Hey guys, thanks for checking out my Fantastic Four casting post! I hope to be getting a new laptop in a month or so and when I do, I’m going to start a comic-themed Youtube channel with a lot of similar content, only additionally you’ll be able to my hear wonderful voice! I will also say that this post will have spoilers for Avengers: Endgame so stop reading if you haven’t seen it, but really, do see it. It’s great.
So today, yesterday me and my best friend were discussing the future of the MCU and were going through a few theories we heard, theories of our own, coming up with ideas and talking characters etc, you know how it is. So we stumbled onto the Illuminati. For those of you that don’t know, the Illuminati of Marvel Comics was originally founded after the Kree-Skrull war because Iron Man realised that if he and others with fantastic abilities, armies, intelligence and resources had worked together, they could have prevented it. So something very similar could happen in the MCU after the Invasion of Earth in Avengers: Infinity War and then the events of Avengers: Endgame which saw the death of Tony Stark, and Thor leaving Earth indefinitely. Ultimately because Tony Stark aka Iron Man is dead, it wouldn’t be him to make the decision however, a certain Stephen Strange aka Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme is very much in a position to do so. He could quite easily decide that Earth needs a layer of protection that only a select few could oversee, especially in the wake of a new arrival of say Galactus or Kang. Now I will say, this isn’t a theory as such, it’s more a bit of wishful thinking for a future story-line or a few story-lines, for the Illuminati presence would surely create a number of rich subplots within existing character arcs and characters that are yet to be introduced such as the X-Men, Doctor Doom with Latveria, the Dark Avengers etc. I think the Illuminati are one of the coolest assets in Marvel Comics. They’ve done some pretty shady stuff, but they’re pretty cool.
Me and pal were chatting, and talking about which characters could potentially take a place in the MCU version of the Illuminati. Now, the Fox-Marvel characters – X-Men and Fantastic Four haven’t entered the MCU yet and we’re not likely to see the X-Men at least for around 5 years, but I bet we will see the Fantastic Four before that for they are much easier to introduce. If the Illuminati was to be formed, I reckon it would be after Mister Fantastic was on the scene. He, Doctor Strange, and T’Challa aka Black Panther could decide it is necessary to form this shadow group and that brings us onto who would take the places of the group although, like in the comics, I think Black Panther would not take a place in the group itself and I will expand on that a little later with one of my choices. So let us imagine that Doctor Strange and Mister Fantastic are definitely in the MCU Illuminati, who else could take up a place and why? The original line up was Iron Man, Namor, Mr. Fantastic, Professor X, Black Bolt and Doctor Strange. An MCU line up would be different I’m sure. So without further ado, let’s go into who I would like to see in the MCU’s Illuminati.
We’ll start with the two who, in this scenario, are founding members. Doctor Stephen Strange makes perfect sense to be on the forefront of a clandestine organisation. Not only is he the Sorcerer Supreme; a man of deep mystical connections and also one of Earth’s strongest defenders, but he’s also faced Thanos and an invasion himself. As Sorcerer Supreme he has knowledge over a vast collection of abilities, dimensions and assets, but prefers to stay in the shadows rather than be the face of Earth’s defence. All of these combine to make him a prime candidate to helm the organisation, wanting to keep the world safe for he knows that he can’t do it alone.
Again, one of the two who I believe would be crucial to establishing the Illuminati of the MCU. Reed Richards aka Mister Fantastic is the world’s smartest man, rivaled only by Victor Von Doom who is his arch nemesis. Although Reed has stated that Tony Stark is the best engineer in the world, Tony is dead in the MCU and so Reed’s intelligence is a priority. His intelligence and expertise in science and technology is a no-brainer (pun intended) to be a founding member of the Illuminati.
I’m personally really excited for the Fantastic Four to be introduced into the MCU, and with how Endgame set up for a multi-verse and the death of Stark, the timing really couldn’t be better to introduce a team to be the new public-face of defence. Not only that but Reed Richards would make a terrific mentor character for Peter Parker.
Next up is Iron Man’s replacement. With Tony Stark gone there are only a few who could potentially replace him and his role in the group. While Mister Fantastic may well be the most intelligent man and with the largest range of expertise in science, he, in the comics has expressed that Iron Man was the best engineer in the world. However in the MCU there is potentially one better than Tony in the realms of engineering and that is Shuri, the sister of T’Challa; the Black Panther.
