It took almost three years, but Marvel finally confirmed who would be the next Thanos in the MCU. After the end of the “Infinity Saga”, which culminated in the two final films “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Finale”, the MCU found itself facing a difficult mission — to continue what seemed to be the peak of the saga. Obviously, there were several more Marvel characters and sagas from which Marvel Studios could choose, but the future direction of the fourth phase of the MCU remained ambiguous in terms of the choice of adapted materials and the identification of its next mass threat.
The MCU multiverse was the centerpiece in several Marvel Phase 4 movies and shows that suggested that the next Marvel finale would be something in the spirit of Secret Wars. However, the MCU also introduced Kang, or at least a variant of him, at the very beginning of the 4th phase of the Loki series. In the comics, Kang has more to do with time travel than the multiverse, which raises the question of who or what exactly will be the next big threat. There were also settings for a possible “Young Avengers” project, as well as steps taken for the already confirmed “Thunderbolts” movie.
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After expanding the universe with Phase 4 KVM movies and TV series, Marvel confirmed that Kang is the next Thanos KVM and that he will be the main villain in the films “Ant-Man” and “Wasp: Quantum Mania”, the first Phase 5 KVM film and “Avengers 5”, which is now officially called “The Avengers: The Kang Dynasty”. No other Marvel character has been the main villain in two films from two different phases, which shows how pivotal Kang’s role will be in the MCU. Jonathan Majors, who plays Kang in the MCU, also played Kang’s version of “The One Who Stays in Loki”, and an argument can be made that he was also a villain in the series. How Kang’s time travel story will relate to the MCU multiverse storyline, especially in the movie preceding Avengers: Secret Wars, remains a mystery. However, it’s now obvious that Kang is the Avengers’ next Big Villain.
Why has the MCU Officially Made Kang its Next Thanos
Phase 4 of the MCU was received with a certain level of criticism due to the apparent lack of a literal and figurative “endgame”, but Kang’s announced focus is to connect these seemingly disparate threads. Now that the MCU’s Phase 5 and 6 plans have been officially announced, including two Avengers films in a row, it becomes clear that there was a larger plan from the very beginning. In addition, Phases 4, 5 and 6 are now officially called Marvel’s “Multiverse Saga” (similar to the name of Phases 1, 2 and 3 as the “Infinity Saga”), which finally confirms their long-term narrative. through. The only remaining announcement was the identity of the central antagonist of the Multiverse Saga, and although Kang is more associated with time travel from comics, the MCU has already introduced the Marvel villain as an extremely powerful multiverse-related character who will serve as a great character. a foil for many heroes who are currently participating in Phase 4 of the MCU.
Kang is very different from Thanos, but he is also one of the most powerful, pragmatic and intelligent characters in the Marvel universe(s). Kang has opposed the Avengers several times, and there really wasn’t a better choice for the next Thanos MCU than Kang. However, the arc of the Secret Wars comics is the story of Doctor Doom, so it will be interesting to see if the classic Fantastic Four villain will also be a Multiverse villain or if his role in the story will be replaced by Kang in the planned adaptation of Secret Wars. If anything is known about the Duma, it is that he does not agree to second fiddle.
There was no shortage of options for where the MCU could go after the Infinity Saga. A multiverse—related adventure with Kang the Conqueror as the main villain is a truly inspired decision, and it certainly establishes some significant differences between the two Avengers films of 2025 and the two parts of Infinity War and Finale. Kang’s next appearance in the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania, should explain more how the conqueror of time and the multiverse will become a threat to the Avengers. But if his mastery of time allows for more harrowing, hopeless villainous moments, such as Vision’s brutal double death at the hands of Thanos, his ubiquity should add much-needed stakes to the broader Phase 4 narrative.
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