Writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have joined artist Carlos Magno to create the very first comic book for one of the Avengers’ oldest villains, Kang the Conqueror. If the first issue is any indication, this origin story has the potential to be the greatest Kang story to date.
Kang the Conquered?
The story begins in the 31st century with a young Nathaniel Richards, who is unaware that he will one day become Kang the Conqueror. However, Nathaniel is already feeling a pull toward something greater than his menial life. He even remarks how his current timeline is a “cage” that he wishes to escape. Just as Nathaniel is about to begin his predetermined journey into becoming Kang, he is interrupted by his future self.
Kang Conquers Kang
The elder Kang offers to become Nathaniel’s mentor and begins training him. Kang reveals to Nathaniel his own experiences, which have more often than not led to failures. Kang is harsh on his younger self, to the point that he even forbids him from ever falling in love, as Kang believes that love is the only thing that will ever result in him being conquered himself. Unfortunately, Nathaniel does the exact opposite, and discovers what he understands to be love. Once Kang finds out, his actions set off a chain reaction that causes Nathaniel to begin traversing a much darker road than his predecessor. This new path begins with him discovering that the true cage was not his original timeline, but Kang himself.
Potentially the Greatest Kang Story
This is a solid Kang origin story that plays well off of his many failures. In fact, those failures appear to be the driving force behind the story. The elder Kang takes young Nathaniel Richards through a “greatest hits” version of his many defeats at the hands of the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and even love itself. Kang attempts to mold his younger self into a greater conqueror by warning him of his own weaknesses. Throughout the story it is clear that Nathaniel is far too young and ambitious to obediently follow the guidance of his elder. It remains to be seen whether or not these new experiences will better prepare him for his potential encounters with future civilizations, but it appears that the elder Kang may have succeeded in creating a superior version of himself. The seeds are in place for a fascinating new Kang story that has the potential to be the best we’ve seen so far.