Marvel fans debate if the Illuminati are actually heroes

MCU-Illuminati
Image via Marvel Studios

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The Illuminati made their long-awaited debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but fans are at loggerheads over their moral code.

Consisting of Reed Richards, Baron Mordo, Black Bolt, Captain Marvel, Captain Carter, and Professor X, the group of hubris-filled heroes are so focused on their own existence they don’t stop and think much further. This has fans curious and debating whether or not they should be deemed heroes at all.

Discussion popped off on r/marvelstudios, with the Earth-838 group under plenty of scrutiny from diehards.

There’s a general observation that they aren’t exactly above board, symbolized by killing 838’s Stephen Strange on Titan. Though, perhaps it was more of an assisted death. The aforementioned hubris is something the comics version is best known for, completely self-absorbed and unable to see past their cabal.

Others cited the reason for Strange’s execution, saying the Darkhold meant the Illuminati had no other option but to kill the Earth-838 Sorcerer Supreme. Strange in this universe is also a strong believer in capital punishment, so fell victim to his own laws.

The other evidence for the “blinded by hubris” camp is their inability to read the situation with Scarlet Witch, which leads them to some truly gruesome deaths at the hands of the Darkhold-assisted Wanda.

It’s reminiscent of the Order 66 scene in the Star Wars prequels, with the overly bureaucratic Jedi getting their just desserts for ignoring the Sith threat.

In the comics, the Illuminati were responsible for such brilliant ideas as sending the Hulk into space, hoarding infinity stones, and generally attempting to dictate Earth.

While we won’t be seeing Earth-838’s Illuminati anytime soon due to their lack-of-pulse status, there’s still potential for them to show up in Earth-616 — albeit it’s hard to see 616-Strange being a fan.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently in cinemas.