‘Quantumania’ Writer Jeff Loveness on the Classic Marvel Comics Villain Who Inspired His Take on Kang (Exclusive)

(L-R): Kathryn Newton and Screenwriter Jeff Loveness behind the scenes of Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2023 MARVEL.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania introduced audiences to one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic and disruptive villains in Kang the Conqueror. Played by Jonathan Majors, who previously appeared in Loki as a Variant of the character known as He Who Remains, Kang is a man with a deep belief that the atrocities he’s committing are for the greater good though he’s found himself with quite a bit of time to reflect after being exiled by other powerful Variants of himself.

This particular Variant of Kang, known as the Conqueror, has all the qualities of some of the great villains of all time, both fictional and historical, and is the kind of character writer Jeff Loveness has been hoping to create for some time.

While those historical figures provide a solid foundation for the character, Loveness also turned to one of Marvel Comics’ greatest villains for inspiration in fleshing out Kang.

I’m a deep comic book guy, too, it sounds like you are as well. I took a lot from obviously Kang in the comics but to me, the best version of this is Chris Claremont’s Magneto. That is a man who is on a crusade and your morality does not matter to him because he knows the deeper truth. You have not lived his life, you have not been through the things.

Jeff Loveness

Claremont took over writing duties on Marvel Comics X-Men in 1975 and created the now well-known backstory of Magneto as a survivor of the holocaust. Suffice to say, whatever it is that most folks know about Magneto is what Claremont added to him. Like Claremont’s Magneto, it seems that once the MCU’s Kang sets his sights on something, nothing short of death will stop him especially when, in this case, he realizes that the problem he’s trying to fix was caused by him(s).

There’s a line that Kang says, ‘When you can see time the way I do you don’t get to close your eyes,’ and there’s also a guilt to it as well because he says that time is broken. Janet challenges him and says well who broke it, and he says I did. And that’ll be something for Avengers or whatever, but he has almost this broken–he’s looking out the broken window of the multiverse and all of his Variants causing it, him causing it, and realizing…almost like America looking at climate change, ‘Oh boy, I think we left the A/C on a little too long. I think we better do something about this.’ He’s literally in a crusade against himself and his other selves didn’t like that too much, so they got rid of him.

Jeff Loveness

Quantumania served as a bit of an origin story for Kang, who Loveness seems to hint will return to face off with the Avengers despite the way things ended for him. According to Loveness, who is also writing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, that “origin” was a necessary part of the development of the character so fans get to know him before things get really wild. “Before it gets all crazy and multiversal, I wanted to spend a lot of time with the man” said Loveness, “because then I think we’ll be along for the ride a little more.” Given what was glimpsed in Quantumania’s mid and post credit scenes, it seems like it’s going to be one helluva crazy, multiversal ride.

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