When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally returns Friday after a lengthy hiatus, the latest season will see the team held captive on an alien spaceship by a roach-like species from Marvel Comics known as the Vrellnexians. These aliens, in addition to a different alien wearing a human skinsuit, first appeared in the recently released 17 minute Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. opening scene from the upcoming season 5 premiere, where Coulson and the gang awake to find themselves stranded in space with no idea of where they are or what's happening.
Over the course of the extended sequence, a new character named Virgil reveals to them the name of the aliens hunting them down, yet he's quickly killed before he can tell them much more. Still the team manages to get a little bit more information on their own. Simmons and Yo-Yo discover numerous dead bodies in a room and determine they've been preserved after all the liquids inside them were drained out.
In Marvel Comics, starting with 1973's Thor #212, fans learned the Vrellnexians are a hive species ruled by queens. They stand on their hindmost pair of limbs and some can even fly. Their main goal is conquest, with an overwhelming need to traverse space intent on imprisoning other species and trading them as slaves.
The Vrellnexians also seem to be somewhat invincible, judging by the fact that early in the clip someone broke a window into outer space just to get rid of them. And they appear to have the element of surprise on their side as the aliens show up when you least expect it, taking out anyone who might reveal any information about them. S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely has their work cut out for them if they ever want to return home.
However, there must be more going on underneath since Virgil referenced that they've been waiting for S.H.I.E.L.D. to show up all this time. It seems as a 'true believer' and a very knowledgeable fan of Coulson and his team, he was assigned to be part of their greeting party. According to Virgil, they are destined to save humanity, but unfortunately he is killed before being able to explain further. It remains to be seen what is the real goal of the Vrellnexians and the alien in a skinsuit and how S.H.I.E.L.D. factors into the whole thing once Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premieres with a two-hour episode on Friday, December 1.