Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness introduces some major variants from across the MCU. These are a supergroup known as the Illuminati who have managed to turn their Earth into a Utopia full of free food where only Poppa Pizza is getting dough.
Before the movie was released they were easily the most anticipated part of it. For the best part of a year everyone was guessing who was gonna be in the line-up. This ranged from Tom Cruise as superior Iron Man, to Johnathan Majors as Iron Lad and when we got a shot of Professor X’s shoulder, the internet went wild. We then got a shot of his hand, Captain Carter’s shield and though they end up getting taken out faster than you leave this video when I bring the puns out, there’s still a lot to talk about with them.
Throughout this post, we’ll be going through the entire lineup and also talking about how it changes things up from the comments. I’ll also be making excuses for the movie and why them being killed so easily actually is properly thought out rather than them just being a bunch of chumps.
The supergroup first appeared in the comics all the way back in New Avengers #7 which built up to Civil War. The aptly titled book road to Civil War pretty much recounts the majority of their interactions and it chronicles the group throughout the years as they work from the shadows controlling major events.
They were made up of Namor, the king of Atlantis, Tony Stark aka Iron Man, Reed Richards aka Mr Fantastic, Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, Doctor Strange, the Sorceror Supreme and Professor X, leader of the X-men.
Black Panther was also going to be a member but he ended up stepping away after believing that their agendas would cause issues.
You pretty much had every aspect of Earth covered in them as you have the Atlantians, people represented in Tony, Reed showing the science space side of the superhero community, Inhumans, wizards and Mutants.
This meant that they all had their foot in some part of Earth’s progress and each counted as one vote for their people. Forming after the Kree-Skrull War, they were brought together because Tony realised that not being united led to a difficult conflict. Each aspect of the group had their own set of knowledge on certain parts of the race but the fact that they didn’t work together meant that the war raged on when they could have easily stopped it.
So together every time there was a big event in the comics the group would come together and decide what to do. However, over the years they slowly started to disagree with each other which led to some internal conflicts. Arguably the most devastating point was when they united to come to a decision over what to do with Hulk. He had just destroyed Las Vegas and thus they came up with a plan to trick Bruce into travelling into space to help defeat a rogue AI. After he completed the mission they revealed that he was too dangerous to have on Earth and they blasted him off into space. They said that they’d picked out a peaceful planet for him to live on but this was revealed to be Sakaar, which led to the events of Planet Hulk. Hulk became a Gladiator that then overthrew the Emperor and he ruled the planet. Unfortunately, his ship exploded and it killed his wife which made him return to Earth angry on a quest for vengeance. This led to World War Hulk which Namor actually predicted would happen.
Everything came to a head just before Civil War which required Superhumans to register their names with the government. Tony correctly predicted that due to rising tensions between humanity and the heroes that one day someone would make a mistake that would cause so much backlash that they’d end up all getting outlawed.
This indeed happened and thus to avoid a civil war Tony ended up becoming the face of the Superhuman Registration Act. However, the arguments over whether this was the right thing to do or not caused so much tension amongst the group that they ended up dissolving.
They did reform for some major events but they were never really the same after this point.
Their arrogance led to their downfall which is very much also mirrored in the movie. Now it’s theory time!
One of the big criticisms I’ve seen around the film is that Reed tells Wanda Black Bolt’s power even though he’s meant to be the smartest man on Earth. However, he does this because he assumes that he’s just dealing with the same Wanda from his reality. We know that the one in their dimension has her kids so she likely never went through the events of Westview and instead she probably had them by some other means.
Tony isn’t alive in this reality so the Age Of Ultron we saw didn’t happen. We do see Ultron Bots but they were probably created by Reed and didn’t have the personality issues that Tony brought with him. Now because that evil Ultron stuff didn’t happen Vision was likely never created. Thanos was also murdered by the Illuminati on Titan so if Vision does exist then he wouldn’t have killed him to get the mind stone. So all the events of Westview wouldn’t have happened.
Because this didn’t go down she never went never became the Scarlett Witch and also never got the Darkhold. Therefore her power is probably still Age Of Ultron level and that’s why Reed doesn’t see her as a threat.
In Age Of Ultron, we even saw her struggling to fight Ultron Bots at one point which is likely why they just leave it to them instead of going straight out.
When Strange is getting interrogated he even says she’s coming and they don’t care. They have a hubris that makes them think because they handled Thanos that they can easily handle Wanda which is why they end up wading into the fight like Billy Big Bollocks.
The Line Up
The line-up all pulls from different aspects of the Marvel Universe and firstly we have Mordo who replaced Supreme Strange as the magic side. Next is Captain Carter whose origin story we saw in What If. She can do this all day and though I don’t believe she’s the version of What If, we have seen her origin story play out in that show. Peggy ended up taking the super-soldier serum instead of Steve and when she tackled the giant octopus beast that was either Gargantos or Shuma Gorath, she was transported into the present.
