Episode 6 of Loki turned out to be a scintillating ride towards the end of time, and what (or who) lies beyond is finally revealed as a horrifying prospect whose return is now inevitable. After knowing that the ‘Time Keepers’ were just a sham, everyone wants to know who’s running the whole shindig.
Turns out, the man behind the iron curtain of time is, as Miss Minutes calls him, ‘He Who Remains’. But avid Marvel fans know the true identity of this mystery man is Kang the Conqueror. So who is Kang the Conqueror exactly and how does he fare on the power spectrum? Here’s all you need to know.
Who is Kang the Conquerer?
The season finale of Loki gave MCU fans what they had been expecting to see throughout the course of the show — a true villain. Though it may be unsuitable to call the version of He Who Remains we saw in the finale a baddie, for he is after all keeping the timelines in check, variants abound and they’re not all pure of heart.
— Austin O’Riordan (@AustinORiordan4) July 14, 2021
The version that we see in the Citadel at the end of Time is not the true Kang, nor is the name ‘Kang’ ever explicitly mentioned in the show. But yes, he does mention that he’s been called a ‘conqueror’ before, so we know without a doubt it’s Kang, a relatively benign, order-keeping variant of him at least.
Kang the Conqueror is one of the biggest villains in the Marvel universe. But before he turned into the supervillain as we know him today, he was a genius from the 31st century who went by the name of Nathaniel Richards, enamored by the science of time travel and the multiverse.
Given his numerous iterations across the multiverse, each trying to conquer the rest, there have been multiple Kang the Conquerors over time. In the comics, he’s traveled back in time to Egypt and become Pharaoh Rama-Tut, worked with Doctor Doom to later became the Scarlet Centurion, and, in another iteration, is called the Immortus.
In Loki, it appears that the version of Richard (or Kang) that we see in the Citadel at the end of Time is that of Immortus, though he’s not really the version of Kang as the comics have it. We have a Kang that’s repurposed for the MCU, and there’s nothing surprising about that.
Is Kang the Conqueror more powerful stronger than Thanos?
At the end of time, it is only He Who Remains. But Kang doesn’t have the powers that one would normally associate with a supervillain. He’s a genius who specializes in time travel and through his trips through the different timelines, he’s amassed a collection of weapons to be used against his enemies (and other variants of himself).
After Thanos next big villian debut in #loki
Kang the conqueror pic.twitter.com/gv8phwq0i3
— Marvel Cinematic Universe News (@lokiWednesdays1) July 14, 2021
Unlike Thanos whose misplaced sense of morality drove him to hunt for the infinity stones and wipe out half of all existence, Kang is a champion of time travel and the multiverse. He’s been everywhere and his arsenal of advanced weaponry makes him a threat that could well be beyond what Thanos was.
In fact, in Avengers Mech-Strike #4, Kang and Thanos went head to head in a battle of cosmic significance. But the former emerged victorious by sucking the life out of Thanos’ body and brandishing his skull in his hand.
So yes, Thanos may have had the infinity stones and an array of superpowers lacking in his competition. But Kang the Conqueror remains the evil time-traveling genius who’s spanned the breadth of all time and can defeat the ‘eternal’ titan with little trouble.
Sylvie’s seemingly simple act of killing Kang’s TVA-ruling variant is going to lead to consequences of cosmic proportions. As the unpruned, branching timelines remain unchecked and Kang’s variants return, phase four of the MCU is well underway, and there’s no returning back now.