Since Avengers: Endgame set the stage for a whole new saga in a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, fans have speculated that it also set up the next MCU "big bad" for Phase 4: Kang The Conqueror. More recently, speculation about Kang's debut in the MCU became full-fledged rumor; insiders have whispered that Kang will be introduced in Marvel's Loki Disney+ series. More than that, Loki has cast Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker star Richard E. Grant in an undisclosed "costumed" role, which fans speculate could be Kang. So why all the buzz about Kang in Phase 4 of the MCU? Let's break down why he's the perfect fit!
So far, it's hard to look at the series and movies coming in MCU Phase 4 and see any clear thematic arc. Some of the new saga is very out there cosmic (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Eternals), while some of it is much more grounded in crime and espionage action (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Shang-Chi). Then there's WandaVision and Loki, two series that seem to be playing with the entire nature of reality in the MCU. Those are some pretty disparate pieces that Marvel Studios needs to fit together - while also starting to open gates to big things further down the pike, like the introduction of the MCU X-Men and Fantastic Four.
Here's why Kang The Conqueror can pull all of that together into one story that's full of twists and surprises - especially for all those who aren't longtime Marvel Comics fans familiar with the character.
In Marvel lore, Kang is actually a man from a distant future, who is suspected to be the descendant of the Reed Richards, leader of the Fantastic Four. Kang uses Dr. Doom's time travel tech to start hopping through time, setting himself up in several key personas through the history and future of the Marvel Universe (that a great backwards way to introduce both the Fantastic Four and Doom to the MCU canon). Kang's alter-egos include an Egyptian Pharaoh (Rama-Tut), who is key in some of the Fantastic Four's earliest stories - not to mention being the catalyst for Apocalypse to emerge from Egypt as the world's very first mutant.
The main time-hopping warlord persona, Kang The Conqueror, has influenced all sorts of events across the span of The Avengers' history, and even inspired the younger version of himself to create the Young Avengers team. With Endgame having turned Loki into one of the most wanted fugitives of the time police (the Time Variance Authority), it's only natural that other time-hopping baddies (like a time-traveling warlord named Kang) would also enter the conversation.
Finally, "Kang" isn't necessarily the final "Big Bad" alter-ego of the character - that honor could rest with Immortus, the older version of Kang. When the lust for war and conquer wears off, Kang loses himself in the study of time instead. Eventually he gains enough knowledge to attract the Time Keepers, who make Immortus a guardian of time, keeping watch over the Marvel Multiverse from Limbo, the place outside of time. If Marvel Studios goes with a slow-burn "big bad" reveal in the tradition of Thanos' three-phase arc, then Immortus being the master puppeteer in the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse would be a great one. And Immortus and Kang going to war with each other would just bend fans' minds.
So there you have it: Kang The Conqueror (in all his many personas) is the perfect figure to pull all these loose strands of the MCU back together, while also opening the doors to everything fans want next (Young Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four).
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!