The rumour mills are up and running for the next Ant-man movie. Jonathan Majors has reportedly been cast as a villain, and speculations are high that it’s Kang the Conqueror.
Who is Kang?
Originally a Fantastic Four villain, Kang is a time travelling warlord who has gone on to become a major antagonist not just for the Avengers, but all of the Marvel Universe. He’s been named as the 65th greatest villain of all time.
Kang first appeared in the Avengers #8 back in September 1964, and was created by the legendary duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His alternate identity of Rama-Tut however appeared in c #19 in October 1963.
He was originally a 31st century scholar and history lover named Nathaniel Richards, who ended up in ancient Egypt in a Sphinx shaped timeship. He takes on the identity of Pharoah Rama-Tut, and plans to claim En-Sabah Nur (The mutant Apocalypse) as his heir.
He’s defeated by a time displaced Fantastic Four, and ends up in the 20th century where he steals Doctor Doom’s armour and tries to pit the Avengers against alternate reality versions of themselves.
Nathaniel tries to return to his time, but accidently overshoots by about a hundred years, and ends up in a war-torn Earth using incredible weaponry they no longer understand. He learns how easy it is to conquer the planet. He developed a suit of armour and an array of weapons, and thus Kang the Conqueror was born.
Kang has had many identities over the years, from being a Pharoah, to a warlord, to a time lord (not like Doctor Who), to an Iron Man inspired hero called Iron Lad.
Why is Kang the perfect villain for the next phase of the MCU?
TIME TRAVEL! Kang has been a major villain in the comics, he’s shown up across time trying to defeat the various heroes. From the Avengers to Spiderman to pretty much everyone. And since time travel is part of the MCU, he would fit right in.
Let’s move on to some recommended reading.
Kang Dynasty/Kang War
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Alan Davis, Kieron Dwyer, Ivan Reis, and Manuel Garcia.
Kang Dynasty is a 16 part storyline that ran through Avengers (vol 3) #41-55, and Avengers Annual 2001 between June 2001 and August 2002. It feature Kang and his son Marcus as they arrive in the 21st century bent on world domination. Kang becomes the first villain in Marvel history to physically take over the world.
Young Avengers: Sidekicks
Written by Allan Heinberg
Art by Jim Cheung
Covering issues #1-6, Young Avengers follows the Avengers Disassembled story arc. A mysterious group of teen super heroes has appeared on the scene. The formation of the team however has interesting origins – Kang the Conqueror. This should be read with Young Avenger Special #1 (2005). Of course once you read this, you’ll end up reading more Young Avengers thanks to what’s revealed.
Avengers: Kang – Time And Time Again
Collects Avengers (1963) #69-71 and #267-269, Thor (1966) #140, and Incredible Hulk (1962) #135.
Written by Stan Lee, Roger Stern, Roy Thomas
Art by Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Herb Trimpe
The super-villainy of Kang the Conqueror unleashed! In a classic contest, the Grandmaster and Kang pit the Avengers against the Squadron Sinister and the wartime Invaders! The self-proclaimed “Ultimate Kang” sets outs to conquer his alternate-reality counterparts, and there’s only one force can possibly stop his diabolical plans: himself!? Plus: Kang takes on a bunch of heavyweights like Thor and the Hulk!
Apart from this you will find Kang across the Marvel comics, in various titles. Not only that you can also see Kang in many animated series by Marvel.
Including Fantastic Four in 1967, as Rama-Tut. Which adapted his first comic book appearance.
He’s been on the X-Men animated series (1997),
Avengers: United they Stand (1999),
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2010),
Avengers Assemble (2016),
Marvel Future Avengers anime.
Not to mention a bunch of video game appearances as well.
Kang is easily one of the craziest villains in Marvel comics, and would be the perfect major villain for the MCU after Thanos. Not only will this flow with the time travel aspect that has been explored, it would also establish that the Fantastic Four exist in this universe. Since Kang has strong ties to the first family of Marvel.
Kang’s already established himself across comics and animation, here’s hoping that Kang conquers the MCU too!
Words : Anant Sagar