Lost Legends

'Loki' season 2: the five Kang variants you need to know

“if you think I'm evil, well, just wait till you meet my variants.”

Loki has gone past the threshold. The cat is out of the bag, the toothpaste out of the tube, and Kang variants are very much loose in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When Sylvie plunged her sword into He Who Remains’ stomach, it changed everything, irreversibly so. The only thing to do now is brace for chaos.

Judging by the Time Variance Authority’s new look, part of preparing for what comes next will mean getting to know Kang the Conqueror and the many forms he’s taken within Marvel comics. Infinite Kangs exist in the MCU, but here are the ones you need to worry about.

Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.

1. Kang Prime

Kang Prime in Uncanny Avengers #12.Marvel Comics

When you think of “Kang the Conqueror,” this is probably the guy you’re thinking of. Born as Nathaniel Richards in the 31st century (and possibly a descendant of Reed Richards), Richards existed in a multiverse where the Dark Ages never happened, meaning he’s been able to master time travel and become a global dictator, reigning over his empire for years.

This is probably the Kang who just took over the TVA, since Majors has been announced to be playing “Kang the Conqueror” in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — and not one of his many variants or aliases.

2. Immortus

In Giant-Size Avengers #4, Immortus actually officiated the wedding between Vision and Scarlet Witch. Marvel Comics

Immortus is the major antihero of the Kang variants. Though he positioned himself as an ally to the Avengers in the comics, this villain constantly had ulterior motives. (Once a Kang, always a Kang.) He’s clashed with Kang Prime. He played the long game with Vision and Scarlet Witch, manipulating them like a chess grandmaster. If the comics are to be believed, he’s the sole reason those two fell in love.

Immortus is also the founder of the Council of Kangs, a conglomerate of Kang variants. Ever the manipulator, Immortus used his other selves to his advantage, only to later kill all his self-allies. Immortus would certainly be a terrifying addition to the MCU.

3. Iron Lad

Nathaniel Richards as Iron Lad in Young Avengers #3.Marvel Comics

What if you discovered you were doomed to become a horrible evil space- and time-traveling dictator, and had little control over the matter? Now, imagine you’re dealing with all of that plus a hearty dose of teenage angst.

Those circumstances once produced Iron Lad, a member of the Young Avengers who had to deal with both his hypothetical future self and the very real villain Kang, who inevitably came back through time to meet his younger variant.

4. Scarlet Centurion

The Scarlet Centurion in Avengers Annual #2.Marvel Comics

Scarlet Centurion is the result of Kang’s Dr. Doom phase. He once wanted to be like the famous Fantastic Four villain after running into him while using the Egyptian alias Rama-Tut. His main threat to the Avengers involved using time travel to get into their minds, including forcing them back into 1944, only for them to return back to an alternate version of Earth.

Scarlet Centurion was eventually abandoned as a failed experiment, and Kang returned to his Rama-Tut persona, but perhaps this different look would make for a visually distinctive variant to appear on Loki.

5. Kang-aroo the Conqueror

Kang-aroo the Conqueror in Spider-Ham #4.Marvel Comics

Look, we got a Loki-gator, why not a Kang-aroo the Conqueror? Yes, his inclusion in Spider-Ham was mostly a joke, but there’s definite precedent for animal variants in the MCU — just look at Throg! Loki Season 2 will definitely need a way to communicate just how varied an infinite amount of Kang variants can be. Why not use an obnoxious Australian hopping mammal?

Loki is now streaming on Disney+.