Review: Kang the Conqueror #1

Kang the Conqueror #1
Mike Del Mundo

Lets be honest, Kang the Conqueror has a rather convoluted history when it comes to Marvel Comics. Alternate versions, fractured timelines, variants… Cable might be the only character whose history is crazier. With the character getting the spotlight, it’s no surprise that he’s getting a series for himself and one that looks to try to streamline his history. Or is that future? Maybe present? Kang the Conqueror #1 kicks things off in a story that takes us through the basics that we know and have generally been consistent.

Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have the unenviable (maybe it’s enviable to them) to make sense of the rather convoluted history of Kang. The duo sticks to the basics with this debut issue. A weary, older Kang contacts a younger version of himself and takes him through a messed up version of “this is your life”. We learn the failures… and failures of Kang as he teaches his younger self where he messed up and what lessons need to be learned.

There’s something rather relatable to readers. It takes on the concept of what advice we’d give our younger self and takes it to an extreme. Lanzing and Kelly also deliver a solid amount of emotion. We can understand the hurt of the older Kang, especially for those who themselves have failed. In some ways it feels like it streamlines things in some ways. Try reading a wiki entry on the characters and you’ll understand what I mean.

The art by Carlos Magno is solid. The issue takes us through time so different settings. Different technology. The art handles it very well and all of it looks like it’s the same world. The far future and far past feel like they fit together. Magno also has some solid page layouts. There’s pages and spreads that’ll have you lingering on the pages just to take in the layout. What really surprises is how well the art pops as far as the emotion of the issue. It nails the rollercoaster of a ride between the two main characters. The color by Espen Grundethern and lettering by Joe Caramagna helps with that emotional ups and downs.

Kang the Conqueror #1 is a solid debut. It takes a rather complicated history and streamlines it in some ways. Add in some actual emotional ups and downs and you get a comic that’s a solid ride and entertaining. Where the series goes will be intriguing but right now even if it’s a comic version of “this is your life”, it’s a series that’ll be worth picking up just to understand Kang’s history.

Story: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly Art: Carlos Magno
Color: Espen Grundetjern Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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