Warning: contains spoilers for venom #9
Marvel Comics has finally explained how Kang the ConquerorThe time travel powers really work. Although he possesses no real superhuman abilities, Kang always showed a mastery of time that goes beyond just having access to the most advanced technology. Thanks to a new collaboration with Eddie Brock, aka venomKang got the chance to explain what it takes to be a true master of time.
Kang made his debut as an iconic enemy of the Avengers, but his actual origins are a bit complicated. The Conqueror started out as Nathaniel Richards, a descendant of Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards. He was born in the 30th century, when the world was in a constant state of peace and prosperity. Sick with the lack of incentives and challenges of his contemporaries, Nathaniel found a time machine and used it first to travel back to ancient Egypt, where he set himself up as Pharaoh Rama-Tut before being ousted by the Fantastic Four, and then to the war thorn 40th century, which he conquered and eventually became Kang. From there, he began to expand his conquest throughout history, often taking on other identities, such as Immortus, and developing a fixation for the Age of Heroes and the Avengers.
Compared to his future self, Immortus, Kang never cared much about respecting the balance of the time stream and not changing timelines. However, in venom #9, by Al Ewing, Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair, The Conqueror reveals that actually changing the past or future requires a lot of skill and mastery of precise rules. Due to Venom’s newfound abilities as the King in Black, Eddie Brock is “lost in the time stream”, unable to stay in one moment for too long. Kang teaches him about the structure of time, and that only mastery of highly advanced techniques can change what has already been established. An amateur like Eddie can only”plan further routes on what has already been mapped,” and play with the cards that have already been dealt.
Kang’s lesson is very important to understand the full scope of his abilities. Until recently, the character was always presented as a somewhat careless time traveler, who had no qualms about changing the past or the future. However, this didn’t explain how Kang has become an even bigger threat than Thanos over the centuries just because he possesses a technology that many other characters in the Marvel universe (such as Doctor Doom) have access to. Now it is clear that Kang not only has the means to trip in time he can actually modify it, changing what has already been established, something that requires a lot more than a time machine to do.
This revelation explains why Kang is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. Instead of creating new “branching timelines”, his actions are able to actually change the flow of events. This is a skill that Kang has acquired through centuries of practice, study and experimentation, which puts him above and beyond most time travelers. By finally explaining how Kang the ConquerorBecause his time travel skills actually work, Marvel has established why he is one of the most dangerous characters in the entire Multiverse.
Next: The combined form of Galactus and Kang is the ultimate villain the MCU needs
venom #9 is available now from Marvel Comics.
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