So you’ve seen “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and you’ve stuck around and watched the scenes after “Quantumania” and you’re like, “What—?”
Well fear not, we are here to banish your Kangfusion. Unless you haven’t seen the movie yet, in which case we are strictly anti-spoilers – so if you haven’t seen it and don’t want your viewing experience ruined, stop reading! But if you’ve seen it, here goes… (Again, spoilers follow)
It’s no spoiler to say, despite the fact that the time-traveling menace Kang the Conqueror was conquered even in “Quantumania,” which he must have found terrifying, we wanted to see more of him. Him? Them? After all, Marvel has announced the next Avengers movie, scheduled for release in May 2025, called “Kang Dynasty.” (By the way, why not shorten his name to “Kanqueror”? Seems like it would save time, which is his thing, right?) The only questions have to do with how he’s going to manifest here and there.
The first credits scene doesn’t exactly answer that, but offers plenty of exciting possibilities by introducing viewers to the Council of Kangs (all played by Jonathan Majors). What is the Council of Kangs? Funny story.
Kang-Prime, the man who would become the king of the Kangs, teamed up with a couple of his variants (variants are a whole thing in Marvel; see “Loki” Season 1 for a primer on these alternate versions of characters) to go around timelines killing themselves, or rather the variants they deemed useless or embarrassing by the Kangaroo Court. Come on, that’s kind of funny: Yours raison d’être is finding problematic Kang or Kang with a debilitating knuckle or just Kang who was worked by Thor and wipe them from their timelines? It’s fun in a mass murder kind of way. Self-esteem issues much, Mr. Conqueror?
Anyhoo, the eventual dissolution of the Council of Kangs due to their attempts to kill each other led to the creation of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs (which sounds a bit like the Originals renaming themselves the New Originals), with a much larger membership – in essentially any Kang who had killed another Kang. That’s not all it takes; there are robots involved, but for now all that matters is that this cunning council of Kang-killing Kangs seems more like the critical mass of Kangs we see assembled at the end of the first credits scene. It’s clearly assembled by a trio of OG Kangs that appear to include Pharoah Rama-Tut, one of the most famous versions of Nathaniel Richards, the man who eventually becomes Kang (yes, Richardsas in Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, but that’s a long story for another, you know, time).
Interestingly, the first Council of Kangs’ archenemy was not the Avengers or the Fantastic Four, but a Kang: the sometimes good, sometimes bad future self of Nathaniel Richards known as Immortus, who we haven’t officially seen in the MCU yet, although the version of He Who Remains in “Loki” Season 1 resembles him (I know, I know, of course he does, he’s the same guy; you get the idea).
The doors are wide open at this point for Kang’s involvement with heroes across the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rama-Tut, for example, has extensive connections to not only the Fantastic Four – after all, his first appearance was in FF #19 (1963) – but to heroes including Moon Knight. In the comics, a moon knight in ancient Egypt saves Richard’s life from Rama-Tut. Incidentally, that Moon Knight later turned out to be Ravonna Renslayer, which she was very near Kang; in the Disney+ “Loki” series, she is a Time Variance Authority high-roller played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. In the Disney+ TV series “Moon Knight”, a design on the back of a short-lived henchman’s jacket has been speculated to be a Rama-Tut reference – it appears to be a drawing of his signature headdress with splashes of color suggesting Kang’s teal -and-purple scheme.
And of course, fans know all about the appearance of a Kang variant known only as He Who Remains in Season 1 of “Loki.” That leads us to the second credits scene, which feels like a teaser for “Loki” season 2, where Thor’s adoptive brother and time-varying agent Mobius M. Mobius (probably a reference to a Möbius strip, not Michael Morbius, played here by Owen Wilson) turned up in 1901 to see a presentation by inventor Victor Timely. Surprise (not)! It is another variant of Nathaniel Richards. Boy, Jonathan Majors is being kept busy these days. What mischief he’ll get up to in early 20th-century Wisconsin remains to be seen, but his name itself is a charming Easter egg: Before Marvel was Marvel, there was Timely Comics.