How Powerful Is The Illuminati Compared To The Avengers?
WARNING: Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finally introduced the Illuminati into the MCU, but it’s unclear how this collection of heroes stacks up against Marvel’s most famous supergroup – the Avengers. Speculation about the role of the Illuminati in Doctor Strange 2 began to circulate after the trailer teased Patrick Stewart’s Professor X return, but until release, the other heroes making up the group remained unknown. When called before the Illuminati in Universe 838, Doctor Strange 2 revealed that the other members of this multiversal team-up consisted of Mr. Fantastic, Captain Marvel, Captain Carter, Mordo and Black Bolt.
It seems unlikely that Marvel Studios will ever entertain the idea of a conflict between the Illuminati and the original Avengers. Nonetheless, the prospect of which group is the most powerful remains interesting. Since the members of Phase 4’s Avengers are repeatedly being restructured, the original Avengers pose the most productive comparison to the Illuminati, placing Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye against Professor X’s multiverse-protecting heroes.
There is a multitude of caveats in the battle between the two supergroups, but in terms of one-on-one matchups, the Illuminati dominate the Avengers in most scenarios. The Illuminati that can be seen in Doctor Strange 2 is comprised of the most powerful heroes in their respective universe, so it makes sense that each of them would out-perform the human members of the original Avengers – Black Widow and Hawkeye. Though the recently introduced members of the Illuminati would dominate, however, this is not to suggest that each battle would necessarily be a clean sweep.
Pairing up the teams’ greatest minds, a battle between Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man would prove interesting. While the comics classically present Mr. Fantastic as being the universe’s smartest character, a physical battle would see Iron Man beat his opponent. Richards is cunning and an impressive inventor given time, but Iron Man’s mechanical suits and blast rays make him the more powerful of the two. Captain Carter and Captain America on the other hand pose a battle that is harder to call. While the former was shown to have a greater power range in Episode 1 of What If…? (tackling multiple HYDRA agents at once and single-handedly taking on Shuma Gorath – renamed Gargantos in Doctor Strange 2), Captain America’s eventual ability to wield Mjolnir would tip the scales in his favor. Comparatively, the heroes’ near-identical skill sets would make this matchup result in a draw.
The Illuminati also possess Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel – a hero with God-like abilities – while the original Avengers boast a literal God in Thor. Carol Danvers faced off against the God of Thunder in Episode 7 of What If…? and with her identical abilities to Maria Rambeau’s hero, the show proves that despite a close fight, Captain Marvel would come out victorious. The Episode shows Thor ultimately bettering Danvers in close combat, but she later admits that she was not using her full power: “If I exert my full powers, I blow a crater in this planet.” The prospect of a fight between Captain Marvel and Thor would undoubtedly be destructive to the surrounding area, but Rambeau could prove to be one of the MCU’s few characters able to better the God of Thunder. The victories for the Illuminati continue in the remaining matchups. A battle between physical and mental strength, Professor X vs Hulk would be another close-fought contest. In the comics, it is generally received that Hulk is immune to psychic attacks – positioning him as the supreme contestant in this instance. However, the MCU has shown otherwise with Wanda able to manipulate Hulk’s mind in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Once again, therefore Illuminati would come out on top.
With most matchups working in the Illuminati’s favor, it becomes apparent that the group is more powerful than the combined strength of the MCU’s original Avengers. Each member of the Illuminati suffered at the hands of the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2, potentially shifting the balance if they were to face later line-ups of Earth’s mightiest heroes. Although they cannot boast the same amount of screen time, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Illuminati is one of the most powerful superhero teams that the MCU has ever seen.
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