Warning: Spoilers Below for Ant-Man & the Wasp: QuantumaniaThe time-manipulating villain Kang the Conqueror is introduced in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, but the perfect tool to combat him has already been destroyed. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his closest allies embark on their most harrowing adventure yet in Quantumania, inadvertently shrinking themselves down and entering the tiny world that is the Quantum Realm. In doing so, they come up against Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who is intent on wiping out entire timelines throughout the multiverse.

Majors previously portrayed a Kang variant known as He Who Remains on Disney+’s Loki, with Kang set to become the next Thanos in the MCU’s Phases 5 and 6 (dubbed, alongside Phase 4, as the Multiverse Saga.) Kang’s powers of time-travel and his goals to eliminate different timelines make him arguably an even greater threat than Thanos, which would make the Time Stone an invaluable tool for the MCU’s heroes to fight him with. Unfortunately, that option is no longer on the table for them.

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Kang The Conqueror’s Temporal Powers Would Be Matched By The Time Stone

The Time Stone was first introduced in Doctor Strange as the Eye of Agamotto, and later was established as one of the six Infinity Stones being pursued by Thanos to enact the snap in Avengers: Infinity War. After achieving his goal and wiping out half of all life in the universe, Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Endgame. It is only by traveling through the Quantum Realm that the Avengers are able to retrieve all six stones from various points in the past to undo the snap, with Captain America (Chris Evans) later returning them to the points in time they were taken from.

Unfortunately, the absence of the Time Stone in the MCU’s present day setting removes its time-manipulation capabilities with it. Moreover, the six Infinity Stones were returned to their original points in time in the past specifically to avoid disrupting the timeline, which had been a concern for the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). In all, this puts the MCU’s heroes at a significant disadvantage against Kang.

The Time Stone’s Destruction Means The Avengers Are Without A Defense

Antman and the wasp quantumania Time stone

Theoretically, someone like Ant-Man could simply travel through the Quantum Realm to retrieve the Time Stone from the past again, but the situation with Kang is not the same as it was with Thanos. In Endgame, the Hulk undid the Snap, with some struggle, while Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) used the six stones to wipe out Thanos and his army. By contrast, directly combating a time-traveling villain Kang with a time-alerting weapon like the Time Stone would potentially open a whole new Pandora’s Box of unforeseen consequences for the timeline.

The Ancient One would almost certainly balk at handing over the Time Stone again in such a scenario. Moreover, the end-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the impending battle of Avengers: Secret Wars both assure that branching timelines are going to factor heavily into Kang’s plot. Without the benefit of the Time Stone being readily available, the next generation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will have to find another way to combat Kang the Conqueror as Marvel’s new big bad.

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