Warning — This article contains spoilers for Loki Episode 6, “For All Time. Always.”
After weeks of speculation as to the “man behind the curtain” of the TVA, Loki's season finale finally revealed a Variant of Johnathon Majors' Kang the Conqueror as the hidden antagonist. Majors was initially expected to make his MCU debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, but the actor played a surprising role in “For All Time. Always.”
With the sandbox of the multiverse now open to play in for Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and the other creative heads of the MCU, the possibilities for Marvel's cinematic future are truly endless.
As series like WandaVision and Loki continue to push the boundaries of reality-altering events, anticipation is building for the long-awaited sequel to Avengers: Endgame.
Over the years, there has been a lot of uncertainty as to which Marvel Comics antagonist will arrive to force the Avengers to reassemble, but that looks to finally becoming clearer.
LOKI WRITER TEASES KANG FOR AVENGERS 5
In an interview with the official Marvel site, Loki head writer Michael Waldron commented on the introduction of Kang the Conqueror, teasing the time-traveling villain as the potential antagonist of the inevitable Avengers 5.
Discussing the series' dramatic ending, Waldron revealed that the plan was always to have it "really end with a bang" and to "have a huge impact on the MCU moving forward."
According to the crime thriller writer, it "always made so much sense" for Kang to be the man behind the TVA as he was a "time-traveling, multiversal adversary" who was "probably going to be the next big cross-movie villain:"
“We knew that we wanted this show to be huge, and we wanted it to really end with a bang and have a huge impact on the MCU moving forward. Knowing that Kang was probably going to be the next big cross-movie villain, and because he is a time-traveling, multiversal adversary, it just always made so much sense."
The Loki mastermind went on to explain that he initially came up with and pitched the "big multiversal war mythology" to the producers who fortunately went for the idea.
Since it was always planned with "end up meeting the man behind the curtain," they had to ensure "that meeting really delivered:"
"I came up with that big multiversal war mythology and pitched it out in the room one day to our producers. And they said, yeah, let's go for it. We knew we were going to end up meeting the man behind the curtain. And then it was just on us to make sure that that meeting really delivered.”
WHAT IS KANG'S MCU FUTURE?
Johnathon Majors' Kang the Conqueror, or, at least, a version of him, made his long-awaited MCU debut in the final episode of Loki. While the character will return in 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it's unclear exactly how he will fit into the broader picture of the cinematic universe going forward.
From the beginning, it was suspicious when the time-traveler was announced for Quantumania. Given the power of the multiversal adversary, a fairly comedic Ant-Man film would be a tough place to fully utilize such a powerful threat.
Much like Thanos once did, Kang appears set for a multitude of MCU appearances over the years to come. In addition to the third installment in the shrink-central trilogy and future seasons of Loki, Majors could show up in other multiverse-centric projects such as next year's Doctor Strange sequel.
Ultimately, Kang the Conqueror probably won't be properly defeated until a new era of heroes assembles to take him on in the long-awaited Avengers 5. As the blockbuster sequel has yet to be formally announced, fans shouldn't expect the team-up to hit theaters before 2024 at the earliest with an expansive slate still to come before then.
All six episodes of Loki are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.