwillingness to name the alien race matters not, though, as the movie’s director, Joss Whedon, spilled the beans himself at a press conference earlier this month, revealing that “The alien race are the Chitauri — or a version of them.”
Chitauri attack in Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
According to Marvel Database, the Chitauri – which exist as part of the Ultimate Marvel universe – 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 were able to mimic human form and absorb human knowledge, apparently by ingesting the bodies or brains of the humans they imitated.”
The Marvel Database further states of the Chitauri “claim to be part of ‘the immune system of the Universe’, wiping out disorder and free will wherever they find it.”
Interestingly in the context of UFOlogical conspiracy theory, when in their true form, the Chitauri “appear to be large, and reptilian.” They 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.”
Naturally, for the UFO buff, this calls to mind theories surrounding alleged reptilian beings described in numerous abduction accounts, and also the popular idea that these “reptoids” have long played a hidden part in humanity’s political affairs.
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It is notable that the Chitauri have also attempted to quietly conquer Earth using “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.”
How much of the Chitauri’s comic book mythology has actually been incorporated into the upcoming Avengers movie remains to be seen. But if Empire’s “bland cannon fodder” comments are anything to go by then, it would seem, not very much. Also, the Chitauri as shown in the movie’s trailers (see above) and as represented in toy form (see right) do not appear overtly “reptilian.” But then, perhaps we’ve yet to see them in their true scaly form. All will be revealed when Marvel's The Avengers hits cinemas on May 4. In the meantime, if you’re hungry for more insight into the movie’s production, here’s 20 minutes of on-set footage...