Jonathan Majors as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Jonathan Majors Says Kang the Conqueror Responds to Society’s “Deepest Insecurities”

Kang is coming! Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is arriving on February 17, 2023, and with it comes Jonathan Majors’s second iteration of the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror. Majors originally appeared as a Kang variant called He Who Remains in 2021’s Loki series, but this new version of Kang promises to be more ruthless and terrifying than his predecessor.

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At CCXP 2022 in São Paulo, Brazil, where Marvel revealed new footage from Quantumania, Majors sat down with CinePop to talk about his approach to the character:

Majors shares a lot of interesting insights about Kang in the interview, and teases what we might expect from Kang in Quantumania and beyond.

After talking about studying Marvel villains Ultron, Loki, and Thanos to figure out what makes a villain work, Majors explains that he wants to distinguish Kang from previous Avengers antagonists. Specifically, Majors says that he wants Kang to respond to the cultural moment we find ourselves in right now:

What is it we need for this time period? Our generation, what we represent, what is a big bad to us? What are our children going to see? What are our partners going to see? What are our leaders going to see? What is it that our zeitgeist, quote unquote, needs? What are we conjuring up? What’s in the unconscious of our time now? … Marvel has the largest platform in entertainment … and so the big bad has to represent so many things. It has to be connected to so many things.

Majors goes on to talk about how he looked at newspapers, history books, and other sources to try to pinpoint what frightens his generation. “Any big bad is a manifestation of our deepest insecurities as a society,” he says.

What insecurities could Majors be referring to? After all, there are so many to choose from. Fascism and white supremacy are on the rise, climate change is threatening life on Earth, and wealth inequality has left more people living precariously than ever before. Kang, with his mastery over time, could point to the fear of our futures being stolen from us. As a dangerous force trapped in a microscopic universe, he might represent the evil that’s simmering under the surface of mainstream culture, like the racism and transphobia that’s seeping out onto larger platforms. Or maybe Majors has an angle on the character that won’t become apparent until Quantumania’s premiere.

The best superhero stories are the ones that don’t just spin a good yarn, but resonate with the lives of their audiences. It’s good to know that, with Majors in the role of Kang, Marvel’s Multiverse Saga is in good hands.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>