Take a look at the most popular superhero teams in Marvel Comics and you might not hear of The Illuminati. This isn’t your typical comic book team that bands together to fight some alien or supervillain threatening to destroy the world. In fact, it’s hardly an original team, since all of its members were already a part of a particular superhero team. Let’s take a look at the original lineup of the Illuminati, for instance. The most popular heavy-hitters are Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Doctor Strange, and Professor Xavier. Those are characters that every Marvel fan knows, but the casual fans might not be too familiar with the other two original members, Namor and Black Bolt. Over the years, the Illuminati has had other members join their ranks, such as Amadeus Cho, Beast, and Black Panther, but with each member their purpose was always the same.
What separates this team from the Avengers and the X-Men is that they were meant to work behind the scenes. That usually meant they had to look into any and all potential threats that would pose a danger to the whole planet. Sounds like your typical job for any superhero team, but these guys have a tendency to cross some lines. Some examples include exiling the Hulk to outer space, a decision that would later backfire terribly, attempting to erase Captain America’s memories, and even considering destroying other worlds to save their own. To put it short, they make the most morally conflicting decisions that have no just conclusions. You can certainly bet that they have made enemies from both heroes and villains alike. In the comics, The Illuminati began with Iron Man proposing to these particular heroes that they should form a government of superhumans with the hopes of learning from each other. This was a result of the war between the Kree and the Skrulls, two races that some of the heroes had experience dealing with.
Tony Stark believed that a collective group of heroes sharing this information would have left them better prepared to deal with the conflict. Sounds like a good idea on paper, but that’s usually how the ideas of Tony Stark begin. And how do they typically turn out? Yeah, not very well. But the most interesting aspect of the Illuminati is the type of characters that makes up the roster. All of the members represent something unique among the Marvel Universe. Tony Stark, being one of the founding members of the Avengers and not having powers, represents the common man and the mentality of superheroes working with the government rather than against them. Mr. Fantastic, the leader of the Fantastic Four, represents the scientific community of superhumans. Professor Xavier, the founder of the X-Men, represents the mutants. Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, represents the mystical order of the superhuman community. Black Bolt and Namor are both monarchs of different peoples, with Namor being the more anti-hero-type character.
These are among the wisest and significant characters in the Marvel universe. This is why the Illuminati exist, because the group needs heroes like them to think together and collaborate. Yes, many of their actions have led to some chaotic events, but having a group like them has its advantages. Can a group like this exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? I would certainly say yes, but probably not the same like the comics. For one, and this is the obvious one, Tony Stark in the MCU is dead. The comic version founded the Illuminati, but that probably won’t be the case for the MCU. That’s okay, because another character on his level can do the same. We know that Mr. Fantastic is coming to the MCU and Professor X is very likely to follow. However, there is a chance Marvel can do something more original with the Illuminati. In fact, according to some reports, it sounds like Marvel fully intends to set up the Illuminati, starting with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. According to a report on Inverse, Marvel very might debut a certain mutant in the Doctor Strange sequel. Guess who it is? No, not Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (although that’s also possible), but Professor Xavier.
This is some very intriguing news. First of all, Professor X coming to the MCU? Oh, a thousand times yes. But why him? Well, apparently he’ll be a big help in fighting Wanda Maximoff, who will be an antagonist in Doctor Strange 2. That’s something we all expected from her at one point, but to have her go up against Professor X? That would be a very unexpected banger so soon. But Inverse has taken note from a particular Twitter user named @ViewerAnon, who is suggesting that Marvel intends to debut the Illuminati. However, this won’t be the same Illuminati we know from the comics. In fact, the only member from the comics the Twitter user mentioned was Professor X. That’s a given, but the other members apparently include two past MCU characters Monica Rambeau and Mordo, as well as two newer characters Captain Carter and Balder the Brave. The last two really raised an eyebrow for me.
For those who have been watching the What If…? series on Disney+, you’ll be familiar with Captain Carter. This was actually a pretty awesome version of Peggy, who made for a very tough Captain America. I would actually like to see this version of Peggy again and thanks to the Multiverse, it’s possible she might be seen again in live-action form. As for Balder, I’ve always wondered when Marvel was going to bring him in. Another Norse god who is also the half-brother to Thor? Let’s get him on board. Characters like these would be fine additions to the MCU’s Illuminati, making for a powerful and diverse lineup. If we’re getting an Illuminati, they need to be made up of wise and powerful characters who come from different parts of the universe. Or, in Captain Carter’s case, time. This is a hot rumor I am very interested in learning more about. Of course, Illuminati or not, having Professor X in the MCU is a must. If he’s not around, there’s no X-Men and we need the X-Men. But having the Illuminati in the MCU would set up for some epic future Marvel events. All I can say is that Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness will surely be stacked, so if the Illuminati is being set up, I won’t be surprised.