Editor’s Note: The following contains minor spoilers for Loki Season 2.

The Big Picture

The recent phase of the MCU has lacked a compelling villain, but the second season of Loki is doing more to prime Kang the Conqueror as the saga’s main antagonist, despite the character also appearing in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In the Marvel comics, Victor Timely is a version of Kang who appears in the timeline corresponding with the events of Avengers Forever, where he poses as an inventor with advanced technology. Timely’s intellect and innovative abilities allow him to rewrite history, create robotic versions of himself, and manipulate events to dominate the variant timeline. He could pose a significant challenge for Loki to overcome.

To say that the last few years have been difficult for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be an understatement. Although the franchise seemed to peak with the success of Avengers: Endgame and the conclusion of the “Infinity Saga” in 2019, the most recent phases of the MCU have suffered from a tremendous drop in quality. Much of this perceived quality dip was due to the lack of a compelling villain; the first three phases had all led up to the reveal of Josh Brolin’s Thanos. Although recent events may have forced Marvel Studios to change their plans, the second season of Loki seems to be operating under the assumption that Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror is the saga’s next “big bad.” Kang takes many forms and has many identities. These include the idiosyncratic inventor “Victor Timely,” who made his first appearance in the post-credit scene for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Timely’s role in Loki isn’t clear quite yet, but it does seem like this specific iteration of Kang will be a major force for the “God of Mischief” to reckon with.

Image via Marvel

First introduced in a 1992 issue of The Avengers Annual, Victor Timely was established as one of the many versions of the primary version of Kang the Conqueror. Kang and his primary identities, Immortus and Pharaoh Rama-Tut, create a series of different versions of themselves that are sent throughout the course of Marvel history to take over different timelines. This is what made Kang one of the most ruthless villains in the history of Marvel Comics. Rather than dominate just one timeline, Kang intends to hold a monopoly over every moment in history so that his rule truly becomes inescapable.

Victor Timely is the version of Kang that is sent to the timeline corresponding with the events of Avengers Forever; this limited series ran from 1998 to 1999, and follows a disgraced Captain America as he wrangles together a new “Avengers” squad consisting of Captain Marvel, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Wasp, Giant-Man, and Songbird. After he is nearly defeated in Ancient Egypt, “Kang Prime” travels to the early 20th century, and sets himself up as an enigmatic inventor in a small community in Wisconsin. Due to the knowledge that Timely possesses about technology that he learned from the future, his technological skills make him appear to be a genius in the more primitive setting.

While the knowledge of the future certainly helped Timely create the impression that his skills were mystical, his intelligence is almost unparalleled within the Marvel universe. Timely’s intellect allowed him to essentially rewrite the history of the Industrial Revolution, and become a rival to leading innovators like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Timely’s charisma hid his darker attributes from the hapless public that fell under the spells of his illusions. He was able to deceive the citizens of the newly named town of “Timely, Wisconsin” to the darker plans he had for dominating the variant timeline.

Although Timely’s powers did not contain any supernatural abilities, his intellect granted him the power to create synthetic, robotic versions of himself that could possess his knowledge and memories. This gave Timely the opportunity to mask his immortality by pretending to be his own sons. Timely sought to turn the town he’d named after himself into a crossroads in time that could serve as a base for the future operations of the Kangs, calling it “Chronopolis.” Timely was able to use his robotic identities to pose as himself when he attended to official duties in Chronopolis, which served as an “inflection point” between the past, present, and future.

Beyond rewriting American history with his influence on technological advancement, Timely also began to change the mythology of the Marvel universe from the past. His technology created the original version of the Human Torch in the 1930s, as well as many of the cybernetic parts utilized by various Marvel heroes. Timely Industries is credited for contributing to the creation of various infrastructures used by Marvel heroes, including the Baxter Building and Avengers Tower locations. This allowed Timely to have leverage over his opponents when he took control over the Sentinels during the “Kang Dynasty.”

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Image via Disney+

Timely isn’t the first iteration of Kang that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his TVA buddy Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) have run into; they first encountered the scientist Nathaniel Richards (also known as “He Who Remains”) at the end of Loki’s first season. Although Sylvie Laufeydottir (Sophie Di Martino) slayed this version of Kang, Loki and Mobius recognize that Timely is another version of the villain that they thought they had defeated. The prime version of “Kang the Conqueror” had attempted to take over the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, but it seems like this version of the all-seeing scientist is taking a different approach in his plan of evil domination.

The debut of one version of Kang at the end of Loki’s first season seemed to generate enthusiasm among Marvel fans, particularly those who felt that the universe had lost its way post-Endgame. Kang appeared to be the next main antagonist that the entire universe would be centered around, but those plans could be changed due to a multitude of factors. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was a critical and financial disappointment that fumbled the introduction of Kang the Conqueror; and significantly, the controversy surrounding Majors’ assault and harassment charges could inspire the studio to recast the character that the next few phases appear to be centered upon.

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is still set for a 2026 release, but this could very well be pushed back because of the delays in shooting and writing during the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. It’s now unclear whether Kang is still being set up as the next Marvel “big bad” or merely serving as the villain of Loki Season 2. However, Timely does appear to be more than a match for Loki, and will certainly give him a lot to deal with as the series continues.

 This version of Kang appears to be more than a match for the God of Mischief.  Read More