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The comic book roots (and MCU teases) behind that Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania post-credit scene

Why are there so many of them? And what do they want?

Image credit: Marvel Studios
Spoilers ahead for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

As if one Kang wasn’t enough, the post-credit sequence at the end of Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania reveals that there’s a lot of them… and they’re apparently working together. Fans shouldn’t be too surprised, however: this quorum of conquerors had previously been teased in the MCU, and has its roots in Marvel’s comic book mythology… more than once, in fact. (Time travel can be so confusing.) Get ready to learn about the Council of Kangs in all its wonderful permutations.

What is the Council of Kangs in comics?

Council of Kangs
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

As only befits a long-term supervillain like Kang the Conqueror, the Council of Kangs was originally the by-product of a sneaky plot by the nefarious time-traveler to — as he put it himself, “conquer all times.” His thinking was logical, if a bit over-complicated, but that feels entirely appropriate, considering the circumstances. As introduced in 1986’s Avengers #267, the Council of Kangs was a group made up of the multiple duplicates of Kang that had been accidentally created as a result of the time paradoxes and divergent timelines that came from Kang continually changing history… except that, as one of the Kangs would reveal later in the issue, he was actually using it as an excuse to kill all of those divergent Kangs and replace them with robot duplicates so that he would be the only Kang left alive in existence.

Like I said, it’s kind of complicated… and made all the more so by the fact that the plan failed, the “wrong” Kang was filled, and the entire thing was derailed by the intervention of Immortus, another Avengers villain who was, himself, an alternate timeline variant of Kang. Confusing? Sure! But there’s something worth paying attention to about this storyline, given that the middle chapter — Avengers #268 — has the title “The Kang Dynasty,” which just so happens to be the title of the 2025 Avengers movie announced last year.

Council of Kangs
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

The Council of Kangs might not have worked out, but it did lead to the creation of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, which debuted in 1988’s Avengers #292. This Council was far longer-lived than its predecessor — it kept going until the conclusion of 1993’s Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective miniseries — as well as being far more argumentative. There’s a reason for both of those things: this council wasn’t made up of variant versions of the same person, but instead multiple different people who had all claimed the identity of Kang for themselves after getting rid of the aforementioned robot duplicates created by the the earlier Kang from the earlier Council of Kangs. (This was all revealed in Avengers Annual #21, in 1992.)

An argumentative bunch, this Cross-Time Council was filled with no small amount of scheming and backstabbing, but at least they didn’t kill each other off for the purposes of conquering all time. Instead, they were all killed off by… oh, the same Kang that survived the original Council of Kangs storyline, a handful of years earlier. In another MCU connection, that Kang killed off the Cross-Time Council using Alioth, the time storm that debuted in the first season of the Disney+ Loki series back in 2021. It really does all connect…!

Apparently working on the theory that the third time’s a charm, yet another Council of Kangs — which, confusingly, also referred to itself as The Kang Collective more than once — showed up in, of all places, Spider-Ham #4 back in 2020. Given that it was more of an incidental background element of an entirely separate story, it remains unclear just what this latest Council is all about, but two things about it are worth noting. Firstly, it’s a group that seems far more supportive of its members, and less given to in-fighting and/or the complete eradication of all Kang variants for whatever reason seems most sensible at the time… perhaps because, judging from recent appearances by the so-called “Prime Kang,” he doesn’t actually seem to be a member of even necessarily aware of the group’s existence. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, it’s a Council of Kangs that is still around, somewhere in the multiverse, presumably plotting out some dramatic and confusing scheme regarding time travel and conquering that could be about to happen at any moment in the future. Or, you know, the past, given the mechinations of time travel.

