'Avengers': The 'Secret' Villains Finally Revealed?

The AvengersEarth's nastiest villains are no match for Earth's mightiest heroes, which is exactly why "The Avengers" are assembling to fight something decisively otherworldly.

Photos from the Cleveland set of Joss Whedon's massive superhero team-up flick have flooded online, leaving a slew of intriguing possibilities and potential spoilers in their wake. Among those potential spoilers: the identity of the non-Loki nemesis facing our heroes.

Get the details past the jump, but here's your last warning: spoilers lie ahead!

Spinoff Online has posted photos from the "Avengers" set that feature Chris Evans in Captain America regalia holding what appears to be an alien firearm of some kind. Combine that weapon with Evans' battle against two men wearing motion-capture suits and it becomes pretty clear that the Avengers are going to be fighting something from beyond Earth's orbit come May 2012.

Yet another wrinkle to add to the mix is this little bite from a Cleveland.com report:

A person close to the filming confirmed a long-held belief that the villains in the film -- besides Thor's evil half-brother, Loki -- are the shape-changing aliens, The Skrulls, who have been perennial villains in the Marvel Universe since 1961.

The Skrulls have held a rumored "Avengers" presence for a long time, but between this "inside source" and the set photos that are available to us now, it looks like their involvement is as close to confirmed as it's going to get.

With Marvel's "Secret Invasion" miniseries a few years behind us now, I think any Skrull oversaturation can be forgiven with their probable arrival in "The Avengers" ... assuming Marvel doesn't drown us with a "Secret Secret Invasion" event next summer to coincide with the superhero flick's release, at least!

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