Kang the Conqueror: Who is the MCU Phase Four villain?

Kang the Conqueror: Who is the MCU Phase Four villain?

Kang the Conqueror

There cannot be a Marvel Multiverse without one of the characters who have always had a central role in the world of comics in the events that saw the heroes of the House of Ideas face the thousand possibilities offered by this narrative device: Nathaniel Richards. Name that could rightly make one think of another famous Richards, the good Reed (alias, Mr Fantastic of the Fantastic Four), but which is actually the identity of a villain who, under various pseudonyms, has given a hard time not only to the FQ, but also to the Avengers. Immortus, He Who Remains and Rama-Tut are some of his aliases, but none of them are remembered by Marvel comics readers like Kang the Conqueror.

Now that the Multiverse has been officially introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not least thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home, a figure like that of Kang the Conqueror certainly could not miss the appeal. Although announced as the villain of the new chapter of the adventures of the smallest of the Avengers, namely Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we have already had a first vision of the character in Loki. In the last episode of the series dedicated to the God of Deception, we saw one of the identities of Kang the Conqueror appear, the One Who Remains. And it is precisely his death that triggers the appearance of the Multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an event that will certainly be explored in the MCU in the near future.

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From Nathaniel Richards to Kang the Conqueror

Without delving too deeply into the depths of the Multiverse ( of which 'we know frightfully little' the good Strange would say), the figure of Kang the Conqueror is one of the most intriguing. His tendency to present himself under different identities also makes it difficult to establish his first appearance in comics, although we can see in the presence of Rama-Tut in Fantastic Four # 19 of October 1963 his debut in the Marvel Universe, it is only in Avengers # 8 of September 1964 that Earth's Mightiest Heroes cross the path of Kang the Conqueror, in a story written by the legendary duo Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl -th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 "). is (": visible ")) {console.log (" Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh2 "); } Nathaniel Richards is a 31st century scholar. Descendant of Reed Richards' father, Nathaniel, this man of the future is fascinated by the past and the possibility of being able to travel through time. During his studies, he comes into possession of a technology that allows him to move along the timeline, created by another ancestor of his, Victor von Doom. His first journey, once he has built a time machine inside a replica of the Sphinx, takes him to Egypt, where under the identity of the pharaoh Rama-Tut he decides to concoct a plan so that the first mutant in history, En Saban Nur, later known as the Apocalypse, became his heir. Defeated by the Fantastic Four, mysteriously brought into this era, Nathaniel Richards is defeated, deciding to travel to the 20th century.

Here he comes into contact with Victor von Doom, whom he believes to be his ancestor, from whom he learns scientific skills. which allow him to create armor based on that of Destiny. Armed with this invention he becomes a Scarlet Centurion, an identity with which he clashes for the first time against the Avengers, who defeat him, forcing him to flee towards his century of origin. Nathaniel does not correctly set the re-entry coordinates, ending a thousand years beyond his time, arriving in a war-torn land. These men of the future fight using technologically ancient weapons but which are not understood by this humanity without historical memory, a culture on which Nathaniel easily manages to impose himself, conquering first the Earth and then the entire galaxy, assuming his best known identity. : Kang the Conqueror.

Not only Kang: the thousand faces of a villain

The ability to move along the timeline of Kang the Conqueror makes it difficult to follow the evolution of the character. Since his first appearance in the early 1960s, Kang the Conqueror has proved to be a complicated figure, especially if we consider his tendency to weave complex plots by presenting himself under different identities. A choice that is configured as an integral part of his convoluted machinations, which often seem to create a contrast between the different identities with which he is known by the heroes of the House of Ideas.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1" ) .is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh3"); } In the role of Immortus, after causing many problems to Fantastic Four and the Avengers, Kang has been hired by the Guardians of Time as a defender of the sacredness of the timeline, a task carried out with severity and making problems in using violent and cumbersome plans.

Particularly interesting is one of his minor identities, Victor Travely. Under this name, Kang lived in the early 1900s in Illinois, where he came into contact with Phileas Horton, the scientist who built the first Human Torch, seen in Marvel's Golden Age comics alongside Captain America during World War II and used from Ultron as a technical scheme on which to build the android Vision. Apparently it is during his lifetime as Travely that Kang shows Horton how to make his android, thus making Nathaniel Richards the one who made the creation of the Vision possible as well. Curious, if we think that in the role of Immortus he officiated the marriage of Vision and Wanda.

