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Doctor Doom Leading Two-Part Avengers Secret Wars?

It’s official: Avengers King Dynasty is no more, as Marvel Studios is retitling the fifth Avengers film to move away from Kang and is making moves to either minimise the character or excise him entirely after Jonathan Majors was convicted in December. This, according to a Hollywood Reporter article focusing on Marvel’s steps to retool its franchise.

So, with the Doctor Doom Secret Wars Easter egg in the recent Deadpool and Wolverine trailer, does this guarantee that Avengers 5 and 6 will be Secret Wars part 1 and 2, with Emperor Doom as a villain? Or would Marvel Studios be making a critical mistake to prune the character of Kang completely from the narrative while rushing Doctor Doom to the front line? What role could Kang continue to play on this road to Secret Wars?

The Hollywood Reporter dropped the news that the fifth Avengers movie, slated for May 1st, 2026, previously titled “Avengers of King Dynasty,” will now get a new title to remove Kang’s name and either minimise or excise him entirely. Sources say that even before Jonathan Major’s conviction, the studio was making moves to minimise the character after Quantum Mania underperformed.

They might be citing the report from Variety last November about a September Palm Springs retreat with Marvel Studios Executives who supposedly discussed backup plans, including pivoting to Doctor Doom. That article quoted a source saying, “Marvel is truly done the whole Kang angle.” This is a source who had supposedly seen the final Loki episodes.

Mind you, this Variety article came out on November 1st, before the final two episodes of Loki on November 2nd and November 9th. Now that we have seen those final two episodes of Loki, other than He Who Remains telling Loki that Kang variants were still out there, what was it about Loki becoming God of stories that left Marvel Studios truly? They seem completely fine to me. But regardless, like The Hollywood Reporter, now Variety in November cited a studio source that said regardless of Jonathan Major’s legal issues, Marvel had already considered moving away from a major led phase because of the box office performance of Quantum Mania.

And to be honest, I never understood this because say what you will about Quantum Mania or Jonathan Major the person, but Quantum Mania’s underperformance had very little to do with the Kang character in that movie. And in fact, the Kang Dynasty in its history with the TVA on Loki is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting things to come out of Marvel Studios since Avengers Endgame. Sure, the Multiverse Saga has not been perfect, and it was definitely a mistake to shoot that Quantum Mania mid-credit scene to show all Kang variants played by one act.

But I just don’t know how Marvel Studios could ignore everything creatively brilliant about Loki and then just point to Quantum Mania and say, “Well, the problem must have been Kang. Scrap the character altogether.” And not look at the even worse performance of The Marvels and say, “Well, the problem must have been those incursions and those X-Men cameos. Scrap those all together.” Clearly, the studio just assumes that viewers see the character of Kang as synonymous with Jonathan Majors, and they just don’t trust us to ever see a new actor in this role. But actors like Colman Domingo and John David Washington have been rumoured to be options for a Kang recast. Colman Domingo recently told Vanity Fair, “My team has had conversations with Marvel about some aspect of the MCU for years.” Do I know this to be true or not? I don’t actually know.

So, if Marvel is planning on shifting their Multiverse Saga big bad to Doctor Doom, they’ve certainly given us a big clue in the Deadpool and Wolverine trailer. The final shot of this trailer includes a pretty important Easter egg pruned into this void: a pile of rubbish with a Pingo Doo juice bottle from the 2008 Incredible Hulk film and a 2015 Secret ORS number five comic book. The cover art by Alex Ross showing Dr. Doom, the moment he is stealing the powers of the Beyonders, using all the Molecule Men as a conduit and becoming God Emperor Doom.

Now, if you haven’t read Jonathan Hickman’s “Time Runs Out” and Secret Wars run, what I just said probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to you. But our friend Hector Navaro made a wonderful video breaking down the “Time Runs Out” storyline that I highly recommend you watch. But just to summarise this issue for you, here: At this point in the Secret Wars 2015 crossover event, God Emperor Doom has created Battleworld, a continent composed of different locations jigsawed together from across the Multiverse.

