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The Past Was Close Behind: The First Appearance of the Illuminati?

by  in Comic News Comment

This feature spotlights moments, exchanges, etc. from older comics that take on a brand new light when read in concert with later comic books. Here is the archive of previous installments.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Rosendo V., we take a look at what could be seen as an early appearance of the Illuminati…

We first meet the Illuminati, the secret group of heroes who decided to sort of control the Marvel superhero-verse from behind the scenes (through information sharing and stuff like that), in New Avengers #7 by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven and Mark Morales…




In the New Avengers: Illuminati special right before Civil War (by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev), we see how the group was formed after the Kree-Skrull War…




Okay, so that’s the Illuminati. Now, on the next page, let’s take a look at what sure looks like an early print appearance of the group…

In Contest of Champions #1 by Bill Mantlo, Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant, John Romita Jr. and Pablo Marcos, the heroes of the Earth are all taken to the same spot…


As you would expect, people spend the time chatting with each other…


but check this panel out…


Woah, right?

Pretty cool catch, Rosendo!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a future Past is Close Behind, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!