As Marvel Studios releases between one and three movies every year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just going to get bigger and bigger. To the delight of the fans, each movie adds another chunk of comic book lore to the MCU. Thor was the first film in the MCU to open the door to other worlds by introducing the concept of the Nine Realms. In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy took us into outer space and showed us a whole new world full of alien civilizations. One of those civilizations carried over into the TV series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which continued to expand the mythology established by Guardians of the Galaxy.

We can rest assured that Marvel’s latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, will follow that tradition. We can expect new civilizations, new planets, new characters, and new alien races. What worlds from the comics will the movie draw upon? There’s over 50 years of material to work with, and hundreds of possibilities. Some alien races in the Marvel Universe are obscure and only have a handful of appearances, while others have their own culture and history. Some of these alien races could appear in other films instead, such as Thor: Ragnarok. However, the rights to some alien worlds are owned by 20th Century Fox. With that said, let’s have a look at 15 Alien Races in the Marvel Universe You Need To Know About.

15. The Kree

Agents of SHIELD Kree Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Kree are perhaps the most important alien race in the entire Marvel Universe, and especially so in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They are a scientifically advanced race that originated on the planet Hala. The Kree are recognized by their blue skin, but resemble humans in every other way. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Kree warrior Captain Mar-Vell was often mistaken for a human simply because he is one of the Pink Kree, a different ethnic group. The Pink Kree actually outnumber the blue-skinned Kree, though the blue-skinned Kree still hold most positions of power.

The Kree are an imperialistic society led by the Supreme Intelligence, a being created from the minds of the greatest Kree scientists. The Kree are responsible for the genetic experiments that led to the creation of the Inhumans. Their role in the origin of the Inhumans was also translated into the MCU in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The main antagonist of Guardians of the Galaxy was the Kree warrior, Ronan the Accuser. We can expect the role of the Kree in the MCU to continue to grow with the debut of The Inhumans TV series in the fall and the release of Captain Marvel in 2019.

14. The Badoon

Badoon Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

In an alternate timeline set in the 31st century, an alien civilization known as the Badoon had conquered much of the galaxy, including Earth. The Badoon were lizard-like creatures who were separated by gender. The males formed the Brotherhood of the Badoon, and the females formed the Sisterhood of the Badoon, with both groups following their own customs and traditions.

The Badoon eradicated most of Earth’s population and enslaved the rest. Some people tried to rebel, but the Badoon hold on the Earth was too strong. As the Badoon conquered all of Earth’s colonies, four men escaped: Yondu, Charlie-27, Vance Astro, and Martinex. The four heroes banded together to be the Marvel Universe’s first incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and pledged to take back their world from the Badoon. The re-taking of the galaxy was a slow process, but over time the Badoon were defeated.

13. Sakaarans

Sakaarans Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

Fearing what the Hulk was capable of, Dr. Strange, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man and Black Bolt developed a plan to shoot him into space so that the Earth would be safe from him forever. Landing on a savage planet called Sakaar, Hulk sound found himself sold into slavery and forced to fight for his life in a gladiator pit. This strange place was the home of two different species of Sakaarans: the Sakaaran Imperials and the Shadow People. The Sakaaran Imperials were the red-skinned ruling class who benefited from advanced technology while the Shadow People were grey-skinned nomads.

The Sakaarans were featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy as minions of Korath the Pursuer. We should see even more of them in Thor: Ragnarok, since part of the film is expected to take place on Sakaar.

12. Dire Wraiths

Dire Wraiths Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Dire Wraiths were created in 1976 as the nemesis for the Galadorian Spaceknight, Rom. The Dire Wraiths were based in the Dark Nebula on a planet called Wraithworld. The Dire Wraiths are a species that evolved from the Skrulls thousands of years ago. Named for their ghost-like bodies, the Dire Wraiths are evil shapeshifters who seek to conquer worlds by slowly taking the forms of certain individuals until they’ve replaced enough important people to seize control of the planet. After destroying Galador, the Dire Wraiths set their sights on other planets.

The rights to Rom left Marvel when his series ended in 1986, but the rights to the Dire Wraiths remain at Marvel as they occasionally appear as a villainous force in cosmic stories.

11. Celestials

Celestial Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

In The Guardians of the Galaxy, a place called Knowhere served as the headquarters for the Collector. Knowhere was based in the severed head of a gigantic alien. This alien was a Celestial, one of the most powerful beings in the universe. The Celestials were created by Jack Kirby in the limited series, The Eternals, which was originally intended to be separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe.

