So Who Was That [Spoiler] in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania?
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania premiered on February 17 and unveiled the highly anticipated return of Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror. Majors’ villain was first introduced in the Disney+ Loki series, but as a different variant of Kang called He Who Remains. Loki was very important in establishing the fact that there is more than just one Kang. His frequent time traveling with his 31st-century technology resulted in numerous Kang variants existing throughout time and space. Knowledge of this fact created the possibility of more than just one Kang variant appearing in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Marvel played its cards well and kept Kang the Conqueror as the only variant for the vast majority of the movie. This gave Majors the chance to truly shine as the villain and to dominate every scene with his intimidation and ferocity, instead of having to share the screen. However, with the more in-depth introduction of Kang, Marvel did need to tease the future of the villain and how exactly we’ll get to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in 2025.
The film’s mid-credits scene brilliantly introduced the Council of Kangs to show just how enormous the Kang problem is and how many of these variants exist throughout the multiverse. While an enormous stadium filled with Kang variants is seen, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hones in on three specific variants, who seem to be overseeing the council. These three variants are Immortus, Rama-Tut, and Scarlet Centurion. While all of these are exciting introductions, Scarlet Centurion is one of the most intriguing debuts, as he is Kang’s son, a fierce conqueror, and a master of manipulation.
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Who is Scarlet Centurion in Marvel Comics?
There are two iterations of the Scarlet Centurion that exist in the Marvel universe. The mantle of the Scarlet Centurion originated with Nathaniel Richards/Kang of Earth-6311 and was later passed onto his son, Marcus Kang. The original Scarlet Centurion initially became the hero Iron Lad to try to change his fate of becoming a sinister conqueror.
However, he eventually abandoned this identity and posed as Pharaoh Rama-Tut for a time, until Doctor Doom ultimately influenced him to construct his own villain identity as the Scarlet Centurion. As the Scarlet Centurion, his biggest feat was manipulating the Avengers into believing that superpowered individuals would bring about the end of the world. Hence, the Avengers were pitted against all super-humans until they eventually broke free of Scarlet Centurion’s influence.
Scarlet Centurion spawned several divergent variants in other timelines, as well as a son, Marcus. On Earth-6311, Marcus, as the new Scarlet Centurion, aided his father in attaining complete domination of Earth and establishing the Kang Dynasty. However, he secretly harbored an infatuation with the Avenger Warbird (a.k.a. Carol Danvers) and saved her life once.
Still, the Scarlet Centurion continued to serve by his father’s side and even broke him out of prison after his defeat at the hands of the Avengers. His father, though, knew of his infatuation with Warbird, and upon being rescued, he murdered Scarlet Centurion. He did this after showing the Scarlet Centurion a morgue with 22 other deceased variants of Marcus, each of which Kang had found too flawed for his liking.
It is unclear if it is the Richards or Marcus iteration of the Scarlet Centurion in the MCU. However, the original Scarlet Centurion certainly was the more brutal of the two, with his tactics of manipulation and the callous murder of his own son. We may have already glimpsed his manipulation in the MCU, as he was the one urging all of the Kangs to take action after the defeat of one of their variants. Exploring Kang’s son, though, may also be intriguing. Either way, the Scarlet Centurion is a fierce variant of Kang who is adept at conquering and brutality, raising the potential of his character having a fundamental role in the MCU’s future.
(featured image: Marvel Comics)
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