The Marvel universe is full of infamous characters, ones whose very names put terror in the hearts of heroes and fill Marvel fans with unbridled excitement. Loki gave us a quick glimpse of one of the most well-known characters in Marvel history, one who will play a massive role in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
In the final episodes of Loki, viewers were introduced to He Who Remains, played by Jonathan Majors. This character fuses two characters from the comics: He Who Remains and Immortus. This character is heavily implied to be one of Kang the Conqueror’s variants, especially after He Who Remains explained that he was a scientist from the 31st century who created the Time Variance Authority to prevent villainous variants of himself from destroying the timeline and starting a multiversal war. It has been confirmed that Jonathan Majors will be playing Kang in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, proving that the two characters are linked.
The origins of Kang the Conqueror
Kang the Conqueror made his debut in Avengers #8 in 1964 and was created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. He was planned to be a time-displaced version of Doctor Doom or one of Doom’s descendants, but the character quickly became a separate entity and over time has become one of the Avengers’ most dangerous foes.
Who is Kang the Conqueror?
Earth-6311 is known as Other-Earth. Unlike our Earth, Earth-6311 never went through the Dark Ages and thus had very advanced technology, allowing the people of this Earth to colonize the Moon in 900 AD. Things turned sour, and the Moon colony and Other-Earth went to war. This war led to the destruction of the Moon and Other-Earth’s societal collapses, forging a primitive and brutal world.
At the same time, Nathaniel Richards of Earth-616 attempted time travel but ended up on Other-Earth. Once there, he used his knowledge to rebuild Other-Earth, becoming known as both the Warlord and the Benefactor. In the year 3000, a descendant of Nathaniel Richards, who also bore the name Nathaniel Richards, found the Benefactor’s fortress, which contained the original Nathaniel’s time machine. This new Nathaniel used this time machine to jump around history and the multiverse.
Alas, this quickly went south, and Richards ended up creating hundreds of variants of himself across the timeline and multiverse. In fact, his efforts to stop his own actions often led to more variants of himself forming. These variants, while working from the same base, were very different from one another due to their experiences and the butterfly effect caused by Richard’s manipulation of time.
Because of this, Nathanial and his variants and various time-complicated descendants have many names and aliases. This includes Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, Blue Man, Victor Timely, Blue Totem, Iron Lad, King of Kings, Master of Men, Immortus, and Lord of the Seven Suns. His most famous alias is Kang the Conqueror.
What are Kang the Conqueror’s powers?
Kang’s exact power set varies depending on the variant. Like most people from Other-Earth, Kang ages slower than modern humans and has better-than-average radiation immunity.
His time-displaced nature means that he has access to plenty of future technology. The most iconic bit of future tech that Kang uses is his armor. This armor allows Kang to lift heavy objects and generate a forcefield that blocks incoming attacks. The suit even has a system that lets Kang survive without food or an atmosphere for long periods. The suit is also armed with many different weapons, including anti-graviton particle projectors and concussive force blasters. He also carries other weapons, including a neutrino-ray warhead missile launcher, an electrical paralysis generator, and a nerve gas sprayer.
Kang’s mightiest power is time manipulation. His knowledge of the flow of time allows him to warp events to fit his needs. While this can often have unforeseen consequences, it does put superheroes at a massive disadvantage, as the unpredicted results tend to affect them more than they affect Kang. On top of this, Kang and his variants make allies easily. Depending on the version you’re dealing with, you might also need to deal with deadly warriors like the Terminatrix, the Anachronauts, or the powerful Chronos Corps.
What do fans think of Kang the Conqueror?
Kang the Conqueror has become a bit of a meme among Marvel fans due to his time-travel shenanigans and the sheer number of aliases he’s had over the years. Famously, nerd rock band Ookla The Mok released a popular song called “Everybody’s Kang the Conqueror,” where they list many of the character’s aliases before declaring, “Everyone’s Kang the Conqueror, that policeman, the pizza man and even me and you.”
We’ll have to wait and see just what abilities the MCU version of Kang has at his disposal. Regardless of the version, one thing is for sure: the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to change dramatically, as opening up the multiverse means that Earth’s mightiest heroes will have to be ready for a host of new threats.