February 22, 2024

Editor’s Note: The following contains some spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.As a society, let’s get one thing straight: Marvel knew exactly what they were doing with Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The measured tones of voice, the soft gestures, the body language — even if the absurdity of Kang’s classic green-and-purple outfit takes on a completely leathery look, it captures a certain kind of man. And that man, Kang the Conqueror, is fine. Majors’ official first appearance as the big bad of Phase 5 (but not the debut of the MCU cast) is arresting for many reasons. Arguably the most important aspect of his performance, however, is how Kang stacks up against a long line of sexy Marvel villains.

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Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
Image via Marvel Studios

Even with a large rogues gallery to choose from, the MCU’s villains have always been inconsistent in quality. The same can be said for the comic giant’s Sexy Bad Guys offerings (although no shame is allowed here for personal taste). With these factors in mind, one has to draw a conclusion based on a single criminal’s influence, continued legacy, and number of fan edits on TikTok alone: ​​yes, we all have. Tom Hiddleston the fault The internet’s favorite boyfriend ruined millions of lives with the enigmatic spell he wove in 2012. The Avengers. Whatever Hiddleston’s inherent alchemical magic, Loki’s spell still holds us by our collective necks, how the entire row in my theater lit up like a shrill, screeching Christmas tree above that familiar set of cheekbones. Quanmania‘s end credits teaser is any indication. The guilt of the actor is deservedly earned; his vicious semi-brutal performance ate the world out of hand. In the immortal words of a meme, how does it feel to be God’s favorite, Mr. Hiddleston?

In fact, a few of Kang’s traits call back to his Sexy Villain predecessor in ways too specific to be entirely coincidental. There is Kang’s skillful power rests upon his golden throneWhich was (suspiciously) still released before of Quantumania let go He speaks in a reserved silence, his voice flowing like the current of a thawing river, and with the most habitual of hand movements, Kang effortlessly controls powers too great for mere mortals to comprehend. His steps are refined. His confidence is implacable, Loki’s arrogance was mostly a front to hide his insecurities, but they each stand up for their causes with absolute conviction.

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Jonathan Majors’ Kang is terrifying and alluring in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’

Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains Loki in the season 1 finale
Image via Marvel Studios

However, take it easy, Kang is his being. This is not a copy or pay phone role. Majors’ performance is masterful and unmatched by past antagonists. He is charming and charismatic, so skilled a manipulator that even after his true identity is revealed he is desperate to keep faith in his soft promises. He is so kind and sensible! Until then, beyond his commitment to his ultimate goal, Quanmania she wisely doesn’t show her hand when it comes to Kang’s honesty. I’m wondering where the lines between pretty lies and honesty blur, especially where Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) is concerned, it’s as delicious as a five-course meal. The double scars etched like tears on the cheeks add to everyone’s uncertainty. (You can’t convince me that Janet and Kang weren’t on the proverbial subatomic weed. She deserved so much better than the woman. by Bill Murray nonsense.)

A Sexy Villain also has to serve as a legitimate threat, otherwise there’s no fun. Quanmania (and Loki before the season 1 finale) establishes Kang as a unique threat before viewers attach the name Conquerer to his face. Any option to mimic that configuration a The Wizard of Oz The “weak man behind the curtain” moment is eclipsed by moments like Kang telepathically shooting MODOK (Corey Stoll) ran into the wall and gasped because MODOK broke the rule of saying Kang’s name to the audience. These are not unfollowed whispers, but an incredibly viable threat. A threat I humbly request to destroy my existence. The costume he reassembles the moment he floats off the ground, arms outstretched? Who knows.

From Loki to Kang: When did this become the Marvel norm?

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther
Image via Marvel Studios

Two particularly prosperous periods in Marvel history facilitated the Loki-to-Kang pipeline. In what feels like a coordinated attack, Marvel took him down for the first time Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther back to back Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Quanmania back (with a must-have Sexy Villain Blip in between). As one of the MCU’s only female antagonists, portrayed by one of the generation’s most indomitable talents, Cate BlanchettA graceful, scenery-chewing Hela it was a vision of green revenge. Thanks to his sure death “my queen please stab me”. Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan at the height of his rising popularity) remains a winnable Marvel performance, but forget that, remember his shirtless scene when he was so explosive. a girl snapped her support in horror? Director Ryan Coogler he went further Wakanda ForeverNamor is (Tenoch Huerta). the same Quanmania With Kang, Coogler knew exactly what he was doing and he did it without mercy. Of course, because an anti-hero in a Speedo and green ankle wings is incredibly attractive and creates a legion of individuals who volunteer to burn the world with him with Katness Everdeen-like intensity. (Even Cooger wasn’t playing with that tension between Namor and Shuri.)

And long before Ten Rings took over, Wenwu, the legendary Hong Kong actor, fell from grace. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai He was called “the man who plays with his eyes”. That unfair look left his protagonist Fala Chen “blushing” like a school teenager on the set After Marvel released a teaser of Leung and Chen’s fight-scene-love-scene moment, Chen’s husband joked, “If my wife looked at me like that.” (How does a girl deal with an evil boy who renounces his thousand years of Machiavellian rule to become a real father? She doesn’t resist. Good, she’s living the dream.)

Tony Leung in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings
Image via Disney

When it comes to villains who don’t have as much cultural infamy, there are plenty of options. bunch of (Chiwetel Ejiofor) hasn’t unleashed his true deepest evil energy yet, but his forearms are impressive enough to handle Wenwu’s shirt-sleeve action. Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) was a heartthrob incarnate in his time, and many queer teenagers were in love. James Spader front-age of ultron. You don’t throw it away Mads Mikkelsen (Caecilius, Doctor Strange) and Lee Pace (Ron, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1) without malicious intent on your audience’s blood pressure, although the make-up of both actors managed the miracle and reduced their respective appeals.

Are we really afraid of Marvel Villains? Sexy says: No

Should we be afraid of any of these patients? I didn’t get a note. If Marvel doesn’t allow this train of beautiful people to do terrible things, then they’ll have only one mission going forward, if they’d accept it: make sure Doctor Doom’s world-destroying nature is a sexual force. If Marvel isn’t worth the wait for that Latvian accent, they’re cowards. If he’s a criminal, why the heat?

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