Writers: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Artist: Carlos Magno
Color Artist: Espen Grundetjern
Cover Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Kang is undertaking one of his biggest conquests ever – himself. The conqueror made a grand move by taking his younger self from the 31st century on a brutal rite of passage through time, hoping to use his past mistakes to forge a greater Kang. But he ended up creating his greatest enemy in himself, and now Kang The Conqueror #2 shows the next phase of the young conqueror’s war against himself.
The story picks up where the last issue left off with a young Nathaniel fighting for his life against the forces of his future self “Rama-Tut” in ancient Egypt. The one thing this comic excels at is showing the personality of everyone involved in the comic, whether it’s Kang The Conqueror, young Nathaniel, and Rama-Tut. Look no further than the narration for this comic. I’m a little confused if this is an older Kang recounting his life or the current young Nathaniel actively narrating it. Either way, the narration is compelling as the story it tells with the young conqueror.
The writers here know how to balance out the story, pacing, action, and plot development in the comic. They find a way to weave in the chronological backstory of Kang the Conqueror into this rebellious Nathaniel as he comes face-to-face with the tyrannical Rama-Tut. The more the comic goes on, the more we see Nathaniel come further into his nature as a conqueror as other aspects of Kang’s alter-egos are worked into Nathaniel’s story.
The book continues to explore the concept of destiny as the young Nathaniel tries to fight against his fate of becoming Kang the Conqueror. It focuses less on the time-travel aspect of the story and more on whether or not he can really avoid becoming Kang or not. I have my own opinions, but I think it’s a genuine story worth seeing through. It explores this in other ways through its only other supporting character in the ancient Moon Knight, whose identity is also a big reveal.
As you will see in the previews, it’s revealed that the mysterious Moon Knight in this book is a young woman whose name is Ravonna. Coincidence?! I don’t think so. However, for those who don’t know, the Ravonna that Kang fell in love with and briefly mentioned in the first issue comes from the far future. This one is a brand new character, as far as we know, so it furthers the exploration of destiny as the first person Nathaniel just so happens to come into contact with is a young woman named Ravonna.
The art by Carlos Magno and colors by Espen Grundetjern are on great display here with the young Kang, Ravonna, Rama-Tut and his armies, and the general landscape of ancient Egypt. You will not be bored, there aren’t that many awkward shots compared to say Salvador Larroca’s art when he’s depicting human faces. If nothing else, this is a cool-looking comic book through and through, you won’t get lost in the art and splash pages, and it has plenty of dynamic shots for readers to enjoy.
By the end, it’s clear that this comic is trying to tell the story of young Nathaniel attempting to forge his own path forward in avoiding his fate as Kang. Even the surprise cliffhanger leaves me excited about just what the next issue will do with this new development. However, it feels he may become an even greater version of Kang The Conqueror, but we’ll see in the next issue.
Kang The Conqueror #2 continues the young Kang’s journey as he appears in ancient Egypt and faces his adult counterpart, Rama-Tut. The story of the young Nathaniel trying to defy his fate in becoming the futuristic conqueror is a compelling story as he uses the history of his own life and Earth to his advantage. It builds this divergent rebellious persona for him while sowing the seeds of the time-traveling super-villain. The art and action by Carlos Magno and Espen Grundetjern looks amazing as they show the young Kang in action in ancient Egypt. The story leaves on an interesting cliffhanger that will have Marvel fans excited to see what happens next.