Strap in, everybody: Kang is coming. Ever since Jonathan Majors appeared in Loki's finale, the MCU has heralded the arrival of Kang The Conqueror – a maniacal, multiversal villain whose every variant is more nefarious than the last. The best of the bunch was Majors’ He Who Remains, as seen in Loki – and there, he warned that many troublemaking versions of himself from across different dimensions are about to wreak havoc on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. First up, he’s about to make himself known in Peyton Reed’s threequel, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania.
While 2018’s Ant-Man And The Wasp was a palette cleanser, a chance for the audience to draw breath after the shock cliffhanger of Avengers: Infinity War, Quantumania is a different kind of Ant-Man movie – and the arrival proper of Kang is set to have major reverberations that will ripple into 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. “I think it has a profound impact on the MCU,” Reed tells Empire in the upcoming world-exclusive Indiana Jones 5 issue. “Jeff Loveness, who wrote this movie, is writing The Kang Dynasty as well, so there’s been a lot of discussion about the impact that this appearance of Kang The Conqueror makes. There are big things in store.”
For audiences, it’ll be a chance to see a different flavour of what Majors can bring to Kang’s alternate selves. Don’t expect a retread of He Who Remains’ daffy, knockabout energy. “Kang The Conqueror in our movie is a very different character,” the director teases. “He’s someone who has dominion over time, and he’s a warrior and a strategist.” Given that Ant-Man’s previous villains have been lower-level threats like Yellowjacket and Ghost (plus, lest we forget, Walton Goggins’ Sonny Burch), this was an opportunity to have him face, as Reed calls it, “an all-timer antagonist” – our diminutive hero is facing a villain as huge as they come. “That’s interesting to me: to take the tiniest, and in some people’s minds weakest, Avenger, and put them up against this absolute force of nature.” Something tells us it won’t be a Quantumania of solace for poor Scott Lang.
Read Empire’s full Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania story in the Indiana Jones 5 issue, on sale Thursday 24 November and available to pre-order online here. Quantumania hits UK cinemas on 17 February 2023.