WandaVision’s reveal that SWORD was rebuilding Vision (Paul Bettany) could be the very beginning of Kang the Conqueror’s MCU invasion. The time-traveling villain, who will be played by Jonathan Majors, is confirmed to be making an MCU appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
In the comic books, Kang the Conqueror is a possible descendant of Reed Richards and one of the Avengers’ greatest villains of all-time. His ability to travel through time and highly advanced arsenal of weapons have made him a threat to the entire Marvel Universe. Typically, it requires a full team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop him from conquering modern-day Earth. Partially for this reason, it’s been theorized Kang would be Marvel’s big bad after Thanos’ defeat in Avengers: Endgame. It could be that this is indeed the plan, now that it’s known that Kang will be in Ant-Man 3, presumably as the main antagonist. Depending on how the conflict in the movie unfolds, Kang could return as a more powerful enemy in Avengers 5.
There’s been a ton of speculation surrounding how and when Kang will join the MCU. Avengers: Endgame may have been the first step, since it was the movie that introduced the concept of the Quantum Realm as a means for time travel. It’s possible that Marvel’s second big step toward Kang is happening now. What Disney+’s WandaVision is doing with Vision, SWORD, and Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) may lead directly into Kang’s MCU invasion. Here’s how the events of WandaVision – specifically, Vision’s resurrection – relates to Kang and what it could mean for the future.
In WandaVision episode 7, it was confirmed that SWORD and acting director Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) had secret plans for Vision’s body, which could provide an explanation for Scarlet Witch’s attack on their facility. It would seem that what SWORD wanted to do was get Vision back online, despite the fact that the Mind Stone – which gave him life – was destroyed by Thanos along with all the other Infinity Stones. SWORD reviving Vision without the Mind Stone draws an interesting parallel to what West Coast Avengers did with the character in the 1980s with the John Byrne story, “VisionQuest”.
When Vision was dismantled by the government because of a previous bout of insanity, Scarlet Witch and the Avengers stormed a government building and recovered him. Once his body was back in their possession, Hank Pym used his scientific expertise to rebuild him. The problem was Wonder Man. It’s important to note that he’s the Marvel Comics equivalent to the Mind Stone in Vision’s origin story. His brain patterns were what Ultron used to create him. When Wonder Man refused to let Pym copy his brain patterns, Vision had to be brought back to life without a key component of his original design. As a result, Vision was restored without the ability to feel emotions. Vision losing the capacity for love meant that his relationship with Wanda was effectively over, and this unsurprisingly had a powerful impact on Scarlet Witch’s state of mind.
As more problems occurred in Wanda’s life, including the loss of her magically created children, Wanda lost her grip on reality. Wanda grew stronger in her reality-warping abilities, but eventually chose not to use this power. As it turned out, all of these events were foreseen and set into motion by Immortus, an alternate timeline version of Kang. It was he who manipulated Vison from behind the scenes and made him experience a breakdown. If this hadn’t happened, Vision wouldn’t have been destroyed or rebuilt, and Wanda never would have gone insane. Immortus wanted these things to happen so that he could gain access to her powers. Knowing what Scarlet Witch was capable of, he understood that her power could be a great asset to him.
So far, it looks like Marvel may be doing a loose interpretation of “VisionQuest” in WandaVision. If that’s true, Kang could be revealed as the show’s real villain. Vision’s body being worked on by the government was a part of Immortus’ plan in the comics, so there’s a possibility that it has something to do with whatever scheme the MCU’s take on Kang will orchestrate. It could be that Kang, being from the future knows all about both Wanda’s life and her abilities, and is now using that knowledge to his benefit. Perhaps by the end of WandaVision it may be revealed that Kang found a way to influence Hayward. Plus, there’s the matter of Wanda being a “nexus being.” WandaVision teased this with its nexus commercial. In the comics, nexus beings are capable of changing the timestream. Both she and Kang qualify as nexus beings.
WandaVision hasn’t revealed everything leading to Wanda creating Westview, but what SWORD did with Vision could be the catalyst. If Kang is behind all this, he may have known Wanda would create Westview and the twins, and go mad when she lost her newfound happiness. Kang may believe that an emotionally distraught Wanda could be the perfect pawn for him. Once he breaks her, he can use her. Whether or not this works could depend on Agatha Harkness. In “VisionQuest”, she was secretly working against Immortus – and this could be the case in WandaVision too. Or, she could be an ally he plucked from the timestream.
WandaVision could end with Kang getting what he wants from Scarlet Witch. If he has her reality-warping powers, changing timelines could be easier than ever for the villain. Similar to what Immortus intended to do with them, Kang could create new realities, travel to them as he pleases, and more. Getting Wanda’s powers could also be a part of a larger scheme to be played out across multiple timelines and realities in the MCU. Since Wanda is slated to return in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Kang could have something do with that conflict as well. If the “madness” in the multiverse is a mess created by what Scarlet Witch does in WandaVision, that could make Kang the mastermind of two major MCU disasters ahead of his role in Ant-Man 3. Marvel going in this direction feels fitting, given that Kang shouldn’t be a one-off villain to be encountered and defeated all in the span of one film. Kang is deserving of a more complex arc that spans multiple stories and characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.