Finally introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Illuminati made a near immediate impact on audiences by getting absolutely shredded within minutes.
Doctor Strange and Marvel diehards have been trying to work out why the Illuminati – Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski), Captain Britain (Hayley Atwell), Blackbolt (Anson Mount), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), and Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart) – are so useless and completely inept at protecting their universe of a clear and obvious risk in the form of the Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen.)
There’s the obvious bit that comes from the original comics, which stresses that the Illuminati as a group are so blinded by hubris they don’t foresee ever being wrong. A new fan theory posted on Reddit regarding the Illuminati in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness has doubled down on this, and frankly it doesn’t look very good for Reed Richards and company.
The theory postulates that the reason the Illuminati don’t take Scarlet Witch seriously is that the sheer majority of multiverse variants of Wanda’s just never escape Hydra in the first place. This would mean she’s never set into the chain of events to become Scarlet Witch.in most multiverses the Earth-838 Illuminati know of.
It’s definitely a well-constructed idea that does fit in with a few of the multiverse rules set up so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also begs the question about if “absolute points in time” take into account Wanda escaping the Hydra facility or not. Far more scathing is the likelihood that the Earth-838 Illuminati are not very good at their jobs, and fits with the theme that the movie multiverses don’t necessarily present happier realties, just different realities.
Regardless, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are hopeful they will see the Illuminati return at some point on Earth-616 as a far more educated and wise group.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently in cinemas.