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Archrivals: The Avengers vs Kang

Take some time to learn all about the most persistent of Earth's Mightiest Heroes

By Jim Beard

Kang's at it again in the pages of AVENGERS #4, due August 18.

Who's Kang? He's the man with time on his hands; the chronal despot who'll stop at nothing to destroy the Avengers in the past, the present and the future! That's Kang!

Like a bad penny, Kang the Conqueror's turned up so many times to befuddle and bedevil Earth's Mightiest Heroes, it's become something of a tradition. Born in the far future and sporting weapons and armor far beyond modern technology, Kang's outfitted himself for total conquest again and again and again.

Let's punch the clock and turn back the hands of time to look in on a few of Kang's most interesting battles with the Avengers!

AVENGERS #8 (1964)

Arriving from the future, Kang instantly confounded not only the armies of the world but the mighty Avengers too. The heroes fell before the Conqueror's incredible weapons and soon found themselves in his power. Only the timely intervention of young Rick Jones and his Teen Brigade turned the tide against Kang, and the Avengers sent the future man packing with his tail between his legs.


Battling Kang in the year 1873 with the help of the Wild West's greatest gunslingers, the Avengers bearded the lion in its den and moved in for the final conflict. Kang, still smarting from his failure to capture the Celestial Madonna, found himself confronted by Thor, who brought his hammer to bear on the problem. One displaced dissolution beam later, the villain found himself routed and seemingly destroyed. This broke his ties to his other selves, Immortus and Rama-Tut, who then faded from existence.


Gloating over his latest capture of the Avengers, Kang regaled the heroes with his origins and his conquest of all his divergent selves. Hercules struggled vainly to escape his captor's paralysis inducement, but it came down to the arrival of the thought-dead Immortus to shake Kang's steely resolve. The despot then seized a globe that contained the life memories of all the other divergent Kangs which drove him into madness-and Limbo.


Kang actually aided the Avengers against the Timekeepers, who in turn attempted to split the Conqueror into two beings, one of which would be Immortus. Kang managed to defeat his foes but his goal of snatching the Forever Crystal met defeat at the hands of Captain America, who destroyed the powerful object. In the end, the villain realized his destiny did not lie in becoming Immortus and left to scheme and plot more bouts of conquest and war.

AVENGERS #54 (2002)

As Earth burned from the so-called "Kang War," the Avengers destroyed their foe's command base and brought him to ground for a reckoning. Thor held his fellow heroes back as Captain America met Kang in personal combat and utterly defeated him. Freed, the world licked its wounds as Kang's son Marcus freed his father-only to receive a knife in the belly for his loyalty.


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