After the universe-shattering events of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been the same. The blockbuster franchise based on the expansive world found in the pages of Marvel Comics has been moving on from Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America and the Infinity War as we’ve seen films like SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, ETERNALS, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, and sequels for Doctor Strange and Thor move into new territories. But what have the recent movies been building toward? Now we finally have an answer to that question. The next big Avengers movies to look forward to are AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY and AVENGERS: SECRET WARS, coming to AMC Theatres in 2025.
We’ve entered The Multiverse Saga. As announced during Marvel’s mega panel during San Diego Comic-Con 2022, last summer’s BLACK WIDOW was the first movie in an ongoing era the MCU is currently in called The Multiverse Saga. And this saga will be capped off with a new FANTASTIC FOUR reaching theatres in late 2024 and two upcoming Avengers films both coming in 2025. Based on what we learned from Marvel’s latest SDCC announcements, it’s time to start putting together the pieces of this franchise and most importantly, introduce its new big bad.
Move Over Thanos
From 2008 to 2019, we experienced The Infinity Saga. This first era of Marvel films that were introduced brought together the original Avengers, who ultimately took down Thanos after he destroyed half the universe with six Infinity Stones (as seen in the the thrilling AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and AVENGERS: ENDGAME films). Those two Avengers adventures became the most massive undertaking yet for Marvel Studios and some of the most memorable theatre-going experiences for audiences around the globe. With that saga behind us, get ready to meet Kang the Conqueror.
Move over Thanos, as it looks like Kang the Conqueror will be the main villain of The Multiverse Saga. The character will be played by Jonathan Majors of THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO and the upcoming CREED III. In Marvel Comics, Kang is one of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four’s most formidable foes. Most notably, Kang is a master physicist who can travel through time and realities with advanced technology from the future to carry out his aspirations to be the ruler of the Universe. Kang is a bigger threat than Thanos was as he enters the MCU, as the character often aims for tyranny over one universe… perhaps, the whole multiverse itself.
Starting Small With Ant-Man
Kang The Conqueror will be introduced on the big screen in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA - coming to AMC Theatres on February 17, 2023. A first look at the Ant-Man sequel debuted at San Diego Comic-Con. In the exclusive SDCC footage, it was teased that Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne, her parents played by Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfieffer, and Scott’s grown up daughter Cassie Lang, played by new addition Kathryn Newton, get sucked into the Quantum Realm. It's during that adventure that Scott Lang will come face-to-face with Kang the Conqueror. In the exclusive SDCC footage, Kang says this to Ant-Man “You’re an Avenger? Have I killed you before?” in their first confrontation.
Considering Kang is a character that can transcend time and realities, these are the perfect first words to get to know him and his capabilities. It’s very possible Kang killed off the Avengers in the future or another reality, and as Ant-Man collects this knowledge, he’ll likely team up with a new generation of Avengers to defeat Kang. QUANTUMANIA, which is the first movie of Marvel’s Phase 5, will set the stage for the next major villain of the franchise since Thanos, introducing audiences to who Kang the Conqueror is before more heroes in the universe learn his name leading up to AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY.
There Will Be Conquering
When Jonathan Majors took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con for the first time ever, he only said this of his future role in the MCU: “There will be conquering.” That’s enough to send some chills down our spines. From what we know, Kang has a leg up from other Marvel foes because he has traveled to many time periods and dimensions along with being a descendant of one of Marvel’s upcoming characters, the Fantastic Four’s leader Reed Richards. Additionally, in the comics one especially worrisome element of this villain is the tendency for new versions of Kang to be created each time he travels through time, creating not just one threat, but many Kangs that form a collective group of villains called the Council of Kangs.
Excited (and scared for the Avengers) yet? Over the next few years, it’ll be exciting to see Kang become the next major Marvel villain as heroes like Captain Marvel, Captain America, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Fantastic Four are involved in the upcoming movies before the next Avengers films.