Doctor Strange 2 teaser revealed a top-secret society of superheroes, but who are the Illuminati?

May 6, 2022 | News



Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness marks the 28th film by Marvel Studios and the first one of this year.

Their promotional teasers, released regularly up to the release date, have raked in millions of views and a whole lot of hype.

The latest teasers have revealed the appearance of a top-secret society of superheroes, and fans could not be more excited.

Check out the clip below!

All the rumours are true after all!

The Illuminati have been officially confirmed to make an appearance in this Doctor Strange sequel.

Don’t worry, we are going to break down all the important details for you right here. Let’s figure out just what this appearance means for Doctor Strange and for the Marvel Universe.


Who are the Illuminati?

The comic book journey of The Illuminati is extensive but ties in well to the events of the MCU timeline.

Their history dates back to 2005 with their first appearance in the New Avengers comic series, specifically during the Sentry story arc.

After the Kree-Skrull war, Iron Man realised that if they had information about alien races beforehand, they could have avoided the destruction on Earth. So, in an effort to be better prepared for future threats, a number of powerful representatives of hero groups met in Wakanda.

These initial attending representatives were Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Namor, Black Bolt, Professor Xavier, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange himself.

At this first ever meeting, we point out one major difference in the comic books and movies.

Depending on the weirdness of the multiverse and where/when abouts the teaser clips were within that, this film probably depicts the first ever encounter between Doctor Strange and the Illuminati. This current version of Doctor Strange does not appear to have been present during the formation of the Illuminati.

But that’s not to say another version of Strange, in some other reality, was not there instead. We’ll get back to that in a little bit.

After much debate about trust issues and bureaucracy, each of them agrees to the greater good this secretive group might provide. All except for Black Panther, who considered them self-righteous and headed for disagreements and disaster.

The secret group continue to work in the shadows in various events throughout the timeline, shaping outcomes of events across the universe in secret, including occurrences of their own issues and breakups.


The Illuminati MCU tie-ins

The Illuminati’s loose tie ins to the Marvel films can be seen in Captain America: Civil War, and Thor: Rangarok.

Iron Man petitioned the Illuminati to launch Hulk into space to an uninhabited planet due to the destruction he had caused to Las Vegas. Hulk then finds himself on Sakaar, where he was forced to do gladiatorial-like battles, and where Thor also ends up during the events of Thor: Ragnarok.

Not long after, Iron Man had to call the Illuminati together again for a discussion about the Superhuman Registration Act. This is one of their biggest disagreements, with only Mister Fantastic agreeing with Tony in favour of the registration.

After this, the Illuminati officially ended and the superhuman Civil War takes place – the basis for Captain America: Civil War.

In the comics, the group is forced to come back together again under various circumstances. However, their timeline in the MCU in Doctor Strange 2 and beyond remains uncertain with many possibilities.


Confirmed Illuminati members in Multiverse of Madness

Based on the teasers, there are five seats in total with a large space (possibly for a wheelchair?) to be filled by Illuminati members. With only two of them having been officially confirmed, that leaves room for at least three more.

Professor X

Patrick Stewart’s reprisal of his role as Charles Xavier must be one of the most highly anticipated crossovers of this film.

He is yet to be seen in any of the teasers, but his voice has been confirmed officially which means we will see him!

And if Patrick Stewart can reprise his role, who’s to say that James McAvoy and even Michael Fassbender – at some point in the future – cannot?


Baron Mordo

This makes the second confirmed Illuminati member, as seen in the teasers.

However, Mordo has also been confirmed to portray a villain in this instalment. What does this mean for the rest of the Illuminati? We have seen in the comics how they don’t always agree with one another.

Fans have speculated that an interesting take on the Illuminati might be in store, where they are less than ‘good’. It is the multiverse after all, who knows what versions of these characters and realities we might get.

Will the Illuminati work alongside Doctor Strange, and vice versa? We shall see.


Captain Carter

The promotional posters have shown this character’s shield faintly in the reflections of scattered shards, confirming her appearance in this film. Then later, in another teaser, she can be seen going up against Scarlett Witch. Whilst this character has been confirmed, her allegiance has not.

But what better way to introduce this character to live-action films than for her to take the place of Captain America as a member of the Illuminati?

This is sure to be one exciting return for Hayley Atwell!


Balder the Brave

It has been rumoured that Bruce Campbell is to play a member of the Illuminati. This makes sense as this actor has close ties to Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi.

In the comics, Balder is Thor’s half-brother, once invulnerable to everything but mistletoe. There were plans to introduce him to the MCU at one point, but now might be the time we get to see him come to life on screen.

He sure is one to look forward to!


Reed Richards

The appearance of the leader of the Fantastic Four is almost as exciting as Professor X’s and for many fans, perhaps even more so. This could demonstrate, for the first time, a crossover between the Avengers universe and Fantastic Four.

However, it might not be the Reed Richards we know and love – Ioan Gruffudd. Rather, a variant of this character, portrayed by John Krasinski. The rumours, and even leaked footage, have been getting stronger and stronger.

Now, only time will tell!


Black Bolt

Representative of the Inhumans, Black Bolt (Anson Mount) is strongly rumoured to reprise his role as a member of the Illuminati in Multiverse of Madness. Fans of the Inhumans series will be overjoyed to hear his return!

Staying true to this piece of comic lore is a good move on Marvel’s part. Whilst the multiverse welcomes a lot of change and variation, sometimes staying true to the original is the best way to go.


Superior Iron Man

You have probably heard about the rumours of Tom Cruise making his MCU debut flying about. Cruise was in mind to be the original Iron Man before Robert Downey Jr got the role. Now, he might finally get his chance at the job.

Remember the teaser clips of the mysterious glowing figure – the one that looks like Captain Marvel? Fans have speculated that this is actually Tom Cruise as Superior Iron Man.

The Superior Iron Man is said to be a less conscientious and more chaotic version of Iron Man, and a major antagonist in the comics. This certainly makes for an interesting turn of events, especially if members of the Illuminati turn out to be a force of opposition for our Doctor Strange.


What does this mean for Multiverse of Madness?

Many are predicting that the Illuminati will be subject to a villain arc in this film, or some members will be at least.

If this variant of Strange wasn’t present during the formation of the Illuminati, as we mentioned, perhaps a darker version of himself was, maybe even the Sinister Strange we have seen in teasers.

Let’s not forget that Mordo has also been confirmed to take on an antagonistic role too. Our variant of Strange can be seen in a more recent clip fighting against Mordo. How does this affect his relationship with and membership in the Illuminati? We shall see!

Remember the comic crossover series: Avengers vs X-men? Now that these crossovers are possible, perhaps this war is what the MCU is headed towards. It makes sense with Marvel’s current mission to introduce the characters they need to establish the New Avengers.

The New Avengers might then become a part of the new Illuminati, just like in the comics, who knows?

There are also possibilities to explore the well-known secret invasion storyline, with Skrull’s posing as different heroes, including certain members of the Illuminati.

All in all, anything is possible. The one thing we can expect is entertainment and the unexpected!


Are you as excited for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as we are? Be sure to let us know on our social media channels.

Check out @comicspiration now for the latest news!


By Alicia Quinn

Instagram: @alicobbles

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