Issue(s): Avengers #8, Avengers Classic #8
Avengers Classic #8
Kang's pretty cool even though he's been used in some awful time travel paradox stories. He's got a megapowerful forcefield and a bunch of other high tech equipment...
...and he's so arrogant and casual about it all.
However, when you wind up getting beaten by the Teen Brigade, you have a lot of nerve showing your face again.
Rick Brown's Teen Brigade.
In the back-up (which are becoming increasingly pointless), Rick Jones translates battle advice from Captain America into getting a date.
Seems a bit creepy.
Rick loses the girl when he uses Cap's battle advice for an actual battle (against a drunk bully).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? P - reprint back-up story is continuity insert
My Reprint: Avengers Annual #5, Avengers: First to Last TPB
Inbound References (10): show
it was one thing when Rama-Tut showed up in FF, and i thought he was just some time traveling loser. but now knowing he's Kang, it's pretty sad for him that the only thing he could think to do when he had control over the Human Torch was to make Johnny his court jester.
Posted by: min | July 11, 2012 11:18 PM
Until recently I had never realized that Kang was always established as Rama-Tut. I had just assumed it was something added in later, like Immortus.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 26, 2014 6:14 PM
Kang being Rama-Tut seems like an obscure bit of comic trivia, but it's actually a legal detail that could worth a ton of money. Since Rama-Tut /Kang first appeared in the Fantastic Four, the rights to the character belong to Fox. So unless Marvel works out a deal, like they did with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Kang can never be the villain in an Avengers movie. Which totally sucks.
Posted by: Andrew | June 13, 2016 12:39 PM
Andrew: But remember, the Inhumans also debuted in Fantastic Four. And Ronan, from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
I think I heard the problem with Kang is that he's an ancestor of Nathaniel Richards, Reed's father. In fact, Kang's real name was revealed to be Nathaniel Richards. So apparently that's the reason why he's considered Fantastic Four (i.e. movie rights owned by FOX) and not Avengers (i.e. movie rights owned by Marvel/Disney).
Posted by: mikrolik | June 13, 2016 6:36 PM
According to the John Byrne FF retcon, if I remember right, Nathaniel Richards, Reed's father, was established as the true inventor of the time machine, previously claimed to have been invented by Von Doom.
How did Doom get his hands on it? Never figured that part out.
Posted by: James Holt | August 18, 2016 1:28 AM
I think the idea was that Doom and Nathaniel independently invented similar time machines- not that Nathaniel invented Doom's time machine.
Posted by: Michael | August 18, 2016 7:57 AM
Kang is one of Kirby's most eccentric designs: immediately memorable, and obviously durable. Even after all these years I still have questions about it. For example, I used to think that his face was blue; but of course we're shown that's not so in the flashback and via his former identity of Rama Tut. But I still don't understand what the vertical seams running through his eyes and mouth represent--any more than I do the billowy sleeves and pinstrip boots, or the vaguely TV-set shape of his outer helmet.
In the '90s, Busiek cleverly rationalized the look as an expression of Kang's baroque, futuristic fashion sense. But I can't imagine that was Kirby's intention in 1964. Does anyone have any thoughts about where the design might have come from? Is there an antecedent either in Kirby's prior work or elsewhere in popular culture?
Posted by: Chris Z | August 18, 2016 8:58 PM
There does seem to be a rather similarity regarding a lot of these types of more "temporal/cosmic" characters Kirby comes up with, like he wants to make them look futuristic but with this Kirby appearance that makes them look rather foreign with their costumes and power suits. Similar can probably be said about the Rigellians and, later still, Darkseid. (heck, reduce the size of the helmet and change the colors around and you can see a proto-Darkseid appearance in Kang)
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 18, 2016 9:07 PM
I believe it was revealed somewhere that Doom learned about the secrets of time travel during his contact with the netherworld, and thus learned such forbidden knowledge. Can't remember where I learned that though, or if I just made it up. I always considered that all future time travel machines are essentially based on Doom's machine. If Nathaniel invented it separately though, then that theory is wrong.
Posted by: Chris | August 18, 2016 9:40 PM
Kang to me looks like one of the cavalry soldiers of the early modern era. The long cavalry boots to protect you from the mud and billowly shirts remind me of that. As for the helmet depiction I don't know, but the idea of some kind of flexible armor - as opposed to Iron Man's more harder kind - make it look very futuristic.
Posted by: Chris | August 18, 2016 9:45 PM
Your comparison of Kang and Darkseid is eye-opening, Ataru. And mind-opening! It made me realize Kang's similarity to another Superman villain: Brainiac, who also had an impenetrable force-field and a green-and-purple color scheme. The fourth panel above (Kang with arms akimbo deflecting Thor's hammer) is very reminiscent of Curt Swan's cover for Action Comics 242 (linked below), Brainiac's debut issue; the interior art by Al Plastino has Brainy in a tunic with loose-fitting sleeves. Both characters sport complicated belts with weaponry control studs. What do you think?
Of course, nobody conveys power and drama like Kirby: I love the panel above where Kang looks like he's fighting an oxygen tank. His whole art job on this issue exudes power and menace, to an even greater degree than usual.
Posted by: Chris Z | August 18, 2016 10:20 PM
Something about the time machine that I can't fathom is that Doom's and Nathaniel's time machines are "virtually identical" as described by Reed in FF #271-273. Each is implemented as a rectangular rising "time platform" with a separate remote control console that remains behind in the time period of origin during the time trip. If Doom developed his time platform independently, it seems implausible that he'd come up with a virtually identical design.
Also worth noting is that Kang's first time machine, purportedly based on his unnamed ancestor's blueprints, doesn't follow this same design, but rather it's implemented as a self-contained space-faring vehicle, shown in flashback above, which was originally fitted inside of a flying stone sphinx monument in FF #19.