The Eternal Ikaris explained that the Celestials are so advanced in their technology that they are capable of creating life. They created the Eternals and the Deviants, which also makes them responsible for Thanos, who is an Eternal from Titan. The Celestials also created mutants by genetically engineering superpowers in humans. The Celestials revisit Earth every few thousand years to determine if their creations deserve to continue living.

10. Shi’ar

Shiar Imperial Guard Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Shi’ar are a vast, advanced alien civilization that debuted in X-Men #97 in 1976. The Shi’ar are humanoids with avian features whose conquests have spread from galaxy to galaxy. The leader of the Shi’ar Empire is protected by a team of superpowered Shi’ar warriors called the Imperial Guard. The Empire governs many societies and forces their culture on others. The Shi’ar have no ability to dream and frown on any who dare to indulge in artistic creativity. On some planets controlled by the Shi’ar, the punishment for such a crime is execution.

Since the goal of the Shi’ar is expansion, the Empire is in a constant state of war. Their wars with other world-conquering civilizations have repercussions so large that even Earth is sometimes affected.

Viewers hoping to see the Shi’ar Empire make into the MCU will have to be disappointed, as James Gunn confirmed that the rights to the Shi’ar belong to 20th Century Fox. If Fox ever plans to make an X-Men film centered in space, the Shi’ar would make the perfect adversary.

9. Chitauri

avengers Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Chitauri are just one more alien race with ambitions of conquering the galaxy. They have an ability to shapeshift, an ability they use to work behind the scenes in an effort to both infiltrate and conquer worlds. In the Ultimate Universe, their first attempt to conquer the Earth came in World War II when they tried to help the Nazis acquire nuclear technology.

If the Chitauri sound similar to the Skrulls, it’s no accident. The Chitauri were created specifically for the Ultimate Universe as a replacement for the Skrulls. Since the rights of the Skrulls belong to 20th Century Fox, the Chitauri were used as the alien force sent by Loki to attack Earth in The Avengers. The Chitauri’s role as the MCU’s first alien species paved the way for their introduction into the mainstream Marvel Universe in 2016.

8. Luphomoids

Nebula and the Infinity Guantlet Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

When Nova Prime Rhomann Dey came to Earth, he was engaged in a ferocious battle with a blue-skinned alien named Zorr. Zorr was a Luphomoid, a species whose homeworld had been wiped out by Galactus. Rhomann Dey’s last act before his death at the hands of Zorr was to select Richard Rider as his successor, thus giving Zorr a key role in the origin of a major Marvel hero.

Zorr was the first but not the last Luphomoid to make an impact in the Marvel Universe. The second was Zorr’s daughter, Nebula, who later claimed to be the daughter of Thanos. She became an important player in Infinity Gauntlet and served as a recurring villain for the Avengers and cosmic heroes such as the Silver Surfer.

Nebula is portrayed as a cyborg assassin in Guardians of the Galaxy and is presented as Thanos’ adopted daughter. She is expected to join the team in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. If Nebula has an expanded role, it’s possible we’ll learn more about her people.

7. Skrulls

The Skrulls 02 Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Skrulls were the first aliens to ever appear in Marvel Comics. They first came onto the scene in Fantastic Four #2 in 1962. These green-skinned, reptilian aliens with pointed ears and furrowed chins hide their true appearance by taking the forms of others.

The Skrulls were created by the Celestials. The Celestials created Eternals and Deviants on many planets, including Skrullos. The “normal” Skrulls are actually rarely seen in comics as they were destroyed by the Deviant Skrulls, meaning that the Skrulls encountered by the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and so many others are actually Deviants.

The Skrulls’ primary mission is to invade and take control of other planets. Their most significant attempt to seize control of Earth was in Secret Invasion, which featured several Skrulls who had infiltrated the superhero world. Some did their jobs so well that they were able to pose as heroes for years without anyone becoming wise to their real motives.

The Skrulls are co-owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios, though the rights to some Skrulls are exclusive to Fox.

6. The Sovereign

ayesha kismet marvel guardians Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will add an alien civilization to the MCU that is completely new to the Marvel Universe. These people call themselves “The Sovereign.” Though the society itself is a new thing for Marvel, two members of the Sovereign are established Marvel characters that go back decades. These golden-skinned characters were genetically engineered by a group of scientists called the Enclave to be the perfect humans. The first of these was Adam Warlock, who became the protagonist of several major Marvel events, including Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War. The second was Ayesha, a minor character in comparison to Warlock. She was created to be his mate, though the plans for this never worked out.

