Episode 9: Kang The Conqueror

Avengers #8

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Dick Ayers
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Plot Summary

As The Avengers make their way to Avengers Mansion, the team is greeted by a crowd of adoring fans. Regrettably, The Avengers have little time for the adoring masses, as they have been summoned urgently by the Pentagon. After making their way inside, our heroes make contact with an Army general who informs them that a UFO has landed in northern Virginia. After systematically destroying all of the tanks that arrived on the scene, a man emerges from the vessel, introduces himself as Kang, and demands to speak with world leaders. Upon seeing the footage of the encounter, The Avengers rush to the airport and are whisked away to Virginia.

On arrival, The Avengers find Kang relaxing, waiting for the world leaders to come and treat with him. When it is clear however, that The Avengers are here for a different purpose, Kang quickly demonstrates his superior technology, hoisting most of the team with an anti-grav ray and sending Mjolnir hurtling through subspace. Just as The Avengers begin to recover from their initial encounter with Kang, the Under Secretary of Defense arrives on the scene and begins questioning Kang. Although reluctant at first, Kang eventually tells the assembled persons that he is from the year 3000 and has travelled into the past and future before arriving where he is now. He also reveals that he was once known as Pharaoh Rama-Tut, who battled the Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four #19) and who met Doctor Doom (Fantastic Four Annual #2).

Unfortunately, Giant Man quickly bores of Kang’s tale, and attacks him, only to be immediately rebuffed. The rest of The Avengers join in the battle, but are once again bested by Kang’s advanced technology. This time The Avengers are taken prisoner inside Kang’s ship and held in place by a paralysis ray. The ray causes Thor to transform back into Donald Blake and begins to interfere with Iron Man’s life saving chest piece. Kang then delivers an ultimatum to world leaders, requiring their submission within twenty-four hours!

Although most of her team members have been captured, Wasp managed to avoid imprisonment and works with Rick Jones to plan a rescue of the captured Avengers. While Wasp travels to Giant Man’s lab to obtain a ray gun of their own, Rick and his Teen Brigade rush past the military cordon towards Kang. Once they arrive at his side, the Teen Brigade pledge to serve Kang and are immediately welcomed aboard Kang’s ship. A few moments later the Teen Brigade busies themselves with trying to locate The Avengers. Shortly thereafter Kang tasks several of his new servants with bringing him a canister of pure energy force. The wily teens intentionally drop the canister, causing a distraction and buying their compatriots time to finally located The Avengers.

With the team finally free, Wasp arrives just in time so that Giant Man can use the gun to spray Kang with an acid based solvent, rotting his armor and all the technology contained on his person. Undeterred, Kang summons a neutrino missile to finish off his foes, only to have it deflected by Iron Man. Giant Man makes quick work of Kang’s remaining weapons with his gun, and the team rapidly surrounds Kang. In a last ditch effort, Kang’s mask emits a massive concentration of deadly radiation. Unbeknownst to Kang, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is capable of absorbing the radiation and fires it back at Kang. Though he is from the future and immune to most radiation, this concentrated blast is more than even he can handle and Kang is forced to retreat before he is killed. Boarding his ship, Kang disappears into time.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Captain America
Iron Man
Thor

Wasp

Villains

Kang

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Episode 8: Their Darkest Hour

Avengers #7

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Art Simek

Plot Summary

The issue begins with an Avengers court of inquiry. Iron Man stands accused of failing to respond to an Avengers alert. Admitting his guilt and offering nothing in his defense, Iron Man is suspended for a week by his fellow Avengers, Thor delivering the verdict. At the same moment, Thor’s father Odin is delivering a verdict of his own. As punishment for their attack on Thor (Journey Into Mystery #103) Enchantress and Executioner are banished from Asgard and sent down to live among the mortals of Midgar (Earth). Upon arriving in Manhattan, the pair of exiled Asgardians find a newspaper detailing The Masters of Evil’s fight with The Avengers (Avengers #6) and decide that they should join forces with Baron Zemo in order to affect their revenge against Thor. Meanwhile, after a rousing workout with some professional wrestlers, Captain America’s mood is shattered by the appearance of Rick Jones, wearing Bucky’s old costume. Cap flies into a near rage, and demands that Rick never again wear the costume.

Deep within the Amazon jungle, Enchantress and Executioner find Baron Zemo attempting to raise funds in order to fuel his private war against Captain America. Zemo jumps at Enchantress’ offer to help him defeat The Avengers and the newest Masters of Evil join Zemo is plotting their master plan. While the rest of The Avengers are off attending to personal matters, Captain America is confronted by Hans Grubervelt, a man who claims to have been Zemo’s second in command, and who is looking to redeem himself. Grubervelt offers to tell Cap Zemo’s current location as a demonstration of his changed ways. Armed with this information, Cap immediately leaves to confront his hated enemy. Little does Cap realize that Grubervelt is none other than Executioner in disguise and that Cap is playing right into his foe’s hand.

Even as Cap is speaking with Grubervelt, Thor is quickly slipping under the control of Enchantress. Lured by her voice to a rooftop, Thor is quickly placed under her spell and then Enchantress begins to warp Thor’s mind. When her work is finished, Thor now believes that The Avengers are his true enemy and they must be stopped at all costs.

Captain America finally reaches Zemo’s jungle kingdom and is immediately assaulted by a waiting Zemo. Though he is able to quickly deal with the surprises that he encounters, Cap eventually falls into a pit trap from which he is unable to escape.

On receiving an emergency call from Thor, Giant Man and Wasp return to New York, only to be attacked the moment they arrive. Giant Man makes a valiant effort, but is nearly defeated, until Iron Man shows up, in defiance of his suspension. Seeing that the fight in New York is going well, Enchantress decides to investigate how things are proceeding in the jungle. Upon seeing Cap in the pit trap, Enchantress attempts to cave in the pit, but her efforts have the unexpected effect of allowing Cap to escape. Now free, Captain America wreaks havoc on Zemo and his minions until Zemo flees with Cap catching a ride on Zemo’s plane.

Iron Man is finally able to break the enchantment on Thor using a flash of bright sunlight. Just as The Avengers are reorganizing themselves, Zemo’s plane shows up and is magically pulled towards Enchantress and Executioner’s location. Just as the plane arrives, Cap attacks Zemo through the windshield. Fortunately for Zemo, Executioner steps in and disables Cap, allowing the The Masters to escape. As soon as the plane takes off however, Thor traps it in a Space Warp, sending it, and The Masters of Evil inside, off to an unknown location.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Captain America
Iron Man
Thor
Wasp

Villains

Masters of Evil
Baron Zemo
Enchantress
Executioner