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How Many Variants Of Kang Exist In Marvel's History?

Kang the Conqueror is one of the most interesting comic book characters to date. Because of his fixation with time travel, the Marvel character has seen numerous additions to his biography since his initial introduction in 1963's "Fantastic Four" #19, altering his past, present, and future. 

Originally introduced as Rama-Tut, a criminal from the future who traveled back in time to conquer Ancient Egypt, comic book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to expand on the villain. After his initial defeat by the Fantastic Four, Rama-Tut flees Egypt in his time ship, jumping back to the future, the year 4000, becomes Kang the Conqueror, and returns to the present day to take on the Avengers in "The Avengers" #8.

That's honestly the loosest origin we can give you for Kang the Conqueror. Because he time travels so much, and because comics are so complicated, there are technically an infinite number of Kangs out there. Many of them pop up here and there, and some are much more popular than others, but with the Marvel Multiverse in play, Kang has a staggering amount of variants, spanning across comics, movies, and TV shows. 

With Jonathan Majors set to play him in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" as he is officially introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let's take a look at some of his variants throughout Marvel's history.

Marvel Comics Prime Kang the Conqueror

As mentioned above, Marvel Comics first introduced Kang as Rama-Tut, a futuristic criminal who went back in time to conquer Egypt. Although this was his original beginning, he's received a few rewrites and retcons. 

The comic book Kang the Conqueror that we know is Nathaniel Richards, a descendant of Mr. Fantastic Reed Richards' time-traveling father. Nathaniel lives in the 31st century and, in "Fantastic Four" #273,  decides to use the time-traveling technology created by Dr. Doom to go back in time and conquer Egypt, becoming the Pharaoh Rama-Tut, another version of Kang. After being defeated by the Fantastic Four, Nathaniel meets Doom in the 20th century, who inspires him to create his iconic suit of armor. Nathaniel then attempts to go home to his time but overshoots it and ends up in the 40th century, where he easily conquers the now war-torn Earth. He dubs himself Kang the Conqueror and leaves his dying world to rule earlier versions of the planet. 

This version of Kang the Conqueror is the iconic one that comic book fans know and love. He's most known as a recurring villain for both The Avengers and The Fantastic Four. Each time he fought either group, he created alternate versions of himself. This culminated in the Prime Kang creating the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, a group of, you guessed it, multiversal Kangs who ruled over the multiverse before the Prime Kang destroyed them.

Kang looks to conquer the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The newly released "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" trailer gives Marvel fans their best look at the MCU's Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors. 

Majors technically debuted as a version of Kang in the Season 1 finale of "Loki." In the episode, Majors plays a man known as He Who Remains, the mastermind behind the Time Variance Authority and protector of the Sacred Timeline. This version of Kang, like Immortus, who we'll get to in a bit, is an older, future version of Kang the Conqueror. He has a vast knowledge of the lives of previous variants of himself, and his death at the hands of Sylvie seemed to set the events of the MCU's Multiverse Saga in motion.

Fans will next see him in the upcoming "Ant-Man" threequel, where Majors looks to be playing Kang the Conqueror in his prime. The trailer even confirms that he will don his iconic suit of armor, giving Kang his iconic blue face — no, Kang is not a blue-faced alien. It's just the helmet he wears. 

We don't know much about the MCU's Kang. Thanks to He Who Remains, we know that each Kang has memories of other versions of himself. The leaked trailer from D23, which Marvel has since scrubbed from the internet, confirmed this with a clip of Kang recalling killing a multiversal version of Ant-Man. It'll be interesting to see what Marvel Studios does with the character's origins. They seem to be setting up the Young Avengers, which leaves the door open for another multiversal Kang.

Kang joined the Young Avengers as Iron Lad

Earth-6311, an alternate universe that never went through the Dark Ages, is brought to peace by Nathaniel Richards, the Prime Kang. Later, another Nathaniel Richards is born on Earth-6311, said to be a descendant of the Prime Kang, but that lineage gets a little confusing. 

First appearing in "Young Avengers" #1, Nathaniel Richards is a genius kid who gets rescued from a bully by Kang the Conqueror, his future self. Kang gifts Nathaniel a suit of armor and shows him his future, destined to fight against the Avengers. Nathaniel wants no part of that future and uses his new time-traveling suit to go to Earth-616. He finds Avengers Mansion destroyed, and in his search for Tony Stark, he finds Vision's remains. He downloads Vision's memories and finds files on potential Avengers recruits: Eli Bradley, Teddy Altman, and Billy Kaplan. Nathaniel finds each of them and creates the Young Avengers with Bradley as Patriot, Altman as Hulkling, Kaplan as Asgardian, and himself as Iron Lad. 

While Iron Lad eventually returned to his original time, Nathaniel began traversing the multiverse, attempting to stop all versions of Kang the Conqueror. He went on to feature in the large comic book storylines "Children's Crusade" and "Original Sin." 

Iron Lad and the Young Avengers quickly became fan favorites, so fans hope that the MCU gets their version of this team, potentially featuring a younger Nathaniel Richards.

Immortus is the Kang that watches over the other Kangs

The Kang timeline gets even more complicated with Immortus. An older version of Kang grew tired of ruling his empire, which had grown so large that he didn't participate in any battles. Instead, in "Avengers Forever" #9, Nathaniel decides to return to a simpler life in Egypt as the Pharaoh Rama-Tut, leaving his empire to his lover. Eventually, Rama-Tut returns to the present day to help the Avengers stop Kang, introducing himself to his younger self as Immortus. Although both Kang and Immortus were different versions of the same character, after the events of "Destiny War," the two are split.

Immortus then began studying Limbo and joined the Time-Keepers to further explore the alternate dimension and time itself. They tasked him with watching over past versions of himself and altering the course of history so that the Time-Keepers remained at the end of time. This version of Kang the Conqueror served as the inspiration behind He Who Remains in "Loki." 

Immortus has the richest history among all the Kang variants. He featured in many different comic arcs, serving as an enemy to the Avengers in some and an ally in others. He manipulated Iron Man resulting in "The Crossing" storyline, served as the primary antagonist during "Destiny War," and turned ally in "Uncanny Avengers" #5, which led to the "Avenge the Earth" storyline.

Kid Immortus is here for a short, but fun time

To make the timeline just a bit more confusing, there's another version of Kang that's a mix of Iron Lad and Immortus, known as Kid Immortus. First appearing in "FF" Vol. 2 #8, Kid Immortus came to be after Nathaniel Richard/Iron Lad left Earth-616 to return to his world. Tired of fighting against his destiny to become a villain, Nathaniel decides to get a jump on his future and turn evil earlier. He studies his own destiny and adopts the moniker Kid Immortus. He's informed of another Kang that fused with Dr. Doom and Annihilus to become Doom the Annihilating Conqueror and traveled back in time to convince Doom to do this earlier.

In an attempt to defeat the Fantastic Four earlier, Kid Immortus travels back in time, but Doom rejects his many attempts to merge. Kid Immortus, Doom, and Annihilus worked together to plan the Fantastic Four's downfall, but the Future Foundation (FF) thwarted their plans. When the FF attacked the villains, Doom again refused to fuse with Kid Immortus and Annihilus, deeming them inferior. Instead, he turned on both of them and fought them and the FF. Kid Immortus was knocked out but rescued and returned to his original time. He would later accept his destiny, becoming Rama-Tut, Kang the Conqueror, and Immortus.

Many more Kangs exist throughout Marvel's history, and with every new comic, movie, show, and video game, another one is added to the fold.