Jeff Loveness had the challenge of truly introducing audiences to the main big bad of Marvel Studios’ Multiverse Saga. While we did get a glimpse of what Jonathan Majors has to offer in the season finale of Loki, we’re only now truly entering the age of Kang. So, the writer had quite the unique challenge ahead of himself to not only avoid clichés but also humanize a character that is bigger than one timeline.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Loveness revealed that he wanted to avoid repeating the time travel elements that were already explored in Avengers: Endgame by giving us a very different kind of villain. Instead of one just on the edge of success, we meet one that has lost everything he had.
With Kang, the danger was falling into another derivative time-travel multiverse villain. Endgame just did a time-travel plot in their movie, and there’s been plenty of time-traveling multiverse guys. And so I thought it would be interesting to approach the character first before we get to the more grandiose sci-fi elements of him. Peyton and I stumbled across the idea of Napoleon in exile, where he’s cut off from most of his time powers. We catch him at the end of a story that we just don’t know about yet. Guys like Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar are defined just as much by their defeats as they are their victories, and so I thought it would be humanizing to show a Kang who’s just been defeated. He’s like a Julius Caesar who was just assassinated by fifty other Julius Caesars and sent away. Or he’s like Alexander who has just been turned back at India and has lost the worlds that he conquered.Jeff Loveness
The comparison to Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great is also quite fitting given the version of the character we meet in this film. He’s lost everything and is dedicated to retrieving it at any cost possible. It definitely gives him an edge, as he tries to stay true to his iconic name and highlights just how dangerous he’ll truly be the moment we enter his cage.
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights was an example I tried to use. I wanted more of a tortured anti-hero. I was a big X-Men guy growing up, and there’s no fictional character I love more than Chris Claremont’s Magneto. He wrote that character for like 40 years and put him through so many seasons of his life. And so just to write this Kang the Conqueror as a lion during winter felt like a really interesting place to begin with him. We can get his ethos and his passion, and then, by the time we see him or another variant of him again, we’ll have more room to play with him because we’ll know his vibe.Jeff Loveness
It’s definitely an interesting approach and also highlights just how varied these characters can be. With a multiversal storyline, Kang right is the most diverse version of the main villain we’ll get in the MCU moving forward, and it’ll be interesting to see what other versions we may see.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter