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Antebellum Marvel: The New Avengers: Illuminati

Previously in The Amazing Spider-Man #530

I’m traveling the road to Civil War with Marvel so I can be caught up by the time this storyline hits the big screen. Please do not comment with spoilers if you’re familiar with this particular story arc, but you are welcome to provide non-spoiler answers to any questions I may ask in the review.

New Avengers Illuminati Cover

  • Issue: The New Avengers: Illuminati
  • Collaborators: Bendis | McNiven | Vines

Who’s In It:

Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, Professor X., Black Bolt (The Inhuman King), Prince Namor (from Atlantis), Black Panther, Hulk, Maria Hill

What Happens: 

In the last Spider-Man issue, Tony Stark referenced a secret meeting he attended the night before he and Peter Parker flew to D.C. This issue covers the events of that meeting, as well meetings held years prior.

Iron Man gathers Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, Professor X, Black Bolt, and Namor in Africa where they meet with Black Panther. In light of the Kree-Skull war that took place on Earth (and almost destroyed it in the process), Tony is convinced that if all those in the superhero game met regularly and shared information, they can stop something like that from happening again.

New Avengers Illuminati #1

New Avengers Illuminati Pic 2

The group discusses the pros and cons (well, most of them do… Namor’s a bit of a dick) and wonder how they’d decide who joined, who made the rules, would they be too tied up in bureaucracy to actually make a difference? Namor has concerns about certain people on their teams with questionable backgrounds like Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. He has questions about Professor X’s screening process for the mutants who attend his school. Basically, Namor has serious trust issues.

After promising that they will not share their meetings or the decisions made in them with anyone else, and that the meetings will only be those present, they all agree with the exception of Black Panther. He ain’t bout dat life. He predicts the group will tear each other apart when they disagree or that others will react poorly if they find out about the group’s existence and their exclusion. He warns them all to walk away. Of course, they don’t.

Flash forward to The Hulk fucking shit up in Las Vegas. Maria Hill brings up a great conversation she had with one of her S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Basically, the agent wondered when would the havoc and death The Green Goblin causes become Spider-Man’s fault. It may not be Spidey’s fault Osborn is nuts, but Spider-Man has his hands around that man’s throat three times a year, and it also ends the same: he webs him up, they put him in jail, Osborn escapes and kills more people. When will that be Spider-Man’s fault? It may not be his fault that Osborn is crazy, but it’s his fault he’s still alive.

Maria Hill

Munching on this food for thought, Iron Man meets with the group again and proposes they shoot Bruce Banner into space to keep him from hurting anyone else or causing more damage. Everyone eventually agrees, except Namor. Surprise, surprise. He and Iron Man have it out in the air and underwater before Doctor Strange finally breaks them apart. Namor is basically like, “Keep my name out of it.” They go ahead with their plan and trick Hulk into working on a satellite so they can trap him and jettison him into space. It’s pretty damn cold.


Finally, we arrive at the last meeting – the one before the hearing – and Tony is sure the others aren’t coming. They finally do (minus Xavier who’s been missing since The House of M, whatever that is) and he tells them about the Registration Act. But we get a bit more info on it here. Those who agree to register will be given a special job within S.H.I.E.L.D. They will still be heroes, but now they’ll answer to someone. Those who refuse will be hunted for committing a federal offense.

Tony thinks they should show their support for the bill. Get ahead of it. He’s convinced a young superhero is going to make a mistake, publicly, and it will turn the nation against them. Namor disagrees, of course, and storms out saying they’ll all destroy themselves on the surface and forget about his people underwater. Okay, bro.

Doctor Strange thinks it’s wrong and refuses to participate. He warns them to never call upon him again. Black Bolt can’t speak without bringing everything down around them, but he makes a fist and points, and I’m not sure what the hell that means. Eventually, Tony is left alone.

Tony Stark Alone

Score | 9/10Points of Note: 

  • The final meeting took place the night before the hearing, but Tony’s attitude at the hearing doesn’t match his in this issue. Did he decide to argue against the bill because he had no backers?
  • Poor, poor Hulk.
  • What the hell happened at The House of M?
  • I loved Maria Hill’s monologue about her conversation with that agent. What do you do when the only person who can stop someone like The Green Goblin, or The Joker, or any other super villain, won’t kill? Does this hero become responsible for the crimes the villain commits after he continuously lets him live?


  • Well, I’m no dummy so I know that shit is totally going to hit the fan between the groups who are for and against this bill. Right now, I can only imagine where some would fall.
  • I predict the Hulk is going to fuck.shit.up. when he gets back.
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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