The identity of the nameless aliens that we've been seeing for quite some time in footage from The Avengers has seemingly been revealed.
The film had its premiere last night, nearly a month away from its official May 4 debut, so intel is slowly leaking, in spite of the obvious moratorium on such info. As anyone with even a casual familiarity with Internet fan circles knows, that sort of thing cannot be contained.
Read the very spoileriffic tidbit below if you can't wait.
If, indeed, the reports are correct, then Loki, God of Mischief will be sending the Marvel Comic aliens, the Chitauri on Earth to wreak havoc. (And provide visually-impressive footage of stuff breaking and exploding.)
The dominant speculation was (understandably,) that Loki's army would end up being Marvel's more iconic green-skinned, shape-shifting aliens, the Skrulls. Well, in a way, that turned out "sort-of" correct.
The Chitauri are actually a species of alien invaders from Marvel's "Ultimate" comic-book canon that were inspired by the Skrulls. (Of course, in this canon, Marvel's superheroes fought a war with vampires and Spider-Man is currently DEAD.)
Also shapeshifters like their Skrull counterparts in the original canon, these intergalactic baddies consider themselves the "immune system of the universe," inciting wars, even aiding the Nazis during World War II.
Essentially, they're seeing to it that sentient beings across the galaxy keep a high mortality rate. However, the role of the Chitauri in this universe is actually quite large as they have been secretly visiting Earth since 1777.
In the film, it appears that hooking up with Loki might be a symbiotic relationship.