Leading up to this, Dr. Doom’s original task was to try to locate, in every reality, Owen Reece AKA Molecule Man, who had been placed in each Reality by a group of God-level entities called the Beyonders. With the purpose of Molecule Man to be a mass-destructive trigger to destroy that reality. Dr. Doom wanted to stop this by killing each Molecule Man before that could happen. But we learned that even if he did that, the Molecule Men were just so well-made that killing them early would still just lead the Multiverse to die anyway.

So Secret Wars number five finally reveals how Dr. Doom leveled up like this: Dr. Doom goes from Doctor Strange’s funeral in Battleworld through a portal under the Statue of Liberty to tell Molecule Man about Strange’s death. And Molecule Man remembers the day that he, Doom and Strange confronted the Beyonders. Now, the plan had changed to instead capture the Molecule Men, and when they confronted the Beyonders, Dr. Doom unleashed these countless Molecule Men as a conduit to steal the powers of the Beyonders and to transfer those powers to himself.

That is essentially what we are seeing on this Alex Ross cover in the Deadpool and Wolverine trailer. We’re seeing several Beyonders in their white-suited appearance from the ’80s Secret Wars run, now screaming as Doom absorbs their power. This is how he becomes the grayish-white suited God Emperor Doom, a form of Dr. Doom so powerful that he can plunge his fist into Thanos’s chest, grab his spine, and age him into a skeleton. And that’s how we got Thanos saying the wonderful word of “KK.”

So, why do they put this comic book issue in the Deadpool and Wolverine trailer? And why did they put it in the trailer and the final shot of that trailer, a trailer that they knew hundreds of millions of us would see? It is clear that Marvel Studios wanted us to see this retooling. On the surface, they wanted to send us a clear signal that they are using movies like Deadpool and Wolverine to fast-track The Secret Wars event. And they want us to know that now, in February 2024. With this latest news that they might be dropping the Kang Dynasty title, it’s almost certain that Avengers 5 and 6 will be Secret Wars part 1 and 2, even if they give it different names. Secret Wars is just too big of an event to confine to one film, and Marvel needs a tent-pole success to look forward to so bad that there’s no sense in waiting for Secret Wars at this point.

And it sounds like part of that retooling will be shifting away from Kang the Conqueror and toward Dr. Doom. And sure, while I’m pumped to meet Dr. Doom in the MCU, I think it would be a mistake to completely do away with Kang as a character and pretend he never existed. And I also think it would be a mistake to rush God Emperor Doom because we have to meet Victor Von Doom first.

Kang has just been too essential to the groundwork that they have laid so far through the Loki series. And since Deadpool and Wolverine will be using the TVA and its timeline logic to structure its plot, we just can’t ignore the architect of that framework. And that architect is a Kang variant. From what we can tell, Marvel Studios is entrusting this narrative to writers from Loki like Michael Waldron, Eric Martin.

The original writer of Avengers 5 was Jeff Loveness, who also wrote Quantum Mania. And the guy is a very talented writer who just ended up with a very unlucky assignment. Though Loveness has always had a sense of humour about this, and recently he set his bio on Twitter to be, “I wrote Quantum Mania and I’ll see you in hell.” He also posted on his Instagram this hilarious travel revelation while hiking to a mountain lake: “Oh no, I’m still empty inside. This was all for nothing. Why did I come here? I’m never right again.” Yes, yes. So whatever Jeff Loveness’ plan was for Avengers 5, I would love to read that script. That script is probably going to be pruned to the hellish void alongside the 20th Century Fox logo.

Now, we should be careful looking at Easter eggs in the void as clues because technically these are all things that were pruned and scrapped to this hell, like the Thanoscopter. These are to be considered things that we are meant to forget, but I think it is likely that in the near future, Dr. Doom will use pieces of reality that were pruned to the void.

The void, first established in Loki, and then from that, build a new Battleworld realm. Pruned pieces of Wakanda for a kingdom ruled by, like, an elder T’Challa or Killmonger. Pruned pieces of San Francisco from X-Men: The Last Stand that connected to the island of Alcatraz to establish a mutant Brotherhood Kingdom, or like a Joshua ruled by Magneto. Pruned pieces of ancient Egypt, which we already know are in the void from the pyramids and the Sphinx and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, which would necessitate a Moon Knight. Basically, imagine the void as an unkempt junkyard, a chaotic box of scraps patrolled by a guard dog named Alioth. And imagine if someone came in, chained up the dog, and landscaped it into a Marvel-themed Hunger Games-style Deathmatch Arena divided into different sections.

