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Marvel Teases the Return of The Illuminati

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One of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful groups is on the verge of a reunion. Fans got to witness the live-action version of The Illuminati in last year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The clandestine heroes of Earth-838 consisted of Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch). The team is based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name, which hasn’t been together since the events of 2015’s Secret Wars. However, the announcement of a new miniseries revisiting the Ultimate Universe teases the Illuminati’s return.

Marvel announced Ultimate Invasion by the superstar creative team of Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch. The four-issue series kicks off in June and presents a surprising new chapter for Ultimate Comics, which launched over 20 years ago. Bryan Hitch’s interior pages and cover for Ultimate Invasion #1 puts the Illuminati front and center, along with Miles Morales and The Maker, who originally come from the Ultimate Universe. Both characters will play an integral role in Ultimate Invasion, as well as the Illuminati. 

(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch Discuss Ultimate Invasion

“[Revisiting the idea of Ultimate Comics] couldn’t be replicating or revisiting what Bryan did in the original Ultimates — creating a streamlined, modernized version that would eventually become the spine of the MCU, and it certainly couldn’t be what I did, which was a final chapter of a pre-existing universe,” Hickman explained to Entertainment Weekly. “We also thought the very idea of Ultimate Comics needed to be inverted from what the original universe was — we wanted this to be something that could really only exist in the comic space: a new way of thinking about, and enjoying, a new version of the Marvel Universe. I’m pretty happy to say that it feels like we’ve accomplished those things and we’re very excited for everyone to get to read it.”

“It’s been more than 20 years since I started work on The Ultimates, a project that would have a big impact on my own career and beyond, so when Marvel came to me with the idea of revisiting the Ultimate Universe with the man who so brilliantly and spectacularly destroyed the last one, I was both feet in!” Hitch said. “Jonathan is a terrific writer of big, sprawling epics, and we’ve talked about working together more than once so for this new Ultimate Universe adventure to unite us is very exciting. I get to bring two decades of new experience as an artist and storyteller to this. It’s new, different and familiar. It’s big budget, high-concept, widescreen storytelling. I feel right at home.”

Could The MCU’s Illuminati Also Return?

With the comics version of the Illuminati forming once again in Ultimate Invasion, it raises the question of whether this is in anticipation of the team showing up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We have to remember that the Illuminati fans saw in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came from another Earth in the multiverse, and not Earth-616 where the heroes of the MCU currently reside in. So there is still time for heroes like the new Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Clea, Namor, Captain Marvel, and others to decide the only way to stop the oncoming Incursions is with a group like the Illuminati. Perhaps in 2026’s Avengers: Secret Wars?

Would you like to see the MCU bring back the Illuminati? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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