Kang the Conquerer is set to be the MCU’s next big bad, with phases five and six leading up to The Kang Dynasty. While many fans may know of The Kang Dynasty as one of the greatest Avengers stories, Kang has a vast history in comics and has even taken on many other aliases. Similarly to the MCU, Kang has plenty of variants that have appeared time and time again in the comics. From his iconic debut with the Fantastic Four, even to his heroic adventures, here are some of the best stories following Kang that the MCU should adapt.
All-New, All-Different Avengers, Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven
The Magnificent Seven by Mark Waid would make for a perfect adaptation, especially because it features a lineup of Avengers similar to the team the MCU has been teasing for quite some time. For starters, this Avengers team consists of Jane Foster as Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America, Ms. Marvel, and Vision, among others.
While Warbringer is the main villain of the first volume, Kang’s assistance to him is incredibly relevant to the story. In this comic, Kang refers to himself as Mister Gryphon as he helps Warbringer gather the scattered pieces of a powerful artifact. We couldn’t expect the MCU to have Kang be the main villain of every movie and show in phases five and six. Just like Thanos, it might make him even more menacing if he orchestrates other villains and pulls some strings behind the scenes for once.
Avengers: Citizen Kang
Avengers: Citizen Kang by Roy Thomas contains the first appearance of Kang’s homeworld Chronopolis. Citizen Kang follows many timelines and different storylines that probably wouldn’t all make sense in the MCU, but there are plenty of elements that would further develop Kang on screen.
In Citizen Kang, Vision has gone missing in the town of Timely, Wisconsin, and Captain America goes to investigate his disappearance. Naturally, it’s revealed that Kang has taken Vision hostage and has declared himself ruler of Timely, which he refers to as his Chronopolis. While it’s unlikely that “Citizen Kang” in its entirety would be a movie in the MCU, elements of this story could be the perfect setup for the second season of Loki, or could even be a story for Scarlet Witch and Vision.
Avengers: Kang – Time and Time Again
One of the most exciting aspects of Kang is that all of his variants have different personalities and goals. “Time and Time Again” by Stan Lee is one of the first times that fans get to see these different sides of Kang interact with each other. This comic serves as an introduction to the council of Kangs, who work together to eliminate different versions of themselves created while time traveling.
There are already some similarities between this comic and what we’ve seen in the MCU, for example, they’ve already laid the groundwork for multiple variants of Kang. In the first season of Loki, we’ve seen a version of Kang that was determined to keep his other variants in check, while Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania features an exiled variant. Even though his actions weren’t the best, the Kang variant of Loki could be viewed as one of the better versions of himself. In Time and Time Again, the self-proclaimed ultimate Kang battles multiple versions of himself, in order to reign supreme.
Doctor Doom: Pottersville
On the surface of things, Doctor Doom: Pottersville by Christopher Cantwell is more of a Doom story than a Kang one, but Kang does play a supporting role in this fantastic tale. This story follows Doom after he’s declared a prime suspect in an act of terrorism, and he no longer has his army to help defend him. Instead, he relies on his friend Kang to assist him in battling heroes and foes.
If there’s one thing the MCU is lacking when it comes to villains, it’s team-ups. The MCU is notorious for wasting some of its most distinguished villains, such as Klaw, Mysterio, and Dormammu. In the comics, it’s not uncommon for villains to make multiple appearances and even help each other out from time to time. It’s already been confirmed that Fantastic Four will kick off phase six, which means Doctor Doom is likely to make an appearance soon. Seeing Doctor Doom’s alliance with Kang could make for an entertaining miniseries.
Avengers: Celestial Madonna
After it’s revealed that Mantis is deemed to be the Celestial Madonna and birth a powerful son, Kang and his variants fight to become the father. “The Celestial Madonna” by Steve Englehart would make for a fantastic story in the MCU as it focuses on Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Agatha Harkness, and some of Kang’s variants.
Celestial Madonna is a memorable comic arc for many reasons, not only does it focus on Kang and his variants, but there’s also more learned about Mantis. As of now in the MCU, Mantis is solely a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but there’s plenty of room for her to grow as an Avengers teammate as well. Kang’s obsession with Mantis is a huge part of his comic history, the fact that Mantis is already present in the movies would make it a missed opportunity to not at least touch upon her celestial madonna arc.
Kang the Conqueror: Only Myself Left To Conquer
Only Myself Left to Conquer by Collin Kelly delivers exactly what one would expect from a story centered around Kang, which is a time-traveling adventure that spans the history and life of one of Marvel’s most iconic villains.
This is a story that shows how Kang went from being Nathaniel Richards to Kang the Conqueror, all of his achievements and failures are discussed while the reader is given a chance to understand why Kang is the way he is. It touches upon his love for Princess Ravonna Renslayer, how she rejected him and broke his heart, and all of the other tragedies he endured throughout his life. This miniseries would make for an enticing adaptation, perhaps in an episode of Loki.
Rama-Tut – Fantastic Four #19
Believe it or not, Kang’s first comic book appearance wasn’t in Loki, nor in Ant-Man, but in Fantastic Four #19 written by Stan Lee. While many believe he first appeared in Avengers, he actually took on the title of Kang the Conqueror in Avengers #8. In Fantastic Four, Kang referred to himself as Rama-Tut.
Throughout the years, Rama-Tut has now become a distinguished version of Nathaniel Richards. In this story, it’s explained how Nathaniel Richards traveled back in time to become a Pharoah because he grew bored of the future. Of course, this story doesn’t reveal all there is to know about Kang the Conqueror, but it would be especially fitting if Rama-Tut happens to be the Fantastic Four’s first villain in the MCU.
Young Avengers: Sidekicks
Marvel has seemingly been setting up Young Avengers by introducing key characters like Cassie Lang, Kate Bishop, America Chavez, and Billy and Tommy Maximoff. Even Kid Loki has already been featured, who later joins the Young Avengers as well. It’s only fitting that Young Avengers: Sidekicks by Allan Heinberg receives an adaptation, especially because Kang is the first villain that they face.
Not only is Kang a villain to the Young Avengers, but an alternate and younger version of himself referred to as Iron Lad is a member of the team. In Young Avengers, Iron Lad is on the run from Kang, who wishes to send him back to his proper time so he can grow up and become Kang the Conqueror. While looking for the Avengers, Iron Lad instead finds the group of teen heroes, and together they form the Young Avengers.
It’s already been confirmed that an adaptation of Kang Dynasty by Kurt Busiek will be part one of the phase six finale, but a few years prior, Busiek also penned Avengers Forever which was equally as exciting of an event. In this 12-part comic story, the Avengers battle Immortus aka Nathaniel Richards throughout many different eras.
This story focuses on Rick Jones, who is a mostly forgotten hero now, as he pulls Avengers from different timelines to help him battle Immortus. There are different versions of the Avengers featured in the story, which would make for a perfect adaptation considering the MCU is now dabbling in the multiverse. This story would also make a great excuse for the MCU to temporarily bring back some beloved heroes like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America. All in all, Avengers Forever is almost too good for the MCU to ignore, so one can only hope that the story is somehow intertwined with the Kang Dynasty movie.