I may be in the minority, but I love Marvel’s Illuminati. There’s something that I find cool about a group of Marvel’s best running things behind the scenes. That being said, the group has never really reached the heights that I can see them getting to. You know who could bring them there, though? Jonathan Hickman. Follow the cut for a bit more in depth discussion, but I understand if you’re just like “Yeah, Walt, you’re 100% right” and don’t need anymore justification. It happens.
As I said, I love the Illuminati. Well, not personally, as one of the first things they did was launch Hulk into space, which was kind of a dick move, but you know what I mean. They’re one of my favorite Brian Michael Bendis contributions to the Marvel Universe, but the funny thing is that I don’t think he does that great of a job writing them. That probably sounds a bit silly, considering he’s the creator, but I really don’t think his style fits his otherwise great idea. The pre-Civil War one-shot was pretty solid, but the miniseries left a lot to be desired for and the latest arc of Avengers was pretty humdrum (in my opinion). Unfortunately, that arc was the only one that was a true Illuminati story rather than a retrospective that led into something bigger. But what if they were given a miniseries written by Jonathan Hickman?
Really, Marvel’s Illuminati is a perfect fit for Hickman. His two main successes working for the House of Ideas have been Secret Warriors, an espionage thriller with more intrigue and backstabbing than a clique of middle schoolers and the high-flying science fiction vessel that was Fantastic Four and currently is FF. And he’s great at both. Combine the two and subtract the espionage, and you pretty much already have the Illuminati. Just imagine the verbal intensity of these guys butting heads under Hickman’s pen, exploding into the large-scale sci-fi that earned Fantastic Four some of Multiversity’s highest marks. If there was ever an already established Marvel franchise that Hickman was born to write, it was these guys, and I doubt that I really need to tell you any more to convince you.
Let me emphasize, though, that this needs to be a mini. No matter how great Hickman would be on this book, there’s no way that it would be able to be an ongoing. The Illuminati are the response to the biggest threats in the Marvel U (on an Earth-based level), and it would just fall apart if it was reduced to a standard villain-of-the-week sort of thing. Whether the mini is more like Bendis’s behind-the-scenes series or a more in-your-face widescreen event comic… well, that would be up to Hickman, of course.
As for the artist, let’s go all out and recruit J.H. Williams III. I’m not just using him as a cop-out standard of a great artist, though; rather, seeing these two geniuses combine their respective eyes for design into one artistic beast… sorry, I’m drooling a little bit. Not only that, but Williams has a variety that would be essential for this series. Sure, he can draw the bizarre and otherworldly that the Illuminati are undoubtedly going to be facing – especially with Hickman writing – but he can also bring things down to a realistic, human level. And if we’re going to be reading something dealing with the most powerful people on Marvel’s Earth(influence-wise), we’re going to need something to remind us that these guys are human… or mutant… or inhuman… but you get the idea.
Do I need to say anymore? Do it, Marvel! Who cares that J.H. Williams III is busy with Batwoman, or that Jonathan Hickman probably has ideas of his own that he wants to work on!