The Council of Kangs, Explained
For Kang is infinite.
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Since his introduction as the mighty Conqueror in AVENGERS (1963) #8 (following an even earlier appearance as “Pharaoh Rama-Tut” in FANTASTIC FOUR #19), Kang—AKA Nathaniel Richards—has been one of the Avengers’ most imposing foes. And, only two issues after that fateful debut, Kang’s future self, Immortus, made his first appearance in AVENGERS (1963) #10. It was years before the connection between Kang and Immortus was officially revealed, but their combined legacy has made them a threat to the past, the present, and the future. And the only thing scarier than one Kang is the idea that there are infinite versions of the Conqueror. And so there are, collectively known as the Council of Kangs.
As the name implies, the Council of Kangs features different variants of Kang from across the Multiverse. Together, they could be an unstoppable force—if only they could trust each other. But it turns out that Kangs are often their own worst enemy. Yet despite the treachery of Kang’s past selves, the Council of Kangs keeps coming back together. Perhaps Kang really does prefer the company of his other selves (despite his protests to the contrary).
To fully understand the Council of Kangs, take a leap back into the past (or anywhere, really) with the magic of Marvel Unlimited.
DEATH TO ALL KANGS
The Council of Kangs first appeared in AVENGERS (1963) #267 at a time when both Kang and Immortus were believed to be dead after the events of the “Celestial Madonna Saga.” In reality, Kang did perish. And yet he also lived because his time travel exploits had created a near infinite number of variants!
However, Kang despised the idea that there were other Kangs in the Multiverse. That’s why Kang teamed up with two of his like-minded variants to wipe out the rest of the Council. Inevitably, Kang also betrayed his two conspirators because he wanted to be the only Kang in existence. Unfortunately for Kang, Immortus engineered the entire plot with the help of an alternate version of Kang’s lost love, Ravonna Renslayer. Kang was forced to absorb the memories of his murdered alternates, and he went insane before fleeing into the void of Limbo.
[RELATED: The Timeline of Kang in the Comics]
KANGS IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES
Despite the apparent destruction of the Council of Kangs, a larger gathering brought even more bizarre variants of the Conqueror together in AVENGERS (1963) #292. This was the introduction of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. And, unlike the previous Council of Kangs, their Cross-Time counterparts were not exclusively variants of Nathaniel Richards. Instead, they were aliens, creatures, and even other humans who had assumed the mantle of Kang in their respective timelines.
This was an even greater affront to Kang than the previous council. That’s why Kang destroyed the Council of Cross-Time Kangs in AVENGERS: THE TERMINATRIX OBJECTIVE (1993). To pull off this feat, Kang assumed control of the temporal monster known as Alioth.
Kang isn’t the only one in the Multiverse to seek out his other counterparts. In FANTASTIC FOUR (1998) #570, Kang’s distant relative, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, encountered the Interdimensional Council of Reeds. Unlike the Kangs, the Reeds came together out of a desire to be a force for good. But their efforts came at a high price, which included leaving their realities behind…permanently. That’s why the prime Reed Richards declined to make the same sacrifice.
When the Council of Reeds was destroyed in the war against the Mad Celestials, Doctor Doom took over their base of operations and discovered that they had been systematically capturing and lobotomizing his counterparts. In the ashes of the Reeds, Doom formed the Parliament of Doom, which may have helped him prepare for his ultimate triumph during SECRET WARS (2015).
THE KANG COLLECTIVE
More recently, in SPIDER-HAM (2019) #4, a new version of the Council of Kangs came together as The Kang Collective. And unlike during earlier gatherings, it appears that Kang no longer wants to murder his alternate selves. Instead, Kang appears to be at peace with even his non-human variants...with one exception. Spider-Ham’s foe, Kangaroo the Conqueror, was declared an affront to all Kangs and exiled from the group!
Taking things a step further, Kang attempted to wipe out Spider-Ham’s entire world in order to destroy all traces of Kangaroo. This led to an unconventional team-up between Spider-Man, Spider-Ham, and Kangaroo; which unmasked X-Villain Mojo as the true driving force behind Kang’s rampage. When Mojo was revealed to be manipulating the whole situation, the Kang Collective turned their attention towards him and attacked.
Where—and when—will the Council of Kangs return? It’s difficult to say, but Kang the Conqueror will soon play a major role in the upcoming AVENGERS series, arriving later this year!
Read more classic and new series starring Kang the Conqueror, Ant-Man: Scott Lang, Cassie Lang, Wasp: Janet Van Dyne, and more on Marvel Unlimited. Join today using promo code QUANTUM to save 50% on your first two months!
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