As Marvel fans well know, death isn’t necessarily the end in the superhero universe, as we’ve seen various characters come back from the great beyond in the MCU. And that’s now more possible than ever thanks to the introduction of the multiverse. Still, one superhero team that made their debut in the franchise’s recently concluded Phase Four really seemed to have been wiped out for good, but that hasn’t stopped fans from theorizing of a smart way they could return. Whether we want them to or not.

The team in question is the Illuminati, as featured in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. There was a lot of hype for this alternate group of Avengers from Earth-838 ahead of the film’s release. While John Krasinski showing up as Mr. Fantastic certainly threw folks for a loop, the way the supposedly mighty Illuminati were shredded (or spaghetti-d) by Scarlet Witch, unfortunately, made them a bit of a laughing stock. Even Krasinski himself regrets the fate of his Reed Richards.

The Illuminati from 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'
Image via Marvel Studios

Nevertheless, Redditors are pondering if the Earth-616 version of the Illuminati could ever appear in the MCU. The intriguing notion goes that the secret meeting of a certain subset of Avengers in the Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings post-credits scene, which consisted of Wong, Shang-Chi, Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner, could provide the seed for a new Illuminati team. One which may go on to include the world’s superhero heads of state. e.g. Valkyrie, M’Baku, and Namor.

OP u/Ianphipps’ theory seems to have fascinated the fans, although it’s interesting to note that many are taking offense at the idea of a 616 Illuminati missing one key player of the 838 team — Anson Mount’s Black Bolt. Who would’ve thought that people would be clamoring for more of the star of ABC’s notorious Inhumans TV show even this time last year?


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