Comics
Published May 18, 2021

Who Is Kang the Conqueror?

Time-traveling tyrant or a broken man in love? Learn Kang’s comic history here.

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The indomitable will of Kang in UNCANNY AVENGERS (2012) #12.
UNCANNY AVENGERS (2012) #12

Hop into the Marvel Unlimited time machine to learn all about the time-misplaced menace known as Kang the Conqueror! Who is he, what are his abilities, exactly how many Kangs are there, and, most importantly, when is he? Try to keep up, there’s no time to waste.

WHO IS KANG?

An intro in YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #3.
YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #3

Kang is the Master of Time! Muahaha!

No, really. Born on Earth-6311 in the 30th century, Nathaniel Richards, who would later become known as Kang the Conqueror, discovered part of a time machine left by his namesake and ancestor from Earth-616—a man who brought peace to the young Nathaniel’s world as the Benefactor. Prior to this discovery, Nathaniel studied robotics and cross-dimensional recordings of Earth-616 (mainstream Earth), brought to his reality by said Benefactor. Learning all he could, the naturally astute Kang sought the means to become an overlord of the time-space continuum.

DOES KANG HAVE SUPER-POWERS?

A display of raw power in YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #5.
YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #5

No… but yes. Despite having no natural super-powers, Kang has an indomitable will and super-genius level intelligence. He learned how to use the Benefactor’s time device and became an expert in his future’s advanced technology, creating battle armor that endowed him with what seemed like superhuman abilities. His armor enabled him to project radioactivity against anyone who opposed him, including those with actual super-powers. Also, thanks to being immune to the radiation’s effects, (like others from his native era), he ages much slower. An expertise in strategy also helped him become a warlord as did his unarmed and armed combat skills.

WHEN IS KANG?

The first appearance of “Rama-Tut” in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #19.
The first appearance of “Rama-Tut” in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #19.

Often ahead of his time, Kang (and his many divergent duplicates that he inadvertently created through time-travel paradoxes) could actually be located anywhere across the Multiverse. Bored of his world’s peacetime, Kang originally used the time device to travel to Earth-616’s ancient Egypt where he became the pharaoh Rama-Tut. That was his first taste of power, but he was defeated by the time-traveling Fantastic Four, a young Apocalypse, the moon god Khonshu, and modern-era heroes Doctor Strange and the Avengers.

This conflict forced Rama-Tut to flee his time machine, but a “time storm” diverted him to the modern era, where he rescued a space-lost Doctor Doom. Inspired by Doom’s visage, he created the armored identity Scarlet Centurion but later abandoned it after losing to the Avengers in another timeline (Earth-689) in one of his various attempts to rule that world.

SO, WHAT ARE HIS MOTIVES?

Kang's meeting with Princess Ravonna in AVENGERS (1963) #23.
AVENGERS (1963) #23

World domination, of course. But when it comes to Kang Prime, love is a deep motivator too.

After abandoning the Scarlet Centurion identity, Nathaniel tried to return to his native time but ended up in Earth-6311’s 40th century when the world was decimated by war. While there, he assumed the moniker Kang the Conqueror, and became a warlord replete with an army. Although, he did spare the kingdom of Carelius for the King’s daughter’s hand in marriage, Princess Ravonna Renslayer.  But she was largely unimpressed with Kang’s victories, and despite his show of mercy, refused his proposal.

Ravonna in stasis in AVENGERS (1963) #269.
AVENGERS (1963) #269

Down the line, Ravonna realized her love for Kang and saved his life from a disgruntled commander within his ranks. Putting her in a kind of stasis, Kang eventually found the means to save her prior to her death, but in doing so created a divergent reality where Kang perished instead. Peering into time, he also discovered that his exploration had caused additional divergent realities and more Kangs with which to contend! Exhibit A? The organized Council of Kangs in AVENGERS (1963) #267-269!

WAIT, MORE KANGS?! HOW MANY KANGS WE TALKING?

The Council of Cross-Time Kangs in AVENGERS (1963) #292.
AVENGERS (1963) #292

Countless Kangs since Kang is a being of infinite impossibilities!

Let’s see, there’s the first Kang from Other-Earth—we’ll call him Kang Prime. There’s his future self, the all-knowing Immortus who was directed by the Time-Keepers to destroy the Avengers but ultimately became obsessed with them... Then there’s the Scarlet Centurion, one of Kang’s many spawned sons who were trained (and killed) if they didn’t meet “Dad’s” impossibly high expectations. All but one, Marcus XXIII, made it through this grueling process...

Then, after the Council of Kangs destroyed each other, the Council of Cross-Time Kangs (pictured above) came along and invited Kang Prime to join. We also can’t forget his younger self who joined the Young Avengers as Iron Lad and attempted to stop his older, embittered variant from becoming Kang the Conqueror...

Only time will tell how many of the other thousands of Kangs will make their existence known.

Revisit the origin of Kang in AVENGERS (2016) #4.
Revisit the origin of Kang in AVENGERS (2016) #4.

Now that you have the basics, don’t forget to check out all of Kang’s pivotal comic appearances on Marvel Unlimited today!

 

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Kang the Conqueror
The Master of Time. On his endless journey to become the ruler of all universes, Kang the Conqueror has secured his spot as the Avengers and Fantastic Four’s most dominating foe. A tyrannical time traveler with trans-temporal tech, this chronologically-misplaced menace threatens to unravel the timestream if not reality itself.
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