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Kang the Conqueror: Everything You Need to Know About the Infamous Marvel Villain

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Kang the Conqueror

Since his first appearance in Avengers #8 in 1964 (he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby), Kang the Conqueror has been established as a Marvel Comics supervillain, a recurring enemy of the Avengers and other superheroes. “Established” may be a strong word as even his villainy can be debated (rarely, though) as his motivations are not always purely malevolent.

In fact, Kang the Conqueror is a time traveler from the future who has appeared in various forms throughout Marvel continuity, and this led the character to develop a complex and convoluted history. Even his true identity and origins have been the subject of much debate and speculation over the years.

When you’re talking about Kang the Conqueror, starting with “it’s complicated” is the best way to resume the characters’ apparitions through the years.

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A.X.E: Judgment Day Reading Order (Avengers/X-Men/Eternals)

Starting this summer, Judgment Day is the latest Marvel Comics crossover event! Written by Kieron Gillen and with art by Valerio Schiti, A.X.E: Judgment Day will put the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals in the heart of a deadly conflict.

Here is the official synopsis: The battle for the planet is here! The X-Men claim they’re Earth’s new gods. The Eternals know that position is already filled. And the Avengers are about to realize exactly how many secrets their so-called friends have been keeping from them!

Years of tension are about to lead to a volcanic eruption — and two worlds will burn! Who has leaked the X-Men’s secrets to their latest foes? Why is Tony Stark abducting an old friend? And who stands in judgment over the whole world?

What to read before A.X.E: Judgment Day?

Being an event coming from Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti, you certainly need to be up-to-date with their Eternals’ run:

But also with Kieron Gillen and Mark Brooks’ Immortal X-Men

  • Immortal X-Men
  • as well as other Destiny of X titles like X-Men (#11-12, X-Men – Hellfire Gala (2022) #1), X-Men Red. No Avengers reading really required.

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Last Updated on November 30, 2023.

Avengers Reading Order

DC Comics had the Justice League and, in 1963, Marvel was inspired by its success to respond with its own team of superheroes. And thus, The Avengers were created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the pages of The Avengers #1 (September 1963).

The story begins with Loki seeking revenge against Thor. His actions led young Rick Jones to call for help. That’s how Ant-Man (Hank Pym), the Wasp, and Iron Man joined Thor and the Hulk in their fight against Loki. The story ended well for the good guys. So well in fact that Ant-Man suggested they form a team – it was the Wasp that came up with the name Avengers.

The rest is history. A long history in fact, with multiple incarnations of the team with the Hulk rapidly leaving the team (in issue #2) and being replaced by Captain America (in issue #4). Former villains, new heroes, honorary members… the roaster changed, but the fight went on against famous foes on Earth, in Space, and everywhere else!

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Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Reading Order, from Disassembled to Avengers vs. X-Men

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In 2004, Brian Michael Bendis’s Avengers run began with the destruction of the existing traditional roster of the team. It was the end of an era and the start of a new one that ended up being a series of crossover events that changed the Marvel Universe in a big way.

At first, with the Avengers in ruins, a new team named The New Avengers is created: Iron Man, Captain America, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Ronin (aka Echo), Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Sentry. It was also the title of the main Avengers series written by Bendis—with art by David Finch, then by Steve McNiven, Leinil Francis Yu, Billy Tan, and Stuart Immonen as the years went by.

But that’s not all! After some massive events, a concurrent government-sanctioned team led by Ms. Marvel (with Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Sentry, Wasp, and Wonder Man) gathered in The Mighty Avengers—also originally written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Frank Cho, then Mark Bagley. But that’s not all! There also was the Dark Avengers—also originally written by Brian Michael Bendis with art Mike Deodato…

After eight years, Brian Michael Bendis ended his run on Avengers and New Avengers in 2012 with the “End Times” arc. He wrote multiple series, miniseries, and events to create one big superhero story.

Read More »Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Reading Order, from Disassembled to Avengers vs. X-Men

Last Updated on July 21, 2023.

Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Reading Order

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Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Reading Order

Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, also just called AXIS, is a 2014 Marvel Event written by Rick Remender and penciled by Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Terry Dodson, and Jim Cheung. This event put the Avengers, the X-Men, and a group of villains against Red Skull after he succeeded to harness the powers of Onslaught and the recently deceased Professor Xavier.

From Marvel Official synopsis: The Red Onslaught is broadcasting waves of telepathic hate across the globe, and Marvel’s greatest heroes have turned on their moral axis! What will the Avengers and X-Men find in the Red Skull’s bleak re-education camps? What is Tony Stark’s dark secret? And with the heroes “inverted” to evil, who will stand against them? Witness the good go bad, as AXIS turns the Marvel Universe on its head! 

What to read before Avengers & X-Men: AXIS?

following the conclusion of the Avengers vs. X-Men, a superhero team composed of members of the Avengers and X-Men came together, known as the Avengers Unity Squad. This team has been created by Rick Remender and John Cassaday in the title Uncanny Avengers, their stories can be used as a build-up towards the event.

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Last Updated on May 28, 2022.

Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers Reading Order

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After his run on the Fantastic Four and a few years before taking over The X-Men, Jonathan Hickman became the main writer on The Avengers titles of the Marvel Now era after Brian Michael Bendis left in 2012.

