Marvel Comics: Captain America may not be what readers would call a “cosmic” character – after all, he is human – but he is continually embroiled in cosmic, universe-altering events. Captain America is frequently involved in battles with the Infinity Stones.
In New Avengers #3, Captain America becomes involved with the Illuminati, a secret society. The Illuminati, which includes Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Reed Richards, Namor, Beast, and Black Bolt, is a secretive group that represents different aspects of the superhero world. Everyone in the group is either a genius, a king, or both. Captain America is enlisted to assist in the prevention of an incursion, which occurs when two universes collide, potentially dooming one or both.
Illuminati Holds All Of The Infinity Stones
The Illuminati now hold all of the Infinity Stones thanks to a vault that Charles Xavier bequeathed to Beast in his will. Cap has devised a strategy to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet and use the gems to push one universe out of the way of the other. Steve returns the universe with a powerful rush of will, but vibrational feedback shatters all the gems (except the Time Stone, which is simply “gone“).
Doctor Strange Wipes Out Captain’s Memory
The others are stunned – Namor, in especially, is enraged – that Steve, inadvertently or not, destroyed the Illuminati’s most powerful weapon against the incursions. Steve is insistent that the Illuminati not abandon their principles in the name of “the greater good,” because he believes that’s how people have justified their crimes throughout history. Doctor Strange reluctantly casts a spell that erases Steve’s recollection of the entire incident, although everyone agrees that one’s morals should be compromised.
The Illuminati’s sole goal, unbeknownst to Captain America, is to make difficult decisions that others would never consider. After all, it was the group’s work that blasted the Hulk into orbit, far away from the Civil War. Captain America may have destroyed the Infinity Stones, but he’ll never know thanks to Doctor Strange and the Illuminati’s ends-justifies-the-means mentality.