Who is Kang the Conqueror? Essential facts about Ant-Man's new nemesis

Is the MCU about to confront a villain more powerful than Josh Brolin's Thanos? In the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, we bear witness to a baddie who has the entire spectrum of time in the palm of his hands, and the individual is named Kang the Conqueror.

As played by rising star Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), Kang is a charismatic yet dangerous prospect. Different multiversal variants of his character have spanned the cosmos, allowing him a singular knowledge of the entire Marvel timeline, and he can use this to manipulate people to his will.

In Quantumania, Kang's latest target is the titular Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). The latter is still haunted by those five years he lost while stranded in the Quantum Realm between the events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Upon returning to the Quantum Realm, Scott meets Kang for the first time and is presented with a tantalising proposition: does Scott want the timeline reversed in order so he can restore those years he lost with his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton)?

That's the dramatic cut and thrust of the new Ant-Man movie. Given the movie kicks off Phase Five of the MCU, Scott's decision is poised to have a huge impact on the next chapters in the superhero franchise. Will he give in to Kang's temptations?

If you're not familiar with Kang as a character, here are some facts about him that are designed to bring you up to speed.


  • Kang was created by the late Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby and made his comic book debut in 1964

  • Kang began life as a 30th-century man named Nathaniel Richards

  • Nathaniel is a keen scholar and a descendant of Reed 'Fantastic Four' Richards' time-travelling father

  • Nathaniel unlocks the possibility of time travel when he discovers ancient technology created by Reed's one-time nemesis (and Nathaniel's possible ancestor) Doctor Doom

  • Nathaniel travels back to Ancient Egypt and adopts the mantle of Pharoah Rama-Tut, which becomes the first of his many different identities

  • However, Rama-Tut's reign is defeated by the Fantastic Four

  • After a battle with the Avengers in the 20th century, Nathaniel returns to the 31st century to find the Earth devastated and despoiled

  • He takes over the planet with ease and for the first time adopts the mantle Kang the Conqueror


  • Although he's technically not a superhuman, Kang's ability to unlock the past, present and future makes him a deadly enemy given his knowledge of the space-time continuum

  • Kang is also armed with 40th-century technology, wearing highly advanced battle armor that enhances his strength, is capable of energy, hologram and forcefield projection

  • A variation of Kang's persona named 'He Who Remains' has already appeared in the MCU in the TV show Loki

  • However, he has adopted many different mantles during his comic book lifetime

  • This includes Immortus, a future variant of Rama-Tut/Kang, and a key influence on 'He Who Remains'

  • Rama-Tut is approached by the Time-Keepers to aid in their efforts to preserve timelines, as opposed to conquering them

  • Rama-Tut agrees in exchange for his own immortality, ultimately reinventing himself as Immortus


  • Another of Kang's important variants is the adolescent Iron Lad

  • At the age of 16, Nathaniel 'Nate' Richards is rescued from bullies by his time-travelling adult self Kang

  • Kang takes Nate on a journey through time, showing how he is destined to transform into a super-villain

  • However, Nate rejects this course of events, steals Kang's time-travel technology and attempts to change the course of his own destiny with help from the Avengers

  • Upon finding the team disbanded, Nate then creates the Young Avengers initiative, also building himself a bio-metal suit so that he can battle his adult self should Kang return



  • Another of Kang's variants is Frederick "Fred" Kang, who named himself after the cartoon character Fred Flintstone

  • Kang has also crossed over with other franchises, including the X-Men/Star Trek mash-up Second Contact

  • Inspired by Doom's own armour and regal presence, Kang created a new costumed identity as the Scarlet Centurion

  • Kang variant Victor Timely set up a home base on Earth in the present day that allowed him to secretly observe and subtly manipulate the timeline


Will Jonathan Majors steal the show as Kang in the new Ant-Man movie? You can find out very soon. Click here to book your tickets for Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, releasing at Cineworld on February 17th.