While he may be the MCU’s next big threat, it seems as though Marvel Comics will be making Kang the Conqueror a hero to conclude 2021. According to a new and exciting timeline announcement from Marvel outlining the next six months, 2021 will close with Timeless, an event that will set the stage for the Marvel Universe’s future heading into 2022. It will see Kang defending the primary 616 universe’s timeline from a dark new threat only he can stop. However, while Kang will most likely be operating out of his own selfish desires, protecting the timeline and saving the universe is a fairly heroic thing to do all the same.
Marvel has just released a brand new Kang the Conqueror series from writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with artist Carlos Magno, which sees Kang attempting to mentor a younger version of himself (Nathaniel Richards) and have him learn from his mistakes, only to be inevitably succeeded by this younger version of himself and left for dead. Now, Nathaniel has traveled forward along his own future self’s timeline, presumably on a quest to become a superior Kang the Conqueror.
Due to the fact that this new Kang’s tensions with the old Kang began when the younger version developed feelings of love a desire to help others, this Timeless Kang may have actually more heroic tendencies. This could still all be part of Kang’s paradoxical origins, where being mentored and eventually betraying the old Kang was always how Kang becomes Kang in the Marvel Universe. That being said, Marvel’s announcement for their new Timeless event – coming from Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Joe Bennett, Mark Bagley, and more creators – does indicate that the time-traveling despot will serve as the primary 616 timeline’s protector:
“When a threatening new timeline emerges, Kang the Conqueror must fight his way through the coming year to protect the main 616 timeline he’s worked centuries to solidify as his own.“
It seems as though Kang appreciates the 616 timeline as it is due to the fact he’s seemingly had a hand in guiding and manipulating its development to his ultimate benefit (as is the nature of a time-traveling conqueror). Likewise, when “a threatening new timeline” arrives that could destroy his own, it’s likely that Kang’s interference will come from a desire to make sure his work and preferred timeline stays the same (no matter how heroic it might make him look)
In any case, Marve’s Timeless looks as though it’s going to have some big ramifications for the future, as it’s one of Marvel Comics’ first stories as it heads into a “timeless future” for 2022 as Kang battles this new danger. However, while he may be set up to become a hero once the event reaches its conclusion, it does seem as though he’ll be operating from his own self-interests to start out with when Kang the Conqueror’s next big adventure through time begins.