We could say that Phase 4 was a sort of transitional phase between the Infinity Saga and the Multiverse Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanos and the Infinity Stones are now back in the rearview mirror, and Marvel Studios is now preparing to introduce a new big supervillain — Kang the Conqueror. Kang the Conqueror is one of the most prominent supervillains to ever appear on the pages of Marvel Comics, and it seems fitting to finally bring him to live-action media. However, the latest trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania showed a comic-accurate Kang, and some MCU fans unfamiliar with the source material might wonder why he’s blue in his comic-accurate appearance.
Kang’s blue face is a result of his armor and mask, his face itself is not blue. Although his appearance may suggest that he is some kind of alien, Kang is actually human. The catch is that, according to the source material, Kang is a time-traveling entity who traveled back in time from the 31st century. That explains his excessive sci-fi appearance.
History of Kang the Conqueror
The character of Kang the Conqueror was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and he first appeared in the comics as Pharaoh Rama-Tut in Fantastic Four #19 in October 1963, and his real debut as Kang was in The Avengers #8 in September 1964.
Before he became known as Kang the Conqueror, he was Nathaniel Richards, a 31st-century scholar fascinated by history. After discovering time travel technology created by none other than Victor von Doom, he returns to ancient Egypt where he was known as Pharaoh Rama-Tut. However, the Fantastic Four defeated him and kicked him out of the timeline, but instead of returning to the 31st century, he goes to the 20th century to meet Victor von Doom.
Nathaniel created armor based on Doom’s and became the Scarlet Centurion, who attempted to pit the Avengers against their alternate-reality counterparts in order to defeat them all. However, the Avengers managed to force him out of the timeline. Afterward, Nathaniel tried to return to the 31st century but accidentally ended up in the 41st century, where he discovered a world torn apart by war. Seeing that he could easily conquer this planet, Nathaniel becomes Kang the Conqueror. But since this world was already dying, he wanted to extend his rule to other timelines.
What to expect from Kang in the MCU?
The seed for Kang’s debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was planted in the final episode of the Loki series, in which Jonathan Majors (who was previously cast as Kang) played Nathaniel Richards known as He Who Remains. Coming from the 31st century as well, he was the first variant who came into contact with the Multiverse and other variants of himself, one of them being Kang the Conqueror.
He founded Time Variance Authority (TVA) to protect the Sacred Timeline and prevent his counterparts from attacking. However, after Sylvie Laufeydottir, one of Loki’s variants, killed him, the Sacred Timeline began to expand infinitely, opening the door to the Multiverse and paving the way for the arrival of Nathaniel’s other variants, including Kang the Conqueror.
Before his surprise appearance as The One Who Stays, Jonathan Majors was cast as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. As the film approaches, fans have meanwhile learned that this will only mark Majors’ first appearance as Kang, as he is also slated to be the main villain in the next Avengers film — Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which is set to be released in May 2025.
With his ability and wish to conquer multiple realities and timelines, Kang the Conqueror is certainly one of the greatest threats that any superhero will encounter on the big screen. It was obvious that Marvel Studios will need to think even bigger than eradicating half of the universe that Thanos has done in the Infinity Saga. Although some previous theories were mentioning Galactus and even Dr. Doom, no one can say that Kang doesn’t deserve to be the next big bad of the MCU. Still, with the arrival of the Fantastic Four in the MCU prior to the release of The Kang Dynasty, there’s also a chance that we will meet Dr. Doom before the Multiverse Saga concludes.
Meet Kang the Conqueror for the first time on the big screen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In theaters on February 17, 2023.