Without Thanos, Marvel’s Chitauri May Actually Be Evolving


The aliens from the first Avengers movie are changing tactics in Marvel Comics. But Chitauri peace might be worse than Chitauri war.


Spoilers below for Guardians of the Galaxy #8!

The Guardians of the Galaxy have encountered a strange new kind of Chitauri that represents a twisted sort of advancement for the species. As fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know, the Chitauri are hive-minded invaders, more like a swarm of killer insects compared to the galaxy’s more intelligent species. But Guardians of the Galaxy #8 shows a new direction for the Chitauri in the comics. Without a villain to manipulate them, they’re attempting to engage in diplomacy… although they have a very different idea of what that word means.

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The Chitauri first appeared in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe comics, where they acted as that continuity’s version of the Skrulls. The vicious conquerors are much better known from the 2012 film The Avengers, where they assaulted New York on behalf of Thanos. As a deleted scene from Avengers: Endgame emphasizes, the Chitauri are strong foot soldiers, but the “suckiest army in the galaxy” because they become useless without the guidance of their mothership.

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The MCU minions made their way to the mainline Marvel Comics universe, much like the MCU version of dark elves, and established themselves as a fearsome but artless threat. In Guardians of the Galaxy #8, the major political powers of the Milky Way have gathered together to discuss the political consequences of the galaxy’s biggest war coming to a peaceful end. One of the delegates is Peacebringer, a never-before-seen sort of creature: a Chitauri diplomat.


Peacebringer remains dutifully quiet until, as part of a murder investigation, the telepath Moondragon scans the room and detects murderous intent in the Chitauri drone’s mind. With a little digging, she figures that Peacebringer isn’t the murderer they’re looking for, but he does intend to kill everyone in the room. That’s when Peacebringer makes the reveal: he was designed to “bring peace” to the enemies of the Chitauri… by killing them quickly and mercifully.

The armor-clad warlords haven’t quite wrapped their hive mind around the idea of negotiation. Still, it’s notable progress that the Chitauri have grasped the concept of “peace” and are now working out how to achieve it. Peacebringer even makes an honest attempt at etiquette; whenever his plan to blow up the conference hits an obstacle, he formally apologizes for the delay. Perhaps from here, the Chitauri will develop the concept of peace via talking, and the next battle with the Avengers will be settled by spirited debate. The ball’s in your court, Marvel Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy #8 is written by Al Ewing with art by Marcio Takara, color by Federico Blee, and lettering by Cory Petit, and is available now from Marvel Comics and Comixology.

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Updated: November 7, 2020 — 11:32 pm

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