Kirby 100: Kang, the Conqueror
Meet one of the most deadly and persistent super villains of all-time!
1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.
Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.
How do you stop a villain from the future, who knows the past and also comes stocked with weaponry to make even Tony Stark’s head spin? Jack Kirby and Stan Lee answered that very question in 1964 with AVENGERS #8. In that issue, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes met at Stark’s mansion by request from the Pentagon who showed them a video of an unidentified flying object landing in Virginia. Unafraid of the human element, the craft’s pilot smoothed over a mile of forest to land and then used another ray to vibrate the approaching tanks to pieces!
Before long, the invader revealed himself as Kang, the Conqueror! At the government’s request, the Avengers flew off to investigate. When they arrived at the craft, they found their foe lounging on an invisible, floating chair, completely unimpressed with their appearance. The villain then very simply stated his objective of taking over the entire planet and backed that up by tossing the mighty super heroes around like paper dolls.
Once the under-secretary of defense showed up, Kang explained that he had been born in the year 3000, mastered time travel, and then visited the past as Rama-Tut, first seen in FANTASTIC FOUR #19. While trying to return to his home time, he actually went to the year 4000 where warring barbarians wielded technologically advanced weapons built in a bygone era. However, the self-styled Conqueror grew bored with the war-ravaged climes and decided to return to an earlier Earth. He ordered his minions to build him another time machine and that’s how he came face to face with the Avengers.
Uninterested in Kang’s claims of dominance, the Avengers attacked the would-be despot, but didn’t fair well. The time traveler zapped Giant-Man, deflected Mjolnir, and foiled Wasp’s attempts at de-powering his helmet. Tired of the battle, the rogue had the male members of his opposition sucked into holding cells inside his ship and then gave the world an ultimatum: surrender or die.
Kang would soon learn the error of his ways in ignoring The Wasp and Rick Jones, though. Jones called in his Teen Brigade pals and feigned allegiance, causing all kinds of trouble along the way. They even managed to free our heroes! Meanwhile, Wasp searched Hank Pym’s lab and found a power ray she thought would tip the scales in their favor.
Reunited, the Avengers pressed their attack, which included a blast from the gun that unleashed a suit-melting acid on Kang. The invader then unleashed a Neutrino Missile, but Iron Man easily deflected it as Giant-Man sealed off the launchers on the ship. Besieged and beleaguered, The Conqueror could do nothing more than retreat to his chronal conveyance and make a hasty retreat! And that’s how you beat a time traveler!
Check out more Kang in video game form with “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2”!
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.