As we saw in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Earth-838’s Illuminati has been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
The debut of the team is one of the biggest talking points of the film, so let’s break down exactly who this team is and the history of their members!
I’ll be going in depth about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so SPOILERS AHEAD!
Earth-838’s Illuminati EXPLAINED!
Who’s In The Illuminati?
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we were introduced to The Illuminati of Earth-838. This version of The Illuminati consisted of Professor X, Captain Carter, Black Bolt, Captain Marvel, Reed Richards and Sorcerer Supreme Mordo.
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While many expected this team to consist of members from throughout the multiverse, all members of this team were established to be from the same Earth, which means these characters had completely different histories than the variants they were inspired by.
To start, we’ll talk about Professor X, played by Sir Patrick Stewart. On this Earth, the existence of mutants is still left a mystery. While Charles Xavier is a mutant, we don’t know if there are any others on Earth-838. This version of the character is heavily inspired by the X-Men Animated Series opposed to the X-Men films.
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Whether or not mutants exist in this reality, Professor X is still one of the most powerful characters in Marvel Comics, and it makes sense that the Doctor Strange of their universe would recruit him.
Captain Carter on this Earth, played by Hayley Atwell, likely has a fairly similar history to her What If…? Variant.
Peggy probably took the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers and became Captain Carter, and made the ultimate sacrifice resulting in her being brought to the present. Now in modern day Earth-838, she likely met members of The Illuminati and joined forces with them.
The Black Bolt of this world likely has a different history opposed to the version of the characters in ABC’s Inhumans, where he was also portrayed by Anson Mount, based on the radically different design and effects of his powers.
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With the confirmation there are in fact Inhumans on this Earth, Black Bolt is certainly their leader, explaining his role on the team.
This team had a variant of Captain Marvel on the roster, this version being Maria Rambeau played by Lashana Lynch. In this universe, Rambeau likely was given her powers by The Tesseract instead of Carol Danvers, making her Captain Marvel.
As one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, her tenure as an Illuminati member seems logical.
Reed Richards, A.K.A. Mister Fantastic debuted in this film played by John Krasinski. This variant of the character was a member of the Fantastic Four, a team confirmed to exist on this universe.
This version of the character is older and has children with Sue Storm. This Earth appears highly advanced, and with Reed being said to be the smartest man alive, this is likely his doing. As a super genius with incredible abilities, his role on the team is a no brainer.
Sorcerer Supremes Stephen Strange & Karl Mordo
Finally, The Illuminati had a variant of Doctor Strange as the leader and founder of this team. Doctor Strange, being one of the most powerful beings on their Earth had a similar role in the team that he did with The Avengers from the looks of it. After his removal from the team, Karl Mordo took his place as Sorcerer Supreme.
Where Are The Avengers?
This team appears to be this Earth’s main group of defenders, as the seven of them were the only heroes seen in the fight against Thanos on Titan. The lack of Avengers referenced or seen could imply they don’t exist in this reality. We know Captain America likely doesn’t exist because Peggy took the serum instead. In theory, this could have affected the timeline causing Bruce Banner’s experiments to go differently, assuming they took place at all, resulting in the lack of Hulk too.
Iron Man’s existence in this world is also left a mystery. While Ultron Sentries were seen, we do not know who created them. Chances are Reed Richards created them, or possibly even Hank Pym like in the source material. It could be the reasoning behind the new design. As for Thor, we don’t know how his history could have been affected. He could very easily just be off-world.
The Infinity War and Execution of Doctor Strange
In this reality, Thanos still sought after the Infinity Stones to balance the universe. The Illuminati appeared to intercept him on Titan, where we saw his dead body. As they managed to kill him before arriving on Earth, The Snap likely never occurred in this universe. Following this, The Illuminati decided to remove Doctor Strange from the equation after he used the Darkhold to find a way to defeat Thanos, which resulted in an incursion that destroyed an entire universe. They achieved this by having Black Bolt kill him by uttering the words “I’m sorry.”
This Illuminati opted to not tell the world about their Doctor Strange’s misdeeds, claiming the world needs heroes. This variant of Strange was immortalized as a statue and viewed as a hero in their reality. Following the death of the founder of the team, Professor X took over as leader.
The Illuminati’s Fate
Sadly, we know how the story of Earth-838’s Illuminati ends, very gruesomely. Most of the members’ fates were fairly clear, such as Black Bolt, who blew his own brains out, Professor X, whose neck was snapped and Captain Carter, who was cut in half with her own shield. These characters are most certainly gone. As for the rest, their fates are unfortunately likely the same, but hope could still remain.
Reed Richards was torn apart by The Scarlet Witch, but in the comics, he’s been twisted out of shape on many occasions. He could theoretically return, although the popping of his head doesn’t bode well. We can hopefully expect to see John Krasinski return as Mister Fantastic as the core universe’s variant of the character in the upcoming Fantastic Four film.
Captain Marvel might also stand a chance at surviving. She’s one of the physically strongest heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so there’s a chance she could have survived being crushed by the statue. She was shown to have arguably the least violent death.
The only member of Earth-838’s Illuminati left alive appears to be Karl Mordo. He managed to escape Wanda’s wrath by fighting Doctor Strange. We could see this variant travel to Wanda and Doctor Strange’s universe for revenge. As a man who devoted his life to safeguarding his reality, he likely won’t take the death of his team lightly.
Will The Main Universe Have an Illuminati?
With the debut and prompt demise of The Illuminati, we can only hope that Doctor Strange was inspired by this team of heroes, resulting in him assembling his own Illuminati. We could see a more comic accurate iteration of the team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward, maybe featuring Namor as well as MCU variants of Mister Fantastic, Professor X and Black Bolt!
What were your thoughts on The Illuminati’s appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Did the deaths of the team terrify you the way they did us? Let us know in the comments and on our Twitter!