Photos from Avengers set may contain spoilers

A number of photos from the set of the upcoming Avengers film have surfaced online. They purportedly show a crashed spacecraft, with a mo-cap actor strewn across the wreckage.

This seems to confirm the rumors that the secondary villains of the film will be the Skrull, an alien race from the Marvel Universe.

We already have a pretty good notion that our primary villain for the team is going to be Loki, especially after the clues in the post-credits scene of Thor. However, the secondary villain, which these film usually include, has not yet been announced.

In the marvel Universe, the Skrull are a storied race of warrior shapeshifters. In the comics canon, they mostly spent their time causing trouble for the Fantastic Four.

With the Fantastic Four’s themes of trust and family, beings with the ability to make themselves look like whoever they want are obviously nefarious villains. Often they would disguise themselves as someone the team trusted, or even as one of the team members, sometimes kidnapping the person first.

Skrull society is centered around war and conquest, but it wasn’t always. They were once a peaceful race, having adapted the ability to shapeshift for diplomatic purposes. They could trade with the people of any world without ever seeming too alien.

Nevertheless, a generations long war forced on them by another race twisted their society toward a warrior-centric one, and when their home world was eaten, they only got worse, as each Skrull world vied for power. Now they fight a massive civil war, while still fending off outside forces.

Earth is important to them as a staging ground, and would control of the planet would clearly make it much easier to launch attacks against the Kree, their ancient foe.

Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgård. It arrives in theaters on May 4, 2012.