Why Kang Matters

Make Way for the Bad Guy

It’s A Wonderful World

We live in a wild time. Artificial Intelligence is (alive) and well, real-life geopolitics is as close to fiction as it’s ever been, cars are self-driving (and self-crashing) and we got to witness the largest bag fumble in recent Black history, the ousting of Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror. Not only is Majors as phenomenally talented as he is troubled, but it is also genuinely sad to not see him do this character justice; this should do nothing to undermine just how important Kang is to the Marvel Universe at large and the MCU itself.

To put this whole thing in perspective, please know that there’s a huge gap between the publication history of Marvel Comics and the media inspired by them. What we’ll need to do is scale the impact of Kang’s legacy so y’all see what we might miss out on if Kang is ripped out of the MCU.

The Wonder Years

An entire generation of self-professed geeks, nerds, Blerds, and everyone in between have had the experience of a decade of bangers that redefined genre as it exists and cinema itself. From 2008’s Iron Man through to 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, the ‘Infinity Saga’ had its foot on our collective necks from scene one. The whole world rallied behind it, and for a time, it was good. What made the ‘Infinity Saga’ so compelling was the consistent and shadowy presence of some villain behind the scenes, pulling the strings. That…Was Thanos. He was the ‘big bad’ for so long in the MCU that the character was thoroughly elevated in the zeitgeist. Thanos and ‘the snap’ became household names everywhere because of it. All of the fanfare, the prestige, the memes, and the merch – all of it, exists because those movies (and Josh Brolin’s performance) made him out to be one of the best villains ever.

Thanos GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Thanos being all Thanos-y.

The Supergoat

Kang is who people think Thanos is. On the other side of the pop culture strata, readers of comics know that Thanos is legitimately formidable in every way. Strong, tactical, scientifically minded, and arrogant as a Wall Street trader in the 80s, but he ain’t anywhere near as insidious, calculating, or omnipresent as Kang The(e) Conqueror.

Kang is really him. Kang is who people think Batman is. In the last twenty years or so, whenever the DC fandom cooks up a hypothetical involving Batman, it comes down to the same thing, “How much prep time does he get?” So, Batman’s defining trait is that given enough time he can prepare for ANYTHING. Add to that Batman’s deep-seated paranoia and trauma-based insomnia, and he’s got unlimited ‘time’. Meanwhile, Kang has ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD. Literally. So, in comparison, the question for Kang’s potential becomes, “What can’t he do with all that time?” Sway ain’t got the answers for this one either.

Valley of the Kangs

What folks don’t know is that Kang is time. With nothing but his brain and an insatiable need to be right, this man is one of the most diabolical, paradoxical, and fully realized characters in the Marvel Universe. For clarity, Kang is both the descendant of and is Nathaniel Richards. He’s if ‘the chicken or the egg’ was a person. Hailing from the 30th century, he finds the instruction manual for a time machine and travels throughout the boundless multiverse out of sheer boredom. He is the embodiment of two (million) things happening at once. He’s ‘the dude playing the dude, disguised as another dude.’ Kang’s whole deal is that he has gone back and forth through time so much that he’s created thousands of divergent timelines that then branched into thousands more. There are so many versions of him out there that he actually exists EVERYWHERE. [See almost every version below]

Let’s say you find a reality where Peter Parker is Black, lives in The Bronx, and has Timbs as a part of his costume. Kang is there somewhere, making a chopped cheese that tastes exactly like a bacon, egg, and cheese – and this sandwich will help him, somehow, rule the timeline.

Forever? Or Fornever?

Kang always has an agenda. As time goes on and writers design more and more lore – we find that Kang is the Kevin Bacon of this shit. Better yet, that Kang is the Kevin Bacon of his own existence. In 2021, the comics had him retcon [to change a previously established narrative ] his publication history, by having the oldest version of himself send the youngest version of himself through every major divergent version of his many identities. So now, he doesn’t only exist everywhere and everywhen – but all these versions know each other and can communicate! That’s game, set, match on anything. No one can honestly step to this man, because he cannot play fair. You know how the X-Men might (definitely will) jump you in a fight? Kang will jump you with different versions of himself at the designated time, at the designated place, and designate yo ass. And each version will leave you on the floor leaking on their way to the next scheme like nothing happened.

Kang weaving
Cap’s arms are too short to high box with Kang! He’s monologuing through the blows!

If Marvel Studios chooses not to recast Kang for the foreseeable future, we will have missed out on exploring one of the greatest literary villains in cinematic history. Here’s to hoping they recast and keep the legacy of Kang going.

(Shoutout to whoever can name the artist’s album titles I used for the headings!)

Want to get Black Nerd Problems updates sent directly to you? Sign up here! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram!


  • Poet, MC, Nerd, All-Around Problem. Lover of words, verse, and geek media from The Bronx, NYC.

  • Show Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *