The trailer for Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania finally reveals the MCU’s Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors. The MCU’s Multiverse Saga kicked off with Loki, in which variants of the God of Mischief confronted the last survivor of a multiversal war. He Who Remains revealed that left to itself, the multiverse orients itself towards chaos. Infinite branching timelines are created; should inhabitants of these branched realities become aware of one another’s existence, the result would be war. He Who Remains had defeated all his other-dimensional enemies before establishing the TVA to ensure only a single timeline remained.
Loki changed everything, with He Who Remains dying, and the TVA transformed. The multiverse is back, and already branched timelines are becoming aware of each other again. The greatest villain of the Multiverse Saga is expected to be Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror, a classic Marvel Comics villain who has plagued the Avengers throughout their existence. He Who Remains was the Kang variant who triumphed in the MCU’s first multiverse war, but the main villain of this new conflict is set to make his official debut as teased in the Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer.
The Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer reveals a comic book accurate Kang the Conqueror. The outfit Kang is wearing is lifted straight from the comics, incorporating dark green and purple in a beautiful design. It may not look particularly imposing, but in the comics, this is a battle armor that can easily overwhelm even Tony Stark. Fashioned from a rare synthetic alloy from the 40th century, it responds to Kang’s subconscious thoughts and grants him a wide range of abilities.
When Kang removes his mask, he’s shown bearing distinctive facial scars, just as in the comics. The Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer even shows Kang traveling on a hover-disc, similar in design to one seen in the comics. This really is one of Marvel’s most comic-book-accurate villains.
One key scene in the Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer sees Kang the Conqueror attempting to recruit Scott Lang for a mission. An extended trailer shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 revealed something had been stolen from Kang and that he will ask Scott to help him recover it – making this something of a Quantum heist movie. The trailer lays significant emphasis on the fact Kang knows Scott is Ant-Man, presumably because it hints he is aware of events beyond the Quantum Realm (Scott is unlikely to call himself « Ant-Man » while in the Quantum Realm, given the name would be meaningless).
Janet Van Dyne was trapped in the Quantum Realm for decades, but little is known of her experiences there. The Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer reveals she’s kept a lot from her family, presumably trying to put the Quantum Realm behind her. She’s forced to face these secrets when the Langs and the Pyms are sucked into the Quantum Realm, and she redefines it as an entire universe that lies beneath the normal MCU. What’s more, the wording in the trailer hints Janet is aware of a terrifying threat lurking deep within the Quantum Realm, one that must not be released. She’s likely speaking of Kang the Conqueror, raising the possibility Janet and Kang clashed while she was in the Quantum Realm. Indeed, she could even have been responsible for stealing whatever object Kang has lost.
The Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer seems to confirm a long-lasting theory about the MCU’s Kang the Conqueror. In Ant-Man & the Wasp, attentive viewers noticed a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of a city within the Quantum Realm, and the design corresponded to Kang’s traditional base, Chronopolis. In the comics, Chronopolis sits outside time in a realm called Limbo, and Kang launches his attacks across time and space from the citadel at its heart. The MCU’s Quantum Realms appears to be a mash-up of multiple dimensions from the comics – the subatomic Microverse, the timeless Limbo, and potentially even a chaotic realm called the Negative Zone – so many had theorized that city was Chronopolis.
Kang is now confirmed to reside within the Quantum Realm, and he appears to be lord of a city where he has assembled his forces. This is presumably Chronopolis, and from here, Kang will undoubtedly launch attacks across the multiverse – kicking the MCU’s Multiverse Saga up a notch. The trailer shows Kang assembling an army, although it’s impossible to say whether he’s launching an attack on a Quantum Realm rival or on another universe.
The architecture of Kang’s city features an interesting ring motif, and the energy flares running across some of these appear almost identical to those seen in Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings – notably in the Ten Rings themselves. Rings often serve as a symbol of eternity because they are without beginning or end, so the motif is entirely appropriate for Kang. It’s important to note this doesn’t necessarily indicate Shang-Chi’s Ten Rings come from Kang; in the comics, Kang the Conqueror has stolen the greatest weapons of history, and it’s possible he has simply acquired similar technology.
The Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania trailer shows what seems to be a variation of the Forever Crystal, one of the most important tools in Kang’s arsenal in the comics. Created by a variant of Kang called Immortus during a multiversal conflict, it contained all the power of Chronopolis and could be used to wipe out entire universes. This may well be the McGuffin of the film, the object stolen from Kang long ago that Scott Lang is tasked with retrieving.
It’s possible that, in the MCU, the Forever Crystal has been redesigned as the power source that allows Kang to travel outside the Quantum Realm and leave Chronopolis. If that is indeed the case, then its loss has left him trapped and unable to continue his conquests. Unfortunately, Scott Lang’s mission could therefore risk freeing the multiverse’s greatest warlord, making Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania a true prelude to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.