Marvel has announced plans to release a miniseries that’ll tell the “definitive origin story” of one of the Avengers’ greatest foes. Kang the Conquerer will launch in August by the writing team of Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, with art by Carlos Magno, Espen Grundetjern and Joe Caramagna.
“Time may mean nothing to Kang, but Kang means everything to us. This is the book we’ve been wanting to write for years,” Lanzing said. “It’s a total dream come true for Collin and I to be making our Marvel debut – we’re best friends who first met through a mutual love of Young Avengers, Runaways and Ultimate Spider-Man. But to make our first mark with a character as storied as Kang the Conqueror, on a very personal pitch we never in a million years thought would be greenlit, is a genuine honor. Carlos Magno is delivering jaw-dropping work that recalls the exacting detail and operatic emotion of Kang’s co-creator Jack Kirby. We’re genuinely stunned by every new page. Add the brilliant colors by Espen Grundetjern, letters by the Marvel master Joe Caramanga, and the insightful leadership of our editor Alanna Smith, and you’ve got a team worthy of one of Marvel’s greatest unsung characters.”
Here’s the description of the five-issue miniseries: The man called Kang the Conqueror has been a pharaoh, a villain, a warlord of the space ways, 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…
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Kang and his various counterparts have been part of the Marvel tapestry since the early 1960s. The character first appeared in Avengers #8 as Kang, but one of his earlier incarnations, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, actually appeared a year earlier in Fantastic Four #19. He’s plagued the Avengers and the Fantastic Four many times over the years, as Kang, Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, Immortus, Victor Timely and Nathaniel Richards — a possible relative of Reed Richards from the future. A version also appeared as the hero Iron Lad in the pages of Young Avengers. And how can we forget Kangaroo the Conqueror, from the same world as Spider-Ham.
“Kang has been a nefarious force in the Marvel Universe nearly as long as it’s existed, but the true crime here is that he’s never had a solo series. The fact that we’re the ones who get to bring Kang’s complete story to life for the first time is an incredible honor,” Kelly added. “Kang the Conquerer isn’t just an origin story; this is a life story. When young and jaded Nathaniel Richards discovers the ancient lair of his Latvarian ancestor Victor Von Doom, his life is changed forever by a man he should never have met – KANG HIMSELF! From the last days of the Cretaceous to the war-torn world of Jack Kirby’s year 4,000 – from ancient Egypt to the stars themselves – Kang the Conquerer is a story that unpacks the told – and untold – moments of Kang’s life through a human lens. Powered by his love of the enigmatic Ravonna Renslayer, and fueled by the hatred of who he will become, this is a cross-time epic for everyone who has ever rejected who they were supposed to be.”
Check out some of Magno’s artwork for the series below. The first issue arrives Aug. 18.