Kang the Conqueror is a fairly old character in Marvel Comics, but he rose to sudden popularity when he was included in the MCU with the recently released ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.’ Several things over the course of the movie, rather obvious things, implied that Kang is as evil as one gets, but one thing he mentioned, the thing about his other variants being even worse, made us wonder, is Kang the Conqueror truly evil?
Kang the Conqueror is considered evil because he destroyed multiple timelines in his process of conquering the Multiverse. He didn’t care about the consequences on the Multiverse as a whole, and he had become so dangerous for the fabric of time that his other variants had to exile him to the Quantum Realm. Additionally, Kang was willing to hurt, even kill, a lot of people and destroy a lot of resources and worlds to get what he wanted. He proclaimed himself “a born conqueror” and took it upon himself that it was his god-given right to conquer the weaker.
Now that we’ve covered why Kang can be considered evil, it’s time to analyze his character in a bit more detail. Was he evil in the comics? What was his endgame in the MCU? If you’re interested in those answers, as well as other stuff, stay with us and keep reading!
Kang was most of the time a villain in the comics
Our first clue for Kang being evil is his comic history; he was created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and debuted in ‘The Avengers’ #8, as you guessed it, villain scheming against the Avengers. Aside from him being a problematic character, he also regularly appeared as a villain of Fantastic Four, Marvel’s first family.
Kang is a multiversal warlord, which means that many of his plans include time-traveling, and he is most notable for having an incredible amount of canon variants. There are at least 38 of them, and most of them are incredibly powerful. Some of the most popular Kang variants are Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, Mister Gryphon, and Immortus, out of which all of them were evil. Not all versions of Kang are evil, but the majority are.
So, he was never intended to be anti-villain or anti-hero sort of character. He was always imagined to be “too dangerous” to be left alone since his various schemes led to plenty of disturbances in the Multiverse. This, however, leads us to the MCU and Kang the Conqueror.
Even He Who Remains is morally grey at best
The first variant of Kang the Conqueror or Nathaniel Richards we met in the MCU was He Who Remains, who was introduced during the events of season 1 of ‘Loki.’ He Who Remains the victor of the Multiversal War that threatened to destroy the Multiverse through meddling and instability. He Who Remains created the TVA in order to ensure that the Sacred Timeline is preserved and that no evil variants can come from some additional Nexus Events or branched timelines.
To ensure the integrity of the Sacred Timeline, He Who Remains had to “prune” a lot of timelines that were considered dangerous and that always included unimaginable loss of life, something that Sylvie Laufeydottir faced when she was deemed too dangerous to exist and when her timeline was pruned.
So, on the one hand, we have something that needs to be done in order to ensure the stability of the Multiverse, and on the other hand, we have tons of casualties. It seems like a route that Thanos himself would take, so He Who Remains is definitely more on the bad side than on the neutral side.
Kang the Conqueror destroyed numerous timelines
When Janet van Dyne and Kang the Conqueror first met, she thought Kang was just another scientist, an explorer stuck within the Quantum Realm just like she was, with no way to escape. She even formed a temporary alliance with him that would benefit both of them. Janet would provide the necessary knowledge of Quantum Mechanics, and Kang had the Multiversal Engine that was supposed to help them both escape the place.
By a stroke of luck and ill-timing for Kang, Janet discovered that, through flashbacks showing who or rather what Kang truly was, she witnessed countless casualties left in Kang’s wake and tons of realities destroyed.
Kang wasn’t apologetic. He remained adamant in his purpose that it was his destiny to conquer the time. His deeper motivations weren’t exactly explained, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he was doing it for a good reason.
Furthermore, after he and Janet separated, he transformed into a tyrant overnight, using the tech that Janet managed to repair. He created his own army, created a vast sprawling city, and started the regime of terror through the Quantum Realm.
This doesn’t sound exactly like something a protagonist would do, as a lot of different people and creatures suffered while Kang was building his empire from scratch, and a lot of groups of people united under the same cause to see him either dead or exiled from Quantum Realm.
And speaking about exile, Kang later reveals that he wants to take revenge on his other variants, the so-called Council of Kangs, that he was once a member of. Other variants considered him so dangerous and violent that he needed to be stopped and ousted to the realm outside of normal laws of space and time.
Cherry, on top of Kang’s evil was the fact that he wanted to kill and use Cassie, a completely innocent person in all of this, to get what he wants from her father. He regards human life as nothing more than a bargaining chip, and this showed almost every step of the way.
Even though Kang, before his ultimate death, revealed that the other variants are far more dangerous, this remains to be seen. We know that He Who Remains is dead, and now all the rules are off. There is a new TVA in town, and we’re quite sure that the Council of Kangs will cause mayhem on a large scale. However, this doesn’t take away from all the evils that Kang did; he is totally evil, and it will take one hell of a redemption arc to change it.
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