Avengers (Vol. 1) #8

Credits:

Cover Date: September 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

“Kang, the Conqueror!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

What’s Going On?

Can the Avengers defeat an enemy from 2,000 years in the future? We’ll find out when they battle Kang the Conqueror!

Details:

  • A UFO lands, carrying the person of Kang the Conqueror! After disposing of the army’s “welcome” force, Kang demands to speak to the rulers of Earth. Instead, the government decides to send in the Avengers!

  • The Avengers quickly learn that Kang’s technology makes him a very formidable foe.

  • A government official arrives and the two sides temporarily cease hostilities, until Kang can explain himself. Kang tells them that he’s a world Conqueror from the far future, that has returned to this time to conquer the planet.

  • Naturally, the Avengers aren’t fans of Kang’s plan, so they attack. They use teamwork to keep him off-balance, and it almost works —- but Kang just needs a moment to utilize some of his future technology to capture most of the Avengers and load them into his spaceship/time machine.

  • Wasp and Rick Jones were not captured by Kang. It’s up to them to come up with a plan to rescue the Avengers and save the day!

  • Meanwhile, at the United Nations, the world unites as every nation prepares to put aside their differences and fight Kang as one.

  • Back at Kang’s landing point, the Teen Brigade sneaks close enough to offer Kang their allegiance. Remarkably, Kang accepts their pledge and doesn’t see it for the obvious lie that it is.  This gives the Teen Brigade an excuse to roam Kang’s ship and help the Avengers.

  • While the Teen Brigade find and free the Avengers, the Wasp returned to the Avengers headquarters to find weapons that may defeat Kang. She settles on a ray gun (of Tony Stark’s design) that Giant-Man has been modifying.

  • Wasp brings the ray gun back just in time. As Thor weakened Kang’s force fields with repeated blows from his hammer, Giant-Man shoots the ray gun, and it breaks through Kang’s defenses!

  • The wounded Kang tries to continue his attack, but the Avengers are able to counter him. As a last respite, Kang tries to irradiate the heroes.

  • Luckily, Thor is able to reflect the radiation back at Kang, who retreats to his ship for safety and then vanishes, with his ship, somewhere/when into the time stream.

Is It Good?

It’s okay. I am not usually a huge fan of Kang and time travel stories but this one manages to stay pretty simple. Kang is just a guy who is stronger than all the Avengers put together. Teams like the Avengers need villains like that, because it’s always fun to see heroes up against seemingly insurmountable odds. Is this a great issue? No; I don’t think a well-written story would involve the Teen Brigade fooling the guy who just defeated the Avengers single-handedly.

Continuity:

  • The Avengers are so trusted by the US government that they have a special two-way video conferencing device set up to communicate securely.

  • This is the first appearance of Kang the Conqueror. He is a future version of Rama-Tut, last seen in Fantastic Four #19 (or maybe Fantastic Four Annual #2, which Marvel Unlimited says was published the same month as this issue).
  • Kang’s powers come from his technologically advanced suit, ship, and weapons. Kang can travel through time (via his ship), has very strong force fields, and has weapons with unspecified uses.
  • The Teen Brigade last appeared in Avengers #6.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • “We don’t want this secret meeting monitored by someone untrustworthy, like maybe a teenage orphan with a history of enabling the Hulk!”

  • How is it that technology can impact the Asgardian magic that controls Thor’s transformations? That’s weird, right?

  • …Wouldn’t that destroy the Earth, and thus prevent you from ever being born?

  • This is adorably optimistic. I can’t believe Stan didn’t write this scene with the Soviets trying to ally with Kang.

<<<Avengers #7

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