Ever since AVENGERS: ENDGAME brought an end to Thanos, and by result, the Infinity Saga, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been wondering who would be the next “big bad” to challenge Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Well, four years later, we are on the eve of the arrival of the biggest threat since the demise of the Mad Titan with Kang the Conqueror in the fast-approaching ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA.
But before Paul Rudd’s loveable hero with a knack for shrinking, enlarging and slight-of-hand magic tricks comes face-to-face with Jonathan Majors’ enigmatic supervillain – one who appears to be here for at least a little while with movies like AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY and AVENGERS: SECRET WARS – we all probably want to know a little bit about the man, the myth, the Kang, beforehand.
Using Kang the Conqueror’s comic book history as a roadmap, we have broken down several aspects of the character and why he is viewed as such a major threat for Ant-Man and his fellow Avengers.
A Descendant Of Mr. Fantastic And Doctor Doom
In the pages of Marvel Comics, one of the primary versions of Kang the Conqueror was born Nathaniel Richards, a descendant of the Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic. A scientist from the 31st Century, Kang is from an alternate timeline called Earth-6311, a.k.a. Other-Earth, which experienced technological advancements, making the complex and nuanced character far superior in every way to those having lived and died on Earth-616, the main Marvel timeline.
There are also other versions of Kang the Conqueror in which he was the distant descendant of Victor Von Doom, a.k.a. Doctor Doom, which could help explain his maniacal nature and obsession with technology and domination of all living things.
A Master Of Space And Time
If the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Kang the Conqueror is anything like his comic book counterpart – which seems to be the case, based on footage of the character in the two ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA trailers – then Jonathan Majors’ mysterious villain will be a master of space and time, with the ability to manipulate and bend each to his will.
Throughout his comic book history, Kang, with the help of his incredibly advanced technology from the future, has gone back and forth in time, at times even going to different timelines. This was alluded to in the first season of “Loki,” in which a variant, named He Who Remains, formed the Time Variance Authority to prevent his more evil versions from destroying the “sacred timeline.”
A Brilliant And Experienced Military Strategist
If you look at all the memorable villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, some of the most engaging antagonists were gifted with special powers. Even Thanos, who wiped out half of all living things with the snap of a finger, only did so after securing the Infinity Stones in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. Vulture, Mysterio, Baron Zemo and others were all without powers, but instead had drive and great tech. Even Killmonger didn’t have superpowers until late into BLACK PANTHER.
The same can be said about Kang the Conqueror, who makes up for his lack of special natural powers by using advanced technology, weaponry, and years upon years of military training to accomplish his goals. With anti-gravity devices, concussive blasters, and the aforementioned time-travel abilities, there are multiple reasons why Kang is such a formidable villain.
One Of The Avengers’ Most Complex Foes
In the next couple of years, Kang the Conqueror will be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the Avengers’ big bad, but the character has long been one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ biggest adversaries.
Over the years, Kang has waged war with beloved characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor, as well as other iconic teams like the Fantastic Four, The Inhumans, and the X-Men. Similar to other notable, three-dimensional villains like Thanos, Baron Zemo, and Killmonger, Kang isn’t just bad for the sake of being bad, but instead he has brought a level of complexity, nuance, and understandable motivation to each fight.
A Villain With Multiple Variants
As mentioned earlier, there have been multiple variations of Kang throughout the character’s history, with fans of the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe having already met He Who Remains during “Loki” Season 1. During the season finale, the character reveals to Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) that he created the TVA to prevent some of his more evil variants from working together and starting a multiversal war. That version of the character, however, is killed in the final moments, allowing those mysterious variants to do as they wish.
In the comics, variants like Immortus, Rama Tut, Iron Lad, Scarlet Centurion and Victor Timely have all appeared in various capacities, meaning it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for a few of them to get the big-screen treatment in the future.
This is just barely scratching the surface of Kang the Conqueror, one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic and formidable characters, a villain we’ll begin to know all too well when ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA opens in AMC Theatres locations nationwide.