…Kang’s origin?

Kang's Origin

I always favoured that rather than being DOOM’s descendant, Kang was actually descended from Tony Stark.

There have been some hints at this over the most recent years… particularly with Iron Lad being revealed as a young Kang.

But think about it. History frequently is lost to time. And sometimes history is rewritten by the victor (no pun intended).

In the far future, the plans for a time machine are found by a man who says he developed himself into first Pharoah Rama-Tut, and then the Scarlet Centurion…and then Kang the Conqueror. He believes that when he met Dr. Doom in Jovian space after Fantastic Four #23, and before Fantastic Four Annual #2, The Final Victory of Dr. Doom, he was meeting his ancestor…

But what if Kang is actually derived from Tony Stark, the futurist, the visionary, and possessor of the armour that becomes Kang’s suit someday?

What if the history books in the future incorrectly attribute the time machine which falls into Tony Stark’s hands or possession, to Dr. Doom? What if the correct interpretation of what the man who will become Kang finds is actually “Here are the plans that Dr. Doom used to create a time machine? We must preserve them and keep them from falling into the wrong hands of villains. This is my sacred trust and responsibility, as the richest man in the world, who can preserve the past, present and future best… Anthony Stark. Whosoever finds these plans among my things in the future, keep them from falling into a Conqueror’s hands. We must keep the Kang of the Conqueror from echoing through the years, changing things as he goes.”

This would mean that by trying to keep the plans safe, Tony ultimately places them into the library where the man who would become Kang finds them… and believes it was developed or built by his ancestor…who is really Tony, but he mistakenly thinks is Victor Von Doom.

We have seen how marvel changes history, revises what we know, plays with the facts of births and deaths, and has shown us complete “Lost Generations” that were erased with a slip of time travel.

Why couldn’t this Marvel Silver age history be the result of time manipulation by someone (Kang? Tony? Doom?) to change the timestream and try to stop Kang from doing something awful in the future.

Look at all the references to time travel by beings from the future that inhabit the first 16 issues of the original Avengers. We have the Space Phantom, Kang, Immortus, some space alien medusa, an alien pig race, the Lava Men, Count Nefaria and the Masters of Evil under Zemo, with the Enchantress manipulating time.

What if the original history of the Avengers never included finding Cap nor having the Hulk leave, and someone has sent time travelers again and again trying to disrupt Cap from being found or joining the Avengers. This would explain a lot of the time travel in this period. And it might explain why these guys keep attacking the Avengers over and over, but seem to stop about issue #15, with the death of Zemo and Cap taking over the Avengers.

Then we have Kang’s supposed connection to Doom, which was tenuous at best.

First, the ancestor wore a suit of armour.

Two, he was technologically advanced.

Three, he could afford lots of equipment.

Four, we have seen that Kang looks A LOT like Tony Stark when unarmoured.

Five, if the ancestor had ARMOUR, it doesn’t follow that it has to be Dr. Doom…could have been Iron Man.

Six, Tony has had several opportunities to acquire Doom’s time-machine.

Seven, history may have made some confusion between two armour suited major figures of the 20th century over the years.

Eight, Tony is the designing futurist who builds toward the future.

Think about it. It makes more sense that Kang is a descendant of Tony than Von Doom… though the confusion could be understandable after years of dark ages between our time and Kang’s future.

Plus, when unveiled, Kang looks a lot more like Tony Stark than Dr. Doom when un-suited.

It’s possible that Tony has yet to come into possession of Victor’s time machine, explaining how Kang comes across plans for the device in the future…and assumes that it is Doom that is his ancestor, not Tony… but he might have been wrong when he was Rama-Tut and leaped to the wrong conclusion in Avengers Annual #2…or Fantastic Four #19, etc…

Also recall that when Kang is really serious about conquest, he’s tough to beat, but when he’s fighting the Avengers he holds back, trying to make it more competitive, because he admires them so much.  Could this be further evidence that he is in fact Tony Stark?

I would further posit that the stories of David Michelinie & Bob Layton teaming-up Stark and Doom may provide a clue as to how Tony becomes Kang.  During one of these adventures did he manage to obtain Doom’s time-machine and reverse engineer it, beginning his interest in time-travel leading to his eventual transformation into Kang? Given these adventures it is also interesting that upon becoming Kang he sets about conquering Camelot.  What for I’m not sure but the implications are certainly interesting.

Also recall during the Crossing the mystery door in the basement of the Avengers Mansion only able to be accessed by Kang.  This to me might be explained by the fact that of course he could come and go from Stark’s mansion as he pleased if he was the future version of Tony.

I would further posit that Kang being Tony Stark is evidenced through Kang’s front-organisation, Timely Industries.

