With Kang the Conqueror’s debut in the MCU set to happen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, fans are already spinning theories over what other incarnations of Marvel’s nigh-immortal time-traveling arch-villain we may see pop up in the forthcoming movie. But even if we don’t meet one of Kang’s past or future aspects in the film there is a chance that we could see one incarnation the very same year when Agatha: Coven of Chaos debuts on Disney Plus.
This is Iron Lad pic.twitter.com/pa4lh0smoR— Luca | 🏳️🌈 (@koluke2) November 14, 2022
While Kang’s other aspects of Immortus and Rama-Tut have certainly been around longer, there’s no doubt that one of his most popular alter-egos is that of Iron Lad – also known as Nathaniel “Nate” Richards (a descendant of Reed Richards. Or Doctor Doom. Or maybe even Kang, who he more or less is. It’s complicated). When Kang attempts to jump-start his own career as a world conqueror by saving Nate — his past self — from an attack, he inadvertently horrifies Nate by showing him his own destiny. Resolved never to become Kang, Nate instead uses his scientific genius and Kang’s tech to send himself back into the past.
Once in the past (which is the contemporary setting of the Marvel comics universe) Nate alters the armor he took from Kang into a form resembling Tony Stark’s various Iron Man armors. He dubs himself “Iron Lad” and assembles a new “Young Avengers” team to replace the former team that has been disbanded.
The MCU has already debuted a number of characters that could potentially form a cinematic Young Avengers team – most notably Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) in Hawkeye. Wandavision fans have also pointed out that Wanda-magically constructed children Tommy and Billy have the same names as Marvel comics Thomas and William Maximoff, aka original YA member Wiccan and his brother, Speed. We stand a BIG — pun intended — chance of seeing Cassie Lang assume her identity as Stature in Quantumania as well.
What has definitely been confirmed is that Heartstopper‘s Joe Locke has joined the cast of Coven of Chaos — and the addition of a young openly-gay actor who is a dead ringer for Wiccan’s comic book character has pretty even money on Locke having been cast as Tommy/Wiccan (one of Marvel’s most prominent queer characters).
And this just may presage Iron Lad’s MCU debut. During the “Children’s Crusade” storyline of the Young Avengers comic, Iron Lad has begun to make preemptive strikes on Kang, undoing the damage the conqueror has done throughout the timeline when he encounters a universe where the Young Avengers have taken hardline tactics and that their roster actually includes Kang himself. Iron Lad finds that the group has actually caused the genocide of an entire alien race.
When he finds that the person responsible for the Young Avenger’s alignment change appears to be Wiccan, he returns to the past to destroy his former teammate. And many aspects of the MCU multiverse appear to be converging to make that very scenario occur onscreen. Quantumania will further flesh out the story of Kang, only hinted at in the final episodes of Loki. The upcoming second season of Loki will further explore the makeup of the multiverse, and Agatha: Coven of Chaos may introduce a full-fledged Wiccan to the MCU. A perfect recipe for a post-credits scene featuring an Iron Lad bent on Wiccan’s destruction.