Who is Kang the Conqueror, and what was he doing in Loki? In the final episode of Loki on Disney Plus, we met Kang the Conqueror. Though Miss Minutes refers to him as The One Who Remains, and he says he’s sometimes known as a conqueror, Jonathan Majors was announced to be playing the Marvel villain sometime ago.
His appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe answered a great deal of questions for Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), and subsequent events have opened many more. Kang has a long history in the comics, dating back almost 50 years, and during that period he’s faced off against many of the best and brightest heroes in Marvel canon, not to mention Alioth, his cloud-based rival in commandeering timelinees.
This version differs from the time-conquering antagonist that commonly faced the Fantastic Four, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to see that variant later. As the Loki ending and post-credits scene make clear, anything can happen from here on out. Here’s everything you need to know about Kang the Conqueror.
Who is Kang the Conqueror?
Kang is a brilliant scientist created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby who, through technology of the far-flung future, starts conquering time and space. In the 31st century, Nathaniel Richards is a brilliant scientist who uses time-travel to explore human history. On a return trip, he finds himself in a 32nd century that’s ravaged by war. He sees his opportunity for power and takes it, but believing that job is too easy, starts jumping through timelines to conquer them, too.
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During his earlier years, in the ’60s and ’70s, Kang was a single character going on various misadventures, battling the likes of the Hulk or the Fantastic Four. At one point he sends Hulk back to 1917. Later, variant Kangs start showing up, and we get his rival, Alioth, a sentient purple cloud that devours timelines. Think cloud storage, but like a rabid dog that wants to eat your very existence.
What are Kang’s powers?
He has no powers as such, only incredible scientific ingenuity. The Marvel multiverse eventually meant there were multiple Kangs, each with a different temperament, though all power hungry. His appearance commonly features a green and purple spacesuit that gives him enhanced strength, hologram and force-field projection, and can keep him alive for weeks if he gets stuck. Handy!
A special time-vessel gives him access to any timeline he wants, which means he can appear with whatever weapons or gadgets he can find. Not unlike Batman, his greatest power is that narratively he can be written to just find or invent anything he needs.
What’s different about Kang in the MCU?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe depiction has some slight variations. The Kang we meet in Loki doesn’t seem all too interested in conquering the multiverse, more just trying to keep its power from landing in the wrong hands.
His origin is similar to the comics, but rather than becoming the conqueror because it was feasible, he ended up doing so because variants of himself started competing. The Time Variance Authority was founded to maintain one timeline, and prune the rest. Inhumane, yes, but he’d argue, necessary. The Time-Keepers were invented as a way for him to hide behind the curtain and avoid direct challenge.
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Alioth has been toned down to a monster he discovered and has managed to trap, rather than his time rival. He offers Loki and Sylvie his powers so he can stand down. After a heated chat about the matter, Sylvie kicks Loki through a time portal, and kills Kang. Suddenly, the timeline starts branching in increasingly unpredictable ways, and Loki tries to find Mobius and explain what’s happening.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t go so well, because Loki’s not in his original timeline. He’s in one where Kang the Conqueror rules over the timeline with the TVA without hiding behind the Time-Keepers.
When is Kang’s next MCU appearance?
We know for certain that Majors is playing Kang for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, filming now and scheduled to arrive in 2023. but given what we know now, appearances in two other Marvel movies are likely.
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Spider-Man: No Way Home, due December 23, 2021, is expected to include multiple versions of Spider-Man from across his cinematic adventures. This may lead to some mention or cameo from Kang, since some versions of him are no doubt on the prowl for timelines to take over.
Next year’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is likely, too. Wanda Maximoff is the antagonist there, on a mission to save her children per the ending of WandaVision. Kang probably won’t be fully involved, but don’t be surprised if he gets a look in, either.