The MARVEL Universe has many time-traveling characters with heroes like Cable to major villains like Kang the Conqueror. The future is very bright with Jonathan Majors cast to play Kang in the upcoming Ant‑Man and the Wasp: Quantumania movie, as well as some rather convincing hints in the new LOKI series on Disney+. Kang the Conqueror's past, however, is a bit of a disjointed mess that MARVEL is looking to clean up in a 5-issue limited series slated to release on August 18, 2021. This story will be the first solo series featuring Kang the Conqueror and provide the "definitive" origin of Kang. Written by Collin Kelly, Art by Carlos Magno, and colors by Mike Del Mundo, the series description reads - THE ORIGIN OF KANG! The man called Kang the Conqueror has been a pharaoh- a villain- a warlord of the spaceways and even- on rare occasions- a hero. Across all timelines- one fact seemed absolute: Time means nothing to Kang the Conqueror. But the truth is more complex. Kang is caught in an endless cycle of creation and destruction dictated by time and previously unseen by any but the Conqueror himself. A cycle that could finally explain the enigma that is Kang. And a cycle that begins and ends with an old and broken Kang sending his younger self down a dark path…
Kang has had several "first" appearances with his various identities throughout MARVEL's history. One thing for sure in this hobby is that the "Market" dictates what the first appearance IS and what collectors hold as the TRUE key for a character. There is no doubt that Avengers (Vol 1.) #8 holds that title, being the first appearance of Nathaniel Richards as Kang the Conqueror and Kang's first cover appearance. To understand what makes up Kang the Conqueror's character, you need to understand his alternate identities as well. Many of these books are overlooked and obtainable "Keys" for a character poised to make a major impact.
Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #19 currently has a 5.0 graded comic sales average of $365 and a high of $4,400 for a 9.6. Raw comic sales average is $362, with a high of $791, making this an undervalued key.
The first appearance of Nathaniel Richards as Kang the Conqueror is in Avengers (Vol. 1) #8. In this story, Kang the Conqueror comes to rule Earth. The Avengers attack; however, they are beaten due to Kang's advanced weaponry. All the Avengers, except for the Wasp, are captured and imprisoned on Kang's ship. The Wasp and Rick Jones form a plan and get onto Kang's ship and free the Avengers. The Avengers are able to defeat Kang by destroying his suit, which controls all his weapons forcing Kang to flee back into his time. Although this is Kang's first appearance under the guise of Kang the Conqueror, as he states in this issue, he was formally known as Rama-Tut. A time traveler from the year 3000 who was initially trapped in ancient Egypt. He battled the Fantastic Four before escaping into the present back in Fantastic Four #19. In Fantastic Four Annual #2, Rama-Tut ran into Dr. Doom, and this inspired him to take on his guise as Kang the Conqueror.
Avengers (Vol 1.) #8 currently has a 5.5 graded comic sales average of $1,366 and a high of $16,428 for a 9.8. Raw comic sales average is $1,397, with a high of $3,350. Sales of this key are seeing increased activity after the Loki TV series debuted on Disney+.
The first appearance of Immortus is in Avengers (Vol. 1) #10. Although this is the first appearance of Immortus, he is later revealed to be yet another future version of Rama-Tut and Kang the Conqueror in Giant-Size Avengers #2. In this story, Immortus appears before the Masters of Evil, wanting to ally himself with them, but Baron Zemo sends the Executioner to battle him. Immortus sends Paul Bunyan as his champion, and after a quick skirmish, they agree to unite and destroy the Avengers. Rick Jones, desperately wanting to become an Avenger, falls into their trap, answering an ad promising superpowers to civilians. Captain America finds the ad and goes to to the location only to have Immortus tell him that another Avenger sent Rick. Captain America confronts the team and returns to Immortus to have each member pitted against similar opponents throughout time. Giant-Man must battle the biblical Goliath while Iron Man fights the Wizard Merlin. Thor is matched against Hercules while Immortus sends Captain America back in time to save Rick. The Masters of Evil use this opportunity to attack the weakened Avengers, and Baron Zemo shoots Thor with a gun that begins to transform him to stone. Savoring the victory, Baron Zemo waits too long, and the battle turns when Captain America reappears and destroys his gun and downs the Executioner. Thor breaks free of his rock imprisonment, and the Enchantress escapes in time with Baron Zemo and the Executioner before they meet Immortus.
Avengers (Vol 1.) #10 currently has an 8.0 graded comic sales average of $342 and a high of $3,277 for a 9.6. Raw comic sales average is $175 with a high of $400, making this another undervalued key. It is important to note that this is the first comic to show that Captain America's Shield can withstand a blow from Mjolnir, and; This is the first time the catchphrase "Avengers Assemble" is said. Although this battle never "officially" happened, since Enchantress reset the time of this battle, Thor was the first to say the words.