So, why do I think it would be a mistake to erase the character of Kang from this equation? Because again, Kang built all of this. And keeping Kang in the picture, maybe just recast with a new actor, makes God Emperor Doom a more fearsome character and takes some of the pressure off of this version of Doom.

Iman Vellani, after The Marvels came out in November, she pitched a really interesting theory about how Marvel Studios could use Kang as a combination of Molecule Man and the Beyonders so that Dr. Doom could absorb the powers of the Kang Dynasty and become God Emperor Doom that way.

So, I want to build on Iman’s pitch here: Imagine Kang in the MCU as what the Molecule Man was to the Time Runs Out storyline. Every timeline that has a Kang in it is destined to die. That was He Who Remains’ rationale for pruning all variant timelines out of existence, right? He kept it as one sacred timeline to lead only to him and prevent his variances from spawning. With his death, the floodgates have opened, and infinite Kangs have now begun to appear, here and populate the arena of the Kang Dynasty, expediting the overall death of the Multiverse.

Kang then, by definition, is the walking doomsday switch of every universe. So if you were to look at Kang this way, I think ultimately, no matter what, we do have to recast Kang. I mean, for no other reason than the actor they did have might just be behind bars. But if Kang, by definition, is destined to expire, I don’t know if you want to use Colman Domingo or John David Washington for that. They could probably give a lesser-known actor a big opportunity while saving Domingo and Washington for bigger Marvel roles with more of a future. I mean, hey, you could just cast one of them as Dr. Doom and remind any haters that Latveria is a made-up country that could be anywhere. But I know a lot of you are going to be like, “Dr. Doom has to be Romania.” I’m not going to get into it with all you guys. I just think Dr. Doom can look like anyone.

But just imagine that Dr. Doom has attempted to kill all Kangs. Like, we might learn that he has been years ahead of the Avengers on this mission. But doing that has only made the Multiverse crisis worse. So instead, one variant of Dr. Doom in the MCU Multiverse will absorb all of the Kangs and the dynasty into himself. And so that way, in his mind, he will possess all the knowledge of all the universes as the Lords of our Battleworld, to decide what the Victorious Marvel Universe will include and will not include.

What would this actually look like? There’s a lot of ways it could go. But here’s a pitch: Imagine the post-credits scene to Fantastic 4, after we have met a different version of Victor Von Doom. And instead, we see a new version of Doom who has already discovered the Multiverse and already spent some time visiting it, trying to kill Kangs. We could revisit the Kang Dynasty Arena from that Quantum Mania mid-credits scene, and one of the figures we thought was a Kang on the floor is actually a hooded Dr. Doom. Like maybe this one in the crowd. He could be a Doom, right? This Doom raises something in his hand, and boom, it’s He Who Remains. He operates the device in a way that we’ve never seen before, and the thousands of Kangs scream as they fade and merge into Doom’s body in a flash of white, turning his robes and his armour white. It’s kind of like the moment Agatha Harkness became the Supreme Witch, draining the life forces of the coven. Dr. Doom could do this to all the Kangs and become God Emperor Doom.

Now, the issue is, that would be pretty fast, right? We need a Fantastic 4 movie to not be a Multiverse story right away so that we could get time to get to know them as astronaut scientists and as a grounded family. And we need that movie, at least one movie, to get to know Reed Richards from Victor Von Doom before he would level up into God Emperor Doom in Secret Wars. So I think the smartest way to do this is to make Victor Von Doom in Fantastic 4 and God Emperor Doom in Secret Wars two different variants. The Doom who’s the big bad in Secret Wars should not be the Victor who enters this universe with Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben. Because that Victor needs to be like a complex variant who’s just like a regular fixture of whatever the MCU looks like after Secret Wars.

So please don’t introduce Dr. Doom just to immediately level him up to God status and then blow him up. Give us two different Dooms and let us get to know them as different people who are on different sides of this multiversal conflict and learn different lessons from it.

But we want to know from you: Do you want Avengers 5 and 6 to be Secret Wars part 1 and 2? And what do you think Marvel should do about Kang? And how seriously should we take this specific issue of Secret Wars appearing in the Deadpool trailer? Comment down below with your thoughts.

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