Loki's season 1 finale made the bold move of introducing a new big bad for the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Kang The Conqueror. Kang's MCU origin (or rather that of an entire Kang Collective) is that he's the evil variant of a 31st Century Scientist who discovered the Marvel Multiverse, only to have his evil variants conspire to conquer all realities. That Multiverse War ended with He Who Remains pruning things down to one timeline, to prevent the reign of Kang. However, Loki saw the Marvel Multiverse reborn, and the threat of Kang along with it. However, a new Marvel Cinematic Universe fan theory states there could be a major connection between Kang The Conqueror and another new MCU villain.
Dark Avengers Rising
While Loki introduced the threat of Kang the Conqueror lurking in the shadows, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced a different shadow player: Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus). In both TFATWS and the new Black Widow movie, Valentina is seen recruiting power agents for her own espionage squad, including John Walker/US Agent (Wyatt Russell) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Marvel fans have theorized that Valentina is creating her own Dark Avengers team (a spin on the comics version of the team).
However, what if Valentina Allegra isn't operating on her own? What if she's an agent of Kang The Conqueror?
Kang Is Everywhere
So far, Phase 4 of the MCU has seen two different lanes of story opening up: one set on the changing power structures of Earth, following Avengers: Endgame and The Blip; the other about the cosmic calamities as the Marvel Multiverse once again rises. They seem like totally separate storylines - but what if they're not?
Marvel Comics fans have pointed out that in the comics, there was a time when a timestream glitch split Kang into different variant versions of himself. One of those variants was "Mister Gryphon" a man who was stranded in the 21st century and decided to once again build an empire through the most effective means at the time: corporate business. Gryphon started Qeng Enterprises, set up shop in Avengers Tower, and hired a group of villains to help carry out his plans. He was eventually discovered and defeated by The Avengers, including characters like Vision and Jane Foster's Thor.
The Clues Are Already Here
There has already been a Mister Gryphon Easter egg revealed in the MCU: In Loki Episode 5, "Journey Into Mystery", the Qeng Enterprises version of Avengers Tower appears in the void realm's scrapyard of pruned realities. That suggests that Gryphon's story indeed played out in once version of the Marvel Multiverse - and presumably he now once again exists in the restored multiverse.
In Black Widow's post-credits scene, Valentina Allegra assigns Yelena Belova to attack Clint Barton/Hawkeye. During the banter between Val and Yelena, Val answers Yelena's crack about wanting a raise by saying she wants one of her own. It suggests that Val indeed has a boss with a lot of power (and presumably wealth). It's also curious that Val seems to know the circumstances of Natasha Romanoff's death in detail (which she lies about to Yelena), a level of cosmic knowledge that arguably goes way above Val's paygrade.
As we've explained in our breakdown of why Kang is the best villain for MCU Phase 4, the fun with the character is having him show up as any one of his many variants, in different Marvel Studios projects. It was a shock to see Kang actor Jonathan Majors make his debut in Loki, and he could very well end up being "Mister Gryphon" rather than Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That twist would instantly create the space for Gryphon to also be revealed as the secret employer behind Val's Dark Avengers (and other events of the MCU).
What do you think?