Kang the Conqueror
Kang the Conqueror
Cover of Avengers #129 (Nov. 1974), featuring Kang the Conqueror battling the Avengers.
Art by Sal Buscema.
Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics First appearance as Rama-Tut:
Fantastic Four #19 (Oct. 1963)
Avengers #8 (Sep. 1964)
Created by Stan Lee
In-story information Alter ego Nathaniel Richards Team affiliations Council of Kangs
Notable aliases Iron Lad, Rama-Tut, Victor Timely, Scarlet Centurion, Immortus Abilities Genius-level intellect
Master tactician and strategist
Skilled armed/unarmed combatant
Access to advanced technology
Kang the Conqueror is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears in Avengers #8 (Sep. 1964), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. In 2009, Kang was ranked as IGN's 65th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
Fictional character biography
Nathaniel Richards was a scholar born in the 30th century of an alternate, more advanced timeline of Earth-616. He claims that the timeline was so advanced they created Lunar colonies while Earth-616 was in its Dark Ages. Bored with the perfection of his society, Richards became fascinated with history and discovered the time travel technology created by one of his ancestors, Victor Von Doom. Richards then traveled back in time to ancient Egypt c. 2950 B.C., in a Sphinx-shaped timeship, and became the Pharaoh Rama-Tut, with intentions of claiming En Sabah Nur—the mutant destined to become Apocalypse—as his heir. He was briefly blinded in a crash, but a radioactive herb restores his sight after he scares the natives by firing his ray-gun. Richards's rule lasts until being driven off after a defeat at the hands of the time-displaced heroes of the 20th century, the Fantastic Four, who had travelled back in time after seeing a record of a cure for blindness, which they hope to get for Alicia Masters, (with some help from a time-traveling Doctor Strange and Khonshu). The Fantastic Four are placed under mind-control by Kang's Ultra-Diode Ray; he makes the Invisible Girl his Queen, puts the Thing to work on the ship, places Mister Fantastic as a lookout for his armies, and makes the Human Torch his court jester. But Doctor Strange turns the Thing back freeing him from the ray's control; he frees the Invisible Woman as he begins turning back, who frees the Torch then the Thing, and the Torch frees Reed. They get into the Sphinx, but Kang escapes into time, and an explosive device destroys the Sphinx, though the Fantastic Four get out just before this happens. He returns to rule, and encounters the time-traveling West Coast Avengers.
Embittered by this defeat, he travels forward to the 20th century and meets his ancestor Doctor Doom, first encountering him adrift in outer space near Jupiter and returning him to Earth as though he fears him he cannot bring himself to strike down a man who had caused such trouble for the Fantastic Four. They suggest they might be the same being, but at different points in time, so will not attack the Fantastic Four together, as they claim if one is defeated, the other will be unable to exist. Richards then tries to return to the year 3000, but accidentally lands in 4000 due to an electrical fault. This world is inhabitated by warring factions that do not understand the technology created by their more advanced ancestors. Kang designs armor for himself based on Doom's using 40th century technology, and travels to the 20th century of an alternate timeline, Earth-689. Calling himself the Scarlet Centurion he manipulates the Avengers from this timeline—the original team—into apprehending all heroes and villains after their defeat of the Space Phantom. The Centurion then transports the Avengers from the mainstream Marvel universe (Earth-616) into the timeline while they were time-travelling, hoping that they will defeat their Earth-689 equivalents, and can then be disposed of. While the mainstream versions do defeat their counterparts, they are also able to force the Centurion from the timeline, after which Uatu the Watcher tells them he is Kang. He battles the Squadron Supreme on an alternate Earth. The Centurion then travels back to his home century, and reinvents himself as Kang the Conqueror and, using the resources at his disposal, establishes an empire. However this world is dying, so he decides to take over an earlier, more fertile Earth, and decides to take over the Earth of Doctor Doom.
