MCU's Multiverse Saga: Let's Look At Kang The Conqueror's Confirmed Appearances, And Where Else We Might See Him Before 'Kang Dynasty' And 'Secret Wars'
The Multiversal War begins!
After the Covid-19 pandemic forced an extended hiatus, San-Diego Comic Con is back in person to deliver all the big news about what we can expect to see on the big screen, smallscreen, and more in the next few years. Since the beginning of the MCU, Marvel Studios panel in Hall H has been one of the must-sees the SDCC schedule, and the 2022 presentation did not disappoint.
As well as a new trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, and the first teaser for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the film that will close out Phase Four, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealed the MCU's full Phase Five slate. As well as projects we already knew, such as The Marvels and Secret Invasion, Phase Five also includes a few surprises, such as the Daredevil: Born Again series, and a Thunderbolts film. But perhaps the biggest reveal was the discovery of where this is all heading. In 2025, fans will be treated to not just one, but two new Avengers films: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars. These films will provide the closing chapter to Phases Four through Six, which will now be collectively known as The Multiverse Saga.
The main villain of The Multiverse Saga will be Kang The Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors. Kang was first seen in the finale of Loki season one, as a rather affable variant of himself known as He-Who-Remains. According to Kevin Feige, Majors will play multiple Kang variants over the remainder of The Multiverse Saga.
Let's take a look at where Kang is already confirmed to appear, and speculate on a few other projects where he is most likely to show up.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
Before appearing as He-Who-Remains in Loki, Jonathan Majors had already been cast in the role of Kang The Conqueror in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, the third film of the Ant-Man trilogy, and now the first film of Phase Five.
After the friendlier He-Who-Remains, Quantumania will see the debut of a more classically villainous Kang. His appearance will likely necessitate the film's main trio of heroes, Scott Lang, Hope Van Dyne, and Scott's now adult daughter, Cassie, taking a trip into the Quantum Realm. While previously seen as a supporting player by many fans, having Ant-Man be the first Avenger to go toe-to-toe with Kang cements him as an important character in the Saga to come.
'Loki', Season 2
As mentioned earlier, the first Kang fans met was a variant known as He-Who-Remains, introduced in the season one finale of Loki, 'For All Time, Always'. When Loki and Sylvie reach He-Who-Remains in his Citadel at the End of Time, He explains that he created the TVA, and Sacred Timeline, to prevent a Multiversal War once sparked by his less pleasant variants. When Sylvie kills He-Who-Remains, the timeline begins to split, resulting in the birth of the Multiverse.
Meanwhile, after trying to thwart Sylvie's attempt to kill He-Who-Remains, Loki finds himself banished to an alternate timeline, where his friend Mobius M. Mobius does not know him, and the TVA is openly ruled by Kang. With season two of Loki set to pick up from this point, Kang is all but certain to appear.
So, now we've rounded up Kang's confirmed appearances, let's take a look at where else he is most likely to show up in the lead up to the Multiverse Saga's grand finale.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Marvel's Hall H presentation was closed out with the debut of the deeply moving first teaser trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. After the loss of their King, T'Challa, the people of Wakanda are faced with a new challenge when they come into conflict with Namor the Sub-Mariner.
At first glance, Wakanda Forever would not be an obvious choice for a Kang appearance, aside from a post-credits teaser for the end of the Phase. However, young genius Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, is set to make her debut in the film. A new fan theory has suggested that the MCU may be merging the character Iron Lad with Ironheart, and that Riri will be a female Kang variant. Time will tell if this theory proves true.
Secret Invasion, the first Disney Plus series of Phase Five, will reveal that a sect of the Skrull race have been slowly invading Earth since the events of Captain Marvel. The central characters of the series will be Nick Fury, and Talos, a high-ranking Skrull who befriended Fury and Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. The series has been described as a psychological thriller, with hopes that it can invoke the same sense of paranoia as the original Secret Invasion comic.
With Secret Invasion being an iconic Marvel event in its own right, the MCU may choose not to involve Kang in the story. However, it's also possible a Kang variant could appear in a minor role, subtly manipulating events and adding to the growing paranoia among the heroes.
Little is known thus far about the plot of Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels, except that it will see Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, Monica Rambeau, and Nick Fury take on an as-yet unnamed villain played by actress Zawe Ashton. The film will also be set at least partially in space, and will pick up plotlines from Ms. Marvel's post-credits scene, and possibly Secret Invasion.
As part of the MCU's increased focus on some of the more cosmic Marvel heroes, The Marvels could be a fitting place for a Kang appearance. On the other hand, the film already has a lot to do, introducing a new villain, and establishing the dynamic between the core characters. Still, we can probably look for Kang The Conqueror in a cameo or post-credits teaser.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3
The SDCC panel also showed off a new logo for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, with the lucky fans present in Hall H treated to a short teaser for the film. Vol.3, said to be the final chapter for the Guardians as we currently know them, will see the team face off against The High Evolutionary. The film will also feature Will Poulter as Adam Warlock.
The Guardians of the Galaxy films were relatively self-contained prior to Infinity War/Endgame, and considering that this may well be the last outing for the current Guardians roster, it is very possible that Marvel will let the film focus on just those characters. However, it is also possible that a Kang variant could have a hand in the High Evolutionary's work.
Dominique Thorne will make her debut as Riri Williams/Ironheart in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, before the character stars in her own six-episode series on Disney Plus in late 2023. The series will also feature Anthony Ramos as a villain, This Is Us actress Lyric Ross as Riri's best friend, and Solo star Alden Ehrenreich in a key role.
With an early version of Riri's Ironheart suit planned to debut in Wakanda Forever, the series will likely see her working towards a more advanced suit. If the Ironheart/Iron Lad merge theory proves true, and Riri is in fact a variant, we could see Kang appear in the hope of influencing Riri in what he feels is the 'right' direction for his own plans.
After a long wait for fans, Marvel's first family is coming to the MCU. While no casting or plot details were released, Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four now has a tentative release date of November, 2024, as the first film of Phase Six.
In the lead up to the grand finale of The Multiverse Saga in Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, we can expect Kang the Conqueror's ultimate plan, whatever it may be, to have kicked into high gear. Long time comic fans will be aware that Kang was born Nathaniel Richards, with hints in various stories that he is likely a descendant of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Some fans speculate that this link will be made more explicit in the MCU, with Kang possibly engineering the events that lead to the Fantastic Four getting their powers, as a way of safeguarding his own existence.
Quite a few empty dates remain along the Phase Six timeline, and with these unannounced projects will likely come more appearances from Kang. Until these projects are officially revealed, we can only continue to speculate as to where these other appearances will occur.
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Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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I still don’t believe Kang is our next thanos. I think something bigger will come as we move toward Secret Wars.