The countdown for Multiverse of Madness has begun. The biggest spotlight has been cast on the Illuminati, which could be leading to a live-action Secret Wars.
All those Illuminati confirmed memes fit perfectly here. While the myth of powerful overlords controlling all our lives from behind the scenes is fun for conspiracy theorists, Marvel brought the idea to the comics in 2005 thanks to Brian Michael Bendis. The concept is that the Illuminati is comprised of the most intelligent and influential characters from the Marvel-616. They operate in secret, planning and altering the future of Earth for the benefit of all. As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs; that’s where the Illuminati becomes interesting.
Thanks to Patrick Stewart’s voiceover work in the recent Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer, most fans are stringing their own conspiracies together and are certain the Illuminati has come to the MCU. On that note, what issues should you be watching?
The issue everyone has been hunting down since the Super Bowl has been New Avengers #7. Marvel’s mystery manipulators began pulling the strings of the Multiverse in this issue, and Professor X’s possible connection to Doctor Strange in MOM is sending buyers on a quest to own high grades of this issue.
There’s no guarantee that it’s the Illuminati we’re seeing in the footage, but the odds are in favor of the shadowy group emerging to steer the direction of the future MCU.
As you’re collecting, don’t forget that the legendary Neal Adams did a variant cover for New Avengers #7. The artwork featured a Silver Age-inspired Sentry complete with that good old clickbait mastery from 1960s Marvel.
Overall, there aren’t too many bonafide Illuminati keys. New Avengers #7 stands head and shoulders above the rest. The consolation prizes are relegated to the superteam’s first starring comics, beginning with the one-shot Road to Civil War: New Avengers: Illuminati #1.
The cover art alone is worth the price of admission as Gabriel Dell’Otto handled the pencil duties for this one. In the process, he created the quintessential image for the Illuminati that has been featured on virtually every comic site since the Super Bowl.
While you’re at it, go ahead and grab New Avengers: The Illuminati #1. This isn’t exactly a landmark issue, but it is the first of the Illuminati’s limited series.
This may not be the first issue you think of when connecting the dots of the Illuminati, but it is worth keeping in mind. The basis of 2015’s Secret Wars was centered on the collapsing Multiverse.
Doctor Doom seized the Beyonders’ godlike power, and he salvaged what he could from the dying universes. He then became God Emperor Doom, the dictator and deity of Battleworld. What gets overlooked in the Secret Wars story is the Illuminati’s role. In a prelude to the Multiverse’s collapse, the Illuminati were secretly turning the tide toward other universes in order to preserve the life of Earth-616.
With all the rumors of a Secret Wars MCU adaptation, this could be the starting point.
MARVEL’S PUPPET MASTERS
Will the Illuminati step out of the shadows and offer membership to Doctor Strange in MOM? At this point, there is no telling, and that’s exactly what Marvel Studios wants. Keeping the audience guessing is what fuels the hype for all things Marvel. While it seems likely that the Illuminati are about to make their presence known, always be ready for Kevin Feige and company to pull a fast one.