Published in 1979 The Man Who Stole Tomorrow by David Michelinie was this tenth entry in the "Marvel Novel Series" pits the Assemblers against their arch-nemesis Kang the Conqueror, or you'd think that from the very handsome cover by Dave Cockrum. But the story is a much different affair than you'd expect given the encounters the team had had with the Conqueror in many a previous yarn. Massive spoilers follow.
|Jack Kirby and Dan Adkins|
|(This Spidey Super Stories cover has nothing to do with the novel. But the idea that a megalomaniac hearkening for another time might take control of the White House seems especially poignant these days.)|
"The Blue Totem" of course is Kang the Conqueror and the Avengers use Thor's hammer's powers to journey to the future of 3900 A.D. to find him. The find a world depopulated as the mass of humanity has spread across the solar system, and the Earth itself converted into a defacto amusement park. Underneath a glowing sign is Kang who behaves quite unusually, even for him. The Avengers penetrate his fortress and confront the Conqueror who eventually reveals his plan to overwhelm particular time periods with a myriad of intruders from across the ages, both human and animal to the point that to regain some measure of order those time periods capitulate to his control.
The Avengers confront him and it is the devious nature of the Beast who is able to take control of Kang's machinery and who ends up sending the Conqueror into seventeen different time periods at once, which results in his splitting apart before their eyes. Then they return home.