I haven't read all the different parts of this "time platform mystery," and specifically, haven't read a story in which Doom's "first" invention of the time platform is shown. Maybe such a story has not yet been published?
Isn't it still within the range of possibilities that Doom did in fact invent the first time machine, and Nathaniel later copied Doom's design? It's been stated that Nathaniel built his time platform about 3 years prior to FF #1. One can readily assume that Doom also built his time platform at some time prior to FF #1. Nothing that I've seen firmly establishes the origin of either man's design.
Posted by: James Holt | August 19, 2016 1:28 AM
I've always liked Kang as the Avengers' greatest enemy and found him similar to the Justice League's Lord of Time. I had always hoped that they would be the villains in the Avengers/JLA crossover.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 29, 2016 9:43 PM
Had the Crossing not been retconned the way it was by Kurt Busiek, this is where Kang's influence on Tony Stark began. He told Marianne Rodgers in IRON MAN I#324, "He broke me. He broke me from the very beginning."
Posted by: Andrew Burke | October 24, 2017 9:40 AM
Well, as expected with anything from The Crossing, there's a contradictory problem there; Kang was meant to have turned to manipulating Tony only after he had failed to do so (by causing several mental breakdowns) with Pym.
Posted by: AF | October 24, 2017 10:48 AM
That's the beauty of time travel. He tried with Hank Pym first, and then after his failure with Pym he went back and chose Stark. There was likely an alternate reality where Pym was his lackey, but it's gone now thanks to SECRET WARS.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | October 25, 2017 9:35 AM
I'll have to check out the Crossing sometime soon. Was too busy to read it when it came out but I have more time now & this site has sort of rekindled my interest in the subject.
As I imagine many of the regular commenters here already know, this already complicated sequence of events, from FF Annual #2 & Avengers #8, became further convoluted in Avengers Annual #2, where Rama-Tut stopped off in the '60s on his way to become Kang, establishing yet another identity as the Scarlet Centurion, and creating an alternate timeline in which the Avengers became fascists, and Captain America was presumably left to drown after Namor thawed him out in Avengers #4. I've already expressed my discontent with that story in the comments for the cited entry, so I won't go into that again here, other than to say that it probably multiplied the number of alternate timelines in the Marvel multiverse by a factor of infinity times infinity to the power of infinity, squared. [/sarcasm]
Posted by: Holt | October 25, 2017 11:54 AM
But then the reality wherein he tried to manipulate Pym would have diverged to Earth-whatever - as the Earth-616 version is where Kang's time travel back in time and begins manipulating Tony - but we still have Hank's breakdowns in Earth-616 which Kang alleged were the result of his actions.
Posted by: AF | October 25, 2017 12:37 PM
But we're poking holes in a story famously riddled with such holes which has been completely overturned (rather than, say, trying to fill those holes in) and rendered any actual discussion about it as completely pointless.
Posted by: AF | October 25, 2017 12:39 PM
AVENGERS: THE CROSSING. Universally hated. I'm probably one of the few who understood it and loved it. I just wish it reached the second act and was finished, but the atrocity that was HEROES REBORN wrecked that chance, and Busiek couldn't be bothered to do anything with it other than the mess he added to it. I'm currently working on a website devoted entirely to the Crossing (and then some). Characters, chronology, theories, and more. Pretty long process. I have bits and pieces done. A few characters are finished, like Yellowjacket/Rita DeMara.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | October 25, 2017 2:36 PM
"I'm probably one of the few who understood it..."
Come on, dude. Don't be that guy.
Posted by: Ryan | October 25, 2017 6:42 PM
Maybe he meant that everyone else who understood it hated it, and he was the only one he knew of that loved it? That's how I took it.
Is there anything more to "Avengers: The Crossing" than this list of crossover comics? I can see on that link that there's a $100 hardcover called "Avengers: The Crossing," but... $100? I think I can find most of these old comics for next to nothing. Does the book have some kind of framing sequence essential to the story, or is it just a straight-up reprint book (like I'm hoping)?
Posted by: Holt | October 25, 2017 7:55 PM
Kavanagh said in an interview that what he meant was that Kang went to work on Hank and Tony simultaneously- he would have preferred Hank but Hank's resistance was too strong and he eventually succeeded in corrupting Tony. He didn't try to control Hank, fail and then go back in time to corrupt Tony. It would have been nice if that had been clear in the actual story.
Posted by: Michael | October 25, 2017 8:19 PM
I know a lot of people have a pretty low opinion of Hank Pym, but when I was a kid I liked Giant-Man/Ant-Man much more than I liked Iron Man. I was irrationally p'd off about it when Sub-Mariner bumped Giant-Man out of the top spot in Tales To Astonish. No, really! I was. Then I really hated it when they made Yellowjacket into a wife-beater in one of the Avengers stories. I felt like they'd ruined my hero! lol Whenever anybody like Hickman does something to redeem this character in anyway, I'm all over it.
We all come at these characters from different directions. Later on, Iron Man seemed really cool to me for a long long time, but since more recent developments have tarnished his character, I don't care so much for him anymore. So it goes.
Posted by: Holt | October 25, 2017 8:40 PM
At this point, I think a forum topic about The Crossing might be more useful than clattering this issue's comment bit up?
Posted by: AF | October 26, 2017 5:23 AM
Here's a link to a forum topic about "Avengers: The Crossing."
Posted by: Holt | October 26, 2017 8:18 AM
"Rick Brown's Teen Brigade" sounds like an excellent name for a local bar band
Posted by: Wis | June 5, 2018 8:27 AM
Fortunately, this continuity insert is set before Cap says: I inflated a rubberized figure.
Posted by: Mortificator | June 5, 2018 8:05 PM
Comments are now closed.
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