On Kang's first foray into the 20th century where he expects to meet Doctor Doom, he attempts to conquer this time period and meets the superhero team the Avengers, he reveals how he returned and battles them. He traps the Avengers in his ship using a tractor beam, although Wasp and Rick escape. He says the world has 24 hours to surrender to him. The Teen Brigade pretends they want to help Kang, but drop an energy cylinder to delay him after they gain access to his ship. Thor is freed and he then frees the other members. The Wasp gets Giant-Man a weapon that wrecks Kang's battlesuit and his missiles. Kang releases radiation that beings from the year 4000 are immune to, but Thor uses his hammer to absorb the rays and send them back at Kang, which not even his immunity can stand, after which he is forced to escape to another time. Kang is furious and swears vengeance, and battles the Avengers to a stalemate, using a Spider-Man robot while Iron Man is briefly away from the Avengers, in a Temple with a nerve gas to weaken them after the robot lures them there by claiming the Masters of Evil have kidnapped Iron Man and taken him to the temple. but the real Spider-Man had found out about the robot with his spider-sense and destroys the robot after deacitvating it during an aerial battle. The Avengers realize Kang was behind this. Kang returns, attempting to win the hand of Princess Ravonna of a puppet kingdom, by demonstrating his power to her father by battling the Avengers, who he kidnaps using a time machine he disguises as part of their mansion. The Scarlet Witch uses her power to break out of giant jars they are imprisoned in. She pulls alever to free the others. However they are paralyzed by a device of Kang, though Quicksilver evades it with his speed. Captain America reveals himself to Kang outside the Mansion, so is sent to the future. The Avengers reform and attack Kang, who gives a signal to his army. His men attack the kingdom and finally get to the Avengers, who are defeated. One of the men orders the others to bind them securely and bring them before Kang. Later after one of his commanders rebels he frees the Avengers to fight with him. They get the support of a group of citizens and break into the armory. The rebellion succeeds, and Baltog is captured by Quicksilver. Kang then tranports the Avengers back to their own time. However, Ravonna is mortally wounded by Baltrog, when she leaps in front of the blast meant for Kang, realizing she loved him. Baltrog is then executed, while Kang laments Ravonna. Kang was unable to revive her, so kept her body in statis. Later he came from the 25th century and after defeating and imprisoning Merlin he attempted to take over King Arthur's Court and change history by attacking the rest of the world. He defeated King Arthur and many of his knights, sending them into exile. But Uatu the Watcher sent the Human Torch and Thing back in time. They battled his army and the Torch released Merlin. After his army was turned against him by Merlin, Kang was forced to flee. The Watcher then sent the two heroes back to their own time. In an encounter with the Thunder God Thor while utilizing his Growing Man, Kang's disguised time travel vehicle is destroyed by Mjolnir as he attempts to get back to his own time period. Kang returns and enters into a wager with the cosmic entity Grandmaster in hopes of restoring life to Ravonna, and uses the Avengers as his pawns against the Grandmaster's newly created champions, the Squadron Sinister. This also ends in a stalemate thanks to the intervention of the Black Knight; Kang unable to gain the power of life and death as he had wished - to save Ravonna and defeat the Avengers - so he requested the power of death to kill the Avengers, but since the Black Knight was not a member of the Avengers, he was able to defeat Kang.[volume & issue needed] Kang later has a brief encounter with the Hulk, who he utilizes in a scheme to change Earth during World War I, as he is unable to enter 1917 due to a time-storm. Kang attempts to trick the Hulk into killing his own ancestor by stopping the Phantom Eagle destroying a cannon that was about to attack the Allies—and thus potentially negate the formation of the Avengers. The Hulk stops the Eagle, but accidentally destroys the cannon himself, and when Kang tries to keep the Hulk in 1917, he is hurled into the 'limbo between the millennium'. Later he tries to capture the Avengers once more. This scheme is foiled by Spider-Man, the Human Torch, and the Inhumans.
Several months later Kang reappears, seeking the Celestial Madonna for a mate, whom he believes is on Earth. The discovery that it is the Avenger Mantis leads to another confrontation with the Avengers. The Avengers are aided by a futuristic version of Rama-Tut, who had returned to ancient Egypt in his old age and ruled for ten years, and then placed himself in suspended animation to revive in the 20th Century. This Rama-Tut has abandoned his identity as Kang and seeks to counsel and change his younger, conquering self. While Kang is foiled in his quest for the Celestial Madonna, Rama-Tut is unable to prevent the accidental death of the Avenger the Swordsman. As Kang escapes, the Avenger Hawkeye chooses to pursue him (courtesy of Doom's time-travel machine), which results in a final battle in the Old West in 1871. Aided by the futuristic Rama-Tut once more—who has evolved after a journey to Limbo and a study of time into Immortus—Hawkeye, Thor, and ally Moondragon confront Kang, with the help of the Two-Gun Kid. In trying to defeat Thor, Kang draws on an excessive amount of energy and destroys himself.
