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NewsDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: What the...

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: What the Illuminati Mean for the MCU

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Are The Illuminati the Same in Every Universe?

No. As Mordo explains, the Illuminati formed on Earth 838 to protect its world from multiversal threats, which indicates that the group we saw was unique to their Earth. Furthermore, it isn’t hard to guess that the MCU X-Men will have a different Charles Xavier waiting in the wings, rather than use Patrick Stewart again.

That distinction has the biggest implications for Reed Richards. As of this writing, no official casting announcements have been made for the Fantastic Four movie. John Krasinski has long been the fan choice for the role, with his real-life wife Emily Blunt playing Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman (Blunt doesn’t appear to be too thrilled with the idea, though). But Krasinski’s appearance may have been a fan nod, not unlike the Stewart return, and we could still get a different actor as the Mr. Fantastic of Earth 616.

The one complicating factor here is a character mentioned, but not seen on screen. In an attempt to talk down the Scarlet Witch, Richards mentions that he has children. Comic readers know that his children are Franklin and Valeria. While Valeria is a super-genius whose intellect exceeds even that of her father, Franklin is usually an omega-level mutant with reality-shaping powers. Franklin has rewritten reality more than once in the comics, which means that he could bring members of the Illuminati back to life and possibly into the 616 universe.  

What Do the Illuminati Mean for the MCU?

Multiverse of Madness constrains the Illuminati to Earth 838. However, it seems unlikely that we won’t see a version of the Illuminati at work on Earth 616. In fact, the post-credit scene to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gives us an Illuminati starter kit, in which Wong, Bruce Banner, and Captain Marvel begin to investigate signals emanating from Shang-Chi’s rings. When you add in the larger threats posed by the near hatching of a Celestial in Eternals and the incursions brought on by Steven Strange, Earth 616 could definitely use an Illuminati.

In addition to Wong, Banner, and Captain Marvel, the comics don’t give us too much guidance about the identities of the other members. The Inhumans might be the least well-remembered MCU property, but with Mount reprising his role as Black Bolt for Multiverse of Madness, chances are the King of the Inhumans will join the MCU Illuminati. Doctor Strange usually sits on the comic book Illuminati, so he’s a definite possibility (provided that the toll exacted by the Darkhold isn’t a problem the team needs to solve). But the other members of the comic book team are either characters who we haven’t yet seen in the movies – such as Namor, Professor X, and Beast – or those who would be unlikely to join the Illuminati – such as T’Challa the Black Panther and Iron Man.

Using the characters seen thus far, Nick Fury or Maria Hill has the best chance to join Wong, Banner, and Captain Marvel on the MCU Illuminati, as does Shuri or Okoye. As the King of New Asgard, Valkyrie would be a valuable member of the team, and James Rhodes could easily fill the Iron Man role (at least until Riri Williams arrives). Finally, don’t be surprised if Hank Pym joined the Illuminati, given the fact that his comic book counterpart was briefly a member, and Circe of the Eternals has shown herself to be a valuable defender of the Earth.

Source: Den of Geek

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