How Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania sets up Loki season 2 with that post-credits scene
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Kang is dead. Long live Kang.
Jonathan Majors made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the first season finale of Loki as a variant of Kang the Conqueror — the character set up to be the main antagonist of the Multiverse Saga (made up of all the TV shows and movies in Phases 4, 5, and 6). The actor returned in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (in theaters now) not as his Loki character, He Who Remains, but finally as the villainous Kang the Conqueror... only for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to seemingly kill him off by the end of the movie.
While his death looks ambiguous (hey, if Corey Stoll was able to return as Darren in this movie after his similar "death" in Ant-Man, all bets are off!), the first bonus scene in the mid-credits with all the other Kang variants seems to confirm he didn't survive his fight in the Quantum Realm. So much for Kang the Conqueror being the new Thanos, huh? Wonder which new Kang variant is going to be featured next ...
Marvel Studios Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
The second bonus scene offers up one answer, as well as the first look at Loki season 2. After the credits stop rolling, Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Owen Wilson's Mobius appear in the Victorian era in the audience for a presentation by someone named Victor... played, once again, by Majors. Victor is showing off an invention of his, and talking about how time "shapes our lives, but perhaps we can shape it." Loki whispers to Mobius, "That's him." But Mobius doesn't seem impressed. "I thought you said he was terrifying?" he says, to which Loki replies, "He is."
While it may seem like Loki and Mobius are staking out yet another Kang variant, in the comics, Victor Timely is actually Kang Prime, a.k.a. Kang the Conqueror in disguise. He's been hiding out in secret in the past under a new name and identity: a brilliant inventor and industrialist who suffered a defeat at the hands of the Avengers... sound familiar? In the comics, Victor becomes the founder and mayor of the town Timely, Wis., where he uses his future knowledge and technology to advance the community through science. He also creates a portal to his base Chronopolis in the town that gives him access to other timelines he and his variants have conquered. This all tracks with what the post-credits scene shows, and suggests Loki and Mobius are about to face off with Kang the Conqueror sooner than we think when the Disney+ series returns for season 2.
"Season 2 is kind of a challenge of a question asked of the TVA itself — a battle for the soul of the TVA," Hiddleston teased to EW at D23 2022. Meanwhile, as Marvel boss Kevin Feige recently explained in an exclusive interview with EW, "For years, we've always had the inkling that Kang would be an amazing follow-up to Thanos. He's got that equal stature in the comics, but he's a completely different villain. Mainly, that's because he's multiple villains. He's so unique from Thanos, which we really liked."
Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
But if you're a little confused by all these different Kangs we've met so far, let's recap: He Who Remains in Loki season 1 was the sole winner of a multiversal war between all the Kangs in the past, and he formed the Time Variance Authority to help him maintain the Sacred Timeline to make sure the multiverse didn't come back into existence (bringing all the other Kang variants with it). But Loki variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) kills He Who Remains in the finale, causing a chain reaction that brings the multiverse and all the Kang variants back. But since Kang the Conqueror was stuck in the Quantum Realm, a place outside of time and space, he avoided being affected by all those timeline shenanigans until his fight with Scott and Hope that either killed him or sent him ... somewhere else?
As for Victor Timely, we've got questions. Is he the same Kang the Conqueror who escaped death in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and went back in time, or is he an earlier version from the timeline? Or is he an entirely different Kang variant who doesn't appear in the source material? And is all this timey-wimey chaos giving you a headache?
Loki season 2 is set to debut in the summer of 2023 on Disney+. Check out what else the stars had to say about the new season in the video above now.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.