MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Kang is considered one of the Avengers’ most fearsome foes. A time-travelling conqueror from the future, bent on ruling all of time and space. Even when the Avengers seemingly defeat him for good, a more powerful variant of him appears. And now with the recent release of Ant-Man & the Wasp Quantumania last February, mass audiences have met the villain who’s supposed to be worse than Thanos. To explore Kang’s lore further, here are some key stories check out:
Avengers Forever (Writer: Kurt Busiek. Artist: Carlos Pacheco.) – A group of time-displaced Avengers team up with Kang to battle his future self, Immortus, who seeks to eliminate mankind from existence because they may become a future threat to the universe. This story serves as a great introduction to the character, highlighting his origin as a bored utopian who finds fulfillment conquering past civilizations and his resistance to becoming Immortus.
Avengers: Kang Dynasty (W: Busiek. A: Alan Davis, Manuel Garcia, Kieron Dwyer, Ivan Reis and others) – Kang and his technologically superior army wages all-out war against the Avengers in present-day Earth to save it?! Worse, he actually conquers the world, putting the majority of our heroes in concentration camps while a rag-tag team fights on. This is quintessential Kang, the warrior with a code, who relies more on his skills and cunning than time-travelling machinations to undermine his opponents.
Young Avengers: Sidekicks (W: Allan Heinberg. A: Jim Cheung.) – Kang seeks to ensure that his younger self stay the course and become the conqueror that everyone dreads. However, when kid Kang rejects his fate, he seeks refuge in the present and forms a new team of next generation Avengers. What’s fascinating about this story is the unusual moral dilemma our heroes find themselves; if they erase Kang from existence, the Avengers never encounter him and are lesser heroes who are unable to save the world from destruction.
Timeless 2021 & 2022 (W: Jed MacKay. A: Kev Walker, Greg Land, Mark Bagley, Patch Zircher, and Salvador Larocca) – In these two solo tales featuring Kang as a protagonist, we don’t so much empathize with him as much as understand what drives him. He may be a war criminal responsible for countless deaths but they are all incidental to his goal of achieving victory. And despite being able to see the future, Kang delights in the unknown. All of these facets make him a complex and formidable enemy who MCU fans will love to hate.