Years later the Hulk has an encounter in the future with Kang's still devoted minions, and the Beyonder plucks a living Kang from his timeline to participate on the villains' side in the first of the Secret Wars. He was revealed as a possible descendant of Nathaniel Richards from the 31st Century of an alternate Earth. It was then revealed that while the original Kang was dead, his constant time-traveling had caused the creation of a number of other flawed "Kangs", and so the three stable versions of the villain form a council to eliminate the others and stop a proliferation of still more of their number from Limbo. The first Kang to reach Limbo had been drawn there after his time-travel vehicle was destroyed by Thor. He found the fortress of Immortus and the remains of Immortus, causing him to take the devices used by the Lord of Limbo for viewing different time peroids. He realized his creation of alternate realities after he took Ravonna from the moment before her death to Limbo, and then saw he had created an alternate reality in which he was slain. He destroys thousands of Kangs from many realitites, with two other cunning divergents who with him form the Council of Kangs, though he is really plotting to destroy them. The Avengers are drawn into the conflict by Kang trying to use them to destroy another Kang, and they are all captured and held under a paralysis ray while Kang explains his history to them. However Hercules overloaded the system when he tried to use his great strength to break free, allowing the Avengers to escape. The other Kang is delayed by Ravonna, who tells him if he truly loves her he must not kill his other version, but despite his love for her he still goes after the other Kang. He is destroyed when he tries to fire a weapon at Kang that had been tampered with. Once again with the help of Immortus the Avengers triumph. Immortus reveals he was behind these events and caused the temporal difficulties that sent Kang into the 20th and 41st Century, along with faking his death. Now most of the Kangs have been destroyed, with only one "Prime" Kang remaining, who falls into nothingness in Limbo after being driven insane while trying to absorb the memories of the Kangs that were destroyed. Immortus then sent the Avengers back to their own timeline.
Another Kang was later revealed to have survived, and is invited to join the Crosstime Kang Corps (or, the "Council of Cross-Time Kangs"), which consists of a group of various aliens posing as Kang, searching for a Celestial "Ultimate Weapon". This version of Kang calls himself "Fred" (by his own admission a humorous nod to Fred Flintstone, with a prehistoric name being appropriate for a time-traveler) and has a brief encounter with the Avengers while trying to stop the female space-pirate Nebula from interfering with a timeline. The Prime Kang then attempts to manipulate the Avengers from a time vortex  and later encounters the Fantastic Four in a bid to capture Mantis and use her to defeat a Celestial and defeat the other Kangs, while "Fred" is incinerated by a Nebula-possessed Human Torch during a later battle with the Fantastic Four in the timestream.
Immortus reappears and reveals in a battle with the Avengers West Coast that he desires to be master of all time and plans to use the Avenger the Scarlet Witch as a nexus in order to control time. Immortus' plan is foiled when a group of beings called the Time Keepers—who charged Immortus with responsibility for the period of time from 3000 BC to 4000 AD—appear and use him as the nexus point to stabilize the damage done to the timestream by his interference. Prime Kang then makes a brief appearance as an ally of Dr. Doom when the latter tries to steal the Infinity Gems.
The Prime Kang then appears and takes the android Avenger the Vision prisoner, and battles both the Avengers and a new foe—Terminatrix—who is revealed to be Kang's old lover Ravonna. Kang is critically injured when he intercepts a blow from Thor's hammer Mjolnir that was meant for Ravonna, who is distraught over his sacrifice and teleports away with him. Terminatrix then places Prime Kang in stasis to heal and assumes control of his empire. However, she finds the empire under attack by a chronal being called Alioth, and is forced to summon the Avengers to assist. Terminatrix also revives Kang, who assists the Avengers in defeating Alioth, but not before allowing the entity to kill the entire Crosstime Kang Corps.
