New information from insider Daniel RPK seems to have indicated that a Variant of Kang known as Victor Timely is set to make his debut in the MCU in 2023. Via his Patreon, Daniel RPK shared that Loki Season 2 will feature another new Variant of Jonathan Majors‘ Kang who is “an inventor from the past wanting to buy stuff from people to affect the future.” Though RPK added he could not confirm that this Variant will be Victor Timely, speculation about the character has revolved around that identity. This isn’t the first time the character’s name has come up, either, given that the insider teased a mention or appearance of Timely in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Who is Victor Timely and why are so many fans sure this is him? Fascinating questions to which there are probably multiple great answers, to be sure, and while we can’t provide the correct answer we can theorize!
Who is Victor Timely?
Kang is a complex villain and the convoluted and continuous retconning of the character in the pages of Marvel Comics over the years has made a true understanding of him daunting. In one respect, that’s actually worked in the favor of those penning whatever the latest adventures of the character are because they can be as mysterious and crazy as they want given pretty much nobody knows exactly what went on with Kang to begin with and when time travel is involved, anything is possible…and that is the essence of Victor Timely.
Victor Timely’s origins come from a retcon to Kang’s story first published in 1992’s Avengers Annual #21. The issue tells the story of what happened following Kang’s first defeat at the hands of the Avengers. Kang retreated to the past, where under the alias of Victor Timely he founded a city and rose to fame as an inventor and industrialist. His work as Timely quietly shaped the century while he built a fantastical and quasi-temporal base of operations, Chronopolis, from where he could access timelines that other versions of himself had conquered. On Earth, Timely worked from a location–complete with a door that transported him to Chronopolis–and his advancements in technology ultimately put his products into every robot, cyborg and computer, allowing him full access to nearly every piece of technology on the Earth.
Why Does Victor Timely Make Sense for the MCU at This Point in Time?
The short answer is time. One of the reasons fans debated whether or not Kang would make for an appropriate villain in the MCU is the convoluted nature of the character’s comic book past. Marvel Studios seems to have addressed that fairly well in Season 1 of Loki by indicating that He Who Remains was the victor of a Multiversal War among Kangs who has since spent his time pruning timelines and making sure that the Multiverse doesn’t come back into existence and bring Kang Variants back with it. When Sylvie killed He Who Remains, it set loose a chain reaction of events (the repercussions of which will be explored in Season 2 of Loki) including the emergence of an infinite number of Kangs. It’s all pretty confusing, but by the time Loki Season 2 comes around, the Kang Variant that we are theorizing to be Victor Timely will have already lived a life full of experiences and opportunities we are unlikely to see in full on screen.
By following the rules of time travel and the Multiverse as they are currently understood, should a Kang Variant travel back in time (as Timely did in the comics), it would create a Nexus Event and a new timeline. The new future for the Variant, which takes place in the past, can’t change what happened on his old timeline, but it certainly can be conquered in the new timeline. So the Avengers may have beaten that Kang, but can they beat this Kang? And what is this Kang up to? The comics–and an Easter egg from Season 1 of Loki–could give some hints.
While the Variant of Kang set to appear in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, Kang the Conqueror, is stuck in the Quantum Realm, he also seems to have lived quite a life already and is well aware of his multiple pasts. It’s possible that this Variant is an older version of Victor Timely. In the comics, Timely traveled time to get a head start on the Avengers by cornering the market on technology while also secretly constructing Chronopolis from where he could access all timelines. The fantastical city within the Quantum Realm that’s been seen in promotional material for Quantumania is almost certainly Chronopolis and Kang almost certainly used it for its intended purposes for a long, long time before being trapped there. It’s possible that the Victor Timely Variant of Kang set to appear in Loki Season 2 is there, in part, to explain to audiences how Chronopolis came to be and to fill in the gaps about who the Conqueror that fans meet in Quantumania is.
If that half of Timely’s story could be adapted from the comics, the other half could be adapted just as easily. RPK’s information suggests that Timely is an inventor in the past and in a very Back to the Future twist (that’s Kevin Feige‘s favorite movie, by the way) is looking to impact the future. That future, a future in which Timely’s technology, not Tony Stark’s, is what drives the world may have already been glimpsed in the Void in Season 1 of Loki. The fifth episode of Season 1, entitled “Journey into Mystery”, revealed an alternate version of Stark Tower, Qeng Tower, had been cast into the Void following the reset of one timeline. That timeline would have been reset at the behest of He Who Remains, whose main purpose was to keep other Variants of himself from taking control. In the comics, Timely continued on by feigning death and “handing down” the company from Victor Timely to Jr. to III. It wouldn’t take much imagination to change it up in the MCU and have him “sell” the company to a new owner who might rename it Qeng.
So why is Victor Timely right for the MCU right now? Telling his story in Season 2 of Loki after meeting him in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania not only tells the past of the Conqueror trapped in Chronopolis but also why he’ll be a threat to the Avengers in the future as the man behind Qeng Enterprises.
What is Qenq Enterprises?
Qeng Enterprises appeared in just a couple of comics during Mark Waid‘s 2015 Avengers: Ultron Forever but could be set to play a much larger role in the MCU. In the comics, Qeng Enterprises was the Earth-bound base from which Kang planned to launch his New Qeng Dynasty. In the MCU, it could be the equivalent of the point from which he accessed Chronopolis in the comics and the temporal location that the Avengers choose to target him as he wages his Multiversal War. In Loki, the tower has clearly taken heavy damage and given the crazy time-traveling shenanigans in play now, fans may already have seen the outcome of the Avengers’ war on the Kang Dynasty in a blink-and-you-miss-it Easter egg.
Why is Kang Stuck in Chronopolis?
How does a man like Kang, who has conquered so many timelines become trapped in a city of his own design? in the comics, the ability to move discretely between timelines was powered by an object of unfathomable chronal power: the Forever Crystal. More than one theory has discussed the possibility that the Forever Crystal has already been seen in the promotional footage for Quantumania and that it is the McGuffin of that film. If Scott Lang retrieves the Forever Crystal for Kang, he could put into motion the events of The Kang Dynasty.
The Kang Variant known as Victor Timely sets up shop on Earth, shapes a century or two through his own technology while building and then using Chronopolis to conquer other timelines. At some point in his journey, he becomes trapped in the Quantum Realm. Once he escapes, hehas enough power and/or weapons at his disposal to take on the Avengers, who had previously defeated him, he launces his attack from Qenq Tower. Looping in a previous theory, the Avengers have acquired powerful weapons (potentially created by other Kang Variants) and defeat Kang. What impact could an assault on Qeng Tower and or Chronopolis have on the Multiverse? That’s a theory for another day.