We’ve speculated for years about the next big MCU villain the Avengers will have to face. Then, when a variant of Kang (Jonathan Majors) appeared in Loki, we were confident that he would be the big bad in a future Avengers crossover. And Marvel made that clear by announcing The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, the two Avengers movies that will conclude the Multiverse Saga.
But Kang will appear across the multiverse before then. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania delivers another version of the character after Loki’s He Who Remains. That means we can never be too sure about when we’ll see the real Kang (if there is one). We suspected all along that Quantumania would feature the most important Kang variant — the villain who will face the Avengers. And it looks like that’s going to be the case. Before we explain, you should know that significant spoilers might follow.
Why Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is so important
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be the first MCU movie of 2023. And the title to open the MCU Phase 5. The marketing for the movie is already in full swing, even though it begins on February 17th. Marvel wants to make the most of this third installment in the Ant-Man franchise. And we know that Marvel wants to turn all franchise finales into high-stakes elements of the MCU’s larger storyline.
Quantumania director Peyton Reed teased in a recent interview how important the Kang in the Ant-Man 3 story is for the Avengers movies.
“Jeff Loveness, who wrote this movie, is writing The Kang Dynasty as well, so there’s been a lot of discussion about the impact that this appearance of Kang The Conqueror makes,” Reed said. “There are big things in store.”
The director emphasized that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is facing “an all-timer antagonist” for the first time. Kang is a fierce rival and totally different than Loki’s He Who Remains. “Kang The Conqueror in our movie is a very different character,” Reed said. “He’s someone who has dominion over time, and he’s a warrior and a strategist.”
While Reed implied this Kang is the character we’ll see in the Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars Avengers stories, he didn’t make that story detail perfectly clear.
Also, logic dictates that Marvel would use the Ant-Man 3 antagonist in future movies rather than introducing a different primary villain.
Kang The Conqueror will be the new Thanos the Avengers will face
This brings us to new teasers about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania from MCU producer Stephen Broussard. The exec talked to Total Film about the movie, explaining that Ant-Man 3 will be different than its two precursors.
“Coming after the Avengers movies, phrases like ‘palate cleanser’ had been thrown around about the Ant-Man movies,” he said. “[We felt] if we’re getting a chance at part three, we want the film to be big and feel central to the future of the MCU.”
The exec also elaborated on the Quantum Realm, which will be explored in great detail for the first time in Quantumania. “It feels like a place you haven’t been to before in the MCU,” says Broussard, “full of people and characters and worlds and politics and history.” It’s in there that we’ll find Kang The Conqueror. And Marvel confirmed recently that the villain had been stuck in the Quantum Realm for quite a while.
Broussard then touched on Jonathan Major’s character. He indicated that the Kang in Ant-Man 3 will be the Kang we’ll see in other MCU productions.
“He is very powerful, very formidable, very strong, and will have, obviously, an ongoing presence, à la Thanos in the stories, going forward in ways that are different from Thanos and feel very fresh to us.”
If there’s one thing that Marvel mishandled for the Infinity Saga, that’s having Thanos (Josh Brolin) appear more prominently before Infinity War. It sure looks like Marvel won’t make that mistake again. And the Kang The Conqueror from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be the big villain the Avengers face in Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.