Here’s the make-or-break point. The MCU has set Kang up as the next Big Baddie. Functionally, he’s Thanos 2.0 (Josh Brolin), which means that audiences already have a road map in their heads. We also know that a variant of Kang will be the antagonist of “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and that he’s sure to crop up in other places, too, like the second season of “Loki.” He could appear anywhere, and as a narrative device, it’s fascinating to see potentially endless variants of the same villain. Done properly, this can build a sense of overwhelming dread. After all, how are the heroes supposed to defeat someone who exists ad nauseum?
That said, Kang can lose his flavor fast. If he appears too frequently, or if his multiple variants are too similar, or if the stakes behind his appearances are too low, he’ll become stale. By all accounts, Jonathan Majors is going to be incredible, but his task is heavy … and if the writers don’t come to the table in a big way, then he’ll be left adrift in a ruinous sea of repetition.
So, we look to “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” as a sort of indicator for what is to come. If Kang is allowed to matter, a boundary few villains are allowed to cross, we’ll see that precedent sooner rather than later. Will he kill Ant-Man? We don’t know. No other death in that film would cause that same impact. Will he actually get to rewrite existence and shatter timelines? Probably not in any significant way. Makes for a cool threat, though.