The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Multiverse Saga hasn’t been the clearest in terms of letting us know how the franchise movies and TV shows are all leading to a larger story arc. However, one of the more pivotal films coming in Phase 5 is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which will officially introduce the main big bad of this new MCU Saga, Kang the Conquerer (Jonathan Majors). After the first Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer made its way online, fans and theorists noticed one key detail in the footage: the technological design and aesthetic of Kang’s home base and deadly armada.
Kang Tech: Form & Function
The technology Kang is working with (from ships, to power sources, to what is presumably his time-hopping city, Chronopolis) all have conspicuous circular designs – with Kang’s city and fleet all seeming to have ring-like objects that rotate around them, or form some kind of shielding dome around them (full function has not yet been revealed). Fans quickly noticed that these ringed deisgns in Kang’s tech are very much in line with the bangle that Kamala Khan donned to become Ms. Marvel – which was itself clearly in a similar design lane as The Ten Rings that now belong to Shang-Chi. It’s raised the question of what larger purpose all these powerful ringed objects have in the Multiverse Saga – and we have a theory!
As fans noticed, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s trailer begins with a direct link to Shang-Chi. Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) builds a beacon that she sends down into the Quantum Realm, presumably giving Kang (or someone else?) an opening to suck her and the rest of the Lang/Pym family into the Quantum Realm. The plot hints of Ant-Man 3 seem to suggest that Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) may know of something – or where something is – that Kang has been searching for. Knowing Kang (a threat to multiple realities and timelines of history) that artifact is probably not good for the Multiverse – and the tease of a movie called The Kang Dynasty (directed by Shang-Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton) suggests bad things eventually happen if (when) Kang gets that MacGuffin.
Shang-Chi & Ms. Marvel Might Have Kang’s Power
Let’s assume Kang gets the necessary Marvel MacGuffin(s) to end the Multiverse or create his own New Sacred Timeline: that’s pretty much what fans speculate will be the MCU’s precedent for the kicking off its version of “Secret Wars” for Avengers: Secret Wars.
In the comics, Marvel’s 2010s Secret Wars event saw all realities of the Marvel Comics Universe destroyed in mass incursions, while an amalgamated world made from different realities was created by a villain who ruled this new reality as God-King (Doom). Surviving heroes were either transported to this new reality or managed to get themselves there through their own means – and that’s where Shang-Chi and Ms. Marvel may come in.
The running theory here is that the Kang tech seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has the pointed function generating some blue energy that keeps Kang’s world and army safe from interdimensional travel, or changes to time and/or reality, as Kang hops from one dimension to another conquering and/or eradicating. If that power works for Kang it can work for the heroes too!
The guess here is that the energy source Kang uses for his temporal powers of traveling through time and across realities is the same one Shang-Chi’s rings and/or Ms. Marvel’s bangle are channeling. It would explain why Shang-Chi’s Rings were able to open a portal to another (dark) dimension; or why Kamala Khan was able to travel back in time to complete the loop of her own family’s superpowers origin.
Rings of Power – And Protection
Basically, the guess is that whomever is with Shang-Chi and/or Ms. Marvel at the time Kang causes a mass incursion of realities (and/or forges his “Battleworld”) will be kept alive and safe through the power of the Ten Rings and Bangle. Additional speculation is that these objects (and possibly other like them that are revealed later) will be like Infinity Stones, and could have Kang seeking them out to harness their power, after the events of Quantumania unfold.
Either way, betting money is on any Marvel hero who wields or possesses a circular band or blue energy MacGuffin will be one of the main “Avengers” characters featured in Secret Wars. Shang-Chi has already been welcomed into the Avengers circle (post-credits scene) and Kamala Khan is about have an interstellar adventure with Captain Marvel (The Marvels) – so they both already have enough ties to bring an impressive squad into Kang’s Battleworld. Wouldn’t be surprising if Reed Richards created his own means of tapping into this temporal energy to power a life raft ship (like in the comics) with a few others in tow…
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will be in theaters in May 2025. Avengers: Secret Wars is set for May 2026.