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Who is Kang and why is he so important to Phase Five?

We go over who Kang the Conqueror is and why he will be important to the new slate of Marvel films.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Typically audiences are excited about a superhero film and its titular character, but in the case of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Marvel fans may have more anticipation for the introduction of the villainous Kang the Conqueror. As one of the storied villains in Marvel comics history, Jonathan Majors will take on the responsibility of playing the role in the latest chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Let’s take a deep dive into exactly who is the MCU’s newest threat, and what his future holds going forward.

Who is Kang the Conqueror?

Kang is a time-traveling villain that has often battled with the likes of the Fantastic Four and The Avengers, and given his reach across different universes and eras, he has held different aliases. He is most often depicted as Nathaniel Richards, a 31st-century scholar that discovers time-traveling technology created by Victor von Doom.

As he travels through different eras such as ancient Egypt and the present day, he realizes that he can use his advanced weaponry from the future to expand his dominion.

With this newfound purpose, he chooses to rename himself ‘Kang the Conqueror’ and take over a more preliminary, and fertile, version of Earth to remake so as he sees fit. Amid his various excursions through space and time, he’s donned multiple titles such as Iron Lad, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, and the Scarlet Centurion. This lust for conquest often puts him at odds with Marvel’s roster of heroes.

What is his MCU future?

Quantumania may mark the first instance of Kang being introduced to the MCU, but it surely won’t be the last time we see him facing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Marvel Studios has already unveiled the next two Avengers films on the schedule, with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty arriving in 2025 and Avengers: Secret Wars hitting theaters in 2026. While the rules of the multiverse, a concept in which other universes exist in space and time, have been teased in the MCU, the full ramifications of this theory will be felt if and when Kang escapes from the quantum realm.

His experience in navigating different universes and using advanced weaponry from the future will likely make him too formidable of a threat for the current roster of The Avengers to handle. But while unleashing the multiverse helps serve Kang’s mission, it could also open the door for other multiversal versions, or “variants”, of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to lend their aid.

It is Kang’s ability to navigate the multiverse, and his ill intent with that knowledge, that will ultimately make him an “Avengers-level threat” that the team has yet to face. Whether or not he’s left standing as the victor by the conclusion of Quantumania may be irrelevant, as it's clear it won’t be the last we see of Majors’ portrayal of the iconic Marvel villain.