Marvel Studios announced at San Diego Comic-Con that the fifth Avengers movie will be subtitled The Kang Dynasty. This not only explains Kang The Conqueror’s key role as The Multiverse Saga’s big bad, but hints at a major comic book storyline. The Kang Dynasty starred in the early 2000s and advanced the classic comic book character in many ways.
The MCU likely draws on many different Kang The Conqueror comics, and the best ones all embody who the villain is and why he’s so effective. Thanks to the fact that many variations of Kang exist in the comics, some stories involve characters with different names like Immortus and Rama Tut. From his earliest encounters with the Avengers in the Silver Age to his most recent attempts to conquer all of history, Kang’s best comics provide fans with clues about his live-action future.
The Kang Dynasty
The Kang Dynasty depicts a major story that took place between avengers #41-54 in 2001. Written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Alan Davis, among the best Avengers artists of all time, the story features Kang The Conqueror at his most accomplished. He managed to conquer the whole world, which no other Marvel Comics supervillain had done before.
Kang’s son Marcus also plays a prominent role in the storyline and may in the MCU, helping his father conquer the world until the Avengers fight back and destroy Kang’s oppressive regime.
Kang first appears in avengers #8 and while it probably won’t top many classic stories involving the villain, it nevertheless remains a critical moment in his comic book history. Kang’s core elements emerge here, including his distinctive futuristic green and purple armor, designed by legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby.
The issue also establishes Kang as a time traveler from the future looking to alter the past, and his strength compared to the Avengers, which surprises the very well-stacked team, including Thor and Captain America.
Strange Tales #134
strange tales #134 strengthens Kang’s character by showing how simplistic his ambitions are and how complex his plans are to achieve them. He returns to medieval England, where he usurps Merlin to take over the country in an effort to alter history. His bet fails thanks to the Fantastic Four, who were also sent back in time.
Kang is one of the most powerful villains in the Fantastic Four, and he’ll likely prove an antagonist for them in the MCU, once they appear in their next film, due November 2024 as part of Phase Six.
Kang The Conqueror plays a key role in the origins of the Young Avengers, the team of teenage superheroes that formed in the early 2000s. A younger but still very powerful variant of Kang The Conqueror travels back in time and becomes Iron Lad, a founding member of the team, which also includes Kate Bishop and eventually Kid Loki.
Young Avengers #1-6 features Iron Lad retaliating against Principal Kang, who returns in time to stop him from trying to stop Kang from emerging in the first place.
once an avenger
“Once An Avenger” covers avengers #22 and #23 and introduces Ravonna Renslayer to the Marvel Universe. Comic book fans know that Ravonna plays a major role in Kang’s life and in Marvel history as the main love interest. He meets her when he travels to the 40th century and conquers her world for its highly advanced technology.
Ravonna initially resists Kang’s affections, but she eventually joins him in his quest. This leads to significant consequences for both, with Ravonna appearing to lose her life protecting Kang.
Immortus, a powerful future variant of Kang, first appears in avengers #ten. This issue also features Hercules’ first appearance in Marvel Comics, though comic book fans will know that Hercules comes with an asterisk. Immortus attacks the Avengers sending Hercules in time to fight Thor and proving all of Kang’s vested interest in defeating the Avengers.
Immortus inspired the appearance of at least the One Who Remains, the figure that Loki and Sylvie face in the Loki season finale, and who explained that the Sacred Timeline exists because of the war its variants have created.
Control the Scarlet Witch
Immortus plays as critical a role in Marvel Comics lore as Kang, and his ties to the Avengers likely inspire the MCU as well. A possible storyline that the franchise draws from also counts as an excellent Kang comic. Immortus has manipulated and transformed the Scarlet Witch into his personal weapon to take over all of time, thanks to his extraordinary power as a Nexus being.
This story begins to unfold in Avengers West Coast #48 and capitalizes on Wanda’s grief over losing her husband and children in recent issues. Ironically, Immortus celebrated the wedding of The Vision and The Scarlet Witch at giant avengers #4.
The Celestial Madonna
“The Heavenly Madonna” expands on several issues, including giant avengers #4, in which Kang searches for the titular character, who prophesies will give birth to a powerful child whom Kang hopes to control. The storyline, running through several Avengers issues, ends up piecing together many jarring details from the comics, including Kang’s connection to ancient Egyptian villain Rama-Tut.
Kang’s ability to rewrite the history of time and retcon presents extraordinary possibilities in the MCU. If the franchise is looking to reboot or consolidate, say to bring in the X-Men, Kang proves to be the perfect vehicle to do so, as he’s done in the comics for years.
The Kang Council
avengers #267-269 follows Kang as he seeks to destroy all of his variants, which clearly happened before the Sacred timeline in the MCU. This then introduces the Council of Kangs, a parliamentary-style body made up of endless multiversal variants. This leads to a direct battle with Immortus, who represents Kang’s “final form”.
Something similar to this Kang Variant War is unfolding in the MCU as He Who Remains warned Sylvie about the cyclical nature of her job. His death immediately led to a variant of Kang appearing in the Time Variance Authority in the Loki final season.
avengers forever in many ways represents Kang’s ultimate story in Marvel Comics. Kang seeks the Forever Crystal, literally and figuratively racing against time to get it before Immortus and the Time Keepers. Kang helps assemble the Avengers from many different timelines to aid him in his quest, leading to an epic battle.
The idea of Avengers from different timelines and universes joining forces likely emerges in the MCU with The Multiverse Saga building towards Kang and Secret Warsrecently announced as the sixth Avengers movie.
NEXT: Kang The Conqueror’s 10 Strongest Comic Powers, Ranked
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