Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man might be fighting the MCU’s most powerful villain, but that doesn’t mean Kang the Conqueror hasn’t been teased in previous projects.
Obviously, fans think about Kang’s first appearance in Loki as He Who Remains and draw the direct line to the villain as the only connection we have at the moment to the villain. While Marvel has kept their cards close to their chest, it looks like Kang might have more connections than we thought.
Until Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), these connections are not fact, but more of a grounded speculation based on similarities and coincidences. Some of the details might surprise you because if this theory is true, Kang will make Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel a must-watch for many reasons.
How Kang Fits Into Loki
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is not only a fan-favorite Disney+ series but a reminder of why variants are dangerous. The series dealt with the Multiverse in a very serious way explaining just how variants work, how different timelines can exist, and of course explaining why we have an adventure with Loki after he died in Avengers: Infinity War (2018).
The Time Variance Authority (TVA) plays a huge role as they helped managed time under He Who Remains who hid behind the fake “Time Keepers” as he pulled the strings in the shadows. At the end of the first season, Loki and Sylvie learn the truth and are given a choice. Take He Who Remain’s place as leader of the TVA or kill him and deal with an infinite amount of evil variants trying to take over the Multiverse. Well, Sylvie killed him, and his final words make it clear that he wasn’t joking. Kang the Conqueror was arriving.
How Kang Fits Into Shang Chi
In Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Simu Liu’s Shang Chi ends up acquiring his father’s weapons at the end of the movie. The Ten Rings are fascinating objects that Wong, Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) inspect in the post-credit scene.
They ask Shang Chi how old the rings are, and he replies that he doesn’t know, but he knew The Mandarin had them for thousands of years. Bruce inspects the Rings closer and learns that they must be billions of years old and after Shang Chi used them in his last fight, a beacon inside the Rings activated.
When looking at the design of the rings, fans didn’t think of anything related to Kang the Conqueror until after Ant-Man 3‘s first trailer was released. Once fans got to see the inner working of the Quantum Realm and noticed a lot of circular architecture that looked awfully close to the Rings.
It seems that the Rings were probably created in the Quantum Realm, which would make sense as the Rings are billions of years old and the Quantum Realm makes time work differently, so they may have been around for a long time in there before somehow ending up on Earth.
It doesn’t answer the question as to why the Rings have a beacon, but it’s probably sending some sort of message to Kang the Conqueror might be a relic he once held or created. This isn’t like how the Rings were forged in the comics so Marvel may go for a more traditional approach, but the similarities in design between the Ten Rings and structures in the Quantum Realm are uncanny.
How Kang Fits Into Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel dealt with a bangle that gave the young super hero her powers and also opened different dimensions. This ability seems outlandish and a little weird because it made an alternate way to time travel as Kamala Khan traveled back to Partition which was an odd turn in the series. In the end, Kamala realizes that the bangle could collide two different dimensions together which is something Kang might be responsible.
Just like the Ten Rings, fans are speculating that the Bangle was originally created by Kang the Conqueror as he would easily create technology that drew energy from other dimensions and could collide different dimensions together.
Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3
Kang the Conqueror is going to be in the movie, but fans might be confused as to why he is trapped in the Quantum Realm, and no one knows what he is after. These details are obviously going to be very important, but one thing is certain. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man isn’t safe.
Ant-Man is now trapped with the lion as Kang is far more powerful and has amassed a lot of resources in his prison. He has made great use of the time he has been stuck there, but Ant-Man is blinded by guilt for losing so much time. He wants to save Cassie (Kathryn Newton), so it seems that he will make a deal with Kang to do whatever it takes to be with his girl or to protect her.
He will help him get whatever he needs, and Scott will get more time with his daughter (probably have Scott travel before the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), so he never lost more time from being with Cassie. It’s clear from the trailers that Scott sees the worst of him slowly affecting Cassie as one shot shows her being released from a cell which isn’t something he struggled with in his life.
Ant-Man will need all the help he can get because the deal between the two won’t go well, as seen in the final bit of the trailer. It seems that Kang will fight Ant-Man, and one of them will win, but it doesn’t seem like both characters are making it out alive. Even if Kang dies, another variant could attack Earth in Avengers: Kang Dynasty (2025), leaving a lot of possibilities for what could happen.
Ant-Man dying seems like a huge possibility, but it seems like there are two options for the two characters:
- Kang dies, and Ant-Man returns to Earth to find another variant that has taken over due to the time difference in the Quantum Realm.
- Scott Lang dies to keep Kang back, but Cassie gets to escape, and Kang uses that moment to escape the Quantum Realm and begin Kang Dynasty.
The Quantum Realm operates at a different time than the normal world. Scott was stuck for only a few hours there and ended up losing five years due to the changes, so a whole movie set in the Quantum Realm could do the same thing as Kang Dynasty will be years after Ant-Man 3, so it would make sense that the ending would connect to the beginning of the next Avengers movie.
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This would be an unique way to do a Phase for the MCU as the first movie would tease the ending of the phase with a massive cliffhanger that will eventually lead to the events of Kang Dynasty, but this is only a guess. At the moment, it’s unclear how Kang will continue to connect to other projects, but this makes the most sense based on what we currently know about the Quantum Realm.
Phase Four definitely gave fans a lot of reasons for how Phase Five will continue, and Kang the Conqueror is going for the next several years leaving fans excited to see how things change for the MCU, better or worse.
Are you excited about Kang’s return to the MCU? Do you believe the Phase Four potential connections are real?