Kang's Ant-Man 3 Fate Proves The Multiverse Is Still Ruining MCU Villains

Contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania"

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" may be named after two very particular Marvel Cinematic Universe superheroes and the playground they haunt in this particular movie, but the star attraction of the film is the character whose name is conspicuously absent from the title. Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) is a big deal in the movie, and poised to become a far bigger deal in the immediate future ... and present ... and past. The timeline-hopping Kang has tested higher with viewers than any other MCU villain so far, and Majors brings the time-displaced variant of the character to life with a combination of a larger-than-life presence and subtle, threatening nuance. 

Kang's conquering ways have put the entire Quantum Realm in jeopardy, and it takes a full-on revolution to take him down ... along with a civilization of technologically advanced ants, and the combined might of MODOK (Corey Stoll) and every Pym particle-powered superhero out there. Despite this strong showing, the "Quantumania" Kang eats a loss in the end — and the way the movie treats the character is a huge mistake that severely undermines the MCU. Here's why. 

Two Kang appearances, two easily beaten Kangs

As MCU aficionados know, the "Quantumania" Kang isn't the first version of the character in this ever-expanding universe. In 2021, the Season 1 finale of MCU Disney+ show "Loki" introduced us to He Who Remains (Majors), the gleefully trollish yet immensely powerful leader of the Time Variance Authority. The character allows Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) to kill him with no resistance, thus unleashing the Multiverse and, it turns out, letting the other Kang variants run amok. 

Though it has its serious moments, "Loki" is a fairly comedic show, and He Who Remains' unassuming end definitely calls Kang's sturdiness to question. Likewise, Ant-Man might be reasonably powerful, but despite his multiple accomplishments, he's still one of the MCU's less serious characters whose previous movies have largely acted as low-stakes palate cleansers between cosmic films where the fates of entire worlds hang on balance. As Kang himself notes, Ant-Man is still the guy who talks to ants — and losing to him and his friends is a huge defeat for a guy who we're supposed to believe has single-handedly destroyed entire timelines.

Still, even this considerable loss wouldn't necessarily hurt the "Quantumania" Kang, if it wasn't for the fact that the Big Bad of the current MCU arc can barely touch the heroes himself.

Kang's failure to inflict any real damage on the heroes undermines the villain

Thanos' (Josh Brolin) first physical acts in "Avengers: Infinity War" are beating up the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and killing Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Compare that to "Quantumania's" Kang variant, who doesn't even manage to kill a powerless Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) — a guy who's roughly half his size, significantly weaker, and has comparatively little combat training – with his bare hands, and you'll see the problem. The second a Kang variant like this would meet someone like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) or even Spider-Man (Tom Holland), he'd be toast. How is he going to pose a threat to the entire Multiverse, especially since he specifically mentions that many other timelines have their versions of Avengers as well? How did he manage to defeat them in the first place?

No matter how great a performance Majors gives, and how many neat devices and cool light shows Kang can whip out in a fight, it's all for naught if he can't cause any real trouble to the heroes. "Quantumania" was arguably his first and last handy chance to establish himself as a legitimate threat, too. The movie has an overabundance of protagonists, many of whom have little to no impact in the grand scheme of MCU's Avengers-sized things. Despite this, Kang barely slaps them around some, and even Scott's fully healed from the beating he received by the end of the movie. 

Ideally (if heartbreakingly), "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" would have established the immediate danger Kang poses by having him kill at least one of the heroes, instead of just mowing down random aliens we barely even met. As it stands, however, the MCU has some pretty heavy lifting to do if it wants to make us believe that the thousands of Kangs out there are a bigger physical danger than, say, Ultron's (James Spader) neverending supply of drone bodies.