Last Monday it was reported that Jonathan Majors will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kang the Conquerer in Ant-Man 3. Majors broke out in 2019’s The Last Black Man In San Francisco and currently stars in HBO’s Lovecraft Country. He will now bring his talents to a villain whose big-screen debut has long been awaited by fans. In fact, Kang’s entrance to the MCU could have major (no pun intended) implications for the next phase of films.
Who is Kang?
Kang the Conquerer has no superpowers but is a scientific genius from the 31st century. A historian obsessed with mankind’s past, Kang discovers time-traveling technology and uses it to leave his influence throughout human history. He does so by utilizing his access to advanced, futuristic technology to conquer ancient civilizations. In his first comic book appearance in Fantastic Four #19, he became Pharoah Rama-Tut of Egypt before being defeated by Marvel’s First Family as they were lost in time. He then became a consistent rogue for the Avengers, including founding member Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man.
It had been speculated that if Kang came to the MCU it would be against Pym and the Avengers. He will instead face off against the Scott Lang Ant-Man and hopefully (pun intended this time) the Wasp, played by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily, respectively. Kang fits in well with the direction the tiny superhero duo were heading after Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame, where time travel was found to be achievable via the Quantum Realm. Perhaps Scott and Hope will embark on another “time-heist” and run into different iterations of Kang throughout history. Regardless of how it plays out, Kang definitely presents them with their most formidable foe yet.
To the Future…
Kang’s presence in the MCU could be linked to even more unrevealed elements coming to future films. For example, Kang’s real name is Nathaniel Richards, and he is believed to be a descendant of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. The time-traveling technology he discovers was also created by Dr. Doom, archvillain of the Fantastic Four and an immense threat to the entire Marvel universe. Therefore, Kang being in the MCU suggests that the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom exist in some capacity as well. Furthermore, when Kang becomes Pharoah of Egypt he plans on mentoring En Sabah Nur, the world’s first mutant who goes on to become Apocalypse. Kevin Feige has already stated the FF and X-Men are “coming home” to the MCU, so Kang’s announcement for Ant-Man 3 could be the first of many signs for their arrival.
The revelation that Kang the Conquerer is coming to the MCU is bright news for comic book fans in 2020. I personally have anticipated Kang appearing in a Marvel feature film since the original Fantastic Four movies. Aside from a classic character finally earning his big moment, Kang most likely signifies greater things to come for the MCU. There is also a chance that Kang himself proves to have enough depth to warrant multiple movie appearances. Many believe he will have a role similar to Loki during the Infinity Saga: not the Big Bad that Thanos was (that’s presumably reserved for Galactus or Dr. Doom), but still a persistent antagonizer for Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Jonathan Majors is yet another strong addition to the star-studded ensemble of the MCU. He will look to continue the streak of intense, villainous performances seen in recent films. Ant-Man 3 currently has no release date but is expected to begin production in early 2021.