The Key Difference Between Kang The Conqueror And Loki's He Who Remains, And How He’s Being Established As Marvel’s New Big Bad

Kang The Conqueror in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Jonathan Majors’ Kang The Conqueror is set to become a major force in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and what makes him a special kind of formidable is that he’s not just a singular force. He is a master of the multiverse, and as such, there are many, many variants of him. Between Season 1 of the Disney+ series Loki and the new film Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, fans have already met two different versions of Kang – but what’s special is that while they are technically the same entity, they are both unique personalities with their own attitudes and perspectives.

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Marvel Studios Parliament member/producer Stephen Broussard during the Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania press day in Los Angeles, and one of the subjects of our conversation was the arrival of Kang in the blockbuster and comparisons to the version we already met: Loki’s He Who Remains. Broussard, who was a producer on the Disney+ series prior to the Ant-Man sequel, noted how he got to see the two variants of Kang get introduced:

I think it was about particularly establishing him as formidable, right? And as this force to be reckoned with. I worked on Loki as well, which was exciting 'cause I got to kind of cross both and be a bit of a conduit between [director] Kate [Herron] and that team and [director] Peyton [Reed] and this one. And it's kind of a sense of expect the unexpected. Everything's on the table with Kang with this character and with Jonathan [Majors], who can provide whatever you ask him to do.

Jonathan Majors’ role as He Who Remains in the Loki Season 1 finale was a teaser for Kang’s significant upcoming role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Multiverse Saga, but audiences will definitely note that the variant of the character from the show is not the same individual who serves as the antagonist in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania. Stephen Broussard explained the headspace of He Who Remains (who, prior to his death, isolated himself at the end of time after creating the Time Variance Authority), and added that Majors went about making his second appearance in the MCU very different than his first. The filmmaker continued,

It was a little bit about meeting one version of him – who I think had maybe been by himself a little bit too long and kind of maybe lost his marbles a little bit, and this very eccentric and flamboyant and totally embodiment of that. Then coming into this Kang, the phrase Jonathan used at the time when we were talking about the differences was 'no moves wasted.' He's like, 'This guy's not gonna waste a breath. He's not gonna lift a finger if he doesn't have to because there's that confidence.'

Like He Who Remains, the Kang in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania has existed in a kind of exile, but he’s in that position under very different circumstances. As we learn when the character is introduced in the film, he has been banished to the Quantum Realm – but rather than going stir crazy, he is all about trying to escape, and while he waits for his moment he is all about conquering the world where he is trapped.

The significant personality contrasts between He Who Remains and the Quantum Realm-trapped Kang illustrate the variance that exists between the variants, and sets the table in a big way in advance of everything that’s to come on the road to Avengers: Kang Dynasty – the Marvel crossover film that is scheduled to come out in May 2025. Said Broussard,

And to see that kind of stand in contrast to [He Who Remains], to me, one of the important things was less about Kang 101– there is obviously an educational aspect to just kind of where we are; it was more about everything's on the table with this character, and we don't really know where it's gonna go.

Audience can experience the big screen madness of Kang in theaters this weekend with Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, and for a quick refresher course of where things started with the character in the MCU, you can watch all of Loki Season 1 with a Disney+ subscription. For more Marvel reading, our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides will fill you in on all of the projects that are presently in the pipeline for the franchise, and you can look back on the full scale of the canon with our Marvel Movies Ranked and Marvel Movies In Order features.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.