Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Destiny War - Kang Dynasty!

This ninth issue of Avengers Forever much like its predecessor is a look back through the lore of Marvel Comics at the lives and times of Kang the Conqueror. We meet Kang in a moment of recuperation and reflection, not for the moment at least the man of action but a Kang who is marshaling his mind and spirit for the next battle. In this repose in the relative security of a part of Chronopolis he thinks back over his myriad battles with the Avengers and others and we see, from his perspective, how he came to be the conqueror.

It begins in a future filled with destruction visited by a stranger from the past named Nathaniel Richards (possibly an ancestor of Kang) who makes a new utopian world. In this peaceful time comes the man who will be Kang and he wants adventure. He finds his ancestor's time machine technology and travels back to become Rama-Tut. Defeated by the FF he escapes to meet Doctor Doom (possibly and ancestor of Kang), becomes for a time the Scarlet Centurion, and then travels accidentally to the 40th Century to become for the first time Kang. He conquers the Earth then more through space and eventually hearkens back to his memories of the 20th Century (which he longed for as a 30th Century man) and begins his many battles with the Avengers. He meets Ravonna, loses her and from there it gets quite complicated.

To get her back he confronts the Avengers again, takes time to battle the Thing and Human Torch and the Hulk as well. Conquers the dimension of Cosmos and gains tech which will give birth to the Growing Men. Then he seeks the Celestial Madonna and is seemingly destroyed. But it's all a ruse and he returns to confront the results of his time travels, a myriad of Kangs of various capacities and he seeks to prune this cavalcade of himself and reclaim his autonomy. But he seems to fail but breaks himself into to two branches, one to create Chronopolis the other to deal with the Cross-Time Kangs. He battles the FF over the Celestial Madonna again and his again thwarted. He confronts a version of Ravonna who in some realities rules in his stead. Eventually the come together and live a time in stately repose, but again ennui strikes him and he returns to the past as Rama-Tut to eventually play that role in the Celestial Madonna saga. It is this Rama-Tut who becomes the Kang of this tale who becomes aware of Immortus and his deal with the Time Keepers to kill off the human race to save the universe. He plots to end other powers who meddle in time in order to gain a firm hand to confront his alternate self. His reflections end as Rick Jones appears and with the Supreme Intelligence at his elbow makes a pact with Kang to save the Avengers.

In the tenth issue The Avengers meanwhile are waking up after being captured by Immortus and the traitor Yellowjacket. They find themselves on a world confronted by armies of "Avengers" who serve Emporer Jonz Rickard, a descendant of Rick Jones who has mastered the Destiny Force. This army does not recognize the Avengers but rather thinks they are the Guardians of the Galaxy, a force for freedom in the universe. A battle rages before they are pulled out by Yellowjacket who is responsible for their mistaken identities by use of Limbo bugs. He takes them to Immortus and the Time Keepers where as prisoners they hear of the origin of the Keepers (who in other realities are the Time Twisters) and of their plan to use the Forever Crystal to power their cannon which will destroy 42 percent of the timelines in which mankind poses a threat to the universe.  Immortus too reveals that his work has been along these same lines, though on a smaller scale and with the constant hope to save as much of humanity as he can. The Avengers debate with the Keepers but they remain resolute in their mission to prune the time lines.

But Yellowjacket, himself promised a reality in which he has the Wasp as his wife, becomes convinced he's chosen the wrong side and helps trigger a revolt. They all seem for a moment touched by the Destiny Force which allows them to oppose the Keepers with some effectiveness. Then when all seems lost suddenly Rick Jones and Kang appear in the "Supreme Cycle". The Supreme Intelligence seems cozy in tucked in the back seat.

So the definitive Kang story reaches its climax as the "Destiny War" is upon us. Tomorrow the fighting breaks out in earnest. 

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