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Who Is The Strongest Member Of Marvel's Illuminati?

In the real world, the Illuminati is a Bavarian secret society from the 18th century, which has since taken a life of its own among conspiracy theorists as a supposed cabal of ultra-powerful individuals who steer the world's events behind the scenes. Meanwhile, in the Marvel Comics universe, the group called Illuminati is ... pretty much that exact conspiracy theory thing, only with added superpowers. A secret team that includes some of the brightest superhero(ish) minds out there, the Marvel Illuminati features many familiar faces, some of whom are also part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The team's founder is none other than Tony "Iron Man" Stark, who's joined by the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, mutant telepath and X-Men founder Charles Xavier, Fantastic Four leader and science prodigy Reed Richards, Atlantean king Namor, and Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans. Tony originally gunned for Black Panther, too, but T'Challa didn't want anything to do with shady secret society business. 

It's a pretty impressive group with great influence and powers, and since there are rumors that at least some members might make their grand MCU debut in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," it's time to find out which member of the Illuminati is the strongest. 

Let's lay out some ground rules first, though. Since several members of the Illuminati are yet to debut in the MCU, it's only fair to limit this comparison to the main Earth-616 Marvel Comics versions of the characters. Luckily, Marvel's website ranks its comic book heroes' powers on a rough scale from one to seven, which offers a handy window into their power levels.

Charles Xavier could clear the Illuminati table with a thought

Since this is a look at inherent personal powers, it's pretty clear that the regular human being Iron Man has no place at the table ... though, in all fairness, he'd probably fare considerably better with access to his various armaments. Apart from Tony, though, it's a pretty close call, since this is a collection of some mighty strong individuals. Reed Richards is the next to go because while he's just about as intelligent and durable as they come, Mr. Fantastic's stretching abilities are impressive but don't offer all that much in terms of pure power. 

In terms of physical ability, it's all about Namor and Black Bolt. While the former is physically stronger, the latter's incredibly destructive voice can end almost any argument with just a whisper ... and if he decided to raise his voice, few others can stand against his might.

Of course, that assumes he actually has time to speak. As the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is Earth's most prominent magic user, so depending on the spells and artifacts he happens to have ready, he might be able to make short work of Black Bolt before the Inhuman can open his mouth — and with adequate prep time, there's little he can't do. 

Yet, in terms of sheer power, even he can't hold a torch to the only Illuminati member who has a maximum power level in an inherent offensive ability (that is, energy or strength-themed powers). That would be Charles Xavier, the world's strongest telepath. His physically frail frame belies a brain that can influence any other Illuminati member in a whole host of ways, up to and including overwriting their minds or even killing them with a mere thought ... all without moving a muscle.