How Doctor Strange 2 Sets Up the Next Big Marvel Saga in Theaters

Six years after making his film debut, Doctor Strange is back in the Multiverse of Madness. Meeting point of several MCU stories , the new adventure of the wizard caught the public’s attention for the promise to introduce the Illuminati , a team formed by some of the greatest heroes of the Marvel Universe .

For those of you who want to know more about the team, which has attracted attention after having its name mentioned in teasers for the new film , we explain below who they are in the comics and what are the main differences from the Doctor Strange 2 version .

The Illuminati in Comics

In comics, the Illuminati was featured in 2005’s The New Avengers #7 by Brian Michael Bendis ( Daredevil ) and Steven McNiven ( Civil War ). The story saw Iron Man secretly assembling a group made up of great minds from the Marvel Universe such as Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic , Professor Xavier , Namor , and Black Lightning .

On the occasion, Tony Stark gathered the group to warn about the creation of a new Avengers team and to talk about the Sentinel, a superpowered and disturbed hero who would be the team’s responsibility. This meeting wasn’t exactly important, but it marked the first “appearance” of the Illuminati, whose origins have been explained over the years.

How Doctor Strange 2 Sets Up the Next Big Marvel Saga in Theaters
First appearance of the Illuminati in the comics

Years later, Bendis himself came back to explain that the Illuminati was created right after the Kree-Skrull War , famous saga published by Marvel in the 70’s. Scared by the fact that Earth was almost destroyed and believing that the exchange of information between different teams and peoples could have avoided this catastrophe, Stark decided to assemble a group to avoid problems of this nature.

With that in mind, he proposed a union of leaders who could think of strategies and make drastic decisions quickly. Those chosen were:

  • Charles Xavier of the X-Men as a representative of the mutants
  • Reed Richards as Fantastic Four Representative
  • Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans
  • Namor, King of Atlantis
  • Black Panther , King of Wakanda
  • Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme
  • Iron Man as Representative of the Avengers

The only one to refuse the proposal was the Black Panther, who only returned to seek the Illuminati when he witnessed an Incursion – the name given to the collision between two Earths of the Multiverse – understand more about it by clicking here .

How Doctor Strange 2 Sets Up the Next Big Marvel Saga in Theaters
The first Illuminati meeting before Black Panther turned down the offer

The sextet remained united, making secret decisions throughout human history, a very clever justification for their appearance in the comics only in the 2000s. Since then, several stories have been published that show how the group acted during great Marvel sagas, such as Infinite Challenge . , Planet Hulk and Secret Invasion .

Since then, the original group of the Illuminati has gone through overhauls, gaining new members – like Captain America and the Beast – and even inspiring another team that kept only its name.

The original Illuminati team in art by Gabriele Dell’Otto

[As of now spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness]

The Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness presented the Illuminati in a very different version of the comics in many ways. The team appears in one of the realities visited by Doctor Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch ) and America Chavez ( Xochitl Gomez ). But instead of a secret union of leaders from different groups and peoples, they are a common team that looks more like an alternate version of the Avengers.

Formed with the same mission to “make decisions that no one else could”, the group was responsible for defeating Thanos when the Mad Titan set out in search of the Infinity Stones to kill half of the universe. In this alternate land, the team originally featured:

  • Charles Xavier ( Patrick Stewart )
  • Reed Richards ( John Krasinski )
  • Black Lightning ( Anson Mount )
  • Captain Carter ( Hayley Atwell )
  • Captain Marvel ( Maria Rambeau )
  • Doctor Strange

This reality’s Doctor Strange became corrupted by the Darkhold, the evil book of Chaos Magic, and caused Incursions and the death of many worlds. Punished for his actions, he is killed by the group and replaced by Mordo ( Chiwetel Ejiofor ), who has replaced Strange as Sorcerer Supreme.

The team that appeared in Multiverse of Madness met a tragic outcome, being murdered one by one by Wanda Maximoff ( Elizabeth Olsen ). However, with the opening of the multiverse, nothing prevents another incarnation of the Illuminati to appear in the future, formed by heroes from the main universe of cinemas or even a meeting of heroes from different realities.

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