Writer: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Artist: Carlos Magno
Color Artist: Espen Grundetjern
Cover Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Kang is at war with himself. The young Nathaniel Richards set off on his journey to discover himself only for his older self as Kang to set him on a path of conquest and vengeance against himself. The young Nathaniel traveled from the prehistoric era of Earth to the Egyptian era of Rama-Tut and Apocalypse. And now in Kang The Conqueror #3, the young Kang finds himself in conflict with not only his future self but his alleged ancestor: Doctor Doom!
Right off the bat, this comic lives up to what it is selling. You get exactly what you paid for with this Kang series, especially with this issue with a battle between young Kang, his older self, and Dr. Doom. But let’s step back for a bit and look at the story. It picks right up where the last issue left off with the young Nathaniel allying with Rama-Tut’s enemy – Apocalypse himself.
They both plot together to end the reign of Kang The Conqueror across Time, and the alliance is written how you’d expect with the grand and mighty Apocalypse providing the power while the young Nathaniel provides the plan. However, the comic doesn’t spend too much time on Apocalypse and quickly sends young Nathaniel further in time. Right to where he wants to go: to fight Kang in the “present” day.
The art from Carlos Magno keeps getting better and better with each new issue and that is present here from start to finish in this comic. Whether it’s the opening art with Apocalypse and young Kang, or of course, the confrontation between the Kangs and Doctor Doom. Speaking of the good doctor, he looks amazing in this comic, his dialogue and characterization is on point, and his involvement in this story makes sense and feels natural for Dr. Doom. However, he’s not here for too long and serves his narrative purpose of putting another wrench in the young Kang’s plans.
The comic does a great job illustrating the development of young Nathaniel from this idealistic young man into the warrior and would-be time-traveling warlord he becomes in the future. His dialogue is more aggressive, he displays more decisive cunning, and he exudes the wrath, arrogance, ambition, and ruthlessness that makes up Kang The Conqueror.
The comic continues to explore the theme of whether or not the young Kang can truly fight against his destiny, and it’s sadly the weakest part of the comic since it’s very predictable that Marvel Comics won’t let young Kang become anything other than the super-villain we know he’ll become. And this is cemented even further that he will lose that fight judging by the comic book’s ending.
The ending shows the young Kang returning to the future and who does he find waiting for him but the original Ravonna from the future, not the Moon Knight priestess from Egypt. Like I said before, the weakest element in this comic book, and this series, is the theme of whether or not Kang can fight against his fate to become Kang The Conqueror. Which is inextricably intertwined with Ravonna at this point. It all rests on her involvement, and depending on how the story handles her will determine if Nathaniel truly becomes Kang The Conqueror or not. But judging by all the new hype around Kang, it’s all but guaranteed that he’ll still become Kang The Conqueror.
Kang The Conqueror #3 gives you exactly what it says on the cover – Kang vs. Dr. Doom. The story doesn’t waste any time and gets young Kang and the reader right into the meat of the story with great action, fun character interactions, solid development for young Kang, and great art. The comic brings in Dr. Doom in a way that makes sense for the character and this series, and his overall characterization is written pretty well. The art by Carlos Magno and colors by Espen Grundetjern continue to excel in the comic in making the action, locations, and characters all look superb.