A recovered Prime Kang later aids the Avengers and their companion Rick Jones against another scheme implemented by his future self, Immortus, who is now allied with the Time Keepers. When Immortus betrays the Time Keepers they kill him, and are in turn killed by Kang, though not before resurrecting Immortus by "splitting him off" from Kang. This then allows Kang to be free of Immortus as he has now fulfilled his destiny of becoming Immortus without being trapped by it. After some months Prime Kang embarks on an ambitious scheme (the Kang War) to conquer the Earth, this time aided by a son, Marcus, who now uses the alias of the Scarlet Centurion. Kang first promises any who aid him on Earth a place in his new order, which puts Earth's defenses and the Avengers under strain as they fight off villain after villain. Kang then takes control of Earth's defense system, and after destroying the city of Washington and killing millions, forces a surrender. The Avengers continue to battle the forces of Kang's new empire, and eventually he is defeated by Captain America in personal combat. Although imprisoned, Kang is freed by his son Marcus, who is revealed to be only one of a series of clones. Kang then reveals that he is aware of Marcus' betrayal (Marcus fell in love with and aided the Avenger Warbird in defeating the Master of the World, thus indirectly aiding in his father's defeat as control of the Master's technology allowed the Avengers to defeat Kang) and kills him before retreating from Earth.
Some time later, the hero Iron Lad is revealed to be an adolescent version of Kang who learned of his future history when Kang tried to prevent a childhood hospitalization. Attempting to escape his destiny, the young Kang stole his future self's advanced armor and travelled back to the past, forming the Young Avengers based on a security protocol acquired from the databanks of the now-dead Vision when he was unable to contact the now-disassembled Avengers to help him stop Kang. However, when his attempt to reject his destiny results in him killing Kang, the resulting destruction caused by the changes in history forces Iron Lad to return to his time and undo the damage by becoming Kang.
Kang established a small, quiet town called Timely in northern Illinois around 1910, as a private retreat from the daily stresses of the Empire, where he occasionally resides as mayor Victor Timely.[volume & issue needed] It was during one of his vacation times that he took an interest in a young visiting college graduate named Phineas Horton, providing Horton with some insights during their talks which led him to eventually create the original Human Torch.[volume & issue needed]
Realm of Kings
Powers and abilities
Kang has no superhuman abilities, but is an extraordinary genius, an expert historical scholar, a master physicist (specializing in time-travel), engineer, and technician. Courtesy of 40th century technology, he has mastered combat and tactics, and is thoroughly versed in the principles of time travel. Kang wears highly advanced battle armor that enhances his strength; is capable of energy, hologram and force-field projection, has a 30 day supply of air and food, and the ability to control other forms of technology. It is made from alloys found in the 40th century. Via his "time-ship", Kang has access to technology from any century, and he once claimed his ship alone could destroy the Moon.[volume & issue needed] He is also far more immune to radiation than humans from the present.
As Rama-Tut, he used an "ultra-diode" ray-gun, able to sap the wills of human beings; at high-frequency, able to weaken superhuman beings and prevent use of their superhuman powers. They can be freed from its effects if the gun is fired at them a second time.
- In the original JLA vs Avengers 1980 canceled crossover by George Perez, Epoch (DC Comics) and Kang the Conqueror were the main instigators in the plot against the JLA and Avengers. The artwork was reincorporated in a panel of JLA/Avengers #3 to suggest a false timeline made by Krona's time distortions, in which the two battled each other in the Quest for the cosmic egg.
In the X-Men/Star Trek crossover Second Contact, an alternate universe version of Kang disrupts a number of timelines, and is defeated by the combined effort of the mutant X-Men and the crew of the Enterprise-E. His timehooks- the means the two teams used to travel in time- later draw the X-Men into the Enterprise's timeline when the hook the Enterprise used becomes exposed to verteron particles, creating a link to the other hook due to Nightcrawler being similarly infused with verteron particles when he teleports.
In other media
- Kang's Rama-Tut persona features in the 1967 Fantastic Four animated series, and also has a cameo in X-Men: Evolution's third season as part of the origins of Apocalypse in the series.
- Kang (in the persona of Immortus) appears in a cameo in the X-Men: Animated Series four-part episode Beyond Good and Evil.
- Kang appears in The Avengers: United They Stand episode "Kang", voiced by Ken Kramer.
