What was Kang the Conqueror’s first appearance in Marvel Comics & the MCU?

Kang's debut in the MCU and Marvel ComicsMarvel Studios/Marvel Comics

With a major film and two comic book first appearances under his belt, here’s how you can trace the origins of Kang the Conqueror. 

Loki Season 2 promises to tackle the threat of Kang the Conqueror head-on. Following the death of He Who Remains and the splintering of the sacred timeline, Kang’s face is everywhere in the TVA, and his threat looms large. 

The same could be said for his comic book counterpart. Since his debut (which now has something of a choose-your-own-adventure flair to it thanks to retcons and time-traveling shenanigans), Kang has been presented as a fearsome force. 

Article continues after ad

Kang’s abilities as a warlord are unparalleled, but he somehow still gets beat every single time, no matter what universe he’s in. If you’re curious as to where to begin, though, here’s where you can find the first appearance of Kang in Marvel Comics and in the MCU. 

Kang’s first appearance in The Avengers #8

Kang makes his first appearance in 1964’s The Avengers #8, another classic from the 1-2 punch of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Kang arrives on Earth and immediately shuts down the military, demanding to speak with Earth’s rulers. 

Article continues after ad
Kang the Conqueror debuts in Avengers #8Marvel Comics
Though Kang the Conqueror makes his debut in Avengers #8, the character technically debuted a year earlier.

The military calls in The Avengers, who are still incredibly early in their heroic career. They resolve to shut down Kang, but the futuristic conqueror puts the heroes in their place almost immediately

Fortunately for them, The Wasp and Rick Jones evade notice, rallying the Teen Brigade to help free The Avengers. With a second win, the team manages to force Kang to flee into the timestream. 

Kang’s OTHER first appearance in Fantastic Four #19

If you want the first chronological appearance of Kang the Conqueror, you have to go back a little further. 1963’s Fantastic Four #19 introduced Rama-Tut, who would be revealed to be an earlier incarnation of Kang. Rama-Tut is an Egyptian pharaoh who was actually a criminal from the far-off future of the year 3000. 

Article continues after ad
Rama-Tut makes his debut in Fantastic Four #19Marvel Comics
A time traveler from the year 3000, Rama-Tut is an early incarnation of Kang the Conqueror.

Rama-Tut is an interesting wrinkle in the development of Kang. Canonically,

Rama-tut travels back in time intending to be a time looter, but his time ship crashes. In the ensuing chaos, Rama-Tut emerges as a Pharoah who rules with an iron fist.

When his efforts fail, he returns to the future and, somewhere along the way, meets Doctor Doom.

The Doom meeting influences Kang’s personality, and he adopts a new demeanor and appearance based on Doom’s. This would lead to the creation of Kang the Conqueror and his fearsome battle armor, which became the character’s primary appearance to date. 

Article continues after ad

Kang’s MCU debut in Ant-Man & the Wasp in Quantumania

While Kang makes a cameo of sorts in Loki’s Season 1 finale via a statue, that one doesn’t count as his debut. Kang the Conqueror’s first full appearance in the MCU takes place in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania. 

Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man 3.Disney/Marvel
Jonathan Majors starred as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man & the Wasp in Quantumania

Here, Kang is stranded in the Quantum Realm by an unknown force. He tricks Janet van Dyne into helping him repair his damaged time sphere with the promise of helping her escape as well. After she discovers Kang’s true nature, though, she sabotages the sphere and flees, leaving him stranded again. 

Article continues after ad

The film’s conclusion sees Ant-Man get beaten down pretty badly by Kang, but he manages to eke out a victory with help from The Wasp. Though Kang appears to have died at the film’s end, the Council of Kang still survives, and his ability to time travel means he could appear anywhere, at any time. 

For more Loki and comic book news, be sure to follow all our coverage.

Related Topics