Captain America (under the guidance of writer Brian Michael Bendis) attempts to reconvene the Illuminati in order to stop the Phoenix Force in New Avengers #29. A secret group (Tony Stark, Namor, Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, Professor X and Black Bolt. Black Panther declined) went on covert missions. Bendis revealed the secret history of his this covert team had saved Earth in critical points of Marvel history. The group eventually disbanded.
Cap hopes this Illuminati reunion might lead to the end of Avengers vs. X-Men. What I love about this tie-in issue is how it goes right into the minds and weary hearts of the heroes caught up in this epic battle. Bendis really captures what I expected Professor Xavier to be feeling. This a father figure anguishing over what his children are doing and what he must do to stop them. Bendis creates great moments for Professor X and Reed Richards who questions Cap’s desire to stop the “good work” of the Phoenix Five.
The heart of the story is Cap and his relationship with Namor. Will the Phoenix possessed ally show up and poses a great moment: can a lifelong friendship hope to defeat the cosmic power of the entity?
Artist Mike Deodato paints a somber portraits of beleaguered heroes. His shadowy art is perfect for the covert proceedings and the dark places these characters must go.
This issue takes me back to the first story featuring the secret group of heroes. Here’s a link to New Avengers: The Illuminati if you’d like to check it out.