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The Kang Theory That Changes Everything About Spider-Man: No Way Home

Despite numerous excellent Marvel Cinematic Universe entries arriving on screens big and small throughout 2021, this year will go down in history as the year of Spider-Man. For months on end, the third Tom Holland-led Spidey flick, "Spider-Man: No Way Home," has captivated the Marvel fandom, and it's not hard to see why. Multiple actors are reprising their roles as Spidey villains from previous films, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will play a big hand in the story, and rumors persist that both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire will come back as their respective versions of Peter Parker.

So, how did a movie about the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man turn into a timeline-colliding, universe-melding epic such as this? Well, the answers lie in the Disney+ favorites, "WandaVision" and "Loki," which collectively introduced concepts like the multiverse, Nexus Beings, Variants, and more — opening up a cosmic can of worms that now the Sorcerer Supreme and the web-slinger have no choice but to deal with as a team. However, "No Way Home" may just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the MCU's heroes will have to contend with in the years to come.

According to MCU fans on Reddit, the plot point of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" may point to a scheme concocted by the devious Kang the Conqueror. Here's how.

Is Kang behind the influx of villains in No Way Home?

Kang the Conqueror reemerged at the tail end of "Loki" following the death of his own Variant, He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). The timeline-hopping villain has more than lived up to his namesake — taking over as many alternate universes as possible and displaying little interest in giving up his sinister hobby. Therefore, as Redditor TheMediocreCritic posits, is Kang the reason why numerous Spider-Man-specific foes are converging on the main MCU Earth in "No Way Home"? Is he using them as pawns to eliminate Spidey and move one step further in priming this timeline for his arrival?

"He is essentially "pruning" the branches in his own way, not eradicating the timeline but 'editing' it to suit his needs," they write, explaining why these Spider-Man enemies would even want to join in Kang's cause. "Kang plucked these Villians out of their respective timelines at the moments of their deaths and gave them a choice. Go back and die in their own universes or... kill Spider-man and be restored to your timelines with a few perks," is what they claim Kang's ultimatum could be, thus incentivizing the likes of Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and the others to get the job done.

While we certainly haven't seen the last of Kang the Conqueror in the MCU, it's unknown if he'll participate in an already busy "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in any capacity. We'll all just have to get to our local theaters as soon as the film premieres and find out for ourselves.