Most hardcore comic fans are probably surprised that it has taken this long for Kang to enter the MCU. I mean, he is one of the longest-standing adversaries of the Avengers. However, adding him to any project will be a daunting task due to his time travelling storylines and alternative identities.
Who is Kang in the Comics?
Who is Kang? That question is probably the hardest thing to answer with this character and the most difficult to understand. Before we attempt to set out some sort of idea of who he is, we also need to understand that Kang has used several identities throughout his history. Some of these even appeared simultaneously to oppose each other. This has created an intricate web of appearances which would be impossible to timeline. Due to this, we will try to cover the key facts of the character rather than his history.
His story starts in the 31st century where he was known as the scientist Nathaniel Richards, a descendent of Reed Richards. Nathaniel first discovered time travel through Doctor Doom’s time platform. He used this to travel to Ancient Egypt where he became the Pharoah Rama-Tut. His time as Pharoah ended when a time-displaced Fantastic Four sent him into the distant future.
This was when he created the identity of Kang.
Arriving several hundreds of years after his own time, he created the identity of Kang and used his knowledge of time-travel, along with the technology from several eras, to conquer this new timeline. He vowed to conquer every other era and rule them all at once.
Since then (in both the past, present and future… Time travel is confusing) Kang has employed several identities to face off against the Avengers in order to conquer Earth.
Kang also has strong connections to Doctor Doom. He has teamed up with him on several occasions to face the heroes of Marvel many times. Kang also uses Doom’s time travel tech to develop his own tech and weapons.
Kang has so many different identities. He has created an entire organisation dedicated to these different incarnations called, The Council of Cross-Time Kangs. We will cover the main identities that Kang has used, below:
Immortus is Kang’s primary alternative identity. He is much older and has crossed paths many times with both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. He is an agent of the Time-Keepers (a creation of He Who Remains, the last director of the TVA). He is tasked with maintaining the timeline. A task he has pursued often using harsh and villainous tactics to achieve.
We have already mentioned Rama-Tut. He was an Egyptian Pharoah who travelled through time in a flying pyramid. Due to the expanse of time, the upcoming Eternals movie will cover, it would be interesting if we were to see Rama-Tut appear somewhere in there.
Iron Lad is a teenage version of Kang who is trying to live his life as a hero, rather than a villain. He takes his inspiration from Iron Man and is a member of the Young Avengers. There was a rumour that Harvey Keener, who appeared at iron Mans funeral, was going to take up this role but there has not been any further evidence to support this.
Victor Timely was another identity of Kang who was an American who lived in Illinois in the early 1900s. He inspired professor Phineas Horton to build the android, The Human Torch (who we saw briefly at the Stark Expo in Captain America). It was the Human Torch’s body that was used to build The Vision who tried to defeat Kang by kidnapping him as a child.
Kang himself does not possess any superpowers, but he is a gifted combatant and military strategist. He has access to weaponry from all eras of history including the future along with unparalleled time travel technology.
He is also in possession of an enormous time travelling starship. This Vaunted Damocles Base is shaped like a sword and filled with a massive arsenal of weapons. He is also backed by an army of trillions of soldiers from across all of time and space which he employs against his enemies.
While there are several versions of Kang, the one I feel is most likely to appear in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will be the primary version, Kang. This may be a great way to introduce the Fantastic Four or at least set out their background. He could also be a great way to herald in the Young Avengers, who are currently coming together in the MCU.