With Kang the Conqueror on the MCU’s horizon, keep an eye on his alternate forms. Any of them could appear in the MCU.
I can’t imagine any character with a more convoluted history than Kang, who premiered in Avengers #8. Of course, dealing with a time-traveling dictator tends to result in a contradictory backstory. It’s an enigma even for the Marvel Comics faithful.
Over the course of the character’s history, he has been the subject of many interpretations. The former Nathaniel Richards, who is a distant descendant of the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards, has been known by many names. Aside from being just Kang with a penchant for blue helmets and green robes, he has been a pharaoh and even a protector of various timelines.
Will we see any of these other forms on the big screen? There is that possibility. You will want to watch these key issues just in case any of his alter egos make it into the MCU.
Before he debuted as Kang, Nathaniel Richards appeared in Fantastic Four #19 as the pharaoh, Rama-Tut. Of all the incarnations, this version has the best chance at being mentioned in the MCU, even if it is only for an Easter egg or just as an easy joke to break the tension.
WandaVision firmly planted the idea of the Nexus thanks to a mock commercial. While it remains a mystery to mainstream viewers, hardcore Marvel fans picked up on the allusion to the Nexus Beings. These are characters with the power to manipulate their timelines, and Kang the Conqueror is ranked among them. However, when he took on the guise of Immortus, he was tasked with protecting and watching over the timelines for anomalies.
After Endgame, the Avengers have been heavily tampering with the timelines, and that could draw out Immortus to rectify the situation. That is why it would not be a bad idea to pick up his first appearance in Avengers #10, which also happens to be the first printed use of “Avengers, assemble!”
Decades before Iron Man donned the “Silver Centurion” armor, there was Kang’s third form, the Scarlet Centurion, who debuted in Avengers Annual #2. In the character’s history, Nathaniel Richards called himself the Scarlet Centurion. At least, before he changed his fashion sense to purple, blue, and green. He would not be the only character to use the Scarlet Centurion moniker, but he was the first, no less. Later, Kang’s son, Marcus Kang, would take up the name for himself.
For decades, there were no other Kangs that arose throughout the many Marvel timelines. Then in 2005, Iron Lad (which sounds strikingly similar to DC Comics’ Aqualad, but I digress) appeared in the pages of Young Avengers #1.
Although a member of the teenage superheroes, it was revealed that Iron Lad was actually Nathaniel Richards. He was destined to become Kang the Conqueror. With Kang being introduced in Ant-Man 3, it easily sets the stage for Iron Lad to be adapted for the MCU and make for an interesting conflict in the much-rumored Young Avengers Disney+ series if one ever gets off the ground.
By adding Kang to the MCU, Marvel Studios is opening the door for all four of these characters and perhaps more. Any of these forms of Nathaniel Richards could grace the MCU. It is likely we will see one or possibly even all four in the future. It will be worth your time to pick up their first appearances before prices inflate from the MCU speculation.