Hello and welcome to another great week in Ye Olde School Café! You know, good villains that have longevity are hard to come by. I’m not talking about guys like Mole Man, Diablo, or the Abomination; good characters, but they can’t threaten an entire team like the Avengers. Now, a time traveling evil genius with advanced weaponry and intellect to match? Yes, Kang fits that bill, as few have throughout the ages. In the continuation of this trade, an issue of The Incredible Hulk is next, but I’m going to skip that one and focus on the next arc starring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (Avengers #267-269).
As the next chapter of madness unfolds, we watch as Storm is introduced as the newest member of the Avengers. Iron Man swoops in at the last second for the ceremony, and after he’s congratulated by the President of the USA, he gives the commander in chief a box to open. He says it’s from Tony Stark, but as the President opens it, Tony Stark himself comes into the picture screaming, but it’s too late. The box explodes, and the next thing we see is a mushroom cloud where everyone was standing. In the aftermath, we see “Iron Man” as he’s then revealed to be Kang the conqueror!
As he begins to gloat over his victory, he is whisked away to a secret location. As he’s standing there, he’s confronted by a “Council of Kangs.” These three men voice their displeasure, and the other “Kang” is stunned to see three other versions of himself. They explain to him that every time a “Kang” jumps through time, he creates another “Kang” in that divergent reality. He verbally lashes out at them, and they incinerate him on the spot for being out of control. The three “Kangs” then decide to go their own way for a while to pursue individual conquests. At this point, one of them returns to snoop around to look for any clues as to what the caped “Kang” is up to. The caped “Kang” has already assumed he was coming, and was in hiding, waiting for him. He shows him all the advancements that he’s made, and the other Kang is impressed. He then sees Ravonna, who is in stasis, and barely alive. The caped “Kang” tells him that he doesn’t need to mourn her because his Ravonna is still alive. As she steps out of the shadows, he lunges for her, and the caped “Kang” shoots him dead. He tells Ravonna that now there is only one left to eliminate!
Over at Avengers Mansion, Wasp has just arrived and is being harassed by the media. The Avengers have made Namor a full time member, and after he and his fellow Atlanteans tried to take over the surface world, some of the “surface dwellers” aren’t very happy about that. Meanwhile, below the mansion Hercules and the Black Knight are starting the remodeling process by boring out the rock and debris. They hit a point, and then are blinded by a light. The next thing they know, a swirling fog surrounds them, and The Hulk appears out of nowhere. Hercules immediately begins to brawl with him, but Wasp soon realizes that something is wrong. Then, right before their eyes, the Hulk transforms into Hank Pym!
Out at sea, Captain America and Captain Marvel (Photon) are trying to get Namor to come to the mansion and help ease the pressure of the media attention. Back at the mansion, Wasp, Black Knight, and Hercules are astounded once again, as the person who attacked them now turns into Iron Man. Wasp then realizes what they’re up against, and it’s revealed to be a Space Phantom (below). As they figure that out, Kang appears and begins to taunt the Avengers. He tells them about how he now rules Limbo, and he’s going to leave them there to rot. Hercules gets furious, and throws a punch at him. It knocks his head completely off, and they understand that it’s only a robot duplicate of the real Kang. Kang then reveals his plan to Ravonna that he intends to conquer all of time!
Well, that’s it for now, but be back next week for the exciting conclusion. We’ll see some of the Avengers in Limbo, with apparently no way out, then Cap, Namor, and Photon attempt a daring rescue. It will all culminate with a battle between Kang and Immortus in Limbo! See you next week!