Listen. I know Black Widow is still in theaters, What If and Hawkeye are just around the corner, a second season of Loki has been confirmed, and both Shang-Chi and The Immortals look like they are going to slap, but let me just say: I’m going to miss Loki. I’m going to miss Tom Hiddleston’s buttery-smooth deliveries, Sylvie’s endless spunk, Mobius mild-mannered charm, and of course that wonderfully synth-y scores. But above all, I’m going to miss these little break down’s and deep dives into fan theories — so let’s revisit one, then do this one last time.
For quite some time, we’ve suspected Kang the Conqueror was behind all of *waves arms around* this and, as it turns out, we were right. While the series’ final episode never dropped the character’s name outright, the charismatic self-proclaimed “conqueror” played by Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country) is none other than Kang himself — or, at the very least, a variant of Kang.
You see, during Loki, Sylvie, and Kang’s exchange, Kang tells the pair that while the operation he’s running seems a bit shady, he is the lesser of far greater evils and he actually created the TVA in an effort to prevent a war across timelines. According to Kang, by creating the TVA and maintaining a sacred timeline, he subsequently prevented the rise of his evil selves and presumably the less quirky and far more deadly Kang(s). Based on this knowledge — as well as his attire and the lack of Major’s role being listed as “Kang” in the credits — it would seem this man is actually Immortus, a futuristic and much more peaceful version of the villain. However, this first appearance of Immortus is also the last thanks to Sylvie, and his final words (“see you soon”) imply the actual baddie is on his way. So, let’s refresh on just who he is and what’s he’s going to be doing in the MCU.
Kang the Conqueror (real name Nathaniel Richards, a descendent of Reed Richards’ family) is a Marvel villain who is pretty damn close to Thanos and Doctor Doom level in terms of threat level. While he doesn’t have any superpowers per se, he is a master physicist and genius who specializes in time travel and engineering, which enables him to do some serious multiverse damage. Back when Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania was revealed, Jonathan Majors was announced to be playing Kang in the 2023 film. All of this in addition to the details of WandaVision, What If, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — all of which have a lot to do with multiverses — led us to believe he was going to be the main villain in Marvel’s phase four, and Loki has started the build-up even earlier than anticipated.
As far as what lies ahead, now that the real Kang has essentially been untethered from a dead-end universe, we can expect him to emerge to wreak havoc in the MCU, particularly in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and it wouldn’t be surprising to see more allusions to him in both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. In each of the films, the Marvel multiverse is seemingly a major factor, as Spider-Man potentially features former Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in it as well as villains from their respective franchises and I mean, “multiverse” is literally in the next Doctor Strange films name. As the MCU adds more names to its roster, it’s likely we’ll see the next group of older heroes — heroes like Thor, Star Lord, Doctor Strange, and the like — make their departure. Loki is only the start of how much Marvel will be pulling on our heartstrings in the coming years, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we can’t wait to experience it all.