Council of Kangs
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

The Council of Kangs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Council of Kangs
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Even before Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania, MCU fans who’d been paying attention were at least aware of the idea of a Council of Kangs, because it’s mentioned way back during the final episode of Loki’s first season. In explaining his backstory, and indeed the backstory of the multiverse as a whole, He Who Remains — AKA a version of Kang, although no-one uses that name in the episode — explains that a variant of himself “was a scientist and he discovered that there were universes stacked on top of his own. At the same time, other versions of us were learning the same thing. Naturally, they made contact. And for a while, there was peace. Narcissistic, self-congratulatory peace. ‘I love your shoes.’ ‘I love your hair.’ ‘Oh, man, nice nose.’ ‘Thanks, man.’ et cetera. They shared technology and knowledge.”

It’s far from the Council of Kangs of the comic book mythology, but it was a signpost that Kangs not only can, but have joined together in the past — and one that ended when, like in the comics, one Kang decided to do away with the others… and unleashed a conflict that, like in the comics (albeit, under different circumstances), ended only when Alioth was set to work to kill the Council as a whole.

So, who are the Council as seen in the new mid-credit sequence? That remains to be seen for sure, although at least two of the three speaking parts in that scene resemble known comic book variants of Kang. (Immortus and Rama-Tut, respectively; as for the third… we have our suspicions.) The other Kangs seen in the onscreen Council appeared to be variants visually closer to the Quantum Realm version of the character, each with their own personality, with the scene ending in a surprisingly faithful recreation of this image from Avengers #292:

Council of Kangs
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

We see you, Peyton Reed. And we’re very grateful.

It’s worth noting that, when He Who Remains is explaining everything at the end of Loki’s first season, he explicitly says that once he dies, “an infinite amount of me start another multiversal war. And I just… end up right back here anyways.” Is history repeating, as he suggested, and if so, is the MCU Kang Council a reprise of the earlier version of the group that produced “narcissistic, self-congratulatory peace”? Certainly, the dialogue in the scene would suggest otherwise, with the possibility that the Kangs have some kind of plan in place regarding the Multiverse that they need humanity to stay away from, but… well. Time will tell, won’t it…?

Oh, and about that other post-credit sequence…

The final scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania likely plays differently to different audiences. For those mostly familiar with the MCU, the surprise appearance of Loki and Mobius is the draw, even if the debut of Victor Timely looks like something that should be noted for later. For those familiar with the multiple variant Kangs from comic book mythology, Timely himself is the reason to get excited. (And nervous.)

In Marvel’s comic book lore, Timely is a Kang variant who decides that the best way to defeat the Avengers is to make a base camp on Earth long before the Avengers are even a thing… and so travels back to the 20th century to become a successful businessman seeding technology throughout the entire Marvel Universe for his own purposes later. Reed Richards’ future tech for the Fantastic Four? It uses Timely technology. Misty Knight’s cyborg arm? Timely technology. Roxxon Oil’s shady cyborg tech? Also Timely’s. It’s far easier to conquer a civilization if no-one ever realizes what’s actually happening, after all.

Does this mean that the MCU Timely is going to follow a similar plan? That’s almost certainly something that will be answered in the second season of the Disney+ Loki series… but it’s worth asking the question right now: how much of the contemporary MCU might owe its existence to Kang without realizing it?

The Council of Kangs’ potential MCU future

By the end of Quantumania, MCU fans will have seen the introduction and death of two different versions of Kang, both of which are played by Jonathan Majors. (Technically, with the other post-credit introduction of Victor Timely, as well as the Council’s cameo, MCU fans have seen a lot of Kangs, but we’ll let that slide for now.) Both of which died teasing that something much worse is going to follow in their wake as a result of their death… but what? The Council of Kangs is clearly connected to whatever that might be, but it’s an open question as to whether they’re going to try to stop it, or perhaps make it happen faster.

Council of Kangs
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

Don’t forget, we know that the Kang Dynasty is on tap for 2025 — will the Council be a part of that dynasty, or will its collapse be what causes it? If only we had a Time Machine of our own to get the answer to these questions…

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters now. Buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets

Everything you want to know about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is available in this particular section of the Quantum Realm.

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About the Author
Graeme McMillan avatar

Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.

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