With news that actor Jonathan Majors has been reportedly cast as Kang The Conqueror for Ant-Man 3, it looks like we might finally know who the next supervillain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will be.
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, which saw the mightiest heroes defeat titan Thanos, the MCU is now in need of a new big bad as it enters the next phases of the series.
So all eyes are on Majors then as not only is he an upcoming actor with recent breakout roles in hit show Lovecraft Country and Spike Lee’s latest film Da 5 Bloods, but Kang The Conqueror is also a significant Marvel Comics villain, so it is likely he will feature in more movies than just Ant-Man 3.
But who is Kang The Conqueror, and what could he mean for the MCU?
Who Is Kang The Conqueror?
First appearing in The Avengers #8 in 1964, Kang The Conqueror was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby featuring as a regular supervillain in Marvel Comics.
A time-travelling entity, he is a regular foe for both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, but has also faced off against other Marvel heroes throughout his long history.
Born in the 30th century as Nathaniel Richards, a descendant of Reed Richards and Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four, Kang was brought into a violent world and decided to bring about peace through conquering the whole planet.
Then discovering Doctor Doom’s time machine, from there Kang has continued with his conquest throughout history travelling to different centuries, taking on numerous identities including Immortus and Pharaoh Rama-Tut.
Whilst Kang has gone by many names, devised countless evil plots, and has been driven by several varying motivations, his basic goal has always remained the same – conquer the world.
Seeing himself as the rightful ruler of the world, Kang is also dangerous as he uses advanced weaponry from the future in his conquest, and often rewrites history to suit his own whims, caring little for the laws of time and physics.
What Are His Powers?
Born human, Kang The Conqueror actually has no innate super powers or abilities, but in the 30th century (in which he was born) humanity has learned to enhance themselves when it comes to speed and strength, meaning your regular person is as strong as Captain America.
What does make Kang special though is he is an unparalleled genius, being a gifted physicist and historian using this knowledge during his conquest.
He also wears a distinctive suit of armour, inspired by fellow villain Doctor Doom, which protects him during battle and makes him stronger.
Making use of advanced weapons from the future, Kang has a fondness for a ray gun which can sap a person’s strength and power, and he also travels through space and time with a special ship.
And it isn’t just weapons from throughout time that Kang uses, as his vast army is comprised of the best warriors and soldiers from the past, the present and the future.
The thing that really makes Kang powerful though is he is seemingly immortal, abusing the timeline for his own selfish whims meaning there are several versions of Nathaniel Richards which exist in the galaxy.
So every time you defeat the conqueror there is always another incarnation in waiting, ready to cause more chaos.
What Are His Connections In The Marvel Universe?
As we learnt earlier, Kang The Conqueror is a descendent of Reed Richards and Sue Storm from the Fantastic Four, but that’s not his only connections in the Marvel Universe.
He is also tied to Doctor Doom, not only using his time machine and weapons, but the comics also sees Kang join forces with the fellow supervillain on several occasions to take on Marvel’s heroes.
Clearly a fan of team-ups, Kang once sided with the mutant Apocalypse Twins who were twisted by the villainous Apocalypse to be his successors.
Interestingly Kang The Conqueror also has ties to Iron Man, with an adolescent version of the character featuring as hero Iron Lad who is part of the Young Avengers.
Also in the notorious Avengers storyline The Crossing, Kang manipulates Tony Stark into turning evil, resulting in Iron Man’s death and the character being replaced with a teenage version of himself.
Have We Seen Him In Film Before?
We are yet to see Kang The Conqueror in film, but that will soon change with Majors reportedly playing the villain in Ant-Man 3 and potentially beyond.
The character has appeared in television though, even as far back as 1967 when he featured in the Fantastic Four animated series.
Kang has also popped up in other animated Marvel shows such as X-Men: Evolution and Avengers: United They Stand, having a brief cameo too as Immortus in the popular show X-Men: The Animated Series.
More recently Jonathan Adams voiced Kang in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, whilst Steve Blum breathed life into the character in Avengers Assemble.
The supervillain has also popped up in several games, with his most notable appearance in gaming so far being in 2017’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 where he is the main antagonist, voiced by Peter Serafinowicz.
What Could He Mean For The MCU?
Although it has been reported Kang The Conqueror will be a villain in Ant-Man 3, since he is such a complex and powerful character it is likely he will have a huge impact on the whole of the MCU.
Due to his above connections, he could be a gateway to introduce other major characters from the comics such as Doctor Doom, the Young Avengers and the Fantastic Four, all of whom would also have a massive impact on the MCU themselves.
It is interesting he is being introduced in the third instalment in the Ant-Man series as the villain doesn’t have much to do with Earth’s tiniest hero in the comics.
Ant-Man and his access to the Quantum Realm did make time travel possible in Avengers: Endgame, and with Kang The Conqueror being a time travelling entity, the two could be connected this way.
Maybe the pair meet each other on their journeys through time and history? Or maybe the events of Endgame has drawn the attention of Kang?
Majors’ villain might even pop up in the MCU before Ant-Man 3, with the short trailer for upcoming Disney+ show Loki giving us a glimpse at the logo for the Time Variance Authority.
Of course the TVA protect the world from time problems with the aim to preserve reality, so with the show focusing on Loki’s playing around with the timeline of course the authority will pop up, and maybe Kang will too.
One to watch for sure, it does look like Kang The Conqueror will be shaking things up soon in the MCU.
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