Iron Man hinted at the arrival of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next big bad in the time-traveling villain Kang The Conqueror in Avengers: Endgame.
The arrival of Thanos’ possible replacement villain, Kang the Conqueror in the MCU was foreshadowed by Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame. It’s not until several years later when it became clear that Thanos was Marvel Studios’ overall villain for the Infinity Saga, but things may be different moving forward with reports that the franchise is set to bring in the Mad Titan’s replacement through the time-traveling antagonist played by Jonathan Majors. Prior to news breaking out of Kang’s arrival, however, Tony Stark has already hinted at his introduction.
Known as the futurist, Iron Man was the first MCU hero who foresaw the imminent threat brought by Thanos. While this has resulted in a couple of questionable decisions from him including the creation of Ultron, he ultimately proved himself correct once the Mad Titan officially made his presence known in Avengers: Infinity War. Had the Avengers listened to his warning, they might have been able to be better prepared for the villain’s onslaught. Given this, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he also anticipated Kang’s eventual MCU arrival in the universe after their time-traveling shenanigans in Endgame.
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As one of the main proponents of the time heist, Tony knew that the mission was not without risks. This was why he was initially against the idea when it was pitched to him. But, once he found a way to make it work, he was compelled to join the mission, especially since it could bring back Spider-Man who died in the final moments of Infinity War. Shortly after the Avengers pulled off the time heist and successfully brought back those who perished from the Infinity War snap, 2014 Thanos attacked, blindsiding the heroes. At one point in Endgame, a baffled Captain America asked Iron Man what happened, to which Tony replies: “you mess with time, it tends to mess back.” Granted that at this point, the commotion was due to the Mad Titan coming for the Avengers from a different timeline, this proves that Iron Man was aware that their time-hopping activities will have repercussions which may very well include the arrival of Kang who’s villainy is defined by time travel.
Born in the 30th Century, Kang the Conqueror is a genius who conquers worlds throughout time after he gained access to a time machine. An ancestor of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, the antagonist has taken many other forms, but his primary modus operandi has largely remained the same. Since Endgame firmly established that the concept of time travel in the MCU is possible, Kang being the franchise’s next big bad makes sense. Like Iron Man’s vision of Thanos coming in to wreak havoc in the MCU, he may not have specifically known Kang and his existence, but he anticipated that someone like him will find his way to the MCU as part of the consequences of their decision to mess with the natural order of things via the time heist.
While Tony is no longer around to spearhead the mission against Kang the Conqueror moving forward, the MCU is not short on heroes who can take over the leadership spot he vacated following his death in Avengers: Endgame. Doctor Strange is the most obvious choice to lead the way considering his ties to the Time Stone, not to mention access to the multiverse. There’s also Ant-Man, whose films deal with the same concepts thanks to the Pym Particles and Quantum Realm, as well; no wonder Kang is rumored to debut in Ant-Man 3 instead of other future Marvel Studios projects.
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Key Release Dates
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Feb 11, 2022
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
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