Shuri has so far been portrayed as a playful, comedic yet vastly intelligent character. However if we look deeper into her role in the MCU she is in fact an excellent choice to take a seat at the table. Shuri is sister to the current king T’Challa aka Black Panther, however T’Challa is a diplomat of Wakanda and so can’t take a seat, but Shuri could instead. She would be Wakanda’s seat at the table as well as providing the technological insight that Tony Stark would have if he had been alive. We’ve already seen a glimpse of the sorts of things she is capable of from the Black Panther film, furthermore, Shuri has almost certainly been raised to take over as queen in case anything happen to T’challa, so she’s certainly capable of the responsibility. Additionally, a lot of people would love for her to take up the mantle of Iron Heart, with her own Iron Man suit but personally, after Avengers: Endgame, I’m not sure how I feel about that.
So we’re steering away from the original members again with Sersi. In her place originally I would have put the comic-member of Black Bolt but the Inhumans in the MCU have not been handled well, in fact the TV show was canceled after the first season which received less than flattering reviews. Unless the Inhumans are retconned and rebooted to the standards of the rest of the MCU, I think Black Bolt should remain away from this group. Taking his place however is Sersi, and I’m a really big fan of Sersi both as a character and for a member of this group.
Sersi could take the place as the leader of a race of super-powered people and is set to debut in the upcoming Eternals film. Sersi is a powerful sorcerer and possesses a variety of super-powered attributes, Sersi’s greatest skill is the psionic rearrangement of molecular structures of objects, which is far greater then that of any other Eternal. Her abilities are so great that she can actually manipulate matter down to the subatomic level. On top of that she’s a proven leader, and she has a wide range of knowledge of Earth, has the resources and people of the Eternals at her back and with a vast intellect. Sersi is definitely an excellent addition to the Illuminati.
Now we move onto a some-what grey area. Professor X most definitely deserves a place at the table however he’s not in the MCU yet and according to a lot or recent reports, some from rather reputable sources, we won’t be seeing the X-Men for at least five years. However this may work out well for an Illuminati set of events. We can imagine that the Illuminati is not something that would be set up merely overnight, it would take a long time to gradually reach out to all who could take up a seat. The initial idea could come from Doctor Strange, and Mister Fantastic could help implement it by being the first to join and also help search for or decide on others to join but then it could be a thing of teasing us for a while, with little nods and references towards it.
Professor X is the leader of the X-Men, he represents the ideals of a cohabited world between human kind and mutant kind. He’s also the world’s most powerful telepath and a leading expert of genetics. Having him on board makes a huge amount of sense, in fact, after Doctor Strange himself I would say that Professor X is probably the most important member. It could work quite well that after the X-Men and mutant kind have been introduced. The Illuminati’s presence could incite conflict in itself, maybe by the withholding of information or seen as an abuse of power, it could set the stage for the MCU’s next big event like Avengers vs. X-Men or the Wakanda/Atlantis War. Both of which Professor X would be involved in and so could join the Illuminati afterwards, with the idea in mind to prevent future conflict and to reign in the organisation. He could join in a number of different ways or scenarios really, but he is a key member.
Namor is one of the original members in the comics too and honestly I think it makes a lot of sense to have him on the MCU team too. Namor is one of the oldest mutants but he is also a king. Namor is king of Atlantis (yes Marvel has one too) and so has considerable resources and reach. Namor is a bit of a wildcard member, he’s often brash and has a darker side than most on the team but he is powerful and influential and along with Professor X, his place on the team would represent mutant-kind, as well as forging an alliance with the hidden kingdom, keeping relations good with the rest of the world. As mentioned above, a big fan theory is that we will see the X-Men and Avengers clash at some point after the X-Men have been introduced, Namor would most certainly be a big part of that. The Illuminati would almost definitely want Namor at the table as much to be allies as to keep him in check.
Avengers: Endgame did give us a tease of Atlantis. In the beginning half of the film, Black Widow is talking to those of the MCU heroes who survived the snap, and dealing with any leads or problems. Okoye mentions an “earthquake beneath the ocean”. This is a subtle nod and reference to Atlantis and Namor.
So there we are! A fun post on the Illuminati in the MCU. With the line-up of Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic, Shuri, Sersi, Professor X, and Namor. This line up seems very fitting but is also diverse. My only real issue with the comic Illuminati is that they are all men… the idea that the world’s most powerful of influential are all male doesn’t sit right with me.
So as I said, this is definitely wishful thinking rather than a direct theory, however I think the appearance of the Illuminati isn’t too far-fetched.
So who would be in your version of the MCU’s Illuminati?