When Doctor Strange finally arrives in theaters (in just under two weeks!!!), his presence will open a plethora of new doors with endless possibilities. No… it has nothing to do with the addition of magic, or even the chance to explore new timelines or altogether different realities. Instead, Doctor Strange can finally reveal who has been pulling the string all along: The Illuminati.
Thursday night was the world premiere of the upcoming Doctor Strange movie. The stars of the movie didn’t just walk the red carpet, they also fielded questions about the flick and the future of their characters. However, when Benedict Cumberbatch was asked about the possibility of The Illuminati showing up… he deferred the question to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
“Well, what’s fun about the Illuminati is that there are certain characters interacting with other certain characters, so I don’t know about that particular storyline, but certainly some of those characters you will see on screen in the next Avengers.”
So it’s far from a true confirmation that we’ll see a secret, proactive cabal of superheroes meeting behind the scenes, but he didn’t outright deny it, either. Considering a handful of characters from The Illuminati have already emerged in the MCU, it’s quite possible we could see the secret assemblage prior to the climactic events in Infinity War.
Wait, What’s The Illuminati?
First appearing in New Avengers #7 (July 2005), The Illuminati was a collection of some of Marvel’s finest, both in power and influence, including Iron Man, Professor X, Beast, Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Prince Namor…..and Captain America, until he disagreed with their methods, which resulted in the removal of his person, and his actual memories of the team (thanks, Doctor Strange!).
Their purpose? To, in a manner and in secret, direct their considerable power and individually aligned resources to the greater, immediate threats encroaching planet Earth, or to the stifling of potential dangers on Earth, or gestating in the known, and unknown, universe. Taking a more proactive stance and dealing with grand-scale, morally ambiguous occurrences, they were forced to employ more unseemly methods in the name of humanity’s defense. Their methods eventually earned Cap’s ire, and put them at odds with the Avengers.
So, let’s assume that The Illuminati will appear in some way, shape or form in the next Avengers outing. Which cinematic heroes would sit at the round table?
I mean, someone like Captain America would be opposed to a certain selection of individuals pulling the strings. However, there are others who would jump at the opportunity to land a seat at that meeting.
Who Should Be in the MCU’s Illuminati??
I mean, it’s a no-brainer right? Since day one of the MCU, Tony Stark’s fingerprints have been all over the events that have befallen the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From creating the Avengers headquarters to creating one of their enemies, Ultron, Stark has already been pulling the strings. If someone is going to create a coalition of heroes, it has to start with Iron Man.
Of course, he was a stalwart member in the comics, so….yeah; the MCU should stick with the winning formula.
What Stark is to science, Strange is to mysticism. With magic making its presence known, Stark is going to need to recruit someone who is an expert in that field. Enter Stephen Strange. With the original collection of Illuminati, each member had their own specialty, so everyone brought something different to the table. Considering the main players in the current MCU are all tech experts, it’s Strange who could bring a different perspective to The Illuminati.
He’s a major member in the comic collective, so why not let him be a featured played in the big screen Illuminati? Besides being the king of the technologically advanced nation of Wakanda, T’Challa offers another benefit: his home is isolated and EXTREMELY well protected, meaning The Illuminati can meet in secrecy. If the group does, in fact, have a future in the MCU, then the best introduction would be in the end credits of 2018’s Black Panther movie. You could see Stark, Strange, T’Challa and other Illuminati members getting together…to discuss the impending threat of Thanos.
Who better to talk about an alien warlord than The Incredible Hulk himself? By the time The Illuminati have their first meeting, Bruce Banner would have already returned to Earth following his adventures in Thor: Ragnarok (that is, if he does return). After space-gallivanting with Thor, Bruce will be the only member of The Illuminati who’s aware of the threats coming from galaxies far away. This awareness will be needed as the secretive leaders prepare their upcoming war against The Mad Titan. Or… what if Banner doesn’t want to join, but The Hulk takes over and assumes Banner’s seat at the table?
I’ve gone through multiple scenarios for the last member. Mr. Fantastic would be a dream come true, but alas, the idea of Marvel and Fox sharing The Fantastic Four might be more dream than reality, meaning Reed Richards remains on the sidelines. Namor is another option; however, his rights are also in flux with no confirmation that he belongs to Marvel. Still, there is one guy who could easily join the elite ranks of The Illuminati… Black Bolt.
Black Bolt is the king of the Inhumans. We know they currently exist in the MCU thanks to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, the royal family has yet to make its presence known. If Black Bolt is to arrive, have him be the surprise character revealed in Infinity War (as opposed to Captain Marvel). It not only introduces a bad-ass character who is already working with fellow Avengers, but also sets the tone for a future Inhumans movie.
Now, the Inhumans movie was set to be released in 2018, but that got pushed back to 2019 until it was ultimately removed from the MCU slate altogether. It’s long been rumored that Vin Diesel would play the king of the Inhumans. Diesel also confirmed that he’s going to appear in Avengers: Infininty War. Everyone assumed that meant Groot would be showing up, but what if he’s actually set to appear as Black Bolt?? The stars appear to be aligning with The Illuminati, and Black Bolt would be an awesome addition to the group.
So what do you think about a possible Illuminati presence in Infinity War? Would that be a plus for the movie, or would it be another storyline in a movie potentially packed with interconnecting sub-stories? Let us know in the comments section… and make sure to include who you’d like to see in the MCU’s Illuminati!