The release of the newest Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness trailer got plenty of people talking about the possibilities that are quite endless in the film, especially with the possible appearance of a familiar X-Men character. That is why people are speculating on the introduction of the Illuminati into the MCU. So, with that said, we’ll take a good look at the known members of the Illuminati.
There have been plenty of different heroes that have joined the ranks of the Illuminati since the introduction of the group. That said, it is better that we focus more on the prominent members of the group, such as the founders, because there is a good chance that the MCU will focus more on those characters. And taking its cue from the actual rumored Illuminati, most of these members are leaders of their own group as well.
Tony Stark, also known as the hero Iron-Man, is arguably the most popular MCU character today because of how he was responsible for starting the MCU. He is also one of the founding members of the Avengers and, along with Captain America, acted as one of the leaders of the group. However, the MCU version of Tony Stark had already passed due to the events of Avengers: Endgame. If we are to see Tony Stark once more in Doctor Strange 2, it might be a variant.
Powers and Abilities
As Iron-Man, Tony Stark has no powers. However, he relies on his genius intellect and mastery over science and engineering to develop gadgets and suits that are capable of enhancing his combat abilities. That is why Stark has a lot of different Iron-Man suits that are constantly upgraded, depending on new technological developments. The last model we saw in Endgame was the Iron Man Mark 85 suit that relied on nanotechnology.
Professor Charles Xavier
Professor Charles Xavier, also known as Professor X, is a mutant and the founder of the X-Men, which operates as the group of superheroes that are trained in the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. He is best known for helping young mutants cultivate their powers so that they would learn to control their abilities. Of course, we previously saw Professor X in live-action in the X-Men movies. It is speculated that it was his voice that we heard in the Doctor Strange trailer.
Powers and Abilities
Professor X’s powers and abilities are based on his status as a mutant. He is an Omega-level mutant with telepathic powers. Professor X often uses his mind to communicate with other people and to read their thoughts. However, on offense, he is also known to use his mind to mess up the minds of other people to the point that, if he tried to, he could easily kill other people just by messing up with their brains.
Also known as Black Bolt, Blackagar Boltagon is the King of the Inhumans, a race of genetically altered superhumans. In the comics, he was born to two genetic geniuses in the advanced city of Attilan. And because he was subjected to a mutagen as an embryo, he was born with powers that surpassed the usual norms of what Inhumans could do. There is actually an Inhumans MCU mini-series, but it was not renewed due to its poor reception.
Powers and Abilities
Black Bolt’s powers focus on his ability to harness particles and electrons through his voice. As such, he often uses his voice as his main weapon. But the problem is that his voice is so destructive that speaking can destroy an entire city. As such, he went through a tough mental training that would prevent him from uttering a sound even when he is asleep, as he usually only speaks through sign language or via a spokesperson.
Doctor Stephen Strange
Stephen Strange started out as a top surgeon in New York until an accident caused nerve damage to his hands to the point that it was impossible for him to perform surgery effectively. This forced him to try to learn the mystic arts in Kamar-Taj in the hopes of finding a way to completely heal his hands. However, he found himself entangled in bigger problems surrounding the world of the mystic arts, as Strange eventually became the strongest sorcerer and even ended up fighting for the fate of the universe in the Avengers films.
Powers and Abilities
Doctor Strange is a regular human but was able to master the mystic arts through intense training and studying. As such, his mastery over the mystic arts is unrivaled, as he can perform numerous spells and conjure up all sorts of different constructs. He is known to be a master magician that is capable of manipulating Eldritch magic effectively and can even project energy blasts. Of course, as seen in the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and quite possibly Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, he is powerful enough to affect the very fabric of reality through a spell.
Namor McKenzie is the King of Atlantis and has origins that are quite similar to DC’s Aquaman. He is the son of a regular human and an Atlantean princess. However, he grew up in Atlantis and developed a hostile attitude towards surface-dwellers, as his home was nearly destroyed due to their activities. There was a point in time when he actually led the Atlanteans against humanity when he became their king but eventually decided to put aside his hatred for the surface-dwellers for the good of his people.
Powers and Abilities
Namor’s powers and abilities are the product of his Atlantean physiology. That means that he has a body that is far stronger than that of any regular human, as he has superhuman strength, agility, durability, stamina, and reflexes. Unlike other Atlantean characters in comic book history, Namor is also capable of flight, but most of his combat abilities are based on his superhuman physical capabilities.
