When it comes to the greatest threats Marvel heroes have ever faced, both Galactus and Kang the Conqueror appear at the top of the list. However, in the vast multiverse, it is their combined form—Kang the Time Eater—that ultimately threatens every version of reality. This makes him the perfect villain for the MCU, where the introduction of divergent timelines threatens to make even the Devourer of Galactus Worlds feel petty.
Although Kang and Galactus pose the same level of threat to Earth, their motives could not be more different. Galactus is part of the natural order of the universe, consuming worlds to gather energy for the next cycle of creation. His cosmic hunger forces him to fulfill this role, but he also acts as a major deterrent to attacks from other realities and dimensions, clashing with enemies such as the Insane Celestials and the Cancer Universe when necessary. On the contrary, Kang is a time-traveling tyrant who considers his entire history to be his toy, living for the sake of conquests that feed his inflated ego. Unlike Galactus, Kang neglects the natural order and used to break time itself in search of a “worthy” challenge.
In “Exiles” 2018 —from Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez —Kahn goes out of bounds again. As explained in Exiles #5, Kang’s versions of the Conqueror from one reality got bored with conquests after he realized that he was “just the greatest ant in the anthill.” Kang killed a version of Galactus from his reality by absorbing the power of a cosmic being, and went on a quest to absorb the entire multiverse. To fuel his power, the new Kang Time Eater traveled from world to world, killing and absorbing various versions of Galactus, which made him one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse and caused a crisis that prompted the being known as the Invisible to assemble a new team of Exiles to stop him.
The Time Eater may have the power of countless versions of Galactus, but it is Kang’s indomitable will that makes him such a threat. In the end, Galactus exists in balance with the universe, even if his need for food causes chaos on individual planets, but due to the arrogance of Kang controlling his actions, the Time Eater got out of control, absorbing reality after reality. The Unseen explains the chaotic threat posed by the Time Eater as “the greed of a small soul endowed with the power of god.” The Exiles’ leader Blink summoned a literally endless army to stop his rampage through the multiverse, although she suggested that the creature was simply cut off from his cosmic power, not dead. Even more worryingly, since the multiverse threat originated in one reality, there is always a chance that another version of Kang will follow exactly the same path, recreating the Time Eater.
In an ambitious fictional universe where classic threats like Galactus can consume entire planets, it takes something special to pose a serious threat to the multiverse itself, but Kang’s ambitions have allowed him to transcend any single reality. A true space powerhouse who left burning footsteps through the Multiverse, the combined form of Galactus and Kang the Conqueror was one of the greatest threats ever faced by the Marvel Multiverse, and the perfect villain, perfectly suited to give the MCU a new level of threat to challenge the heroes of multiple realities.