Disney Confirms the MCU's Most Powerful Villain (No, Not Thanos)

By Nathan Johnson Updated:
Kang the Conqueror, Marvel Studios, Thanos, Ultron

Thanos has been dethroned by Kang the Conqueror as the most powerful villain in the MCU, according to Disney.

Jonathan Majors may have made his MCU debut in Loki as He Who Remains, but the actor will be portraying Kang the Conqueror for the first time on screen in the first film of Phase 5, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania

A trailer for the upcoming movie was recently released by Marvel Studios, showcasing Paul Rudd's Ant-Man as he and his team of heroes get pulled into Kang's corner of the Quantum Realm.

The trailer also went on to tease some of Kang's second-to-none powers, which apparently make him the most daunting character in the entire MCU.

Who Is the Most Powerful Villain in the Marvel Universe?

Thanos, Kang, Marvel Studios

In Disney's official Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania press release, Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror was declared "the MCU’s most powerful villain to date" - even above Thanos.

So how is he so powerful? "He can rewrite existence and shatter timelines... You cannot trust him," according to Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne in the latest trailer for Quantumania.

Director Peyton Reed called Kang "the most powerful being in the Multiverse," noting how it was "exciting" to see one of the most underrated Avengers, Scott Lang, go up against such a threat:

 "It was so great to put that energy up against Paul Rudd’s energy, and it mirrored what we were doing in the movie itself. A lot of people might consider Ant-Man the ‘weakest’ Avenger: ‘What can that guy do? He shrinks and talks to ants. That’s ridiculous.’ Putting that guy up against Kang the Conqueror, who’s the most powerful being in the multiverse—that seemed really exciting to us."

Regarding Jonathan Majors' performance as Kang, Reed praised the "energy" that the rising star had during filming, adding that the actor was a "very intimidating force" to the point where the crew "knew Kang the Conqueror was there:"

"Jonathan brought an entirely different energy to the set. The Ant-Man movies have always been comedies. I like to have a really relaxed, fun set so that the actors can go in front of the camera and feel comfortable trying weird stuff. It’s a safe space. And Jonathan came in as this disruptor—this very intimidating force. He carried music with him when he showed up on the set—we knew Kang the Conqueror was there."

According to Reed, the scope of Quantumania is going to be massive, and a villain like Kang was needed in order to achieve that. The director also included that Kang is "one of the great antagonists" in all of Marvel comics:

"While retaining the intimacy of the family story, we decided we wanted to go really big. And to do that, we needed a world-class villain in a movie like this. As a kid who grew up reading all the comics, I always loved Kang the Conqueror. He was one of the great antagonists in the comics."

Kang's Reign of Power in the MCU

It is unclear just how far Kang will go in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania when it comes to the level of punishment he dishes out, but it seems as though he is going to rule over the MCU at least through the next two phases.

If the title of the next Avengers film, which is The Kang Dynasty, wasn't convincing enough, Peyton Reed's comments on the overwhelming presence and power of the Conqueror prove that the character means business.

Jonathan Majors even commented on the similarities and differences between his character and Thanos, specifically teasing the "ongoing presence" the Conqueror will have in years to come.

The actor also talked about the differences between the two MCU big bads, saying that it is "a whole different world" for his journey with Kang and the power he will unleash.

Thanos shocked the world when he snapped half of the universe out of existence, so the fact that Kang is already being hyped up more than the Mad Titan means that he will be a ruthless ruler. Earth's Mightiest Heroes surely have their work cut out for them in the near future.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will be released in theaters on February 17.

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.