Many were disappointed with how Quantumania handled Kang particularly since the ideal setup was somewhat established by Avengers: Endgame.
The next contains spoilers for Ant-Man as well as the Wasp: Quantumania, which is in theaters right now.
Ant-Man and the Wasp quantumania revealed a new Marvel Cinematic Universe threat Kang the Conqueror. He’s expected to become the primary antagonist in the next several decades. Some had issues with Kang’s portrayal despite the outstanding performance of Jonathan Majors. The biggest problem with this was that the perfect segue into Kang’s character was already present as part of the largest Marvel Studios storyline yet.
Avengers Endgame was a time travel concept that was directly related to Kang’s method of operation. This easily could be utilized to set Kang up and create a greater sense of threat, all the while adding several layers to the villain. This wasted opportunity makes Kang’s premise seem forced and could come back to bite MCU.
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Avengers: Endgame Created the Perfect Environment to Introduce Kang
Endgame illustrates how the Avengers returned to the past to find the Infinity Stones to stop Thanos’s mass murder of the universe. Though the exact causes of this didn’t get revealed, things like Loki’s escape from the Avengers chains led to an alternate timeline. The multiverse refers to a parallel reality and alternate timelines. It’s also linked to Kang. This plot device could have been a better way to establish Kang’s threat. It lets you build him from a variety of angles.
It is possible to demonstrate (e.g. an alternate Quantumania) how Kang was manipulating events within the main Marvel Cinematic Universe. His multiple resets eventually enabled him to defeat Thanos through his actions. However, once the Avengers reverse Thanos’ victory over the universe it is a complete reverse of Kang’s strategies. It is also possible to discover that while doing this, many of Kang’s stories as well as his actions have been altered and changed. Kang could have a more compelling motivation to fight these than he currently does, the Quantum Realm.
Something of this nature would have not only made Kang more of an organic threat but also could have intensified his hatred of those who are good, namely Scott Lang. Ant-Man was the person who joined the Avengers to implement their time-heist strategy. He was the person who would be able to reverse everything Kang did. What was once a mismatched battle between an Avenger and a conqueror would quickly become something much more personal.
Related: Kang Would Have Been Better Off Fighting Two additional Marvel Teams in Ant-Man 3.
Quantumania Refuse to Cement Kang as the Next Big Bad
Kang’s debut is a complete disaster. Kang’s villain is worse for it. Kang is presented in a variety of ways as a generic villain that Ant-Man must defeat without the strength or presence of his predecessor Thanos. The fact that he’s defeated by what’s essentially the smallest Avenger and an army of ants -and a loss that reeks of the embarrassing “Thanus theory.” It’s not logical that Kang Council would be willing to go to war to seek revenge for their fallen comrade because he was already exiled. This reaction is more logical if it were Kang variants whose plans were similarly affected by the Avenger’s actions in the time stream.
In the end, at the end of the day, the whole concept of time travel in Kang is largely ignored, even if it would naturally build off of the most memorable moments of the MCU. This isn’t helping Kang in his quest to be seen as a significant threat. This is a bad sign for his role in Avengers The Kang Dynasty. This movie might finally make him the major villain he’s been presented as. But after the missed opportunity to give him depth and layers in his debut, it could be too little, and too late.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters now.
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