Reed Richards is a scientist whose knowledge transcends what any regular human is capable of because he has mastered all of the different sciences, and that means that he is often regarded as the smartest man on Earth (and even smarter than Tony Stark). During a trip to space to recover a stolen rocket, Reed Richards, his best friend Ben, and his girlfriend Sue and her younger brother Johnny were exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. The exposure allowed them to develop superhuman powers, as Richards and the other three formed the Fantastic Four, with him as the group’s leader.
Powers and Abilities
Reed Richards, also known as Mister Fantastic, has the power of plasticity, which allows him to convert his body mass into a highly malleable state that allows him to stretch and mold it through will alone. He can easily transform his shape and then use it to his advantage in battle. Due to the fact that he can also change his density, his body is highly durable. However, Reed Richards’ greatest weapon has always been his intellect, as he is smarter than anyone on the planet.
History in comics
In the comics, the Illuminati was formed when Iron Man called a meeting after the Kree-Skrull War because he realized that all of the leaders of the different superhero groups all over the world had some sort of intel regarding the threat.
Tony Stark’s argument is that the aliens all over the universe see the superheroes of Earth as its law enforcers. As such, he proposed to them that they acted in a way befitting of law enforcers by joining up together to form a unified group of superhumans under the leadership of the different members called in the meeting. Those present in the meeting were him, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Namor, and Mister Fantastic.
However, there was a counter-argument regarding how those who were in the meeting were already struggling to control their own groups and that all of them had too many secrets that they were not willing to share with other groups of heroes.
Then again, Reed Richards agreed that they all had their own intel on the matters that threatened the planet. As such, instead of forming a unified group, the leaders of the different groups of heroes simply decided to meet together in secret so that they could share intel and strategize on what they knew about a possible threat to the planet. Charles Xavier, with his powers of telepathy, was the one who was tasked to moderate the group.
This was how the Illuminati was formed, as it became a secretive group that began with the leaders of the main groups of superheroes found on Earth. It takes its cue from the rumored real-life Illuminati, which is said to be a group composed of some of the most powerful leaders in the world.
Due to the fact that the Illuminati was formed by the leaders of the different groups of heroes throughout the planet, it has a lot of shared enemies that include the likes of Thanos, The Hood, Black Swan, the Great Society, the Black Order, Terrax, and God-Emperor Doom.
However, it wasn’t rare for the Illuminati to clash with other heroes as well. Captain America eventually became a member of the group but was branded as an enemy when the righteous hero didn’t agree with the plan of creating weapons that could destroy other planets as a last resort. Meanwhile, the Hulk also became the enemy of the group during the events of World War Hulk.
The secretive nature of the group, as well as how some of the members were willing to do unspeakable acts to maintain peace and order, also allowed it to clash with other groups such as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Avengers. And when Namor had a falling out with the Illuminati, he formed his own Cabal, which became one of the group’s enemies as well.
When Can We Expect To See Illuminati In The MCU?
While we have only seen the Illuminati in the comics, there is a good chance that we will see the group making its MCU debut during the events of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. This speculation came about when Strange was apprehended by Baron Karl Mordo for his desecration of reality, as he was taken to a tribunal that would try him for his crimes.
One of the indications that the Illuminati was the tribunal that would take charge over Strange’s trial was the appearance of the Ultron robots that escorted him to his place of trial. We know for a fact that the Ultron robots were originally the Iron Legion that Tony Stark built before their programming was taken over by Ultron. It could be possible that these robots were created by the Tony Stark of another universe to serve as the foot soldiers of the Illuminati.
But the biggest clue that leads to the Illuminati’s possible appearance in the MCU was when Strange was already taken to a room where the tribunal was about to try him. Then a familiar voice out of frame said, “We should tell him the truth.” This voice quite possibly belongs to Patrick Stewart, who we know as the actor who portrayed Professor X in the X-Men films.
It is quite possible that the Illuminati was the tribunal that was put in charge of Doctor Strange’s trial. And considering that the comic book version of the Illuminati includes Doctor Strange as a founding member, it is also possible that, instead of punishing him for his crimes, they would recruit him into their group to counter an incoming threat that was bigger than the problems that the sorcerer caused during the events of the movie.