Thanos #1 debuts a new Illuminati, Marvel's superhero secret society

 Thanos #1.
Thanos #1.

It takes some serious superhero firepower to take on Thanos, the Mad Titan. But in November 8's Thanos #1, a new incarnation of one of the most secretive and powerful super-teams of the Marvel Universe has reared its head, with some interesting new members.

We're talking, of course, about the Illuminati, the Marvel Universe's superhero secret society who come together to face down threats and challenges that are too powerful and monumental for even a team like the Avengers to handle.

Light spoilers ahead for Thanos #1.

Thanos #1 by writer Christopher Cantwell, artist Luca Pizzari, color artist Ruth Redmond, and letterer Cory Petit primarily deals with the Mad Titan's return to Earth in search of a young woman named Roberta Marshall with a strange connection to his past.

We won't spoil all the details, but in the course of the issue, Thanos launches a massive attack on the city of Fresno, California in pursuit of his quarry. But Roberta isn't alone as she hides from Thanos, as a new Illuminati steps in to protect her from the villain and to help her understand her connection to him.

Thanos #1
Thanos #1

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The new Illuminati revealed in Thanos #1 brings in some new members to the group who don't actually name themselves as the Illuminati in the story, but who are officially identified as such in the solicitation for the issue. The new roster includes Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Emma Frost, Doctor Strange, and Blue Marvel - a somewhat smaller Illuminati than has previously come together, and it lacks some mainstays like Namor and Black Bolt (in fact, there's no Inhuman representative at all).

The original Illuminati consisted of Professor X, Namor, Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, and Black Bolt. Over the years, other heroes who have been inducted include Black Panther, Beast, Medusa of the Inhumans, and even Captain America.

We'll see more of the new Illuminati when Thanos #2 arrives on January 3. Interestingly enough, that issue will pit Thanos against the Hulk, who's being billed as "the Illuminati's secret weapon." Hulk allying with the Illuminati is an unlikely team-up, since the Illuminati are the ones who banished Hulk to space leading to the landmark Planet Hulk story which was adapted into the MCU in Thor: Ragnarok, and the later event story World War Hulk in which Hulk takes down nearly the entire Illuminati.

Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are two of the best Hulk stories of all time.