The Illuminati was a huge surprise in Doctor Strange 2. While fans want the group to reappear, their formation could create an even deadlier team. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a special film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe because it allowed audiences to see potential futures that await Earth-616. One of the biggest surprises came with the appearance of The Illuminati, a group of cold and calculating superheroes willing to do anything to protect their reality. Since their debut, it’s been teased that they could one day appear with an Earth-616 iteration. However, there’s been no confirmation of that as of yet.
But should The Illuminati reappear in the MCU, the implications could be massive. However, since Doctor Strange saw the best and worst of them, it could shift from what fans have come to know over the years. In fact, because of Strange’s journey through the multiverse, the 616 version of the team could make way for something far more sinister — The Cabal.
What Is Marvel’s Cabal?
Following the events of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn became the most powerful man in the world, taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. and redubbing the organization as H.A.M.M.E.R. He also created a new team known as The Dark Avengers, which mainly consisted of villains and powerful heroes. But even though he had already garnered a huge amount of power, he wanted more. As a result, he formed The Cabal.
Consisting of Emma Frost, Namor, Lady Loki, Doctor Doom and The Hood, The Cabal was a team of self-centered individuals with great power that would only aid those so long as it benefitted themselves. Viewed as a Dark Illuminati, this team worked with Osborn during his Dark Reign and showed immeasurable power and influence over the world for the brief time they were together. But how could this work in the MCU without Norman Osborn?
How Could The Cabal Appear in the MCU?
Doctor Strange being presente to the Illuminati in Multiverse of Madness Following his work in the multiverse and whatever incursion he may try to stop with Clea, Doctor Strange may see the benefit in creating an Illuminati of his own. After witnessing the power of Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the creeping rise of other characters, including mutants and Reed Richards, Strange may be inclined to build a team of intelligent but apathetic heroes to protect humanity. However, much like how T’Challa denied joining the team in the books, Strange may see the inherent risk of such a team and call for its immediate disbandment. But even though The Illuminati would fail, Namor would see the benefit.
Aspiring to create something similar, he could seek out the power of The Hood, help in the rise of Doctor Doom and many other influential villains and create The Cabal. The group could then use the same mission statement as Strange but with more aggressive tactics. As a result, its formation would also mean Namor would lose what control he had and inadvertently create a team of intelligent and powerful villains focused on world domination. To see the MCU’s Illuminati, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming now on Disney+.