Warning! Spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Marvel Studios disrespected the Illuminati through Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as Doctor Strange after his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and this time, he is focused on his own adventure. Aside from progressing the sorcerer's arc in the franchise, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also builds on MCU's multiverse as Doctor Strange finds himself traveling throughout several realities, including one where the Illuminati exists.
As Doctor Strange traversed the multiverse to help America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) escape Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who was hunting her down for her powers, the pair ended up in Earth-838 — one of the universes in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. There, the team was composed of Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Maria Rambeau's (Lashana Lynch) Captain Marvel with Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski), and Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Assembled by Earth-838's Doctor Strange, the Illuminati, as in Marvel Comics, was tasked to make difficult decisions for the greater good. Before they could even establish themselves as powerful MCU players, however, Wanda Maximoff went on a rampage and ended up killing all of them.
Even before being fairly easily killed by Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness already failed Doctor Strange’s Illuminati. In Marvel Comics, the Illuminati is a council of the best heroes in the Marvel universe, with each member chosen to be the representative of their respective team. They are supposed to be the brightest among their peers, hence why they are given the responsibility to make difficult choices that everyone can get behind on. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. When Sacred Timeline Doctor Strange explained the situation involving Scarlet Witch and her ties to the Darkhold to them, they chose to ignore it. Instead, they were fixated on the idea that the sorcerer was the multiverse's biggest threat; that was even without tackling Doctor Strange's Spider-Man: No Way Home spell. Only Professor X from the X-Men recognized the real problem, which was the danger that Scarlet Witch posed, hence why he divulged the information about the Book of Vishanti to Doctor Strange and attempted to save Earth-838 Wanda.
Individually, some of the choices that Doctor Strange's Illuminati members were also questionable. For starters, Mister Fantastic was supposed to be the smartest man alive, but he just blabbed about Black Bolt's capabilities giving Wanda an idea about how to defeat him. On the other hand, Mordo seemed to be blinded by jealousy that he never really considered what Doctor Strange's crisis was. Meanwhile, the decision to kill Earth-838 Doctor Strange sounded like a lazy way to resolve the issue, especially since Supreme Strange appeared to be remorseful of his actions. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, conveniently, didn't delve deep into why Doctor Strange’s Illuminati from Earth-838 was assembled, so it was unclear if they had any other function than what was in Marvel Comics. But considering their response to Sacred Timeline's Doctor Strange problem, perhaps their death in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness won't be that big of a loss to the MCU multiverse anyway.
With Doctor Strange's Illuminati team now dead in Earth-838, it's curious if Marvel Studios is planning on debuting the Sacred Timeline's version of the superhero team. For what it's worth, the Illuminati's existence on Earth-616 has already been teased as early as Phase 1 via Iron Man 2. If the Illuminati ever comes to the main MCU timeline, however, hopefully, they will be more competent than their Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness counterpart.
More: Endgame Explains Why Iron Man Wasn’t In Doctor Strange’s Illuminati Team
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