The season 1 finale of Loki highlighted the difference between Thanos and Kang the Conqueror in terms of being time-traveling villains. This set up Kang as a formidable presence in the MCU. After all, right now, speculation is high about Kang the Conqueror being the upcoming villain for Avengers 5.
Now, Avengers 5 is on MCU’s slate, but it hasn’t been confirmed when the movie will release, and who will be the next big Avengers villain. However, right now, all signs are pointing to the fact that Kang will be the next big bad.
Kang The Conqueror’s MCU Trajectory
The time-traveling villain is slated to show up in the third Ant-Man movie titled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. But there are also rumors, that the villain might show up in The Eternals as well.
After all, given his comic book history, it would certainly be surprising if he just shows up in the Ant-Man 3 project and the Loki one. Coming from the 31st century, Kang the Conqueror is one of the greatest Avengers’ enemies.
He is given the same respect as Thanos and Ultron. And why not. After all, Kang has been the main villain in multiple Marvel comic events involving the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and more. After considering everything, it does make sense that Kang might very well be the next MCU villain after Thanos.
Along with this, it does make sense why he will be showing up in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania after Loki. After all, that will probably be the movie where he will be fleshed out better.
Also, the movie he fully appears in will probably be Avengers 5 since our heroes will gather then to stop Kang from wrecking havoc with his time-travel shenanigans.
The Loki season finale did give fans a tease of what they can expect from Kang. It turned out that the man behind the TVA or the Time Variance Authority in the MCU was He Who Remains, played by Jonathan Majors. The show revealed that He Who Remains was an alternate and less villainous Kang version.
He controlled the timestream by controlling the TVA. According to this less villainous Kang variant, he was the one who was keeping all of his other variants at bay. But now that he is dead and the multiverse has been thrown open, it’s expected that there will be numerous other versions of the character.
The version that fans are anticipating the most is Kang the Conqueror. But it’s not clear to MCU fans why he is poised to be a bigger threat than the Mad Titan who wiped off half of the population of the universe.
However, we are here to clarify just that.
How Are Kang’s Powers Different From That of Thanos?
Thanos is an Eternal. He possesses an incredible amount of raw power. This made him one of the strongest villains both in the comics and the MCU. On the other hand, Kang is just a human who doesn’t have any kind of powers of his own.
However, his physical limitations haven’t been a barrier for him. He was still a force to be reckoned with. We get a glimpse of this in the Loki series. In the comics, Kang had pretty much complete knowledge of the future. This allowed him to know about attacks before they happened, and thus, he could avoid them.
However, since MCU’s Kang the Conqueror is younger so he might not have the very same advantage. But surely he will have other tools that will allow him to travel wherever he wants in the timestream.
Also, along with being able to travel wherever he wants to in the timestream, the comic book Kang had an arsenal of futuristic weapons. This includes devices that could project force fields and highly powerful guns that could hurt even Thor.
Using them together allowed Kang to hold his own against several other super-powered opponents, and this includes Hercules as well as Thor. So what makes him different from Thanos is that he uses advanced human technology.
However, this kind of technology can only take him so far. After all, even though Kang might be a difficult opponent to take down for the Avengers, but it’s still definitely easier than fighting a titan like Thanos. Also, fighting Thanos becomes especially more difficult when he has some Infinity Stones with him.
Kang’s Personality Is Different From Thanos
Michael Waldron, a Loki writer, recently explored the differences between the two mega villains. He described Thanos as a “measured and principled” being with “monk-like evil aspirations.” But in comparison, the writer defined He Who Remains as “a squirrelly, chaotic, narcissistic presence.”
Now, Kang the Conqueror isn’t going to be the same as He Who Remains. But that doesn’t make Waldron’s point invalid. In fact, Kang is the one who might drive the Avengers to come together from all across the Multiverse.
Now, Kang the Conqueror might not give off the same carefree chaotic feel as He Who Remains. But he will surely share his same narcissistic qualities. In Marvel comics, Kang’s actions are guided mainly by two things- ambition and hatred due to this powerful advanced weaponry, intellect, and time-traveling abilities.
Kang has a god complex, as readers might have guessed by now. He desires to dominate and control the world, and also believes that he deserves having this power. This is in contrast to Thanos’ motivations which aren’t really about serving his own ego. Instead, they are about bringing a balance to the universe.
Waldron said Thanos is principled in his pursuit of this goal. Kang, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have principles. He’s hateful, impulsive, and undisciplined. These parts of his personality influence his chaos-causing tendencies. As such, a lot of it isn’t even intentional.
What Do These Differences Mean For The Upcoming Avengers 5 Movie?
Kang’s characterization in the comics does set up expectations for what the next batch of Avengers in the MCU might be up against. It’s clear that the conflict they will have with him is going to be much more personal than the one they had with Thanos during Infinity War.
When Thanos as well as his Black Order hunted the Avengers down, it was because they were obstacles in his Infinity Stones plan. Now, some of the stones were with established MCU characters, so the mad titan had to take them down to get what he wanted.
So basically, Thanos didn’t have any personal grudge against them. However, the situation could very well be quite different if/when the Avengers met Kang after Ant-Man brought in the Quantum Realm. So, hatred is a very powerful motivator for the upcoming conqueror in the MCU.
Getting stopped by the Avengers hurt Kang’s ego. This enraged him to the point that getting revenge became his life goal. In fact, he hated the Avengers so much that he once gave up the chance to bring back the woman he loved just so that he could kill the team.
This goes beyond anything we have seen Thanos do in the MCU. As said before, this makes the stakes more personal between Kang and the Avengers. Also, this means that MCU’s Kang could target the Avengers just so that he could ruin or even end their lives.
As for why he wants to do that, it could very well be a result of something that occurs in the upcoming Ant-Man movie. Or it could also be the result of a defeat he suffers early on in Avengers 5. Right now, it’s all speculation, and there’s no way to tell without note concrete information.
However, regardless of the stakes that will ultimately be in play between Kang and the Avengers in the 5th movie featuring the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the fight will be brutal. And thanks to the fundamental differences between the two villains, Kang will surely turn out to be more formidable, and the stakes will be more personal than ever before for the heroes.
But Kang’s fighting style doesn’t include taking on multiple heroes all at the same time. Instead, tracking him down in the timestream and stopping his schemes will be half of the struggle at the very least.
And as Kang tends to do in the past, he might rely on time-displaced competent allies to help him in the war with the Avengers. As such, Avengers 5 will be unlike anything we have ever seen before. It will be much bigger in scale, stakes, and action.
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