REVIEW: ‘Kang The Conqueror,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kang the Conqueror #2 - But Why Tho

Kang the Conqueror #2 is written by Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly, illustrated by Carlos Magno, colored by Espen Grudentjean, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. Part 2 of “No One Left But Myself To Conquer” picks up where the first issue left off, as a young Nathaniel Richards finds him in Ancient Egypt; more specifically the era where Kang became the Pharoah Rama-Tut. Nathaniel is resolved to take down Rama-Tut by adopting the identity of Iron Lad; however, he doesn’t count on falling in love with a priestess named Ravonna.

Jackson and Kelly are making a name for themselves by tackling well-known stories set in the future; between this series, Star Trek: Year Five, and their Batman Beyond story in Batman: Urban Legends they’re scratching the itch I have for character-driven high-concept science fiction. The concept of battling an evil version of yourself is a well-worn trope in comic books; however, Jackson and Kelly put a fresh twist on things by introducing the different versions of Kang. Both are driven by different forms of passion; Nathaniel for Ravonna and Kang for conquest. Yet they are both unrelenting in their desire to rid the earth of the other.

The battles between Nathaniel and Rama-Tut also feel ripped right out of a sci-fi blockbuster thanks to Magno & Grudentjean. Once again, Magno draws massive splash pages that feature flying spaceships, laser blasts, and soldiers who look like they stepped out of Stargate. The various aspects of Kang are also represented; Rama-Tut’s Pharoah attire features the same green scheme that will come to define his future as Kang, and thanks to Grudentjean, Nathaniel’s Iron Lad armor glimmers in the harsh desert sun. Due to the resulting battles, the background changes from a golden, pristine visage to a dark and cloudy wreck. This issue truly feels like it spans time and space thanks to the art.

I think my favorite element of the issue was how it works in different elements from the Marvel Universe. In addition to battling Nathaniel, Rama-Tut also has to contend with En Sabah Nur, the mutant who will one day take the name of Apocalypse. Ravonna is a priestess of the moon god Khonshu, who will resurrect Marc Spector into the Moon Knight. And eagle-eyed Marvel fans will remember that as Iron Lad, Nathaniel would eventually help to found the Young Avengers. These are presented in a way that not only fits into the overall story but helps enhance it. Kang is a character with a lot of history, and the creators look to utilize ALL of it in this story.

Kang the Conqueror #2 has the feel of a massive sci-fi blockbuster, drawing upon the time-traveling tyrant’s history to craft a conflict that spans through time and space. With the ending of this issue, as well as the cover to the next issue, it looks like Nathaniel’s war against his future self is only beginning, and is slated to draw in a few more fan-favorite villains from the Marvel Universe.

Kang the Conqueror #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Kang the Conqueror #2
4.5

TL;DR

Kang the Conqueror #2 has the feel of a massive sci-fi blockbuster, drawing upon the time-traveling tyrant’s history to craft a conflict that spans through time and space. With the ending of this issue, as well as the cover to the next issue, it looks like Nathaniel’s war against his future self is only beginning, and is slated to draw in a few more fan-favorite villains from the Marvel Universe.