Superheroes always need their big bad villain. While every Marvel film has its individual antagonists, it’s the big, overarching villains who appear in multiple entries (and seem to be involved in everything) that have the most impact. Marvel has been pretty good at setting up these characters well in advance and letting them impact the story in a way that really makes them feel like a threat. The prime example of this is Thanos, who was used early in the MCU in post-credits scenes before he actually made an appearance Avengers: Infinity Warand served as a major evil for the ending of the Infinity saga.
It seems like the MCU is preparing to repeat history with the re-titled Multiverse saga, as Kang the Conqueror appears to be the looming specter in the next few stages. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty intended to round out Phase 6 and effectively end this next era of the MCU. It seems to be a similar situation to Thanos where the villain who has been behind everything all along is finally confronted by the heroes. As long as Marvel manages to do this carefully, and if they make sure they don’t just copy their previous formula, this could be a smart idea.
Obviously, no one knows exactly which direction the MCU Kang will take just yet. It’s likely that his arc won’t be exactly like Thanos’, given that he’s already made a major appearance in an MCU object (and not just cameos in end credits scenes). Though his name wasn’t Kang the Conqueror there Loki, a version of the character – He Who Remains – still played a big part in this story, and it was clear that the MCU was beginning to portray Kang as the next threat the heroes might face. Of course, none of this has been confirmed. It was only theorized based on Kang’s role and importance in the comics as well as the fact that he was meant to appear in them as well Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This led fans to believe he had a much bigger role to play in the MCU.
It seems that hypothesis was correct when Marvel announced the finale at this year’s San Diego Comic Con avenger film in the multiverse saga will be The Kang Dynasty, which all sounds like a glimpse of him being the big, overarching villain of the MCU’s next era. It hasn’t been specifically confirmed, but Marvel has hinted at the importance of Kang in the future, so it seems like they’re trying to follow a similar arc to Thanos. Importantly, however, Kang will appear to be more directly involved in the events of the MCU than Thanos, which will make him dynamic in a very different way.
Rather than being a menace that lurks in the background and schemes behind the heroes’ backs (while still being familiar to the audience), Kang will likely be a lot more present. He could be a constant source of tension and conflict for the heroes from the start. This will present a very different challenge for the Avengers than Thanos as they will likely have multiple confrontations with him and maybe even different versions of Kang from different universes. This makes their conflict more personal. It will allow for more emotional engagements when fighting someone they already connect with in some way or have seen before, rather than a huge threat they are encountering for the first time.
Thanos was intimidating due to his sheer power as well as the size of his army. Even when using the Infinity Stones, the threat was more of a physical one, while Kang’s threat is more complicated. Using time travel and the multiverse expands the scope of what he can do, and he doesn’t need Infinity Stones to do it. The MCU has unlocked a whole new part of itself with the multiverse that will make it even more difficult to fight the new threats and villains, which is a much needed upping the ante post Infinity Saga. Kang’s personality and style is so different from Thanos that it’s the perfect direction to head in after the success of the previous saga. After all, the last thing Marvel wants to do is go stale (which they’ve already been accused of by fans and those suffering from MCU fatigue).
If the MCU wants to keep things from becoming obsolete, they need to make sure they have this new, post-endgame Era as different as they can. They’ve already experimented with form and genre, so doing something different with their main villain as well will benefit them. Obviously, this is all just conjecture as Kang’s true role in the MCU hasn’t been fully revealed yet. At this point, though, it’s safe to assume he’s the “next Thanos” in a way. The main benefit, however, is that Marvel now knows what worked and what didn’t work in the Infinity saga. That means they can hopefully plan this next era to improve upon. At least it has to feel different. The inclusion of Kang the Conqueror was intended to be just that, while still giving fans the familiarity of an all-encompassing villain like they’ve had in the past.
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https://gamerant.com/mcu-kang-the-conqueror-next-thanos/ Is Kang the Conqueror the next Thanos?