Marvel Studios Just Introduced Thanos’ Bigger & Badder MCU Successor

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Kang the Conqueror, Thanos, Marvel Studios

With the culmination of the MCU's Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios managed to bring arguably the franchise's biggest, baddest, and best villain with Thanos. Now, looking ahead to how the Multiverse Saga will play out, the difficult task Marvel has in living up to Josh Brolin's formidable foe becomes readily apparent.

But with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's first official trailer, the MCU now has a villain that can rival the likes of the Mad Titan: Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed during this year's San Diego Comic-Con that Kang is the one "shouldering" Phases 4, 5, and 6, saying that there was "nobody’s shoulders I’d rather be putting the Multiverse Saga on than his." 

In fact, one of the next two Avengers movies, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, is expected to revolve around the time-traveling villain, similar to how Avengers: Infinity War pushed Thanos to the forefront. With that being said, many fans have been wondering if Kang, like the Mad Titan, will ultimately defeat Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 

Now, before speculation ramps up, The Direct breaks down who Kang really is and how dangerous he can actually become that could even exceed Thanos' dominance. 

Who is Kang the Conqueror? Powers & Motivations Explained

Kang, Loki, He Who Remains, Marvel Studios
The Direct

While Jonathan Majors made his MCU debut during Loki as He Who Remains, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first MCU project that will ultimately unleash Kang the Conqueror. The threequel's official trailer revealed the first look at the villain's live-action iteration alongside his terrifying presence. 

Quantumania's first trailer only showed a glimpse of what Kang is capable of, and the comics hint at how dangerous he really is.

In Marvel Comics, Kang the Conqueror a.k.a. Nathaniel Richards is a powerful time-traveling villain who is a descendant of Reed Richards and Sue Storm from the 30th century. 

Kang the Conqueror, Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

Kang has a superior-level intellect and records revealed that he is the lone time traveler that can travel through time without creating a conflict in the timeline. In addition, the villain has access to advanced technology from any century while also having the combined knowledge and experience of his Variants across the Multiverse. 

Based on his title, all Kang wants is to expand his conquest throughout history. As a result, the villain took other identities, such as Rama-Tut (who was previously teased in Moon Knight), the Scarlet Centurion, and Immortus. Aside from his evil counterparts, a young Variant of Nathaniel tried to prevent his villainous transformation, thus resulting in him briefly becoming the Young Avenger named Iron Lad. 

In the MCU, the exact motivations of Majors' Kang are still unknown, but it's reasonable to assume that he wants to essentially conquer and spread his influence over, presumably, every timeline. 

Why Kang Is More Dangerous Than Thanos

Kang, He Who Remains, Thanos
The Direct

During Avengers: Infinity War, all that Josh Brolin's Thanos ever wanted was to bring stability to the universe by wiping out half of all life at every level since he believed that its massive population would use up the universe's entire supply of resources and perish. 

At first glance, one would argue that Thanos is on the noble side in comparison to Kang's goal of conquest. While the Mad Titan visibly held back during his battles with the Avengers during Infinity War, footage from Quantumania's D23 Expo and San Diego Comic-Con revealed that Kang told Ant-Man that he actually murdered several members of the Avengers before, meaning that this villain will in no way hold back in fighting Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 

More so, the concept of Variants is also one of the reasons why Kang is far more dangerous than Thanos. Given that the Avengers had to fight Thanos twice (Infinity War and Endgame), the fact that Kang has a long list of Variants/alternate selves mean that it's likely that the team will have to fight all of them in order to fully defeat the time-traveling villain.

Thanos, Marvel Studios, Kang
The Direct

This situation could also hint that the Avengers will need to split up to handle the various Kang Variants, which is a similar approach during Infinity War. That said, everyone knows what happened during that ensemble movie, right? 

Loki established that the TVA exists to prevent various Kang Variants from emerging in order to stop a Multiversal War. The fact that this doesn't include Thanos (one such Variant already existed in Endgame) further proves how much of a threat Kang really is. 

This is on top of the advanced technology and future knowledge that Kang possesses, thus making him a more formidable final boss. 

Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror will make his debut when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania premieres in theaters on February 17, 2023.

- In This Article: Avengers: Kang Dynasty
Release Date
May 01, 2026
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.