SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers #11 by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Cory Smith, Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, Karl Kesel, Erick Arciniega and Cory Peti, on sale now.
The Illuminati is a bad idea; we should know that by now. Every time the most powerful people in the Marvel Universe have come together and formed a new version of the overseeing group, it has always gone badly for them. But what if it didn’t have to? It seems like wishful thinking at this point, but there’s something to be said for cooperation between the different superheroic communities in the Marvel Universe, and if anyone can make that work it’s the Avengers’ new chairperson, Black Panther.
However, not everyone is as open to T’Challa’s offer for cooperation. In fact, some of the biggest superpowers in the Marvel Universe may just end up being enemies of the Avengers, as several of the heaviest hitters on the world’s stage slowly become more insular and isolationist. Black Panther has a chance at making this work, but it’s going to need everyone to commit to the fundamental idea behind his pitch, and in doing so, reject the mistakes and mission statements of previous Illuminati incarnations.
With the Black Panther as head of the Avengers, America is unhappy that it suddenly finds itself without a superteam. It does make some sort of sense that the country doesn’t want to hitch its wagon to one ran by a foreign head of state. That said, T’Challa is approaching chairpersonship with a level of diplomacy unlike any we’ve seen before, reaching out to superhero representatives from around the world for a super-summit to discuss what he hopes to be a new age of cooperation between the superpowers behind the world superpowers.
The group consists of Black Panther (T’Challa) representing the Avengers and Wakanda, Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) representing MI:13 and the UK, Shaman (Michael Twoyoungmen) representing Alpha Flight and Canada, Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida) representing Japan, the Collective Man (Han, Chang, Lin, Sun and Ho Tao-Yu) representing S.P.E.A.R. and China, Sabra (Ruth Bat-Seraph) representing Israel, Arabian Knight (Navid Hashim) representing Palestine and Ursa Major (Mikhail Ursus) representing The Winter Guard and Russia. And, as you might expect, there's some tension involved.