As the 23rd son of Nathaniel Richards, AKA Kang the Conqueror, Marcus Kang receives the honor of his father’s former armor and alias. He is the Scarlet Centurion, loyal envoy and time-tested warrior.
Seeking an heir to his intergalactic and time-spanning empire, Kang the Conqueror tests many women for their genetic potential for breeding with him and fathers multiple sons, naming each of them Marcus. Kang sends these sons to various worlds and has them trained as fighters and military commanders. Using time travel, Kang sees these sons raised to adulthood while only a month passes in Kang’s life. Each of these sons proves unfit for one reason or another and Kang has them put to death, though he keeps their bodies preserved in state.
For Kang’s 23rd attempt at an heir, this Marcus, along with his mother, are sent 25 years into the past on a secluded planet. Like his other sons, Kang visits him every two weeks to supervise his training and upbringing. Marcus grows from a clumsy youth into a skilled solider who surpasses his teachers. Impressed with his progress, Kang has this Marcus outfitted as the Scarlet Centurion.
Armored and Fully Armed
The Scarlet Centurion undergoes extensive training in warfare, leading an intergalactic army, vast technological management, and hand-to-hand combat. He has access to extensive futuristic technology, including space stations, hover platforms, time travel devices, and time-stalling technology.
His armor presumably enhances his strength (up to 2 tons); its other functions are unknown. The Scarlet Centurion wields an energy-generating halberd that is capable of firing blasts and tearing through substances as long as it was powered.
Loyal to his father, Marcus battles Kang’s enemies, most notably Earth-616’s team of heroes known as the Avengers. He also faces off with Eshu, AKA Master of the World, and his Plodex wolves.
Like a Family
Marcus is supportive of his father Kang to a fault. After making it through Kang’s grueling selection process, he receives Kang’s Scarlet Centurion mantle, creating a strong sense of loyalty. Marcus stays true to Kang by helping him with his plans to conquer Earth-616, but family relationships can be complicated. Kang ultimately betrays and slays him when Marcus’ infatuation in an Avenger clouds his judgement.
This Avenger is Carol Danvers, AKA Warbird (later Captain Marvel). He learns what he can about her and protects her when she’s injured in a fight. He even attempts to gain her trust, but she had been burned by another Marcus, son of the far-future Kang known as Immortus. While he is hopelessly enchanted by her, she does not return his feelings.
One Centurion, Under Kang
The Scarlet Centurion and Kang took their vast sword-shaped space station Damocles Base back in time to the 21st century, where they planned to conquer Earth. When Marcus landed on Earth to deliver a message for Kang, the Avengers battled the Scarlet Centurion at the United Nations building and quickly gained the upper hand before Kang intervened. Marcus found himself highly attracted to one Avenger—Carol Danvers, AKA Warbird (later Captain Marvel)—who began consuming his thoughts and attention. Meanwhile, Kang publicly announced their intentions to rule the planet, and destroyed the UN building as an example of his power.
Kang and Marcus watched from Damocles base as chaos erupted on Earth due to villains, governments, and races trying to seize power after Kang’s announcement. Marcus helped monitor all events, including the progress of Kang’s armies, but spent much of his energies researching and tracking Warbird, who, he discovered, had once been manipulated by another man named Marcus, the son of Kang’s counterpart Immortus. When Warbird was injured and separated from her team while they battled the self-styled Master of the World, Marcus came to her aid and tried to win her trust, even battling the Master’s deadly Plodex wolves alongside her. After reaching something of an understanding, Marcus returned to Damocles base and focused on conquering Earth again, though he later shielded Warbird as she entered the Master’s base.
When several Avengers attacked Damocles base, Kang retaliated by destroying Washington D.C. The Avengers and many of the world’s governments then surrendered to Kang, though Earth’s heroes soon rose against Kang’s rule in a concerted effort, using the Master’s technology and a ship garnered from the alien Trion. When the Avengers assaulted Damocles base again, Marcus attempted to convince Kang to retreat into the future and recover before counterattacking, but Kang refused. Marcus prepared to battle Danvers. Suddenly Paul Spade, AKA Jack of Hearts, knocked him aside. While Damocles Base fell to Earth, Kang sent Marcus into the future in order to protect him; Kang was quickly defeated and imprisoned. Marcus returned and freed Kang, who seemed disappointed. Kang explained that conquering Earth was not the true goal, it was actually meant as a gift to his heir, an end to Kang’s legend and a beginning for Marcus. He went on to note how Marcus’s attraction to Warbird and his subsequent lie that followed had compromised their conquering. As such, Marcus was no longer fit to be Kang’s heir and Kang, unable to tolerate a traitor in his midst, stabbed Marcus through the gut, killing him. Kang decided against activating a 24th Marcus.