With the Avengers (Volume 5), Hickman introduced new threats, but also expand the roster and sphere of influence of the team to a global and even interplanetary level. This will lead to a cosmos-threatening event. In New Avengers (Volume 3), he focused more on the members of The Illuminati (Black Panther, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic, Sub-Mariner, and the Beast) who are armed with the six Infinity Gems against an infinite legion of parallel realities. 

Here is the official synopsis: As threats to Earth mount, the Avengers expand! And while Iron Man and Captain America assemble their Avengers World and strive to decipher the meaning of the White Event, Tony Stark secretly tries to solve the biggest crisis of all, along with his influential allies, the Illuminati! While they seek to prevent the collapse of reality itself, the Avengers face a war on two fronts! Protecting Earth from the Builders may only hand it to…Thanos! 

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Jessica Jones Reading Order (Marvel)

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Jessica Jones Reading Order

Popularized by her Netflix Show, Jessica Jones started in the pages of her own Marvel comic book. She’s a PI with an avenger past (and future). Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos, Jessica Jones first appeared in Alias #1 (November 2001), a Max imprint—which means adult content and language.

Once upon a time, Jessica Jones was a costumed superhero—but not a very good one. Now a chain-smoking, self-destructive alcoholic, Jessica is the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations, specializing in superhuman cases. But when she uncovers a hero’s true identity, Jessica becomes the target of a far-reaching conspiracy.

At first, Bendis introduced her as a former superhero who becomes a private investigator, but she was retconned in the regular Marvel universe, becoming a student who was in school with Peter Parker and an ex-avenger.

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Last Updated on May 19, 2023.

Young Avengers Comics Reading Order

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Created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, the Young Avengers are a superhero team featuring numerous adolescents with powers, costumes, and codenames inspired by classic Avengers members.

The newspapers labeled those young heroes the “Young Avengers”, a name that they didn’t like, but better than Avenger babies or Avengers sidekicks.

Here is the official synopsis: When the original Avengers disband, costumed teens Patriot, Asgardian, Hulkling, Iron Lad, Hawkeye, and Stature unite to fill the gap. Their first order of business: surviving the wrath of Kang the Conqueror! Second? Weathering the disapproval of the adult Avengers! But when their teammate Billy’s magical powers spiral out of control, the Young Avengers set out to find the one person who might help: the Scarlet Witch, who might be Billy’s mother…and whose own uncontrollable powers caused the Avengers’ dissolution! Once the young heroes find her, nothing will ever be the same!

Since their formation in 2005, the Young Avengers had only two runs, but some members are now popular characters in the Marvel Universe.

What to read before Young Avengers?

There is no prior reading for Young Avengers, as their adventures are self-contained, but it’s the perfect place to indicate that the series follows the events of the 2004–2005 Avengers Disassembled storyline (check out the Reading Order). 

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Last Updated on March 23, 2023.

House of M Reading Order, a Marvel event full of X-Men and Avengers

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After Brian Michael Bendis took over the Avengers (see reading order), the Marvel Universe became a series of events, starting with “Avengers Disassembled.” The second one was “House of M”, a bigger event that changed the X-Men a lot—also, take a look at our X-Men Reading Order for more.

So, The Avengers and the X-Men are faced with a common foe that becomes their greatest threat: Wanda Maximoff!

The unstable Scarlet Witch has rewritten reality—into a world where Magneto is king! In this “House of M,” mutants are Earth’s dominant species, living glamorous lives and reigning over the oppressed Sapien class. But Wolverine, now a member of Magnus’ peacekeeping force S.H.I.E.L.D., remembers how the world used to be. And his quest to find and awaken his former allies in the Avengers and X-Men sparks a revolution that aims to tear down Wanda’s strange new world!

What to read before House of M?

Being a direct follow-up to “Avengers Disassembled,” I recommend the full reading order of this event. In any case, you could read Brian Michael Bendis’s New Avengers, but also Excalibur for a prelude to the event and (more optional) Astonishing X-Men for some background on the X-Men team of the moment.

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Last Updated on December 23, 2022.

Avengers Disassembled Reading Order (aka The beginning of Brian Michael Bendis’s era)

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Avengers Disassembled Reading Order

After Chuck Austen’s run on The Avengers series ended, Brian Michael Bendis took his place and rebooted the series with the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline. This is the start of a new Marvel era full of events. Avengers Disassembled was not supposed to become an event, it was and mostly is a storyline, with tie-ins.

As the official synopsis described it: it begins with the return of a team member thought dead – and by the time it’s over, everything you know about the Avengers will have changed! The event that will rock the entirety of the Marvel Universe starts here!

What to read before Avengers Disassembled?

Being a new entry point, the beginning of Bendis’s run (see the full reading order of The Avengers by Bendis), you can start The Avengers with “Avengers Disassembled,” even if it took the form of a conclusion.

Most of the tie-ins are barely connected to the event, they take place in the continuity of their own series (especially Fantastic Four and Excalibur, at least Spectacular Spider-Man offered a team-up with Cap).

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Last Updated on April 8, 2022.