Secret societies are nothing new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Time Variance Authority controlled the multiverse, He Who Remains controlled the TVA, and the Skrulls are slowly sinking their talons into the Avengers through the Secret Invasion. But when you think “secret society controlling everything,” your first thought is probably the Illuminati.
Not only do the Illuminati exist in the Marvel Comics, but the most confusing part of the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer could bring the all-star lineup into the MCU. Here’s everything you need to know.
In Marvel Comics, the Illuminati were formed by delegates from different subsections of the Marvel Universe after the Kree-Skrull conflict to keep the universe under control. It’s basically a superhero United Nations, allowing collaborations between the different groups (and brands) that make up Marvel.
In the comics, the Illuminati consisted of:
- Iron Man, representing the Avengers
- Namor, representing Atlantis
- Reed Richards, representing the Fantastic Four
- Black Bolt, representing the Inhumans
- T’Challa, representing Wakanda
- Doctor Strange, representing the mystical forces in the universe
- Charles Xavier, representing the Mutants
This last member is no surprise considering the tidal wave of fan speculation surrounding a “Mystery Voice” in the new trailer. Though it’s still unclear who this character is, fans believe this is the long-anticipated introduction of Professor X and the rest of the X-Men into Marvel Canon.
But don’t expect the entire Illuminati lineup to appear in the Doctor Strange sequel. According to a leak from all the way back in August 2021, the MCU version of the Illuminati will consist of Professor X, Captain Carter, Balder the Brave, Monica Rambeau, and Mordo.
Though this isn’t officially confirmed, that lineup would make a lot more sense. Monica Rambeau and Captain Carter are both recent additions to the MCU, and Mordo has already appeared in the first Doctor Strange film. Iron Man and T’Challa aren’t likely to appear in another MCU film, but more recent characters could replace them.
Also, Monica Rambeau had a perplexing encounter with a Skrull in the post-credits scene of WandaVision. Could her involvement with the Secret Invasion allow her to establish the Illuminati to keep the Skrulls at bay? And why would the Illuminati need to apprehend Doctor Strange? Hopefully all these questions will be answered in a few months.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in theaters May 6, 2022.