A key line spoken by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame might’ve paved the path to Kang’s eventual arrival in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
One of Avengers: Endgame‘s most crucial plot elements was its “time heist.” Dreamt up by Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and perfected by Tony Stark, the plan was to use the Quantum Realm as a conduit for time travel in order to collect the Infinity Stones from past adventures.
And it worked. Sort of. The Mad Titan Thanos caught wind of the Avengers’ jaunt through time and space and emerged in the present day to steal back the stones. This prompted a quip from Tony, “You mess with time, it tends to mess back.”
Time Messes Back
As fans have surely seen in the new, seemingly quite revealing trailer for Marvel Studios’ latest, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, Scott Lang is in a bit of a pickle.
The tiniest Avenger makes a deal with evil, Multiversal despot Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) in exchange for time. Specifically more time with his daughter Cassie, whose life he’s already missed so much of.
However, it probably doesn’t take Scott long to realize that Kang isn’t at all acting from a place of altruism and cannot be trusted. Perhaps he’s spurred on to this conclusion by Janet van Dyne, who spent decades in the Quantum Realm and warns Scott that Kang can "rewrite existence and shatter timelines."
Whatever the case may be, it’s made clear to Lang that this Kang is one bad hombre and the pair end up in pitched hand-to-hand combat, with the Conqueror quickly putting Ant-Man on the back foot with his superior skills.
A Loki Connection
Another example of an MCU character facing grim repercussions for tampering with the fabric of time comes in the Season 1 finale of Loki from 2021.
In the episode-in-question, Sylvie and Loki come face to face with He Who Remains, a Variant of Kang himself who had managed to corral a large portion of the Multiverse into what was known as “The Sacred Timeline.”
He Who Remains monologues about how he has many, many Variants who are looking for one thing: Control. These Kangs want total dominion over reality itself, and they will stop at nothing to achieve their end goal.
He Who Remains was all that was stopping these malevolent Variants from emerging, and Sylvie plunges her sword into his chest in an act of revenge, killing him. This sets into motion a Multiversal fracturing of which MCU fans likely haven’t even begun to witness the full scale.
Kang the Conqueror Unleashed
Now, the Avengers, nor most of Earth-616’s other heroes have crossed paths with Kang or his Variants yet. But Scott Lang sure is about to, and he will very quickly learn that this time, he might be in way over his head.
Kang is extremely dangerous and even more powerful than Thanos, due to his sheer mastery over time and space. Our heroes will have their work more than cut out for them if they wish to end his threat.
Between now and then, audiences can almost certainly expect Majors’ Kang to crop up in various other MCU projects to further cement his menace.