Hello and welcome to another exciting edition of Ye Olde School Café! This week, we’ll be finishing up our look at the time traveling warlord, Kang! In this trade paperback, Kang has three different opportunities to do his thing, but is thwarted by the Avengers (and the Hulk). Don’t let that fool you, though, as he’s a ruthless killer that will stop at nothing to achieve his goals (evident in the story by Kurt Busiek called “Kang Dynasty” – 2001-2002). Well, let’s dispense with the talk and get to the finale of Avengers: Kang: Time and Time Again (credits to Roy Thomas, Roger Stern, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, and Jack Kirby-1967, ’69, & ’71)!
As Cap, Namor, and Photon are trying to piece together what happened to the others, Black Knight, Hercules, and Wasp, are being attacked by beasts that Kang has created. All for his entertainment, of course, but also to frustrate them, and gauge their abilities. After Herc beats some answers out of one of the beasts, they find their way to Kang’s citadel. As that mystery continues, Cap and the others find their way to Limbo, but Kang is there also. Unbeknownst to them, this is the other “Kang,” and by the time anyone can figure anything out, Kang realizes that they’ve all been played as fools by the Kang who brought this all together. At that very moment, the group gets zapped by an electronic beam.
The heroes end up as Kang’s prisoners at his citadel, outside of time. It is here that they realize his plans of the caped version of Kang that has orchestrated all of this. The other Kang that was used to sucker them in tells them about how there were thousands of “Kangs,” all born from divergent realities. Kang then explains his origins to them at this point. He tells them about how a time traveler from the 20th century traveled to his time. Took a wife, and had a son. This was Kang. He then traveled to the ancient past, where the Egyptians ruled. Kang then became Rama Tut and ruled them (until Apocalypse came along – read Rise of Apocalypse for more on that), but then time traveled again and had an encounter with Dr. Doom.
As Kang explains his further adventures in the future as a conqueror, Hercules is using every ounce of strength that his father, Zeus, has given him. Back to Kang, though, as he tells the Avengers that he learned from his prior experiences with them, but it was when he fought Thor that his life really changed. When Thor used Mjolnir to whisk Kang away (Thor #140), Kang ended up at the citadel of Immortus, outside of time. Immortus was there, but long dead apparently. Using this advanced equipment, this is how Kang found out about the other “Kangs.” At this very moment, Hercules and the others break free from the stasis field, and begin to pound Kang.
Kang’s defeat astonishes him even more, but then he realizes that his only love, Ravonna, has betrayed him. She saw that the heroes were about to break free, but decided not to tell Kang. She loves the other Kang, but in the end, they both fall. One to the Avengers, and the other when Immortus appears. You see, Immortus planned all of this as far back as when Kang found his “dead” body in the control room. He also wanted to rid the world of those divergent “Kangs,” so he let the other one do it for him. As he tells them about the object he holds in his hands (a psyche globe) that contains all the memories of the other Kangs, the last one leaps at him and steals it. Just as he’s feeling like he’ll be able to conquer the world, he drops it and dives out the window after it, into the abyss of Limbo.
Immortus explains everything to the Avengers, who don’t like that they’ve been used against their will. As they approach Immortus, he waves his hand and they disappear, and go back to where they were. Ravonna and Immortus are left to their own devices, and plans for the future….
Well, that’s it, but hopefully everyone can appreciate the layers to this great character, and his origins. Is he related to Reed Richards or Victor Von Doom? Kang has gotten slightly convoluted, but in the end he’s still one of Marvel’s best villains!