Saturday, August 31, 2013

Time And Time Again!


Kang the Conqueror has established himself over the decades as the number one Avengers villain. I know folks want to elevate Ultron, and that one is a close call. I know some like Thanos, but I don't even consider that a conversation. The one guy who has relentlessly returned from spiraling twists and turns of time itself to battle the Assemblers time and again is Kang, the futuristic dictator armed to the teeth with technology stolen from across the ages. The collection The Avengers: Kang - Time and Time Again puts together some of my absolute favorite Kang tales.


Kang debuted in the eighth issue of The Avengers (not included in this collection). 


This pose by Jack Kirby and Chic Stone from that debut absolutely captures what I find so fascinating about Kang. He is so completely confident and so completely casual in his approach to the Avengers, as if they were truly beneath his notice. Clearly as the saga continued (and frankly became increasingly confusing) he became more and more focused on them, but in the beginning he just wanted to take over the world.

Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta
Kang returns in an infamous issue of Thor, this time bringing along his ever-expanding puppet, The Growing Man. The first battle with the Asgardian is an epic.

Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger
Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger
Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger
Then Roy Thomas has the Growing Man return alongside Kang to kickoff what remains my personal favorite Kang story, the classic trilogy which introduced both the Squadron Supreme and The Invaders, a portentous series of stories indeed. Sal Buscema was still in his early phase here and inked by Sam Grainger, he rarely looked better.

Herb Trimpe

Roy pens another Kang one-shot, a fabulous bit of adventure fantasy which pits the time-traveling baddie against the Hulk and a nigh-forgotten Marvel hero, the Phantom Eagle.

John Buscema and Tom Palmer
John Buscema and Tom Palmer
John Buscema and Tom Palmer

The collection closes out with a really smart trilogy by Roger Stern, John Buscema, and Tom Palmer which puts some really vivid spins on Kang lore. The Growing Man is on hand again as Kang battle the Avengers for sure, but mostly this time seems to war against himself most of all.

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6 comments:

  1. It's amazing how much I missed by never collecting Thor or the Hulk. At least I have time to correct that. :)

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    1. That's the problem with the Marvel Universe, something happening anywhere back then could have consequences anywhere else. It made it fun, but also maddening to keep up with.

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  2. One minor point, old friend.
    The Squadron SINISTER was the team introduced in Avengers #69.
    It's alternate-Earth counterpart (with a lot more members), the Squadron Supreme, was introed in Avengers #85-86.
    It gets really confusing because, while John Buscema did modified versions of brother Sal's Sinister costumes for the Supremes, later artists either didn't get the memo about which versions of the Big Four they were using, or didn't get the right reference art from the editors.
    For example, when the Sinisters were re-introed in Defenders #14, they had the Supremes'costumes!

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    1. I stand corrected. Thanks sir. The Squadron Sinister it was and I should've remembered since I love chances to say "Squadron Sinister".

      As for the Sinisters wearing the Supremes' costumes, I admit that Hyperion's attitude does remind me a bit of Diana Ross,but I didn't think they looked all that similar.

      Groan.

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    2. LOL. Now I can't get the image of Hyperion in a dress out of my head. You'll pay for that later Rip!

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  3. BTW, it's a shame they didn't include the two-part Kang story from Avengers #23-24, if nothing else, for my favorite Kang cover of all, #23, by (who else?) Jack Kirby, with Kang looming over Cap's Kookie Quartet!

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