“Kang the Conqueror,” who was introduced as "He Who Remains" in the Loki series, has officially been confirmed as the next major cross-movie villain in the MCU's phase 4 and may stretch into phase 5. This may not come as a surprise as we've all been talking about it since the Loki season finale.
Kang is well-known as a time-traveling entity with a cunning and malevolent mentality. In the Loki series, he appeared as "He Who Remains," a better and more logical version of Kang. "He Who Remains" described himself as a 31st-century scientist who created the Time Variance Authority to prevent much more dangerous variants of himself from destroying the timeline, as well as to stop the multiversal war.
Kang lacks superhuman abilities, but he is an extraordinary genius, a great physicist with the capacity to time travel, which makes him much eviler than Thanos. We have a slew of Marvel movies and shows coming up in Phase 4, and with Kang on board, the following films will be a lot more interesting and exciting to watch.
Jonathan Majors is already confirmed to appear as “Kang the Conqueror” in the Ant-Man 3, and now after the Multiversal war confirmation, we might see him playing a significant role in every upcoming movie starting from Spiderman: No Way Home, Eternals, Multiverse of Madness, Thor 4 and Guardians of Galaxy 3.
This month saw the release of Black Widow, and September will see the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, followed by Eternals. We'll talk about how Kang's ability to time travel and the prospect of a multiverse war will affect all of these flicks.
Shang-Chi will be the main character of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." The film will primarily focus on the origins of Shang-Chi and the organization, Ten Rings, founded by his father - The Mandarin, who was the villain in the MCU's third live-action Iron Man film. The film will also have Wong, the tritagonist of Doctor Strange, and Abomination, the villain of the Incredible Hulk film, suggesting the existence of a multiverse. The plot of this movie is unknown, but what is known is exciting.
"Eternals" will be released in November of this year, and the trailer has teased a threat from beyond the universe. The film will take place shortly after the events of Endgame when the Eternals reunite to safeguard humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants. The film has all new characters appearing in the series with no confirmation of any existing character from the MCU.
The most intriguing line we heard in the trailer was, "We have watched and guided. We have helped them progress and seen them accomplish wonders. Throughout the years, we have never interfered... until now." This was most likely stated when Earth was assaulted by Deviants and The Avengers were not present to protect them. So, what may have caused the Avengers' absence? Have they vanished into another universe, or has reality shifted, and there are no Avengers left?
The Deviants also has a connection to Kang the Conqueror, as Dulpus, the former leader of Glomm, attempted to help in the takeover of Earth to gain favor from Kang the Conqueror. Dulpus pitted Glomm against Warbird and the Avengers in a single encounter. His appearance in the "Eternals" has yet to be confirmed.
"Spider-Man: No Way Home," the most anticipated MCU film of the year, will be released in December. The film has generated a lot of buzz since the release of its predecessor, Far from Home, which ended with J. Jonah Jameson exposing Spiderman's identity. Fans began to theorize about the emergence of the Multiverse (Spiderverse) in the MCU, and their theories gained traction when a few characters from earlier Spider-Man films were confirmed to be in it. Later, Dr. Strange was also confirmed to have a big role in this movie.
So far, just two characters from earlier Spiderman films have been confirmed: Electro from Amazing Spiderman 2 and Otto Octavius from Spider-Man 2.Sony has yet to officially release the trailer or plot specifics for No Way Home. According to rumors, No Way Home would have villains from several realms who are trapped in this universe with no way out. "After his true identity is discovered, Peter contacts Dr. Strange and requests his help in defeating these villains and returning them to their respective universes, as well as restoring his identity." However, this was before the confirmation of the multiversal war in this phase of the MCU.
What if these villains were not caught by chance, but were sent by Kang to disturb the sacred timeline and alter the path of events? We all know that their current whereabouts in the films in which they appeared are unknown. They died at the end of their respective films, but there was no confirmation of death because they were not shown as dead in their films at the end. So, in this film, they could be variants introduced by Kang by opening a multiverse portal. However, when a portal is opened, it allows anyone, good or bad, to walk through, increasing the chances of Tobey Maguire's and Andrew Garfield's respective Spider-Mans appearing in this film.
Dr. Strange will have a greater responsibility as protector of the Earth-realm against magical and multiversal threats. "He teams up with Peter Parker/Parkers to fight the villains and send them to their respective realms. After a hard-fought battle and closing the multiverse portals, Peter and Strange feel a sigh of relief, but that was not all. Strange says, this battle might be over, but this was just the beginning, he is prepared and so should we. In a shocking ending, Peter Parker vanishes from the timeline, and this is where Multiverse of Madness begins."
All of this is simply speculation, but with Kang's arrival and the Multiversal War, it's possible. The events of "Far from Home" indicated the idea of a multiverse, and the film was set after the events of Loki, implying that "He Who Remains" was no longer alive and that an evil version of Kang had already begun the multiversal war.
The next major MCU picture, "Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness," debuts in March 2022, just three months after Spiderman No Way Home, and as the title suggests, will entirely deal with the turmoil generated in Spiderman 3. Wanda and Loki have already joined Strange in the film to make it all about the multiverse. The plot of the film is still unknown, but the title leads us to believe that the main antagonist will have everything to do with “Kang the Conqueror.”
Before "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," we have three other Marvel movies coming in 2022, which include Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and The Marvels. Nothing about the plots of these films is known right now, which allows us to theorize and imagine what would happen if we connect the multiverse plot. Thor has a lengthy history of confrontations with various Kang forms, and while Thor 4 might be set on Asgard and feature a Jane Foster/Mighty Thor and a few other god-like characters, we are already in an alternate universe, as Asgard was destroyed in the Ragnarok.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is also shrouded in mystery following Chadwick Boseman's untimely death from cancer last year. The identity of the new Black Panther is yet to be revealed, as the character of King T'challa will not be recast. So, the possibility of witnessing a new Black Panther without mentioning T'challa's whereabouts is only possible if we see reality has been disrupted following the Multiverse of Madness.
Not much is known about the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels. So far, we have Brie Larson returning as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. The film is set after the events of Endgame, so we cannot rule out the multiverse impact.
The only movie that has confirmed "Kang the Conqueror," played by Jonathan Majors, as its major villain, is "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," which will be released in 2023. The film will primarily focus on the Quantum realm rather than the real world. The actual premise of the film has yet to be disclosed, but it will most likely follow Ant-Man and the Wasp into the quantum realm, "After reality has devolved into disorder, Ant-Man must travel to the furthest depths of the quantum realm to confront the perpetrators of the mayhem and bring everyone back to safety."
Ant-Man 3 story will also depend on the timing of Loki's season 2 arrival. Marvel has not confirmed if season 2 is a part of phase 4, but given the emergence of Kang as the MCU's next big evil, it wouldn't be surprising if Loki season 2 kicks off phase 5.
Jonathan Majors was terrific as "He Who Remains" in Loki, and even though he only appeared for a few minutes, his impact was felt by every Marvel fan. Kang has given us much to speculate about, and Marvel is also preparing fans to become familiar with the "now anything can happen in the MCU" mantra. The upcoming Disney+ series ‘What If...?' is part of explaining and exploring what might happen in a Multiverse and how it might impact others. The series may not play a key role in this phase, but it can undoubtedly tease as to what the MCU's future will be like.
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