Marvel fans worried Kang could be a plot device and not a big bad

he who remains kang the conqueror
via Marvel Studios

In a surprising turn of events that few could have predicted, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness turned out to be one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s worst-reviewed installments, with Iron Man 3, The Incredible Hulk, Thor: The Dark World, and Eternals the only movies to have scored lower on Rotten Tomatoes.

While Sam Raimi’s reality-hopping spectacular is undoubtedly one of the franchise’s finest on a purely visual level, it did raise questions as to whether or not the general public are quite as keen on the idea of exploring the multiverse as the core fanbase. We know that Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror is set as Phase Four’s Thanos-level threat, but folks are wondering whether he’ll really be an omnipotent antagonist, or a plot device.

It’s an interesting question, especially when Majors’ debut as He Who Remains in the Loki season 1 finale outlined that there will be multiple versions of Kang heading to various timelines all across the multiverse. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania marks his next appearance (at least that we’re aware of), but given the polarizing response to the Doctor Strange sequel, we’ll be very curious to see how Marvel approaches a big bad that’s incredibly complex in terms of not just the who and what, but the where, when, and why.

Majors is more than capable enough as an actor to pull it off, but the debate over the disjointed nature of Phase Four has already been raging, gradually ratcheting up the pressure and expectation for what comes next in the process.