Marvel Studios returned to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday and for fans of all things Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was a huge evening packed with first looks, announcements, trailers, and so much more. Perhaps one of the most exciting, however, was the announcement that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania would be the film to kick off Phase 5 with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige saying that the reason for that is Jonathan Majors — who just so happens to play Kang. By now, Kang has become a very popular character to speculate about in terms of the MCU. A major villain in the comics, Kang is poised to be a huge threat to the MCU as well. But who is Kang? Here's what you need to know.
In comics, Kang the Conqueror is an interdimensional, time-hopping warlord who conquers worlds and even timelines mostly just because it entertains him. He utilizes advanced tech and weapons from a future he previously conquered and turns them against earlier civilizations, and he has a pretty distinctive armor, helmet and mask while doing it. In short, he's a major threat and, on the pages of comics, a mysterious one as well.
Throughout comics, Kang is actually a number of roles having taken on various alter egos throughout history. There's Rama-Tut, an early time travel venture that saw Kang in Ancient Egypt where he used future tech to establish himself as the Pharaoh Rama-Tut. That role in particular helped shape the Fantastic Four in their own travels through time and helped the evolution of Marvel's first mutant, Apocalypse aka En Sabah Nur. There's Scarlet Centurion. After first coming to the 20th century (or 21st century in the MCU), Kang shredded his Rama-Tut persona after meeting Doctor Doom, and instead designed an armor suit to become the Scarlet Centurion. He forced The Avengers to fight alt-reality versions of themselves – a story that would definitely be fun for the MCU, especially given the announcement of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
There's also Immortus, when an older Kang seeks less to conquer and more to study time, eventually getting recruited into serving the "Time Keepers" masters of time from an outside of time base called Limbo. It's the discovery that he is fated to become Immortus (and that revulsion) that spurns Kang to renew his commitment to war and conquer. There's also the young, teen version of Kang, Iron Lad, who forms the Young Avengers in order to stop his future self from manipulating the timestream. And, also Nathaniel Richards, the man behind Kang and a 31st century scholar who believes he's the descendant of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four.
In terms of the existing MCU, we've already seen one "version" of Kang before — sort of. In the Loki Season 1 finale, "For All Time. Always," we're introduced to Majors, but not as Kang. Instead, we meet him as He Who Remains. In comics, He Who Remains isn't Kang per se, but is instead he Time Variance Authority's last director. Like Kang in the Loki finale, He Who Remains resides in the Citadel at the End of Time and creates the Time Keepers, using the power amassed by the TVA throughout its existence. His plan in the comics was to send the Time Keepers, the only beings capable of surviving the Cataclysm that destroys all reality, into the next universe to teach its inhabitants how to avoid the same fate and power the TVA.
This plan went awry. The Time Keepers were corrupted and became the Time-Twisters, who began destroying history until Thor and the Warriors Three confronted He Who Remains and convinced him to undo their creation. He then created new Time Keepers who served their intended purpose. In the MCU, the character is something of a composite of both Kang and the Time Keepers with the Loki version of the character dressing like the comics' Immortus.
But even with all the versions of Kang and his wide reach in comics, as we head into the Kang era of the MCU, there's one thing that is guaranteed. Majors' Kang is going to bring a very different villain to things than anything we've seen before.
"It comes down to the cast and with Jonathan Majors, who I think took over the Hall H stage, you know, in the three minutes he was up there," Feige told us. "It's amazing, and I said to him there's nobody's shoulders I'd rather be putting the multiverse saga on than his. It's really impressive what Jonathan Majors is able to do and all the different incarnations, variants, if you will, of Kang that we will see him do. It's really pretty cool."
He "added, What I love is that he's totally different from Thanos. That he is completely different. That it's not just how about there's a bigger purple guy with a helmet? That's not what Kang is. Kang is a very different type of villain and the fact that he is many, many different characters is what's most exciting and most differentiates him."
Are you looking forward to Kang's arrival in the MCU? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!