The first season of Loki is in the bag and fans know that the person behind the TVA was He Who Remains. But to people who have been reading comics for the last few decades, the man is known as Kang. While the version of him that showed up in the last episode wasn’t particularly menacing, his casual mention of the word “conqueror” sent shivers up the spines of anyone familiar with his work in the comic books.
In those last few moments of Loki Season 1, it became apparent quite quickly that Sylvie’s decision to kill He Who Remains will have massive ramifications. Specifically, Kang the Conqueror has arrived and everyone should be afraid. This villain has fought wars through time and space that would make Thanos shudder. And without Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Natasha Romanoff on their roster, the Avengers are in trouble.
Kang the Conqueror arrives
While the MCU is not defined by Marvel Comics as source material, knowing more about Kang’s history can give fans an idea of the storm that is coming. Created by comic book icons Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Kang made his debut in 1964 in the pages of The Avengers #8. Well, technically he first appeared in Fantastic Four #19 in 1963 using the identity Rama-Tut.
That has been a hallmark of Kang’s career. He has several aliases and identities, most of them villainous while others have been heroic. The was actually a point that he served on the Young Avengers as Iron Lad, a time-traveling hero who was inspired by Iron Man. It was an attempt by a younger version of Kang to avoid his fate as one of the multiverse’s most feared villains.
Unfortunately, he always ends up being Kang the Conqueror regardless of what he tries. And, to be blunt, his efforts are really only half-hearted in the first place. The reality is that Kang wants to be Kang, whether he admits it or not. He revels in being the Conqueror, which is a big part of what has made him so utterly dangerous to enemies like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.
What are Kang the Conquerors powers?
The funny thing about Kang is that he doesn’t actually have any powers to speak of. He’s not a mutant and some sort of accident related to an experiment didn’t give him any special abilities. And if any radioactive spiders were crawling around the 30th century where he was born, that spider certainly did not bite Kang.
But like Tony Stark, Victor Von Doom, and Reed Richards, Kang is so smart that it’s almost like he has a mutant ability. To be frank, Kang is most likely smarter than any of those men. He has invented, developed, and mastered technology beyond anything even those three luminaries have even dreamt of. That being said, living in the future does give Kang a distinct advantage in that department.
To make matters worse, Kang also has the combined knowledge of all versions of himself throughout the Multiverse. While Reed has been known to get together with versions of himself from other realities on occasion, he certainly has not collected everything they know into one place. That level of intelligence and knowledge base alone makes Kang incredibly dangerous.
Kang loves to time travel
As his name would suggest, Kang wants to conquer as much territory as possible. But while most villains think about their empire as being throughout space, Kang built his throughout time. There was a point that his empire stretched for several millennia across the Multiverse from his base of operations in the 40th Century of Earth-6311. Not even Thanos’ scope was that grand.
What makes Kang so dangerous is the fact that he has absolutely mastered time in every conceivable way. This is not as simple or mundane as time travel. Kang has learned how to manipulate time on a level that few people can remotely comprehend. And he does it all without the assistance of the Infinity Stones, the Time Stone in particular.
His incredibly advanced intellect combined with his access to futuristic technology has allowed him to navigate the time stream as easily as most people drive to work. More than that, Kang can sculpt time to his liking. In Loki, the TVA was part of how he did that. In the comics, he has many other means of bending time to his will. This makes him nearly impossible to defeat.
Kang the Conqueror’s weapons
A big brain and using time to his advantage isn’t enough to defeat the Avengers. Having a plan is great but he also needs to be able to execute it and that means getting into brawls with Thor, Captain Marvel, and Iron Man. Throughout his long, long life, Kang has put an incredible amount of effort into honing himself to be a warrior as well as sharpening his mind.
Kang is a master of various forms of armed and unarmed combat, proving himself to be equal to Captain America in a fight. But Cap isn’t the only Avenger who Kang can best in battle. Kang wears a suit of battle armor that would make Stark jealous tricked out with a variety of futuristic weapons that modern heroes do not see coming. That goes for the people who have fought him before. The man always returns with a new trick to play.
The armor does the basics like enhancing his strength, speed, agility, and durability. More than that, it has anti-gravity emitters that can be applied in different ways, can generate powerful blasts, can time travel, and can summon any number of weapons at Kang’s disposal. At one point, the suit even had the ability to transfer his consciousness to a new body at the moment of death, effectively making him immortal.
Kang is an MCU heavyweight
Right now, Kang’s shenanigans have been restricted to Loki, though that will inevitably change as the coming phases progress. While it’s going to take a team effort to defeat Kang in the long run, there are not a lot of heroes who are going to be able to stand up to him in the power department. Kang can and will shrug off attacks from the likes of Thor and Hulk. In that battle, Hawkeye has nothing to bring to the table other than a pithy quip.
Scarlet Witch’s recent and continuing power-up will likely be key to fighting Kang. As it stands right now, there is a very real chance that she is the most powerful individual hero in the MCU. That includes Captain Marvel. The problem is that Kang can put his time-traveling, universe-jumping abilities to good use and create a way to distract her, like finding her kids or the Vision in another reality and bringing them back to her.
At the same time, other obviously brilliant characters like Shuri and Bruce Banner could play a huge role in defeating the Conqueror. The power of Vibranium can never be underestimated, particularly when combined with Shuri’s high IQ and creativity. Keeping that in mind, the answer to defeating Kang may not be in who is currently in the MCU but in who is about to show up.
Doctor Doom is coming
Fans know that the Fantastic Four, the perennial enemies of Kang the Conqueror, are on the verge of joining the MCU as are the X-Men. They have a film coming as part of Phase 4, though that’s literally the only details anyone knows at this point. Frankly, they could debut at any time. Kang wasn’t expected until Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and he made his debut in Loki.
Between Mister Fantastic and his family, they have the intelligence and power to give Kang a run for his money. They’ve proven that in the comics. It’s likely they will prove it again in the MCU. That being said, the appearance of Reed Richards is not what Kang the Conqueror needs to be concerned about. It’s who inevitably appears when Richards does.
Doctor Doom is on his way. He and Kang have worked together in the past, though only until one of them stabbed the other in the back. Doom’s intelligence and power should never be underestimated, even by a greedy future man. There is no one currently in the MCU as ruthless as Doom. If Kang’s plans cause Doom any issues whatsoever, he will be happy to step up and deal with the Conqueror.