Who the Clix? Kang the Conqueror
Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Appearances in Heroclix: Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati, Age of Ultron: Storyline Organized Play, Chaos War, Supernova, Infinity Challenge
First Appearance: The Avengers #8 (September 1964)
Team Affiliantions: Council of Kangs
Created by: Jack Kirby and Stan Lee
Artwork and character is copyright/trademark Marvel; used under Fair Use
In the far future of the 31st-century, a scholar and descendant of Reed Richards, named Nathaniel Richards, becomes fascinated with the “Age of Heroes.” After discovering the time travel device designed by Victor Von Doom, who may also be an ancestor of his, he decides to test the device by traveling back to ancient Egypt. Building a small Spinx ship with the time travel tech, he installs himself as the Pharaoh Rama-Tut. He intends on taking En Sabah Nur as his heir to change the course of history. This plan is foiled, however, when the Fantastic Four are sent back through time and overthrow him.
Embittered by the meeting, he travels to the 20th century and meets his possible ancestor Dr. Doom. He builds an armor based on Doom's own and adopts the identity of the Scarlet Centurion. He recruits Avengers from the multiverse to battle the Avengers of the 616 only to be defeated and forced to retreat.
Returning home, his time machine overshoots his home time and places him in the 41st century where he finds a war ravaged Earth. The remaining inhabitants are continuing to fight with technology that they can no longer repair or truly understand. Nathaniel finds these people simple to conquer and finally adopts his greatest identity: Kang the Conqueror. Using the weapons and technology from the 41st century, he decides to return and test his wits against the greatest heroes of history.
His first battle is against the early Avengers. He manages to capture the entire team except for the Wasp and Rick Jones, giving the planet 24 hours to surrender to his rule. Rick Jones is able to trick Kang to gain access to the ship and frees the Avengers, who are able to outwit and overwhelm Kang, forcing him to flee back to the future. He attempts using a Spider-Man robot to defeat the Avengers only for the real Spider-Man to destroy it.
Back in his conquered future, Kang falls in love with a princess from a rebellious kingdom. When the princess, Ravonna, rebukes his feelings he intends to woo her by kidnapping the Avengers. Though they try to escape Kang is able to keep them imprisoned and also brings the kingdom back under his rule. Kang refuses to execute Ravonna, causing his military commanders to rebel believing that he is unfit to rule. Kang frees the Avengers and asks for their help in stopping the blood thirsty commanders. The coup is stopped but not before Ravonna is severely injured after intercepting an energy blast meant for Kang. Despondent, Kang returns the Avengers to their proper time and places Ravonna in stasis, in hopes he can heal her.
The Avengers next encounter Kang when he shrinks a rogue Growing Man construct. Kang hides the construct and later reactivates it in an attempt to kidnap Iron Man and draw the Avengers into some elaborate game. The ploy succeeds as Kang seems to escape.
The game is with the Elder of the Universe the Grandmaster. Grandmaster agrees to give Kang the power of life and death if Kang wins, using the Avengers as his pawns. Kang hopes to use this power to return Ravonna to health. Two rounds are played, the first ends in a stalemate while the second is a win for Kang. Because of this, Kang is given a choice: he can have the power of life or death, but not both. He chooses death and attempts to take his revenge on the Avengers only to be stopped by the Black Knight, who is not an official Avenger. Kang next attempts to stop the Avengers from forming by kidnapping and sending the Hulk to 1917. This plot also fails.
Kang returns in search of the prophesized “Celestial Madonna,” destined to give birth to a powerful child. This being is the Avenger the Mantis and Kang wants to marry her, to have a strong and powerful heir. The Avengers are aided in their battle with Kang by Rama-Tut, an older version of Kang that grew tired of conquest and returned to Egypt for a benevolent rule. While in the past, he sealed himself away hoping to awaken in the 20th century and teach his younger self patience and peace. The Avengers are able to stop Kang from kidnapping Mantis at the cost of the Swordsman's life.
Through a coincidence, Hawkeye and Kang are sent reeling into the Old West where Kang is able to create a fortress. From there he conquers the world and thus conquers the present as well. Immortus, an even older version of Kang, aids the Avengers and the Two-Gun Kid in confronting his younger self. Kang battles Thor and overloads his armor, seemingly dying in an explosion that also erases Immortus and Rama-Tut from the timeline.
