Kang the Conqueror is one of the most powerful villains in the MCU, so why does it appear as though he is trapped in the Quantum Realm?
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania finally marks the debut of Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, revealing the whereabouts of the Multiverse Saga’s main villain. The latest trailer for the upcoming Phase 5 film shows Kang seeking out the aid of Scott Lang and his friends after they become trapped in the Quantum Realm, leading many to wonder why a being as powerful as Kang would need help at all. However, one theory suggests that Kang is actually being held prisoner in the Quantum Realm and is only now seizing an opportunity to escape and wreak havoc on the Multiverse once more.
Although Kang is rumored to appear in MCU movies throughout Phases 5 and 6, Quantumania marks the character’s only confirmed appearance prior to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. As such, the film has plenty of backstory to fill in regarding the Conqueror, especially his whereabouts during Phase 4 and the Infinity Saga. Furthermore, Jonathan Majors’ villain is already confirmed to have a close connection to the Multiverse, with several of his variants implied to appear in various Marvel projects leading up to The Kang Dynasty. The upcoming Ant-Man sequel has the exciting, albeit harrowing, opportunity to introduce Kang’s true nature and motivations in anticipation of his battle with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
The Quantum Realm May Be A Time Prison For Kang
Kang is the Multiverse Saga’s main villain, making it very strange that he would need anyone’s help, let alone two Avengers with very limited powers. Nevertheless, Quantumania could very well present Kang the Conqueror in the midst of a tremendous comeback after being defeated in one of his previous conquests. Although he has managed to build a city to rule over, Kang is hardly the type of villain who would rest on his laurels in one singular location, unless he didn’t have a choice in the matter. Kang’s apparent stagnancy leading into the events of Quantumania suggests that he may actually be a prisoner held in the Quantum Realm.
The Quantumania trailers have revealed little about Kang’s backstory, but viewers shouldn’t be surprised if he is revealed to be a Quantum Realm prisoner during the film’s events. After all, a being so closely tied to time travel and the Multiverse could only be contained in a realm as expansive and rule-defying as the Quantum Realm, which exists outside of time itself. This would explain why Kang wasn’t present for the events of the Infinity Saga and why he needs help from Scott during the events of Quantumania. Furthermore, if he does manage to escape, Kang would then be perfectly on track to battle the Avengers in The Kang Dynasty.
Who Imprisoned Kang In The Quantum Realm?
Kang’s Multiversal variant He Who Remains may be the one who imprisoned him prior to the events of Quantumania. He Who Remains was introduced in the finale of Loki‘s first season, revealing himself to be the mastermind behind the Sacred Timeline. While this Kang variant’s true motivations weren’t fully clear, he appeared to be actively working to prevent his more malevolent parallel selves from rising to power once more. As such, he may be the one to have locked the Conqueror away in the Quantum Realm, eventually forming the Time Variance Authority in order to ensure that no future timelines ever present a similar variant.
This lends itself to the theory that Kang is a survivor of the Multiverse War alluded to by He Who Remains in the Loki finale. If Kang eventually lost this war against his other variants, he may have been locked away by He Who Remains in an effort to stop the Multiverse from caving in on itself. However, other beings even more powerful than Kang and his variants may be behind the Conqueror’s imprisonment. The Celestials themselves may be responsible for Kang’s defeat, as some of the few characters capable of such a feat, leaving his fate to be decided by a cosmic entity such as the Living Tribunal.
How Kang Will Escape In Quantumania
After the events of the Infinity Saga, Kang is replacing Thanos as the MCU’s villain, implying that he will indeed break free from his Quantum Realm prison in Quantumania and wreak havoc on the Multiverse once more. Kang’s method of escape traces back to why he needs Ant-Man’s help in the first place, as Scott is one of the few people who would know how to get his hands on Pym Particles, the only known method of escaping the Quantum Realm. Kang likely enlists Scott’s help to track down more Pym Particles so that he can escape his prison once and for all.
When Kang does inevitably escape, he will be perfectly set up for an upcoming confrontation with the Avengers in The Kang Dynasty, as his release will no doubt spell utter disaster for the Multiverse itself. Quantumania can preview the MCU’s future under Kang’s iron fist, revealing the worst fears held by He Who Remains and the TVA. As the first chapter of Phase 5, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will finally begin the second act of the Multiverse Saga, seeing Kang the Conqueror’s ultimate return to power and setting up his arc in The Kang Dynasty and, eventually, Secret Wars.
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