- Kang first appears in the The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Meet Captain America" voiced by Jonathan Adams. Kang learns about the history of Captain America. Kang then discovers that what will happen to Captain America will have a huge effect on the future. Due to Ravonna getting temporarily exposed to energies rewriting his timeline, Kang resolves to conquer the past. In the episode "The Man Who Stole Tomorrow," he appears in the Avengers Mansion to attack Captain America even though Iron Man is also there. Captain America and Iron Man had a difficult time fighting Kang due to the fact that his technology is far more advanced. When the other Avengers appear, Kang ends up bringing them 10 years into the future where he reveals that something that Captain America will do will end up causing the sun to be a casualty when Earth gets caught up in the Kree-Skrull War. While the other Avengers end up distracting Kang, Iron Man hacks into Kang's floating throne and manages to bring everyone back to the present. Kang has Damocles extract him from Avengers Mansion after taking a hit from his own floating throne. When back on Damocles, he prepares his fleet to take over Earth. In the episode "Come the Conqueror," Kang brings an army from the future to help him conquer Earth. Iron Man manages to find Kang's ship in space. In the episode "The Kang Dynasty," Kang the Conqueror fights the Avengers and an Ultron Synthezoid near the time space drive until Iron Man arrives finding a way to defeat him. When Iron Man has Ultron access the time space drive, Wasp arrives with the guards explaining the situation on Kang's love for Princess Ravonna and what would happen if they sent Kang back to his own time. In the aftermath of the battle, Damocles is compromised by S.H.I.E.L.D., Hank Pym is working with Mister Fantastic and other geniuses to find a way to keep Ravonna alive, and Kang is remanded to Prison 42 still making his claims about what Captain America will do when the Kree-Skrull War reaches Earth.
- ^ Mentioned in Avengers #11 (Dec. 1964)
- ^ The Rise of Apocalypse #1 - 4 (Oct. 1996 - Jan. 1997)
- ^ Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #53
- ^ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #20-23
- ^ Fantastic Four #19 (Sep. 1963)
- ^ West Coast Avengers #22 (Jul. 1987)
- ^ Fantastic Four Annual #2
- ^ Avengers Annual #2 (Sep. 1968)
- ^ Avengers #8 (Sep. 1964)
- ^ Avengers #11 (Dec. 1964)
- ^ Avengers #23 - 24 (Dec. 1965 - Jan. 1966)
- ^ Strange Tales #134
- ^ Thor #140 (May 1967)
- ^ Avengers #69 - 71 (Oct. 1969 - Dec. 1969)
- ^ Hulk #135 (Jan. 1971)
- ^ Marvel Team-Up #9 - 11 (May. 1972 - Jul. 1973)
- ^ Avengers #129, 131-132 (Nov. 1974) and Avengers Giant-Size #2 (1974)
- ^ Thor #282
- ^ Avengers #141 - 143 (Nov. 1975 - Jan. 1976)
- ^ Hulk #286 (Aug. 1983)
- ^ Secret Wars #1-12 (May 1984 - April 1985)
- ^ Fantastic Four #273
- ^ Avengers #267 - 269 (May - Jul. 1986)
- ^ Avengers #291 - 297 (May - Nov. 1998)
- ^ Avengers #300 (Feb. 1999)
- ^ Fantastic Four #323 - 325 (Feb. - Apr. 1989)
- ^ Fantastic Four #337 - 341 (Feb. - Jun. 1990)
- ^ Avengers West Coast #48 - 62 (Sep. 1989 - Sep. 1990)
- ^ Infinity War #1 - 6 (Jun. - Nov. 1992)
- ^ Captain America Annual #11; Thor Annual #17; Fantastic Four Annual #26 and Avengers Annual #21 (all 1992)
- ^ The Terminatrix Objective #1 - 4 (Sep. - Dec. 1993)
- ^ Avengers Forever # 1 - 12 (Dec. 1998 - Dec. 99)
- ^ Avengers #41 - 55 (Jun. 2001 - Aug. 2002) + Avengers Annual 2001
- ^ Young Avengers #1-#6 (2006)
- ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #19
- ^ Second Contact (1998)
- ^ "Twitter / Christopher Yost: @VenomMelendez Maria Hill". Twitter.com. http://twitter.com/yost/status/26679622142. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Kang and Rama-Tut at Marvel.com
- A Brief History of Kang
- Immortus at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Cassandra Richards/Warlord at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
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