With hype for 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness picking up, so too are the rumors.
Like Spider-Man: No Way Home, heaps of fan theories and carefully crafted rumors are already swirling around the mind-bending film. The film’s setting in the multiverse presents a unique opportunity for cameos, like those we saw in No Way Home. One potential cameo has some Marvel fans shook, however, as they try to wrap their brains around how the introduction of an Inhuman might fit into the current MCU lineup.
Shared by Fandom Wire‘s TJ Zwarych, it’s worth keeping in mind that the rumor is exactly that. Zwarych claims that they have definitive confirmation that at least one Inhuman will appear in Multiverse of Madness, indicating that the introduction of Marvel’s Illuminati could be close behind.
Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, will appear in Multiverse of Madness, according to Zwarych. There is no confirmation that the actor who portrayed the character in Marvel’s universally panned Inhumans series, Anson Mount, would return, but — as Zwarych notes — the character would likely be recast. Marvel has worked hard to distance itself from its failed attempt at an Inhumans series, and recasting the team would go a long way toward forcing people to forget that particular atrocity.
Instead, it seems likely that a new Black Bolt would debut in Multiverse of Madness, particularly with the knowledge that this character was planned from the get-go. Zwarych claims to have confirmation that Black Bolt wasn’t involved in any of Multiverse of Madness‘s many reshoots, meaning the character was a planned part of the story from the outset.
Black Bolt’s introduction sets the stage for the rest of his genetically altered superhuman family to also enter the MCU. It also poises the current team of MCU superheroes to potentially form the Illuminati, a secret society that, in Marvel comics canon, protects and manipulates the beings of Earth and, eventually, other planets.
The potential for the introduction of the Illuminati intrigued many fans, particularly with the knowledge that few of the original team of Illuminati are currently major players in the MCU. The original team consisted of Iron Man, who as we all know is deceased in the MCU, Namor, the king of Atlantis, Mr. Fantastic, Professor X, Black Bolt, and Doctor Strange. Of all the characters in this line-up, only Doctor Strange is an established part of the MCU. Black Panther is also a common member of the Illuminati, and rumors claim that Namor may be introduced in the upcoming Black Panther sequel.
All of this appears to hint toward yet another massive effort on Marvel Studios’ part, which could pay off in the introduction of one of Marvel’s most popular teams. The Illuminati are a unique and intriguing premise given that they are counter-establishment, a sort of governmental superhero body that watches and, to some degree, controls the goings-on in their universe. It is also composed, very purposefully, primarily of characters that are capable of a certain level of heartless pragmatism, an important trait when one may have to choose between their universe and another.
In the comment section of a MarvelStudiosSpoilers Reddit post detailing Black Bolt’s appearance in Multiverse of Madness, numerous people showed up to share their own theories about Black Bolt’s introduction. Many people took it as a sign that the Illuminati are in the MCU’s future, and began sharing theories about how the team would be formed and introduced.
One of the better theories proposes that the idea for the Illuminati will be born of Doctor Strange’s foray into the multiverse. User Namorons believes that Wanda and Strange will stumble upon the Multiversal Illuminati during their adventures in Multiverse of Madness, sparking the idea for a team of their own. Strange will be the mastermind behind the team, instead of the more traditional Tony Stark, set on forming a team to fulfill a role he previously didn’t know existed.
The MCU has set itself up for a potentially devastating team of Illuminati heroes, one which is capable of tackling a truly monumental task but is also capable of massive corruption. This could poise the franchise, which some have accused of becoming stale, to revamp things in an entirely new way.
There is also the potential that Black Bolt’s introduction wouldn’t be what it seems. We already know that the Skrull are capable of providing a thoroughly passable imitation of nearly anyone, and a prominent Inhumans storyline sees Black Bolt temporarily replaced by a Skrull. The MCU could be pulling a fast one on comic fans, promoting the idea of an Inhumans introduction while really just providing a Skrull in full cosplay.
Whatever direction Black Bolt’s potential introduction takes, it would certainly open brand-new doors for the sprawling cinematic universe that is the MCU.