The third identity of Kang the Conqueror is Scarlet Centurion, and his first appearance was in King-Size Avengers (Vol. 1) #2. Part one of the story begins with the Avengers returning from their adventure in WWII (Avengers (Vol. 1) #56). As the team returns to their headquarters, they notice things are familiar but different, and when they enter the briefing room, they come face-to-face with the original Avengers. A skirmish erupts when Goliath tries to unmask Giant-Man only to realize it's not an imposter - It's him. The "new" Avengers team retreats to a subway and tries to figure out if their accidental tampering history in WWII caused a time paradox.
Meanwhile, the "original" Avengers are visited by the Scarlet Centurion, who informs them that he foretold the five super-powered beings and are evil. He instructs them to stay at the Avengers mansion until he calls for them. Goliath convinces the team to find the Herodotron device he helped create in their timeline since it records all historical data. They wire Captain America to the device because he has the strongest will and can handle all the incoming information. He learns that before the Hulk left the team in the early days of the Avengers, they were visited by the Scarlet Centurion, who offers knowledge of the future to bring about a golden era of peace. The Centurion tells them that the world's problems result from too many super-powered beings. The Avengers mission to defeat and capture all super-powered beings, hero and villain alike. Once all the heroes are captured and the villains defeated, the Avengers declare control of the world and end all atomic testing and scientific inquiry of human enhancement. Captain America informs the team that the Avengers of this timeline have turned the world into a dictatorship, and they must correct the divergence they caused by traveling back in time. The team is forced to battle the "original" avengers to gather pieces of Dr. Doom's disassembled time machine, only to be confronted by the Scarlet Centurion. He tells how his plan to take over the era began by implanting the idea that Bucky lived in Captain America's mind and that having the Avengers fight the Avengers would make it easier for him to dispose of them for good. Goliath shrinks down and activates the time machine sending the Centurion into the far future. The Watcher appears and explains to the leader that the Scarlet Centurion was formerly known as the time traveler Rama Tut. After he met with Dr. Doom, he became the Centurion. Having defeated the Centurion, the Avengers sent him to the year 4,000, where he would become Kang the Conqueror. The Avengers rematerialize in Doom's castle in their era, with no memory of the events that transpired.
King-Size Avengers (Vol. 1) #2 currently has a 9.4 graded comic sales average of $795 and a high of $2,400 for a 9.8. Raw comic sales average is $14.15, with a high of $91, making this another affordable key.
Avengers (Vol. 1) #267 is the first appearance of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. A group led by Prime Kang (Nathaniel Richards of Earth 6311) convinced Immortus to eliminate all divergent Kangs in the Multiverse to ensure that Prime Kang's destiny would end with him becoming Immortus. In this story, Kang transports the Wasp, Black Knight, and Hercules to Limbo in the hopes they will help him destroy the final duplicate after he has eliminated the others he created jumping through time.
Avengers (Vol. 1) #267 currently has a 9.8 graded comic sales average of $111 and a high of $111 for a 9.8. Raw, funny sales average is $5.28, with a high of $20, putting this overlooked key in reach for most collectors.
The last key on my list Avengers West Coast (Vol. 2) #61 is the Origin of Immortus and has a cameo appearance of the Time-Keepers. In the story, Immortus transports the Avengers to Limbo and resurrects the Legion of the Unliving. He extracts beings from their home time periods or resurrects them for a psychological attack because of their emotional ties to their opponents or the supernatural nature of their existence. The Avengers must battle deceased foes to stay alive. Meanwhile, at the Avengers compound, Agatha Harkness uncovers the details of Immortus' scheme. A vital link to note in this issue is that the Scarlet Witch is a Nexus Being who belongs equally to all possible timelines and divergent realities. The
Avengers West Coast (Vol. 2) #61 currently has no graded comic sales average data. Raw comic sales average is $27.47, with a high of $34.99, making this overlooked issue very obtainable.
It remains to be seen whether Kang the Conqueror will become a Thanos-level villain in the MCU, but he certainly has the potential to be one. It is my opinion that the 5-issue limited series for Kang in August will "reset" his origin story to a more cohesive tale woven into the MARVEL Universe. Sales data was obtained from Covr Price (https://covrprice.com/) and extensive list of key issues can be found on Key Collector (https://www.keycollectorcomics.com/). THANKS for reading!
You might also be interested in
*Buying something on eBay? Please consider using this eBay affiliate link. If you use this link to land on eBay and then make a purchase within 24 hours, Bry's Comics gets a cut! It's a great way to support Bry's Comics and it's the same price for you.