Mischief Managed

Loki ending theory: Marvel has already revealed who will beat Kang

Wanda Maximoff could be the central hero of Marvel’s next cinematic saga.

If Kang the Conqueror is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new Thanos, who’s the franchise’s new Tony Stark?

In other words, who will be the hero capable of rising to defeat Kang? Loki Season 1 moves quickly to set up the Conqueror (played by Jonathan Majors) as an immensely powerful villain, and the show’s nonchalant treatment of Thanos’ beloved Infinity Stones establishes that Kang’s time-traveling abilities and expertise makes him an even more dangerous force than the Mad Titan.

Making matters worse: there’s not simply one Kang in the multiverse but countless Kangs, which makes defeating the villain feel like an especially daunting task. However, Kang isn’t the only powerful being in the MCU, nor the only one capable of bending reality to their will.

In fact, Marvel may have already subtly hinted at the character who’ll go on to take the greatest stand against Kang.

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision Episode 4.

Marvel Studios

Wanda’s Glorious Purpose — Before WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) had existed as a supporting player in the MCU.

But since her Disney+ series, the matter-manipulating Avenger has emerged as one of Marvel Studios' most interesting and powerful characters. WandaVision added further layers and emotional depth to the character and finally saw her assume her “Scarlet Witch” mantle from the comics.

Now, Wanda is set to appear in a major role in next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While the context of her role in that film is currently unknown, many believe Wanda will cause serious problems throughout the multiverse, likely while searching for her lost sons (as teased by the WandaVision finale). But what about Wanda’s presence in the MCU after Multiverse of Madness?

It seems unlikely that Marvel would simply remove Wanda from her position as a key player in the MCU so shortly after bringing the character into the spotlight. Between the Doctor Strange sequel and WandaVision, it’s practically guaranteed that the Scarlet Witch will be a prominent figure in the MCU for many years to come, which makes us wonder how she’ll factor into the multiversal Kang saga Marvel is setting up.

With that in mind, what if Wanda isn’t just a major player in the MCU’s next major event but also the hero at its very center? In other words, could Wanda be the biggest threat to Kang?

Jonathan Majors in Loki Episode 6.

Marvel Studios

A Match for Kang — In the comics, Kang the Conqueror is considered a Nexus being — i.e. someone capable of affecting the future, altering the flow of the time stream, and acting as an anchor in their home reality. Marvel has yet to confirm that Nexus beings exist in the MCU, but Loki introduced the concept of Nexus events, and WandaVision heavily hinted at both Nexus events and Nexus beings.

Not many beings are powerful enough to be considered Nexus beings in the comics. Kang is one, and Wanda Maximoff is another. That means that those two characters essentially carry the same amount of weight throughout the multiverse; assuming Wanda and Kang are both Nexus beings in the MCU, this puts the two of them on a level playing field (for the most part).

The final moments of Loki Season 1 establish that Kang is powerful enough to move through time quickly and efficiently enough to rewrite entire timelines on his own. A multiversal war between multiple Kangs is apparently dangerous enough that it could bring an end to reality. Taking all that into account, what hero is better-equipped to battle Kang than Wanda, a hero capable of changing reality?

Wanda was one of the mightiest heroes in Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — WandaVision’s quality may have dipped in its second half, but Elizabeth Olsen’s performance as Wanda remained one of the series’ most undisputed strengths. Watching Olsen depict the character’s grappling with trauma and all-consuming grief was truly special and reminiscent of how it felt to watch Robert Downey Jr. debut as Tony Stark back in 2008.

With WandaVision, Olsen proved herself more than capable of leading the next chapter of the MCU, a position that Marvel desperately needs to fill now that both Downey’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America are gone.

Much like how Iron Man served as the first installment of Marvel’s Infinity Saga, WandaVision was the first outing for a multiversal saga we’re about to see play out. That could just be a coincidence, but it seems unlikely that Marvel’s going anywhere fast without Wanda Maximoff leading the charge.

Loki is streaming now on Disney+.

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