|Characters & Development:|
|Originalality & Continuty:|
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Book Information:Cover Date: Sep 1964
Characters & Groups
- Teen Brigade
- Rick Jones
- Kang, The Conqueror
This issue is a fitting follow-up to Fantastic Four Annual #8, as in this issue we find out that we indeed know who Kang is, and that we have seen him -although briefly- in that issue. You see Kang, The Conqueror the time traveler the Avengers are facing off in this issue, by his own admissions is the same man as Rama-Tut! In his telling of the story, and events, what occurred in Fantastic Four Annual #2 was a part of his recent Past. Having traveled back to the future –in fact further into the future then whence he came.
I find myself glad, in this telling; all references and suggestions of him and Doctor Doom being one and the same removed. Be it he came to his senses or Stan Lee decided to drop that plot idea, I know not. But at least for now – Kang gets to be his own man.
But the big question we have to ask ourselves is how can the Avengers stop Kang with weapons from 2,000 years in the future? Even Kang thinks it impossible, and even the Avengers need a little help from Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade. But if you want to know just how they succeed, I would suggest you read this classic Avengers story.
When it comes to artwork, this issue has a lot to offer; from recaps that are true to the originals, Mass action scenes with the Avengers working to fight Kang, Kangs Time-machine flying in, and earth in the year 4,000. Each of these things Jack Kirby did well, offering more then enough detail and depth over the panels to give us –the readers- a good feel for the action, and worlds that this is all taking place in.
I am including a panel from the future Kang went to. Showing off Jack Kirby’s design of advanced armors and weapons. I know I have said it before, but the way Jack Kirby advanced design worlds, be the ‘alien’ or ‘futuristic’ is something that is to be admired.
I also find myself admiring the detail we can find in each Avenger, despite all the panels that we see them collectively in. I particularly like the panel where they are all attempting to ‘tackle’ Kang. Each one detailed and true.
But then, I can’t discuss this issue without discussing the design of Kang himself. I feel that Doctor doom, in some ways may have been inspiration to the design and mask, but the collar schemes, the suit with the buttons that he can easily access. Looking something like a ‘space-suit’ in offering full coverage. I like it, but it is a character design I would love to hear your feedback on as well.
Originality & Continuity
I find it impressive that in this issue, the history of Kang is more true to Fantastic Four #19 then Fantastic Four Annual #2 was. But this issue references both, and stays true to the Rama-Tut / Kang character. While the idea of marvel being a universe, instead of a buch of separate titles is well established at this point, this serves as a reminder of that fact, and shows the right way of doing it. A fan of Avengers would never have to pick up any of the referenced Fantastic Four issues to follow this story, (or even any issue of Avengers before this one).
Characters & Development
This story is maintains the status quo for our heroes, while serving to mostly advance the story of Kang, making the Rama-Tut go from a ‘one time villain’ to one that can have lasting appeal. In fact, to get the a real development on story of Kang –one of the great marvel villains- would be the biggest reason to read this issue. I do however feel that this can often be the case with a comic book, where the villains develop quicker then the hero’s.
Avengers # 8 was fun to read, from page to page. It was well written, and true to the characters and world. This story shows both how a single issue of a time travel story should be done, as well as how to build upon an ongoing time travel epic. At the end of the issue, there is no doubt that we will see Kang again.