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Could Kang The Conqueror Defeat The MCU's Thanos?

As Marvel Studios gears up for the final entries in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Five will kick off with "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," and the film's official trailer finally gives us a glimpse of the new threat on the playing field: Kang the Conqueror. First played by Jonathan Majors on the Disney+ series "Loki," Kang will be the new big bad of the MCU and the ultimate villain its heroes will have to defeat in the next "Avengers" films.

The entire gimmick the character is based around is that he's not just one person, but infinite people from infinite universes, all warring against each other to take control of all existence. In other words, we haven't yet seen the versions of Kang who are going to cause real trouble.

While Kang has drawn a lot of excitement from fans, is he really more of a threat to the MCU than Thanos (Josh Brolin)? After all, when Thanos came to town, he wiped out half of all life in the universe, including multiple Avengers. So who would win in a battle between Kang the Conqueror and Thanos, the Mad Titan?

Kang has no powers of his own

When it comes to unarmed combat with no tricks allowed, there's little reason to think Thanos would lose against Kang. His physiology evolved on the world of Titan, and he is already a widely feared conqueror of planets way before he ever gets the powers of the Infinity Stones. In "Avengers: Infinity War," we see him dispose of gods like Loki (Tom Hiddleston) without breaking a sweat, and even taking Thor's ax, Stormbreaker, to the chest only slows him down. Kang, by contrast, is a mere human. If the two of them were to do unarmed battle with nothing but their fists, Kang would undoubtedly be in for a bruising.

However, with Kang wielding his 31st-century technology and Thanos donning the Infinity Gauntlet, it would be a more even match. Kang's technology, as depicted in Marvel comics, is leagues ahead of anything available in the present day, meaning he'd stand a better chance against the Mad Titan than Earth's mightiest heroes. From his abilities to travel through both time and the Multiverse to the powers granted by his battle armor, he would be able to confront Thanos at the Titan's weakest moments.

When the MCU's Avengers take Thanos on at the height of his power, they nearly succeed in stopping him multiple times, first on Titan and later on Earth during the Battle of Wakanda. Only when Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse his own defeat is he able to obtain the Mind Stone and finally execute half of all life in the universe. Even then, he cannot keep the Avengers from using time travel to goad him into one more confrontation, which he ultimately loses. Against Kang, a time-traveling villain, Thanos would be routed before he even knows a battle is coming.

Kang and Thanos are both tacticians, but Kang has the edge with time travel

Kang's main power in the comics is his ability to time travel. An accomplished scientist, Nathaniel Richards — Kang's real name, and yes, the father of Reed Richards — invents a time machine, which he uses to travel to ancient Egypt and rule over the land as Pharaoh Rama-Tut (via Marvel Database). Consistently throughout the comics, he's proven himself to be a master strategist who's willing to play the long game to achieve his domination over all existence. Thanos, too, knows how to get what he wants, and his main asset in that arena is his sheer determination. There's nothing he won't do to win, even if it means sacrificing his own daughter.

Kang is first introduced in the MCU as He Who Remains, a variant who created the Time Variance Authority to stop his Multiversal selves from dominating the Multiverse. Using a TemPad, Kang is able to harness the power of time travel and the Multiverse and has even gained near omniscience, meaning he knows nearly everything that will happen throughout time. And as that version of Kang informs Loki, he's not even close to the worst version of himself.

Meanwhile, it takes time travel to finally vanquish Thanos in "Avengers: Endgame." And Kang wouldn't need to face Thanos at his most powerful since he could pick any point in time to attack from. In fact, he might not need to face Thanos at all. Why not simply destroy Titan before Thanos is even born? Or kill his father?

There are infinite Kangs, who could either aid or attack each other

As Kang, then going by the moniker He Who Remains, explains to Loki in the Season 1 finale of "Loki," there are infinite versions of himself scattered across the Multiverse, many of whom are hell-bent on conquering every universe in existence. However, they will temporarily team up to take out a shared threat before fighting among themselves once more. Thanos, on the other hand, doesn't concern himself with other universes or variants of himself, with his goal being to kill half of all life in his universe of origin.

If multiple Kangs ally against Thanos, they'd easily outnumber the purple-chinned tyrant. Not only would they be able to coordinate their attacks across time, space, and universes, but they'd also be sharing technology from all those places. Even if Thanos defeats a hundred versions of Kang, a hundred more would take their place, and he would lose the odds eventually. It would be game over for the Mad Titan.

On the other hand, if Kang gets unlucky and has to fight both Thanos and other versions of himself, he'd almost certainly lose — although to be fair, he'd mostly be losing to himself, not to Thanos. Ultimately, while a hypothetical conflict would be tough for both parties, Kang's advantages against Thanos would be more than enough to tip the scales in his favor.