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A $430 million Phase 4 favorite teases how the MCU can solve its Kang problem without dumping Jonathan Majors

This way everyone wins – take it, Marvel!

Kang the Conqueror
Photo via Marvel Studios/remix via Apeksha Bagchi

Marvel is spiraling in its own Multiverse of Controversies in the wake of the allegations against Jonathan Majors. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, the studio needs to fashion a solution that saves it from a plot sinkhole in Kang’s absence, avoid attracting ire by replacing Majors, and also douse out the public backlash by retaining the actor. Thankfully, even though Phase Four wasn’t a rousing victory, it has already solved how Marvel can sidestep all the major landmines while keeping Majors in the MCU.

Those honing their phasers on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and demanding it let Jonathan Majors go in light of all the controversies he is currently stuck in have to see the bigger picture – at least from Marvel’s viewpoint. Dropping Majors won’t mess up just one thread — it will pull apart the whole web of Phase Five and Six that has been extensively and exclusively woven around the villain. The studio has never hinged its storyline on one character but now that it has made the giant mistake, it can turn to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to fix its dire dilemma. 

Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 and Wenwu in Shang-Chi
Photo via Marvel Studios

I know, it is not the same. But Shang-Chi — one of the Phase Four movies that actually did well both critically and commercially (over $432 million) — did fix Iron Man 3’s much-bashed blunder of introducing Guy Pierce as the indomitable Mandarin. The Phase Four film introduced the real man behind the imposing title — who more than lived up to his name — and while I still have lingering grievances (like how he was quickly dispatched and wasn’t allowed to be an out-and-out villain), I have to give it to the MCU for employing a rather belated but effective damage control. 

So, how about applying this trick to Kang as well? 

Yes, Majors’ controversies aside, he did play the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror with chilling accuracy. It was his performance that reportedly changed the studio’s mind and thus cemented the plan to make his character the center of everything in Phase Five and Six. But the actor’s current status has put a real kink in the plan. 

Well, even though the MCU has aimed for a very comic-book adaptation of Kang, it can always adopt its usual methods of tampering with character profiles and give the Conqueror the Mandarin treatment. What if Majors’ Kang now becomes a front shielding the real villain who gave his moniker to his minion to fool his adversaries? Yes, there is the Council of Kangs we witnessed, but surely a mega villain’s minions are bound to be equally scheming and almost as powerful as their boss, right? 

I know, the Kang we currently have is adapted from the comics, but Marvel can always dip back and add token superpowers from another mighty villain to the real Kang to ensure that he is not trampled by an army of ants — yes, that is going to sting forever. In fact, saying that the actual Kang had been hiding in the shadows and is infinitely more powerful than the one we saw would even rectify the fact that MCU’s new baddie was turned to mush by Ant-Man, of all people.

My MCU-addled brain feels like it has cracked the code here as everyone wins in this scenario — Majors remains an MCU villain, Phase Five and Six can still revolve around Kang, people would be majorly appeased that Marvel somewhat dealt with the ongoing issue, and the fandom actually gets an evil mastermind that has the potential to overshadow THE Thanos and not succumb to throwing punches at their armed adversaries while holding a weapon that could obliterate them from existence. 

About the author

Apeksha Bagchi

Apeksha is a Freelance Editor and Writer at We Got This Covered. She is a passionate content creator with years of experience and can cover anything under the sun. She labels herself as a loyal Marvel junkie (while secretly re-binging Vampire Diaries for the zillionth time). When she is not breaking her back by typing on her laptop for hours, you can likely find her curled up on the couch with a murder mystery book and her cat dozing off on her lap.