During the first Secret Wars, the Beyonder fishes a still living Kang from the time stream and sends him to Battleworld. Soon after, a Kang discovers that the constant time traveling has created a Council of Kangs that are using one of his (their) fortresses in Limbo. After discovering this, he even rescues Ravonna from the moment before she was hurt only to create another timeline in which he was killed by that fateful blast. Determined to prove himself the superior Kang, he allies with two of the others and sets about killing all the Kangs. Once only the other two remain, he kills one before secretly enlisting the Avengers to kill the other. The other Kang discovers this deception and sets about killing his betrayer only to be killed himself. At this point, Immortus reveals that he had faked his death to manufacture this entire scenario and causes the remaining “prime” Kang to absorb the memories of the dead duplicates, driving him mad in the process.
Through unknown means, the mad Kang diverges into two versions, with one regaining his sanity and joining a “Council of Cross-Time Kangs” in search of a Celestial ultimate weapon. This Kang, calling himself Fred as a joke, battles the Avengers and Nebula before ultimately being destroyed once the mad Kang regains his senses.
Prime Kang resurfaces to kidnap the Vision and battle the Avengers as well as a new foe, Terminatrix. In the course of the battle, Terminatrix is revealed to be a revived Ravonna. Unable to help himself, Kang leaps in front of Mjolnir to save Ravonna and is seriously injured. Ravonna is moved by his sacrifice and teleports away, placing him in stasis just as he had done for her in a previous life. After being attacked by a chronal beast named Alioth, Ravonna summons the Avengers and is able to revive Kang, who are able to repel the beast together.
Kang, at the point in his timeline where he is nearly ready to become Rama-Tut, glimpses his future as Immortus. Seeing that Immortus serves the Time Keepers, Kang is repulsed by his future self and endeavors to avoid ever becoming that “simpering academic.” This creates a confluence of events where Kang aids the Avengers against Immortus while Immortus also protects the Avengers and is, in turn, killed. The Time Keepers then attempt to transform Kang into Immortus prematurely, but his pure will is enough to resist them and create a temporal shockwave. In that moment, Kang, Rama-Tut and Immortus are split. While they are all Nathaniel Richards and share a common post, Rama-Tut and Immortus become possible futures that can exist on their own. Such freedom causes a rejuvenation of Kang's spirit as, even as a time traveler, he feels like his destiny is once again his own.
In reaction to this newfound vigor, Kang decides to conquer the modern 616 Earth. His son Marcus, as the Scarlet Centurion, aids him in his conquering. This time, Kang offers any who help him a place in his new empire which rallies the villains around the world to his cause. Kang is able to overwhelm the Avengers, with the help of his new allies and decimates Washington, D.C. in a decisive blow. The Avengers never give up and form the basis of the new rebellion and continue to resist Kang until Captain America faces the Conqueror in hand to hand combat and defeats him. Kang is captured, only to be freed by his son. Kang kills his son, noting that Marcus is merely one among many clones, and that he respected Marcus' betrayal if the young man had followed through on it. But because Marcus kept the treachery a secret, Kang could not respect it. Demoralized, Kang and his remaining forces retreat to one of his secret fortresses.
Next, Kang travels back to a time in his own past to prevent a severe attack from a bully that would leave his younger self in a coma for a year. However, the younger Nathaniel Richards is appalled by what he would become and steals Kang's armor before retreating to the past. Refashioning himself as “Iron Lad” this younger Kang activates an emergency protocol in the destroyed Vision that recruits a new team of Young Avengers. The Young Avengers attempt to repel Kang, who has come back to retrieve his younger self, but are shown the damage to the timeline that would occur if Kang doesn't exist. Reluctantly, Iron Lad agrees to return to his proper place in the timeline for the greater good. He leaves his armor behind with a version of Vision's mind inside it, creating a “young” Vision.
Kang later appears with a team recruited from the multiverse to help the Avengers Unity Squad save Earth from a Celestial attack. Even this gesture of goodwill is ultimately cover for a ploy for him to steal power from the situation and he is ultimately defeated.
Some time later, Kang becomes the foster father of Black Bolt's son Ahura. Black Bolt activates Ahura's Inhuman power before asking Kang to protect the boy from the coming “end of all things.” Kang agrees, but only if he can permanently adopt Ahura. Around this same time, another Kang appears, calling himself Mr. Gryphon and attacks the Avengers. Gryphon hopes to retrieve Mjolnir and use it to return to his era only to be defeated. Vision also attempts to abduct the infant Nathaniel Richards to permanently defeat Kang only to create more divergent alternate Kangs that attack the Avengers. One of the Kangs, however, aids the Avengers and gives them shelter while they come up with a plan. Using a battle during Vietnam as a diversion, Wasp returns infant Kang to his proper place in the timeline and the alternate Kangs seemingly disappear.
Kang tethers himself to Doctor Doom in a quantum entanglement that allows him to aid Doom in saving the world several times. This also has the benefit of making the future Earth of 200 years later easier to conquer.