Before I go into discussing this character, I won't be going over his powers, weapons or chronology. Later in the future i'll write a full chronology again on this character and discuss everything there is need to be known about Kang and place his history, weapons, and powers on his Overveiw page. But basically im going over the basics on this character so Marvel readers could understand Kang if they haven't already and his placement within the Marvel Universe.
Kang is really one of the most confusing characters that Marvel has ever created, and Marvel even admits this. Kang is a serious threat to the Marvel Universe because of his ability to time travel. Reason why I like Kang is that his character cannot be ruined by sh***y writers, no matter how hard they try, another Kang would just reappear later. Its amazing how this character has a way to become immortal and mortal. As for his chronology, its really unspecific because you don’t know if your studying the actual Kang or just another Kang from a different reality. Its also hard to tell which Kang died and which Kang it was that took on the Avengers. But what is known, is that Kang started out as a kid name Nathaniel Richards who discovered a time machine and traveled through time. That’s basically the direct history your ever going to get out of Kang, as for the other appearances and what happened from after riding the time machine, its not for sure what happened, even its likely that he became Rama-Tut. Its also damn near impossible for Comicvine to have a three minute expert video on this guy because how confusing it is to get the straight facts about Kang.
Before knowing Kang:
You must learn about Marvel’s different realities, worlds, and timelines. Earth-616 is the current timeline that is being read through Marvel Comics, otherwise known as the mainstream. As for the other earths (realities), they are naturally results from changed events or was different from the events within the mainstream that are read by Marvel readers.
As an example: Marvel Zombies takes place in another reality where superheroes succumb to a virus that turns them to zombies. Which is known as Earth-2149.
Many of these realities are results from the What If comics, as for how many realities there are, it is unlimited seeing that there are so many changes that could be made and have an effect on its future.
As for Kang, he has the ability to travel to these realities. But when he does, he’s also causing other versions of himself to be produced and these other Kang’s can travel back to the mainstream world or any other world if they still have a time machine. Meaning that, if you kill Kang, then another Kang from another reality or timeline will enter the mainstream reality. Much like the realities within the Marvel Universe, there are unlimited amount of Kangs that exist, and because of this, is his ability to time travel. Kang has found himself going against, himself many times. Either as Kang against Kang, Kang against Iron Lad, or Kang against Immortus, basically, because of his ability to time travel, Kang has became an enemy for himself.
**Note** In Dark Avengers #4, you’ll notice how uncomfortable Dr Doom was to go back into time. This is the reason why, because with an unlimited amount of Dr Dooms, it could be very devastating for the Marvel Universe and himself.
Kang the Conqueror is known by many names in the Marvel Universe, but his real identity is known as Nathaniel Richards. So throughout my discussion on Kang, due to reasons for his numerous identities, im going to refer him as Nathaniel Richards. Nathaniel Richards originated in a different timeline where society was basically uninteresting for him. Grown into a world where a civilized society grew in a short amount of time compared to Earth-616, Nathaniel’s world never even went through the dark ages. Seeking thrills, adventure, and excitement after studying the heroic age of Earth-616, Nathaniel came across a time machine that would fulfill his needs to escape boredom. Using time traveling for his own personal needs such as looting and manipulating a pre-civilized society into thinking that he was a holy figure, Nathaniel’s villainy within the Marvel Universe began.
It was during this time frame, before discovering the heroic age and the time machine, Nathaniel was attacked by a bully named Morgan. Instead of having his throat cut and being sent to the hospital where he learned about the heroes of Earth-616, his attack was prevented by his future self. After knowing what kind of man he would be, Nathaniel was shocked on how ruthless and destructive he was going to be. Going back into time to have the Avengers help him defeat his future self, Nathaniel ended up forming his own group of heroes known as the Young Avengers and with them they battled his future self. After killing his future self, Nathaniel realized how he could damage the time stream if he doesn’t continue his destiny of being Kang. Leaving Nathaniel with no choice but to return to his own time and continue his path knowing what kind of man he will be.
Deciding to influence his younger self and prevent his throat being cut by the bully known as Morgan. Kang could have possibly changed the events and course of not only his history, but also the history within the Marvel Universe. Unless Nathaniel continues his exact course and foot steps of being Kang, then there shouldn’t be any or a whole lot of damage to the time stream of Earth-616
When Nathaniel Richards planned to conquer the Egyptians in 2950 BC on Earth-616, he built his time machine as a Sphinx to manipulate their beliefs. Even though his time machine malfunctioned and left Nathaniel stranded, he was worshiped as a god by the natives. For about ten years, Nathaniel Richards took was known as the Pharaoh Rama-Tut ruled over the land of Egypt.
After being forced out of the Egyptian timeline by the combine effort of Marvel heroes, Nathaniel found Doctor Doom adrift in space when he traveled to modern time (which is somewhere in the late 19 century). Later after his encounter with Doom and a conflict with the mutant Cable, Nathaniel took another identity known as the Scarlet Centurion. It was believed that Doctor Doom inspired his idea for the new armored identity. As Scarlet Centurion, Nathaniel traveled to a different timeline, which was Earth-689. Nathaniel managed to manipulate that worlds Avengers to kill every hero within it and have him rule the world, but this plan was thwarted by the mainstream Avengers and Nathaniel found himself fleeing again.
There are many realities and worlds that changed after this event, and where we see Scarlet Centurion from those worlds take over in different ways.
Kang the conqueror
Trying to return to his own time, instead Nathaniel accidentally found himself in the 40 century where the world was destroyed by global wars (Earth-6311). Taking the name Kang, he decided to become a warlord after forming his own army. Nathaniel managed to take over the world and after that incident, Kang became a conqueror in that time.
Supposed to be the final identity for Nathaniel, it is unknown what century it was when Nathaniel took the identity of Immortus. Approached by the Time Keepers, who are guardians of time and reality, they promised Nathaniel immortality if he chooses to serve them. Agreeing to their offer to become guardian in the time stream, Nathaniel retired his identity of being Kang, and took on the role of preserving rather than conquer or abusing time.
It is almost for sure that the original Nathaniel does take on the role of being Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, and Kang. But as for Iron Lad and Immortus, it could be either another reality that these characters exist.
With Kang's introduction in the new Avengers comic, it is possible that there may be some confusion with the storyline that involves realities and different timelines. Like when Kang showed Starks doomsday device, it doesn’t mean that Stark will make it. Kang managed to acquire it from a different reality where Stark did build it and used it to threaten the Avengers from the mainstream time.
As the story progresses, I will update this if it needs to be.