New Avengers: The Illuminati

“Reed Richards…I expected more from you.”

Hey, hey, everyone. D.C. here to share my thoughts with you on more comics.

I’ve talked before about my thoughts on what should have happened in the All-New, All-Different Marvel, but with all the talk about Marvel’s Civil War II event (which I’ve enjoyed thus far), I had a sense of nostalgia and decided to read probably one of the quintessential starters to any Civil War:

While the Avengers: Illuminati one-shot is a tie-in to Marvel’s first Civil War event, it’s also a prequel to other storylines. This book is chronologically set after the Kree-Skrull War, and sets up Planet Hulk, Civil War, World War Hulk, and perhaps others storylines.

Why is this book even good? For one, Brian Michael Bendis writes a very, very compelling story of what we already know: in every society, there is always a group of persons who deem themselves worthy to pave the road to success. Whether it be politicians, kinds, doctors, or some other expert, they take it upon themselves to be the ultimate protectors, the ultimate shepherds of the world.


After the Kree-Skrull War, six heroes met and saw themselves fit to meet in secret and to decide the fate and safety of Earth: Professor X of the X-Men; Mr. Fantastic; Namor the Sub-Mariner; Iron Man; Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme; and Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans. They met in the Black Panther’s nation of Wakanda to decide whether the formation of their little faction of experts would be for the best of the world.

Black Panther, the only dissident at the time, put it perfectly: “You just decided all by yourselves that you are the earth’s protectors…What happens when you disagree?”

The book answers just that. These secret six (haha, see what I did there?) decide not to trust their associates, families, and friends, and take it upon themselves to tackle any threat to Earth. But when the Hulk’s latest rampage results in deaths, a schism finally forms. The Superhuman Registration Act which caused the first Civil War broke them until the end of the multiverse mitigated their reformation.

The Illuminati saw several different members since World War Hulk, but the same issues always remained: a group of protectors that could never truly agree on those morally ambiguous methods of safeguarding. Whether it was the Skrull threat, or the Scarlet With, or the X-Men, or the incursions that brought out the All-New, All-Different Marvel setting, these people could never support one another’s decisions. Nor could anyone ever sanction theirs.

I loved the Illuminati’s role in the Marvel Universe all the way to the end Time Runs Out. The moral dilemma seen–the sheer realism–is the perfect darkness you need in a world of heroes. Why, then, has the superhero community let the Illuminati live with impunity? They’d been scrutinized for the most part, but always  welcome back. Why is Iron Man still revered as a member of the Avengers, is if his actions in the Illuminati were his ONLY transgression?

Why are Black Bolt and Black Panther still welcome in their own lands? Why is Namor the only one having been hunted by the Squadron Supreme? Would a group like the Captain Britain Corps had approved of the Illuminati’s efforts?

In the All-New, All-Different Marvel, I would have expected the fallout of the Illuminati to extend past just Black Bolt and Namor’s contact with the Squadron Supreme, and beyond Time Runs Out. I would hope that the last members of the Illuminati to be hunted down and at least made to answer to their hubris and actions.

Perhaps that is what should be happening more in this new Marvel initiative?



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