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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Comic Review - Avengers 267-269

Title/Storyline
Avengers - Kang
Publish Date/Year
1986
Creative Team
Roger Stern, John Buscema
Issue (s)
267-269
Publisher
Marvel
Story
I have a special affinity towards Kang/Immortus related stories, especially if they involve the Avengers. So this is a real treat for Kang fans.

The story starts off with a divergent reality where Colossus and Storm (of the X-Men) are Avenger members. Within the first few pages, the entire Avengers Team, the POTUS (President of the US, for the un-initiated) and the whole of NY gets wiped out by Kang! Then we learn that that was merely 1 of multiple divergent realities and divergent versions of Kang that were being eliminated 1-by-1 by the Kang Council (made up of 3 divergent versions) as part of their divergent-reality* clean-up project. However, as we all know, a villain will be a villain. Hence, 1 of the 3 Kang Council members was only using the other 2 to clean-up the divergent realities before they too would be eliminated by the mastermind Kang.

The Avengers’ line-up at this time consists of Capt America, Capt Marvel (aka Photon, not the Kree), Namor, Black Knight, Wasp and Hercules. 3 of them get transported to Limbo by the mastermind Kang as pawns in his plan to remain as the only Kang in all realities. As you may (or may not) know, Limbo was the place where ROM Spaceknight** used to send the evil Dire Wraiths with his weapon, the Neutralizer. So the Avengers encounter hordes of banished Dire Wraiths in Limbo where they were compelled by Kang to destroy the Avengers or die. So they eventually managed to defeat the Dire Wraiths and head for Kang’s Limbo Citadel. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers managed to track and find the Limbo Avengers in time for the final showdown with Kang.

In the last issue, we learn of Kang’s origin and how the divergent Kangs came about. We also learnt how Dr Doom (What! Him again?) played a role in Kang’s creation and how Kang got those ridiculous colors (well partially anyway)!.
Kang’s lover Ravonna also played a key role in this storyline, as did Immortus (whom we learn, is also a divergent Kang).

*If you are unfamiliar with this concept, you can either read up on more stories about time travel or watch the Back to the Future Trilogy!
** ROM Spaceknight was a Marvel series based on a Toy Line akin to the Transformers, GI Joe & Micronauts. It used to be one of my favorite series in the 80’s when it first came out.
Art
John Buscema’s art is synonymous with Avengers (and Conan the Barbarian). His art basically defined the Avengers’ look. Tom Palmer’s inking doesn’t really gel with many artists but excellently complements John’s pencils here. Great stuff.

Additional Comments
There are many references to other stories that had gone on before as Kang recounts his origin. We will see cameos by various characters like the Fantastic Four, Thor, Space Phantom, etc.

This is an example of marvel continuity at its best. Go and read this.

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