There was however an editorial case in which one of the lineages of Kang the Conqueror was involved which deeply shook the world of comics in the first 80s. Trapped in Limbo, Immortus tried to soothe his loneliness by transporting a shipwrecked woman to this dimension, with whom he conceived a son, Marcus Immortus. Upon the death of Kang and all his incarnations, Marcus was left alone in Limbo deciding to cure his loneliness by following his father's example and identifying as a companion none other than Ms. Marvel.

if (jQuery ("# crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 "). is (": visible ")) {console.log (" Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh4 "); } During her militancy with the Avengers, Carol mysteriously became pregnant, eventually giving birth unnaturally abrupt. The child grew up to adulthood within a few hours, introducing himself to the avengers as Marcus, son of Immortus, and explaining that he had kidnapped Carol by taking her into Limbo, a dimension in which he was a prisoner, to conceive with her a son in which to pour the own conscience and escape from this captivity. A confession after which she Carol decided to follow Marcus into the Linbo, declaring that she loved him. In Avengers # 200, by David Michelinie and George Pèrez, the Avengers showed no compassion for their partner, but rather seemed to rejoice at the event, arousing the outrage of most of the authors of the House of Ideas, including Chris Claremont, historical author. of the X-Men and Carl Danvers. Who did not hesitate to harshly criticize this story:

“To be honest, I reacted very hard to that story. How much indifference, how much cruelty and insensitivity. If we think that the Avengers must have seen Carol no more than two days ago, or even had been two months ago, and she wasn't pregnant, how could she now be past the eighth month? "

A wrong that a few months later Claremont solved by offering Carol Danvers an opportunity for redemption, with a story in which the heroine eventually abandoned the Avengers and found shelter in the ranks of the X-Men.

The different versions of Kang, while apparently united by a complex plan to take control of the timeline, have also had a less negative view. An example is Iron Lad, a member of the Young Avengers, a teenage version of the character, who after learning his story chooses to look for a different path, as a hero. Inspired by the figure of Iron Man, this juvenile version of Kang the Conqueror struggles alongside his young companions, eventually accepting his role in history by agreeing to go back to his time and living his existence as expected.

In all of them his versions, Kang the Conqueror, despite placing himself as the antagonist of the Marvel heroes, never performs acts that could allow him victory in a dishonorable way. Despite being one of the deadliest villains in the Marvel Universe, Kang the Conqueror lives by following his own moral code, which allows him to use his superior knowledge, the fruit of his 'future' origin, and the technology of his weapons. An element, the latter, which could also be his essential trait to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kang the Conqueror and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The presence of Kang the Conqueror has already been shown within the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Loki, a series that had a particular relevance to the concept of timelines and alternative universes. Time Variant Autorithy, the agency dedicated to defending the sacred timeline, is run by Ravonna Rennslayer, a name known to Marvel True Believers. In comics, this woman is a rich princess of a world annexed to the empire of Kang the Conqueror, with whom the man falls in love, initially being rejected. Only later did a relationship develop between the two, which we can imagine is a way to bring Ravonna back to the scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Also in Loki, we met the One Who Remains, which seems to be the version of the Immortus MCU. Furthermore, within the Disney + series, numerous references to the past of Kang the Conqueror appear, such as the presence of the Council of Kang, i.e. all versions of Nathaniel Richards from all parallel universes (i.e. its variants), which in Loki is cited explaining the danger inherent in the Multiverse. The end of He Who Remains has officially opened the doors to the Multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an essential element within Phase Four.

One wonders now how the character of Kang the Conqueror will be treated in the next chapters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We know he will be featured in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The link between the two Avengers and the villain could be precisely the quantum dimension, which we saw in Avengers: Endgame being used to move in time. Kang could therefore meet the two little heroes in this very dimension, which we could also discover is his way of traveling through time.

Above all, knowing that he has been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the Fantastic Four in Marvel for a long time. Cinematic Universe, it is difficult not to imagine that the Fantastic Family could be introduced thanks to Kang the Conqueror. Difficult to miss the opportunity to link one of the most powerful villains in the history of the Marvel Universe to the Fantastic Four, showing a different origin story than in the past, following the example of what was done with Spider-Man within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The prospects for Kang the Conqueror, after his first appearance in Loki, are promising. The finale of the series dedicated to the Asgardian god showed us a different TVA, in which Kang is considered an essential figure, as demonstrated by the disturbing statue that stands in the final scenes of the last episode.

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