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Kang is the Best MCU Villain To Date. Here’s Why

This guy is just so good.

Kang sits in his ship.

This post contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

I’m calling it. After seeing Jonathan Majors in two Marvel projects—Loki season 1 and Quantumania—I’m delighted to announce that he’s the best Marvel villain of all time.

Marvel has had some pretty bad villains (remember what they did to poor Christopher Eccleston?), but it’s also had some pretty fantastic ones. Thanos, the Grandmaster, Killmonger, Karli Morgenthau, the now-reformed Loki, and Namor all come to mind.

But, Kang. Oh my goodness, Kang. Even the critics who hated Quantumania admit that he lives up to the hype. What makes him so great? Sit back and listen to my ballad of Kang.

Kang is a complicated person under the armor

The first we see of Kang in Quantumania isn’t the ruthless, armored, lightning-shooting supervillain. We see him exhausted and confused, saving Janet van Dyne from a wild animal shortly after he crash lands in the Quantum Realm.

Throughout the movie, we learn that he and Janet develop a close relationship during their time together in the Quantum Realm. As they both work on repairing Kang’s ship, Janet tells him about her life on Earth. Kang listens to her, and reassures her that she’ll get home to see Hope again. Janet’s no fool, so the fact that he’s able to recruit her to help him escape shows that he does actually have some humanity in him. Watching them together, you get the sense that they both form a genuine bond.

Of course, everything, from saving her life to listening to her story, could be a total act. Maybe the stone-cold dictator he becomes when he takes over the Quantum Realm is really all there is to him. If so, though, Kang is a good enough actor to have fooled both Janet and me.

Kangs are good at lying to themselves

What I love about Kang so far is that each of his variants seem to believe that their actions are purely altruistic—even though they’re clearly fueled by ego.

Take, for instance, He Who Remains. He Who Remains explains to Loki and Sylvie that after looking at countless possible outcomes, he settled on the only course of action that would save the multiverse: conquering it.

Of course, he doesn’t use the word “conquer.” He didn’t conquer anything! He just defeated all his variants, erased their realities, and started controlling the fates of everyone in the universe! By the time we meet him, he’s gotten bored with the job, but the hypocrisy is still pretty blatant.

Or how about Kang in Quantumania? He justifies his efforts to defeat his variants by telling Janet and the others that the Kangs are destroying the multiverse by causing incursions. He trots out the exact same rationalizations as He Who Remains, but Janet, having seen him in action through her mind-link with his ship, sees right through him. Deep down, Kangs all seem to have the same fatal flaw: what they want more than anything is to win, and that drive overwhelms any other solution they might come up with to avoid the destruction of the multiverse.

At the same time, though, the problem each Kang faces isn’t nothing. Do I have any brighter ideas for how He Who Remains could have preserved free will while keeping infinite Kangs at bay? I’ll admit I do not.

On a side note, did anyone else love the twist that Kang was exiled to the Quantum Realm not by superheroes, but by his own variants? I, for one, didn’t see that coming—but maybe that was naive of me, considering who we’re dealing with.

Kang is terrifying and also very goofy

We see more glorious Kang variants in the two Quantumania post-credit scenes, which feature the Council of Kangs and Victor Timely.

The three main variants we meet in the Council of Kangs—Rama-Tut, Immortus, and (probably) Scarlet Centurion—are absolutely absurd. One of them dresses like a pharaoh, for god’s sake. He’s not Egyptian, he’s just super into cultural appropriation. They’re each taken directly from the comics, and the story leans into their silliness in a way that somehow makes them even more frightening. These guys are otherworldly. They’re operating on a register beyond anything a well-adjusted person can comprehend. There’s no telling what they’ll do.

Also, major props to Majors’s acting. Each variant has their own flavor of weirdness, including all the variants whooping and screaming in the stands of the colosseum.

Granted, there are some heavy hitters that haven’t made it into the MCU yet. I’m champing at the bit to see Galactus and Mephisto enter the scene, and everything’s going to change when we finally get Doctor Doom.

For now, though, Jonathan Majors’s Kang is it. He’s the best. I’m so glad we’re going to get more him over the next few years.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.