The presentation of the great antagonist of the Saga of the Multiverse has left much to be desired for a sector of the fandom from Marvel. This has nothing to do with the performance of Jonathan Majors—who hasn’t received more praise since he joined the MCU—but rather with the fate of Kang’s variants at the end of his first appearances in Season 1 of Loki and in ant man 3.
In contrast to Thanos, whose first encounter with The Avengers ended in a landslide victory, both the “He Who Remains” variant and Kang the Conqueror fell relatively easily to our heroes. In the first case it can be justified since that death means the reopening of the Multiverse and the repetition of the apparently inexorable cycle of the Multiversal War, but why have another variant of the character so fearsome be defeated by Scott Lang and company?
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In an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporterscreenwriter Jeff Loveness elaborated on the decision to go the other way with Kang in the Marvel Studios movies.
“I think you support someone who knows defeat. Thanos says that he knows what it’s like to lose, but we never see him lose until the end of [Avengers] end game. All he does is get rid of the people he loves and beat Thor up,” explained the former writer of rick and morty. “It’s a risk, and we certainly got criticized a bit. But I’m willing to bet we’ll end up empathizing more with a guy we’ve seen stumble and fall, like Chris Claremont’s Magneto in the comics. X Men. That guy loses a lot, and we see how much pain he’s been through. So when he really unleashes that anger, we’re on his side and we understand it. So I think we’re allowed to have a villain take a few losses along the way, while [las variantes de Kang] They make their way up.”
However, examples of antagonists endearing themselves to the public after multiple defeats are not exclusive to comics. Loveness cites one of the most beloved characters in the MCU as proof: Loki.
“Loki also loses pretty hard in that first movie of Thor, so by the time he returns, we know more about his suffering”, comments the screenwriter. “But again, the big distinction between Thanos and Kang is that Kang is more of a human being. His defeat was a way of showing that humanity and his never-ending passion. If you go back to the comics, you can beat Thanos once, and that’s the end of the day. Kang is not a guy you can beat once; it is an existential problem. And then, he doesn’t care if he loses because if he has something left over, it’s time.
A rumor that has gained strength in recent days is that Kang the Conqueror was victorious in the original ending of ant man 3. An October 2022 leak has every plot detail correct for Quantumaniaexcept for its outcome. In that sense, there was reshoots of the film last January and some of the images captured correspond precisely to the conclusion of the cut that we saw in theaters. Despite this, Loveness denies that this was the case.
“Certainly, we thought of a lot of scenarios, but it felt a bit obvious. It’s up for debate, but it seemed like we’d be copying Thanos’ approach where he comes in pretty powerful and wipes the floor with everyone. Certainly, I see the criticism and all that, but this is a multi-chapter story that we’re telling. It’s also an ant movie,” he mentioned with a laugh.
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For Marvel, the priority was to create a classic adventure film with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is why a darker ending seemed out of place. Nonetheless, he promises that Kang will rack up some Avengers kills as the Multiverse Saga progresses.
I think people say they want [un final trágico], but do you really want to see Paul Rudd get killed off in his third movie? Everything was debated, discussed and put on the table, but in The Wizard of Oz you don’t want to see Dorothy die and never come home. It is supposed to be one of these classic adventure movies, ”she justified. “If they eat everyone in Jurassic ParkI don’t know if you want to see the next one Jurassic Park. But I wouldn’t worry too much about the number of Kang killed. He’s going to rack up some kills as he goes along.”
In that sense, Jeff Loveness is already working with director Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Kevin Feige to outline the great crossover Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Do you have any preview to share about it?
“It’s hard to even say. I think I’m at the stage of jet lag of the press tour, but we are working on it. destiny [Daniel Cretton] is incredible. I have had conversations with Jonathan [Majors] about where he wants to take the character, so it’s still very early days. We have like 40 more movies before we get there, but we certainly have a plan. We are all very excited about the story we are preparing, ”he concluded.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania continues in theaters.
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