Here Is Why Kang Didn’t Appear in ‘Doctor Strange 2’
One of the things that we know is that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was one of the first movies (after Spider-Man: No Way Home) to truly explore the concept of the multiverse. While the multiverse may have already been introduced in Loki, Doctor Strange 2 was the film that truly allowed us to see this concept. Of course, while the multiverse was not discussed in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we met Kang the Conqueror, who went from one universe to another to conquer different timelines and had variants that were concerned about the multiverse. So, why didn’t Kang appear in Doctor Strange 2?
Kang’s absence in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a creative decision on the part of the filmmakers because they wanted the movie to focus on Wanda as the primary antagonist. Introducing Kang would have shifted the focus toward him instead of Scarlet Witch.
Even though we know that Kang is concerned about the multiverse and believes that he is the only one who should know about it, his absence in Doctor Strange 2 allowed the other characters to shine and tell their own stories. He would have taken the spotlight away from Wanda as the primary antagonist. So, with that said, let’s look into the reason why Kang was absent in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Why didn’t Kang appear in Doctor Strange 2?
There is no doubt that the next phases of the MCU will talk about the multiverse and that the next Avengers movie will focus on Kang and the many variants of the characters. Of course, we already know that Kang the Conqueror made his first true appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where he was introduced as a person capable of traveling from one timeline or universe to another.
Of course, during the mid-credit scene of Quantumania, we saw multiple variants of Kang talking about the multiverse and how they weren’t happy about how more and more people were aware of it. They appear concerned about the multiverse because they seemingly want to keep a monopoly over it, as the Council of Kangs could travel from one universe to another at will.
Meanwhile, back in the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we saw how America Chavez, the only one of her kind, could travel from one universe to another using her powers. That was how Doctor Strange got to different universes as he tried to keep America safe from Wanda Maximoff, who had become the Scarlet Witch and was looking to siphon America’s power from her.
Doctor Strange 2 is the first movie to truly explore the multiverse, as Spider-Man: No Way Home may have included this topic, but not to the extent that the multiverse was actually explored. Of course, we know that Kang and the entire Council of Kangs are invested in the multiverse and are concerned that some people are now more knowledgeable about it. So, why wasn’t Kang in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
The reason why Kang wasn’t in Doctor Strange 2 can be attributed to one person—Wanda. Michael Waldron is one of the writers that worked on many MCU projects, including Doctor Strange 2, to ensure that the events and concepts tackled in the films are consistent. Waldron worked with director Sami Raimi to discuss the possibility of Kang appearing in the movie. However, they decided against it because the movie would focus more on Scarlet Witch.
“When working with Sam Raimi, I said we should really make the decision to make Wanda the antagonist in this film,” Waldron said, “we can’t let another movie have that fun.”
So, in a way, because the movie needed to focus more on Wanda as the primary antagonist, the idea of Kang appearing in a movie that explores the multiverse was shelved as there had to be a way to make sure that the spotlight was on Scarlet Witch instead of shifting it away from her to give it to Kang. And this is probably why Kang the Conqueror made his first official debut as a true villain in the events of Quantumania.
Where was Kang during Doctor Strange 2?
Of course, while there is a good reason why Kang wasn’t in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as his being there would have shifted the focus away from Wanda, some people might wonder where he was when Strange and America were traveling from one universe to another.
First of all, Kang the Conqueror was trapped in the Quantum Realm for years or even decades, which means that he couldn’t have been in the multiverse when Strange and America were universe-hopping. But what about the Council of Kangs?
Well, the events of Doctor Strange 2 happened rather quickly, as they probably took place within a single day. That means that the Council of Kangs probably wasn’t aware of what was happening at that time or was able to find out about what had happened rather too late already. As powerful as the Council of Kangs may be, they are not omniscient beings capable of always knowing what is happening in the multiverse.
As such, the other Kang variants must have been in a place outside time and space or were probably in different universes during the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And the events in that movie probably contributed to how the Council of Kangs has become more concerned that more and more people are now more aware of the multiverse.