Who is Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3? New Marvel villain explained
Kang the Conqueror is the villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, as well as the antagonist in Phase 5 of the MCU. Here’s everything we know about this iteration of the character.
Kang the Conqueror is a Marvel villain who frequently does battle with The Avengers and Fantastic Four in the comics.
The character has had different identities and names through the years, first appearing as the Pharaoh Rama-tut in ‘Fantastic Four #19’ in October 1963. Then popping up in The ‘Avengers #8’ in September 1964, during which he travels forward in time, and adopts the Kang identity. In another iteration, he also becomes Immortus, making him a pretty tricky character to pin down.
It’s already getting complicated in the MCU, with Kang appearing in Season 1 of Loki, but as a version of the character called ‘He Who Remains.’ But in Ant-Man and the Wasp, he’s very much Kang the Conqueror, and this is everything we know about the character in the film. So beware of spoilers ahead.
Kang’s arrival in the Quantum Realm
In the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania prologue, Janet van Dyne is trapped in the Quantum Realm, and witnesses Kang’s arrival when his ship crash-lands near her home.
While investigating the site, Janet is attacked by multiple monsters, and Kang saves her. He then asks: “What is this place?”
At first Janet believes his claims of being a traveller and scientist who has lost his way. The pair work together on the core of his ship, with plans to escape from the realm. Though Kang also drops hints about his past, stating that time is “not what you think – it’s a cage that does everything it can to break you.”
The Conqueror revealed
While working on his multiverse-traversing ship, Janet sees into Kang’s mind, and glimpses entire worlds and timelines “gone as if they never existed.”
Janet realises he’s a “monster who thinks he’s a god,” and asks who Kang is. To which he cryptically responds “who I need to be.”
Kang admits he wasn’t lost, but rather exiled to a place where he has no power, by beings who were scared of him. So Kang makes Janet an offer – get him out of the Quantum Realm, and he’ll get her home. Janet asks how many worlds will die when he’s free, and Kang only promises “not yours.”
Unable to let that happen, Janet destroys his ship’s power source, thereby stranding them both there. Though while she ultimately escapes, he remains, and soon flourishes, turning previous Ant-Man villain Darren Cross into a killing machine called M.O.D.O.K., and building a power base so he can rule over the realm.
Ant-Man v Kang
The hero and villain of Quantumania don’t share a huge amount of time onscreen. When Ant-Man and Kang first meet, Scott Lang has no idea who he is, and lies that the rest of the Avengers are coming. To which Kang ominously responds “Have I killed you before? They all blur together after a while. You’re not the one with the hammer, are you?”
Rather than murder Ant-Man however, Kang sends him on a mission, and promises to kill his daughter Cassie should he not comply. Then make him watch that death over and over again. Which shows what a master manipulator the character is.
Kang also claims to know how it ends. All of it. And suggests that climax involves lots of Kangs. Which lines up with the film’s first post-credit scene, in which we see a stadium full of Kangs.
The future of Kang the Conqueror
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ends with Ant-Man, Wasp, M.O.D.O.K., and an army of super-smart ants conquering Kang. Seemingly.
Time after time, however, Kang says he’s experienced the future, knows how to win, and will burn worlds to get what he wants, so defeating him that easily seems unlikely.
Scott then says that much at the very end of the movie. While narrating happy scenes back in San Francisco, Lang starts to question events, speculating: “We did beat him right? But he also said something bad is coming, and that everyone would die if he didn’t get out…”
Scott trails off, but he knows – as we know – that this is right, and that the supervillain will return, to terrorize the good guys and gals across Phase 5 of the MCU, culminating in the celluloid one-two punch of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in cinemas now, and you can check out more of our coverage below…
Ant-Man 3 review | Ending explained | Quantumania characters and cast | Who is Kang the Conqueror? | Ant-Man 3 Easter Eggs | Darren Cross as MODOK explained | Has Kang already killed an Avenger? | Who is Victor Timely? | Bill Murray’s character explained | What is the Quantum Realm? | Post-credit scenes explained | Will there be an Ant-Man 4? | All the Marvel movies in order