Despite Captain America’s good nature and starry appearance, his life has always been mired in conflict and conspiracy. Over the years, Steve Rogers has taken on everything from top-secret government programs to reality-distorting regimes, but nothing has ever posed the kind of threat that the Outer Circle does. Not only has this sprawling organization escaped the public eye for decades, but its efforts have also reshaped the world as we know it. Of course, it was never quite clear how they managed to do so much for so long unabated. At least that was the case until recently, when the origin of the Outer Circle was revealed, and it not only explains where they came from, but also how they managed to escape by destroying themselves from the outer circle. inside.
As Bucky Barnes struggles to adjust to his new position within the Outer Circle, Special Captain America and the Winter Soldier #1 (by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Kev Walker, JP Mayer, KJ Díaz, and VC’s Joe Caramagna) takes readers back one hundred years to witness the organization’s first meeting. In the middle of a barren desert, four of the world’s most influential and secretive figures come together alongside Gavrilo Princip, the very real man whose assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked World War I. world. There they begin to draw their own map of the world. Their design is the one by which the Outer Circle establishes the structure of their organization, as well as the rules of their Century Game. Unsurprisingly, this kind of megalomaniac villainy is anathema to everything Princip stands for, and it’s exactly why the Outer Circle so desperately needs his presence.
The origin of the outer circle confirms their power
Although the Outer Circle are dedicated to seeing their will shape the world around them, Princip’s presence among the rest of their members implies that their intentions are far from purely malevolent. Power, Money, Machine, and Love all have their own ideals for the future, none of which match Princip’s hope for abject freedom and peace. While they are not opposed to each other, they are also not working towards the same end goal. This makes it all the more important that the Revolution participate in the game. With one player working against the others, there will always be someone to keep the rest of the outer circle in check, much like other similar organizations to which the Marvel universe gave birth.
Following the events of the Kree-Skrull War, Tony Stark took it upon himself to put together a team that could handle these same kinds of massive universe-shaping events without fear of getting in the way. Hoping to provide a unified front, the Illuminati was formed. When they first appeared in 2005 New Avengers #7 (by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven), the other founding members of the Illuminati questioned Stark’s decision to reform the series’ eponymous team. Being part of the Illuminati and sharing powers like the Infinity Stones may not have stopped its members from making one-sided decisions, but it has at least kept them in check with each other.
The Outer Circle Succeeds Where Other Secret Organizations Fail
Like so many other shadowy groups bent on bending the word to their will, the Illuminati ultimately fell apart despite their amazing powers and resources. Not even Norman Osborn’s cabal or the maniacal Intelligencia could avoid suffering the same fate, which makes it all the more surprising that the Outer Circle has remained together and under the radar for so long. Somehow they continued their game relentlessly in almost every way possible. This is at least partly attributable to the role the Revolution plays, but it’s far more likely that they’ve made it all these years simply by playing by the rules they set for themselves.
While the Illuminati and other comparable groups repeatedly faltered before finally falling, the outer circle maintained a delicate balance based on mutual respect and absolute transparency. As Bucky quickly discovers, there’s simply no way around the structure the Outer Circle has established for their proceedings in any meaningful way. As such, the Outer Circle shielded itself both from outside influences and from its own members. If there was ever a pattern that the Illuminati followed, the outer circle absolutely is. Then again, it’s probably for the best that they didn’t, especially considering that they did more harm than good.