A Quick (and Confusing) Look at Kang the Conquerer

Since the events of Avengers: Endgame, some people feel like the MCU’s lacked direction. Without a big bad like Thanos to tie everything together, the franchise felt aimless and all over the place. Worse, considering the universe-spanning threat Thanos was, it felt like no other villains could hope to top him. However, Marvel’s already sown the seeds to do just that. In the far fringes of the MCU, the next big bad’s already appeared. Enter Kang, the man, or men, who could threaten the multiverse itself.

Be forewarned: Kang’s history can get very confusing.

A Man Born in the Wrong Time

Kang’s story begins in the 30th century in a possible future Earth. Born Nathaniel Richards, he was the supposedly the descendant of the scientist of the same name, who also happened to be the father of Reed Richards. AKA Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, making them distantly related. By this point in time, humanity all but achieved utopia, wiping out war, poverty, disease, and everything bad in human history. And Nathaniel was bored out of his mind.

Nathaniel dreamed of the bygone days of humanity’s chaotic past and living an exciting life. One day, he stumbled upon the blueprints for a time machine that was either created by Nathaniel Richards or Dr. Doom. Naturally, he went ahead and built it for himself and used it to travel thousands of years into the past to Ancient Egypt. There, he set himself up as the Pharoah Rama-Tut and ruled for many years.

This is where things start to get confusing, though. His reign started falling apart thanks to the time-travel escapades of various heroes like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. The final lid in the sarcophagus, though, came when En-Sabah-Nur, the future X-Men villain Apocalypse, defeated Rama-Tut’s armies. As a result, the time traveler decided to flee back to his own time. 

Becoming Kang the Conquerer

Unfortunately for the universe, his trip home didn’t pan out as he wanted. Rama-Tut got stuck in the modern age and briefly renamed himself the Scarlet Centurion. When that didn’t work out, he tried returning to the 30th again. 

It didn’t work. Nathaniel overshot his time and wound up in the 40th century. In this age, humanity had backslid into complete anarchy, leaving it easy pickings for him to conquer the world. Renaming himself to Kang, he built an interstellar empire and got everything he ever wanted. Since Earth was dying by this point thanks to humanity messing things up, it was a hollow victory.

At this point, things pretty much go off the rails.

Like Rick Sanchez on Steroids

Anyone who’s seen stories about time travel knows how dangerous it can be. Messing with the past will result in any of the following happening:

  • A.) Changing history and thus altering the present-day like in Back to the Future.
  • B.) Create a stable time loop where everything is supposed to happen. 
  • C.) Create a separate, alternate timeline altogether. 

Kang didn’t intend for this to happen (or did), but thanks to his messing with time, he did a combination of all three. As a result, this led to the creation of many alternate versions of himself. Each of them was as smart as Kang, but just as reckless with time travel. 

Some versions of Kang would go back in time and try to conquer the past and fight the heroes of Earth. Other versions, like Iron Lad, ended up becoming heroes instead. One version even back to Egypt and resumed his identity as Rama-Tut. Every time this person went time-traveling, he created another version of himself, and that would lead to more chaos. It got to the point where a version of himself, now going by Immortus, tried to step in and clean things up by getting rid of the other Kangs. Since this was Kang, though, it ended poorly.

Basically, this guy is like Rick Sanchez on steroids. Instead of just messing with the multiverse, Kang could mess with the space-time continuum. 

Kang=Menace to Space-Time Continuum

So, what have we learned? Kang’s pretty much the biggest pain in the neck that the Marvel multiverse has to offer. He can time-travel, most versions of him are arrogant blowhards, and even when one of them does good, another version could come along and mess things up again. While Thanos is a threat on a universal scale, Kang can threaten the multiverse with his nonsense.

That’s why having Kang as the new big bad of the MCU is the next logical step. Thanos threatened all life in the MCU, but he was constrained to a single universe. Kang, though? He can mess with every universe. And while everyone’s been distracted by the aftermath of Endgame in Phase 4, Marvel’s been quietly building up to the arrival of Kang. Loki opened the door for his return, and now Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will break the door down. 

This is going to be crazy.