Ayesha will be played by Elizabeth Debicki.

5. The Brood

The Brood XMen Villains Marvel Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Brood are an alien species of bug-like monsters that were introduced in the pages of The Uncanny X-Men during the 1980s. These large, fanged creatures have the bodies of insects and stingers that contain a deadly poison. The Brood possess a hive mentality, and follow the will of the matriarch much like a colony of ants or bees. One of the most dangerous aspects of the Brood is that though they act like insects, they have intelligent thought on a far greater level than any insect. Known for their vile and murderous nature, the Brood take pleasure from the suffering they inflict upon their victims.

The Brood are a parasitic species. When they reproduce, they choose a host and impregnate it with an egg. This process of reproduction eventually kills the host and turns he or she into a Brood.

4. The Stark

Christ Sullivan as Taserface in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

In the alternate timeline of the 31st century Guardians of the Galaxy, the Earth was being invaded by Mars, and on the brink of defeat Tony Stark sent a shuttle containing all of his “Iron Man” armors into outer space so that the invaders wouldn’t be able to misuse his technology. He would have made a different choice if he had known that the shuttle would crash on a strange planet filled with savages. These savages used the armor for themselves and decided to name their own race after the person responsible for their new power. Calling themselves “The Stark,” they began using the armored suits to wreak havoc on the universe.

At least one Stark—Taserface—is featured in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the leader of a mutinous group of Ravagers. Taserface will be played by Chris Sullivan.

The idea of aliens using Stark technology as weapons is not far-fetched at all, given the current direction of the MCU. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man had a vision where he was responsible for the deaths of the Avengers. Could the Stark be connected somehow?

3. The Watchers

Watchers Marvel Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

Characterized by their giant statures and large, bald heads, the Watchers are an alien species who have taken it upon themselves to observe the universe in pursuit of knowledge. Each Watcher is assigned a different solar system to observe. These powerful beings can see all timelines. Considering how much they can see, the possibilities of what they could change with their knowledge are endless. This is why the Watchers had to adopt a strict policy of non-interference. No Watcher is permitted to share their knowledge with anyone. However, one Watcher, Uatu, has become famous in the Marvel Universe for his numerous attempts to thwart certain catastrophes by sharing his secrets with the Fantastic Four and others. His repeated violations of his vow eventually led to his banishment.

2. Centaurians

Yondu Centaurians Centauri IV Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

Originally from the Milky Way Galaxy, the Centaurians are a race of blue-skinned aliens that could easily be mistaken for the Kree if not for the large red crests on their heads. They are a deeply religious people that are highly attuned to nature. They have a psychic connection to their brethren that they call the Way. They worship the god Anthos and have a strong belief in a concept known as the Circle of Life.  In the timeline of the 31st century Guardians of the Galaxy, the Centaurian civilization was wiped out by the Badoon. One of the Guardians, Yondu, believed that he was the last one left until he met a female Centaurian. Yondu’s devotion to the Circle of Life drove him mad when the female refused to mate with him. As a Centaurian, Yondu was driven by his duty to the Circle to repopulate their world.

Yondu’s appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy marked the introduction of the Centaurian race into the MCU.

1. The Klyntar

symbiotes klyntar Marvel Movies: The Alien Races You Need To Know About

The Klyntar has a greater influence on the Marvel Universe than almost any other race, despite the fact that their name is not widely known. The first appearance of a Klyntar came in 1984 when Spider-Man found a black costume on Battleworld. At the time, Spider-Man had no idea what he was about to bring into the Marvel Universe. The costume turned out to be a living organism—a symbiote—that later bonded with Eddie Brock to create “Venom.” Since then, the symbiote has bonded with a number of other prominent characters.

The symbiote that created Venom is not a one-of-a-kind species. It is a Klyntar, an alien race native to a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy. The Klyntar are a society of good-natured beings who use their symbiotic capabilities to transform hosts into powerful warriors. The Klyntar are meant to bond with noble hosts, otherwise both the host and the Klyntar can be corrupted with evil.

The announcement that Sony is producing a Venom film that will be released in 2018 indicates that we could discover more details about the symbiote’s true nature and origin.

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