Now we know that Carter is going to be back for Season 2 of What If and we also ended with her coming across a frozen Steve Rogers along with Black Widow. Neither Widow, Fury nor Hawkeye are in this universe so I’m guessing that the What If version is slightly different and that we’ll instead see her arc play out in the follow-up.
In this universe, Captain Marvel is Maria Rambeau instead of Carol Danvers. This one is pretty simple to explain and all it does is involve a change-up in who took the Project Pegasus flight. In Captain Marvel, Maria and Carol were both called to the base on the morning of the test run but we learned that Carol took a shortcut so she got there first.
I think that in this universe she simply just stuck to the main road and therefore ended up getting there second so Maria took it instead.
Captain Marvel also ended up flying into space with the Skrulls at the end of her first solo movie whereas Maria remained on Earth because she had a daughter. I think this will be the same reason that she’s in the Illuminati because rather than going into space, she remained behind to be with her kid and to protect her planet.
Next is Black Bolt who appears in his comic book accurate costume, even with the tuning fork. He makes a mind-blowing appearance and in case you haven’t seen the Inhumans, his power lies solely in his voice. Just in the same way that Cyclops from the X-men shoots uncontrollable blasts from his eyes, when Black Bolt speaks it causes devastating sound ripples that rip anything apart that’s in front of them.
Next is Professor X who is played once more by Patrick Stewart. Ripped right out of the 90s cartoon he arrives in his yellow chair along with his green suit. X seems like the usual one that we’ve encountered from the Fox Franchise and he’s way more on Strange’s side than they are. Being a telepath lets him know instantly that this version is telling the truth and he even gives him advice before attempting to confront Wanda.
Now this may potentially be the version from the cartoon and potentially we could discover his backstory in the upcoming X-men 97 show. I know one of the big criticisms around the movie is that X goes out like a chump but the guy has died loads of times before so who knows, maybe this version is still alive.
They of course also can use variants of him and I do hope that he’s back in a more expanded role in the future.
Now lastly is Reed Stretch-Armstrong Richards aka Mr Boombastic tell me Fantastic. Dubbed the smartest man on Earth, Reed lives a lovely life with his wife and two kids. Sue sadly has just become a single mother but at least there’ll be someone to raise them.
More On Reed Richards
Now, this Reed created the Baxter Foundation and with his scientific mind, he’s made several advances in technology that put this earth far ahead of the 616. Reed discovered teleportation and though we don’t meet the other Fantastic Four members, they’re likely out there.
Now when we get to the main Earth I think that Reed will be a lot younger as we haven’t heard of the character yet. He will likely just be starting out, and won’t have kids yet and this Reed might be used as an example to him like the other Stranges are for Stephen. Perhaps knowledge of him will finally allow the 616 Reed to crack some of the sciences that lead to his transformation into Mr. Fantastic but we’ll have to see how it plays out in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie.
Another big issue I’ve seen people have with the film is that he’s meant to be the smartest man on Earth but he’s a bit of a moron. For this, I’d just say that being called the smartest man on earth and actually being the smartest man on Earth are two different things.
For example with me, I always get comments where people tell me to do stuff and a lot of the time in my arrogance I’m like ‘I’ve got over 900,000 subscribers, I don’t need to listen to you.’ You see it all the time when people get called stupid that have done something successful and they’re like ‘how can I be stupid, I’m Ronald McDonald with over 1 million restaurants.’
I think it’s the same thing with Reed, which is why he completely ignored Strange’s warning that the witch was coming and she was coming to mash you up blood.
Last bit of the video where I keep making excuses for this mov…two seconds…hey Karen, that’s my wife Karen Spoilers, Karen, has the cheque from Feige cleared?
Right as I was saying, the last big criticism I wanna address about the movie is how they were all taken out within about 3 minutes and how it’s just a waste introducing these characters to kill them.
To that, I’d say I think that this was all done just to purely show how powerful Wanda is. No matter how good the team is she’s fighting she can kick the crap out of them if needs be so it just elevated the threat. I am 100% sure that these characters or versions of them will be back so seeing them die like this adds to the danger of their return. We know they’re not invincible so the stakes will be higher for their solo movies.
Fantastic Four is of course in production so yeah, Reed will be back. We already have a version of Captain Marvel, the Inhumans exist if you, you wanna watch that, which, good luck. Though we don’t have an X-men movie announced, you can bet that’s coming too. There’s also What If for Captain Carter so it’s not like we’ll never see these characters again.
Like I said I think it was done purely to build tension and if you’ve been following our vids on the film then you’ll know we described Wanda as being like the Terminator. I think this scene is pretty much just the same as the one in the police station during the first movie where you think it’s safe, Arnie shows up, kills everyone and shows Sarah that not even the authorities can protect her. Really nice way of building the threat up in my opinion but let me know below if you disagree.