One Kang Variant Shown In Quantumania Has An Interesting History With The Human Torch

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

Warning: SPOILERS for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania are ahead!

While it looks as though the Kang the Conqueror who was Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s main antagonist died when he was sucked into his time ship’s malfunctioning engine core, the threat of Jonathan Majors’ Kang still looms large in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Quantumania’s mid-credits scene showed the Rama-Tut, Immortus and Scarlet Centurion variants of the characters planning to lead hundreds of other Kangs in an uprising against the heroes of Earth-616. Minutes later, Quantumania delivered its post-credits scene, which showed the Victor Timely variant delivering an address to an audience in the early 1900s. While Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius didn’t understand what this big deal with this man was, Loki was understandably freaked out given his experience with He Who Remains in the Loki Season 1 finale.

Now that Victor Timely has been introduced to the MCU, it stands to reason we’ll see him again in Loki Season 2 later this year, although one of the Kang the Conqueror-related questions we have after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is whether he’ll be a bad guy like the other Kangs we’ve seen and his comic book counterpart, or if he could end up being an ally to the Avengers in the coming years. While we wait for that question to be answered, this is a good time to go over how in the comics, Victor Timely has an interesting connection with The Human Torch, specifically the android version, as well as go over whether that connection could be explored in the MCU.

Alex Ross artwork of the Golden Age Human Torch

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The Origin Of The Golden Age Human Torch

In October 1939, more than two decades before Johnny Storm debuted alongside fellow Fantastic Four members Reed Richards, Sue Storm and Ben Grimm, and the same month as when Namor the Sub-Mariner was introduced, the original Human Torch hit the scene as one of the first characters from the Golden Age of Comics. This android was created by Professor Phineas Horton, and he gained the moniker Human Torch because he was set aflame when exposed to oxygen. When Horton presented his creation at a press conference, spectators freaked out, and the android was subsequently buried in concrete over concern he would harm others. However, a crack in the concrete set the android aflame once more, allowing him to escape.

Despite how he was initially treated by humanity, The Human Torch decided to use his fiery abilities to protect the innocent once he learned how to control his flame. He also established a civilian identity as Jim Hammond, an NYPD officer. Initially dealing with your run-of-the-mill criminals as a superhero, The Human Torch’s first big showdown was with Namor in the middle of New York City, and while they managed to patch things, these two would always have a contentious relationship. Human Torch later gained a sidekick in the form of a young human boy named Thomas Raymond, who had similar flame powers and went by Toro. The duo, along with Namor, teamed up with Captain America and other heroes during World War II to fight the Axis powers as The Invaders.

While most of the original Human Torch’s comic book history unfolded in stories set in the late 1930s and 1940s, he has appeared in various “modern” Marvel stories, having been reactivated by The Mad Thinker in Fantastic Four Annual #4. This Human Torch went on to be part of teams like the V-Battalion, West Coast Avengers and Secret Avengers, and he also worked as the chief of security for Oracle Inc., a short-lived company run by Namor. The Human Torch has frequently been destroyed and rebuilt, though a handful of times he’s been brought back is because of sinister parties that want to use him as a weapon. 

Marvel Comics artwork of Kang the Conqueror variant Victor Timely

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

How Victor Timely Is Connected To The Golden Age Human Torch

Although the android Human Torch doesn’t really share any direct history with Kang the Conqueror, the Victor Timely version of Kang (named after Timely Comics, the entity that would later become Marvel Comics) was an integral figure in Phineas Horton’s life, although this was established retroactively. In the comics, after experiencing numerous defeats, this version of Kang gave us trying to conquer the “present day” and decided to set up roots in 1901 so he could conquer Earth through more shadowy methods. 

As Victor Timely, this Kang not only founded the town of Timely, Wisconsin and became its mayor, he also established Timely Industries, a corporate empire that rivaled the ones Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had respectively built. He used his empire to construct Chronopolos, the city-state headquarters for all future versions of Kang to convene that was originally contained to the Wisconsin town, but later shifted to the outskirts of the timeless Limbo dimension.

By instilling fierce loyalty in the people of Timely, Wisconsin and the employees of Timely Industries, as well as manufacturing robot duplicates of himself to present Victor Timely as “aging” and then “dying” so that he could then present himself as Victor’s son, grandson, etc., the immortal Victor guaranteed control over his Timely assets and cemented the Timely "family" as an integral force in U.S. industry and technology development. By 1929, Victor met Phineas Horton and passed along key knowledge that would help Horton create The Human Torch a decade later. Unfortunately, that aid came at a cost, as Victor installed a backdoor that would allow him to control the android someday. In fact, Timely Industries’ robotics development became so widespread that Victor was able to take control of the Sentinels during the Kang Dynasty storyline.

Phineas Horton's "Synthetic Man" in Captain America: The First Avenger

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Will The Golden Age Human Torch And Victor Timely Be Connected In The MCU?

So now that we’ve gone over the comics history of both the original Human Torch and Victor Timely, will we see these two connected in the MCU? Before discussing that, it’s important to mention that along with Victor briefly appearing in Quantumania, we have also technically already seen The Human Torch in this franchise. During Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes visit the 1943 Stark Expo with their dates, and one of the things on display is Phineas Horton’s “Synthetic Man,” which looked just like Jim Hammond in his non-fiery state and was also encased with an oxygen-deprived glass tube (as seen above). Alas, this Synthetic Man did not move at all in the first Captain America movie, let alone catch on fire.

Still, there’s a chance that the original Human Torch could make a more official appearance in the MCU, right? Technically yes, but it’s doubtful. A Fantastic Four reboot in in development from director Matt Shakman and writers Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer, and obviously Johnny Storm will be one of its members just like in nearly every story centered on Marvel’s First Family. It might be too confusing to have two different Human Torches active at the same time, especially since outside of the shared superhero identity and powers, these two characters don’t share any major ties. You can be sure between the android Human Torch and the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch, the latter will be prioritized.

Besides, at this point we don’t even know how faithfully Jonathan Majors’ take on Victor Timely will be adapted from his comic book counterpart. All that’s been shared about him so far is he lives in the early 20th century and is trying to teach people about the true nature of time. This version of Victor may not have his own company, which would reduce the chances of him neutering a young Phineas Horton. Granted, the MCU could still figure out a way to include Horton in whatever narrative is being planned for Victor in Loki Season 2 or perhaps another project, but that doesn’t guarantee that The Human Torch will be involved. 

Still, if the day comes that it’s officially announced we’ll see the android variation of The Human Torch, whether he’s part of the Victor Timely story or pops up in a different corner of the MCU. Until then, fans of Johnny Storm can look forward to him appearing in the next Fantastic Four movie, which is set for February 14, 2025. Use your Disney+ subscription to watch the Marvel movies in order and check out the platform’s original Marvel shows while we wait for more MCU updates.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.