A lot of people were dissatisfied with Quantumania’s treatment of Kang, especially considering that the ideal set-up was set in Avengers: Endgame.
The following article contains spoilers from Ant-Man as well as the Wasp: Quantumania, currently in theaters.
Ant-Man and the Wasp quantumania introduced an all-new Marvel Cinematic Universe threat Kang the Conqueror. Kang is expected to be the main antagonist for the next several years. A few were unhappy with Kang’s character despite the outstanding performance by Jonathan Majors. The worst thing about this was that the perfect transition into Kang’s appearance was already in place as part of the biggest Marvel Studios storyline yet.
Avengers Endgame was an idea for time travel that was directly related to Kang’s mode of operation. The idea could have been employed to add more meaning and menace to Kang, as well as create layers for the villain. This missed opportunity can make Kang’s plot appear forced and could back to bite MCU.
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Avengers: Endgame created the ideal setting to introduce Kang
In Endgame, the Avengers went back in time to acquire the Infinity Stones to stop the destruction that Thanos had caused throughout the universe. The precise consequences of this weren’t shown but things such as Loki’s escape from Avengers chains led to an alternate timeline. The multiverse refers to a parallel reality and alternate timelines. It’s also connected to Kang. This plot device could be a more effective way to establish Kang’s threat. It lets you build him from a variety of perspectives.
It could be revealed (like via an alternate version of Quantumania) that Kang was manipulating the happenings of the primary Marvel Cinematic Universe, with his various resets finally allowing him to defeat the Avengers by way of Thanos his actions. Kang’s plans are undone when the Avengers take on Thanos. The truth could be revealed that while doing this, much of Kang’s history and actions have been rewritten and retconned. Kang could have a more compelling motivation to fight these than he currently does, the Quantum Realm.
A situation like this could have turned Kang to be more of an organic threat, but it also would have added more depth to his hatred of those who are good, specifically Scott Lang. In the end, it was Ant-Man who rallied the Avengers to come together and execute their time heist strategy which made him the primary target for reversing the damage Kang had worked to achieve. The conflict that was not matched between an awe-inspiring conqueror and an oversized pint Avenger could turn into a much more personal affair.
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Quantumania fails to Cement Kang, the Next Big Bad
Kang’s first appearance is a failure. Kang’s villain is worse for it. Kang is presented in a variety of ways as just some generic villain of the week that Ant-Man has to take down without the strength, presence, or gravitas that his father Thanos has. Ant-Man is defeated by an army of ants as well as the tiniest Avenger is almost reminiscent of the “Thanus theory”. It doesn’t make sense to think that Kang Council would be willing to fight to get revenge on their fallen comrades, especially since his exile was inevitable. This would make more sense if it was Kang variants, whose plans were similarly disrupted by the Avenger’s actions in the time stream.
The entire Kang time travel theme is overlooked even though it can be a great addition to the MCU’s best moments. This isn’t doing Kang any advantages in terms of being viewed as a major threat, which is a bad sign for his future in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. This film could be able to finally turn him into the major villain he’s been given the impression of being. But after the missed opportunity to provide him with the depth and complexity he needed in his debut, it may be too little, and too late.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters now.