What are these voices?
There are plenty of famous quotes from the MCU throughout this wild cosmic opening, but as far as we can tell, none of them are particularly important to the events of this episode. There are also some famous quotes from real people. They include:
- “A small step for man …” – Neil Armstrong
- “How dare they! “- Grand Thunberg
- “My dream…” – Malala Yousafzai
- “We fought for the right to live in peace. – Nelson Mandela
- ” I will get up. “- Maya Angélou
- “We see time as a one-way movement…” – Unidentified by closed captioning but maybe Carl Sagan
- “Motivated by women around the world. “- Also not identified by closed captioning
This debut features several important songs from all over the history of mankind. The overture to Beethoven’s “Für Elise” appears noticeably but briefly, and we believe we have heard excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s song. Swan Lake.
The majority of it, however, is set on the strains of The Harry James Band’s version of “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” a song that is very familiar to Captain America fans as the song that plays on. Avengers: EndgameIt’s the perfect final moment. The song first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Nick Fury was playing it in Steve’s apartment (clearly, Steve had plans for this song), but here the “Long, Long Time” in question refers to the lifespan of the series villain, “He Who Remains ”, better known as…
Kang the Conqueror
(quick warning: for the sake of simplicity we are referring to whoever stays as Kang in this section, but for reasons that will become clear there are nuances there, so please indulge us)
- Kang’s story, as presented here, also pays homage to the idea of ”The Council of Cross Time Kangs”, which is both an assortment of Kang variants from different timelines and also the people who fought / defeated them… and thus put on the mantle of Kang. in their respective timelines. Do you still have a headache? Because…
- There was also an “Interdimensional Reed Council” from Jonathan Hickman’s race on The Fantastic Four. Like Kang, various Reed Richards from various realities met through portals and decided to help needy areas of the multiverse using their combined intellect. Initially, most of them were killed by a group of Celestials. These days they’re back, but led by the corrupted Reed Richards of the Ultimate Universe (the Creator). Things are going to be absolutely nuts when the MCU finally brings us the FF.
- Although Jonathan Majors signed on to play Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it has never been identified as such here. In the credits, he is the “The One Who Stays” approved by Miss Minutes. What comes closest to his name Kang is when he mentions that he has been called a “conqueror”. He also mentions that he has been called a “ruler,” which could very well be taken as a reference to the character’s time as Pharaoh Rama-Tut.
- When Sylvie takes a hit on Kang early on, he teleports and ends up lying behind them in a smug pose. This appears to be a reference to his first comedic appearance (1964 Avengers # 8), where the Avengers find him casually lying in the air.
- Kang doesn’t rock any of his familiar comedic looks here (though the color scheme is vaguely appropriate), but at least one of the “miniatures” he uses to illustrate his story appears to be.
The one who stays
While the “He Who Remains” we meet here is definitely meant as a variant of Kang, the character exists independently of Kang in the comics!