Victor Timely is the latest Kang (Jonathan Majors) variant to be getting all the headlines. First appearing in Avengers #8 in 1964, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror is one of Earth’s mightiest heroes’ oldest foes. Kang goes by many names, with even more variants to be had, but Timely has been in the spotlight thanks to a tease in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and his appearance in Loki Season 2, Episode 3.
So, let’s answer the question: Who is Victor Timely in Marvel Comics?
Who Is Victor Timely?
Victor Timely was introduced in the 1992 Marvel Comics line of annuals, consisting of Captain America Annual #11, Thor Annual #17, Fantastic Four Annual #25, and Avengers Annual #21, and telling the four-part story Citizen Kang. Within the four parts, members of the Avengers and Fantastic Four investigate a town called Timely, Wisconsin, where The Vision discovers that there is a part of him that was made in that town at Timely Industries. However, the android Avenger shockingly goes missing during his quest to America’s Dairyland.
Captain America, Thor, The Fantastic Four, and an Avengers team (consisting of members like Sersi and Black Knight) investigate and learn that Timely, Wisconsin is not what it appears to be. On its surface, the tiny town is something out of a Norman Rockwell interpretation of small town America. However, upon looking deeper, the heroes discover that the town is truly a front for Kang.
Within the seemingly abandoned Timely Industries factory, Kang builds the entrance to Chronopolis — the city-state that Kang controls. After a confrontation, Kang is quickly defeated by the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Following the battle, Ravonna Renslayer carries the Conqueror away to be healed on his ship, where she discovers what Kang was doing in his made-up town.
What was Victor Timely’s plan?
After being defeated in Avengers #8, Kang goes back in time to 1901 to alter history for a potential rematch. There, he takes up the name Victor Timely and begins to settle his roots in history. He creates the town of Timely, becomes the mayor, and creates Timely Industries to shake the future from the ground up. Victor even influences Dr. Phineas T. Horton, the creator of the original (android) version of the Human Torch. Once Timely Industries became a global leader in the technological trade, Kang had his hands on every bit of tech throughout time and, in this case, the present.
In 1998 when the Kang Dynasty arc, from Avengers #41-55 by Kurt Busiek, Alan Davis, Kieron Dwyer, Rick Remender, Ivan Reis, and Manuel Garcia, rolled around, Kang was already a step ahead. The government attempted to attack Kang with Sentinels, but their creation stemmed from Timely Industries technology. From his Victor Timely era, Kang had already infiltrated the Sentinels, leading to their quick defeat.
How Does Victor Timely Fit Into the MCU?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been afraid to stray away from its comic book origins for many of its characters. For example, MCU Sylvie is now a fairly original character, being a mix of the comic version of Sylvie, Lady Loki, and the Enchantress.
The comic and MCU versions of Timely will differ in how the latter impacts the timelines as a whole. Marvel Comics uses time travel in every way possible; going back in time can change the future, or it can create a separate timeline, as we see in the MCU. It is rather inconsistent, and they often play in whichever sandbox fits the story they want to tell.
Timely’s impact in the comics supports the former theory of time travel by going back in time to inflict a change on the future. This is where a one-for-one interpretation of the character can fall apart for the MCU. In Loki Episode 3, it is teased that this version of Timely is set up to be the next version of He Who Remains, which plays into one of the more fascinating elements of Victor Timely.
How Important Is Victor Timely in Marvel Comics?
In the comics, the alias of Victor Timely is just a small persona of Kang. He plays the role of an inventor, a Thomas Edison-type figure, to infiltrate the past so Kang gets control of technology in the future/present. But what makes him special is that he is actually Kang prime — not a true variant.
The name “Timely” also holds a double meaning. One being, a not-so-subtle, jab at Kang’s time-traveling gimmick, and the other referencing the original name of Marvel Comics from 1939-1950 — Timely Comics. Timely Comics then rebranded itself to Atlas Comics for a short stint in 1951 before ultimately becoming Marvel Comics in 1961.
Perhaps the MCU version of Victor Timely will have a more lasting impact on the story than his comic counterpart. In Loki Season 2, Episode 3, Timely goes with Loki and Mobius to the TVA, meaning fans should see him in the following episode. Timely’s story could be developed further as the season goes along, or, if Victor dies a quick death, he will ultimately serve as another warning of what is to come in the grand scale of the MCU with Avengers: Kang Dynasty on the horizon.
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