For reasons never fully explained, Kang decided to conquer the 20th Century by gradually increasing the technology levels of civilisation.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if Stark, previously attempting to prevent others from getting hold of his technology (i.e. Armor Wars), later changes his mind and begins introducing components which made early, rare, atypical advances possible – such as components which Horton used on his Human Torch.  Even decades later, Ultron was unable to manufacture duplicate components, and allegedly had to create the Vision from Horton’s spare parts.

Reed Richards even said he had used parts from Kang’s company for his inventions (perhaps for breaching the Negative Zone where Stark would later set up his prison).

Timely had been nudging Marvel’s technology forward since 1903! I remember Hank using ideas from the Dragon Man for Ultron, which would seem to suggest Dragon Man was based on Timely technology.  In fact, to hear Kang tell it, EVERYTHING cutting-edge technology-related is a Timely product.

As for Kang’s interest in Mantis, do you think Tony came to understand her importance while he was stationed in Vietnam?  Did Tony stumble across the temple of the Priests of Pama while there?

How To Reveal It: Discovering his technology within the Vision, Golden Age Human Torch and Dragon Man, Stark steals Doom’s time machine to travel back in time and investigate Timely Industries.

During this story he runs across Victor Timely suiting up in Kang’s armour to fight off a number of ?.  When he sees Stark he gets distracted and is killed by his assailants.

The assailants then leave via Doom’s time-platform and Stark unmasks the dead Kang to recognise an older version of himself.

Then trolling through Timely’s records he discovers that Kang has been attempting to build an empire to prevent Victor Von Doom performing a black magick ritual that will unleash creatures from the Outer Dark throughout time.

In an effort to perform this ritual Doom forges an alliance with Morgan Le Fay, hence why Kang travels back in time to prevent this from happening by conquering Camelot.

Realising that the only chance of preventing this impending “doom”, Tony realises he must don Kang’s armour and carry on his mission.

The tale would be akin to the 1991 DC Annual storyline where Hawk is compelled to become Monarch.


To support my above theory, I’d further point to another unresolved plot from Force Works #18, a chapter of The Crossing storyline (the gift like the Spider-Clone Saga that keeps on giving) constructed in 1995 under the auspices of then-Avengers group editor, Gruenwald, which has Suzi Endo and Rachel Carpenter (Spider-Woman II’s daughter) discovering temporal radiation emanating from a previously-unknown sub-basement containing Virgil, a “global chronography analysis and control suite” created by Timely Industries, a company founded by Tony Stark in 2009.

“Victor Timely” was one of Kang the Conqueror’s aliases from the early 20th Century.  That is, in Avengers Annual #21, written by Gruenwald, Kang journeys back to January 1, 1901 to found the town of Timely in Wisconsin under this same alias, slowly releasing technological innovations through Timely Industries.

If Timely Industries wasn’t founded until 2009, it must have been constructed in numerous time periods at once, an anachronism back in 1901 too.

While this is somewhat head-exploding, the corollary that should really bake every continuity nerd’s noodle out there is that Mark Gruenwald not only had KANG THE CONQUEROR revealed to have founded Timely Industries but had TONY STARK revealed as founding this same company.

Gruenwald, whose particular remit was keeper of continuity never made these sorts of errors so he must have intended to retcon Kang’s identity as Nathaniel Richards and reveal that Tony Stark eventually goes on to become Kang.

The question then becomes if Tony was so obsessed with preventing people from using his technology in Armor Wars, why would he then go to the trouble of going back in time to foment Marvel’s technological revolution from 1901?

Interesting if Tony Stark was intended as Kang, interesting that Tobias goes back in time and kills his parents, thus closing the loop. This would seem to suit Mantis’s motives if wanting to end up with the Vision, but I doubt Kang would support such a venture!

Then going back to the original Celestial Madonna saga, this might suggest that Immortus had manipulated Vision to spurn Mantis so she would marry the Elder Cotati and produce a child he could manipulate in opposition to Kang.

Also love that the possible implication of Vision merging his body with Teen Tony during the conclusion in an effort to heal him leads to his going on to become Iron Lad.


…the ending of John Byrne’s Next Men saga?

Van Damme

Well for those fans out there who haven’t been living under a rock for the last 6 months you’ll be aware that John Byrne has returned to completing his magnum opus for the Next Men.  However, it’s been a long time coming and since I couldn’t wait, the below was my interim attempt to come up with my own resolution to where I thought he was going to end it.

Did you ever consider that President Hilltop “lives to well over 100 years of age” due to the android Mark Ivey having usurped his identity by this stage?

If M4 is an android what’s he been doing since being president?

Did he perhaps go on to become the richest (and busiest) man in the world, Silas Van Damme from 2112?

Given Van Damme’s speech to Tommy about purging chaotic forces in 2112, does this suggest the underlying story is about the android Van Damme opposing the mutate Sathanas, meant to draw parallels to his comments about order vs. chaos?

Was it this thinking that lead Silas to create androids and replace biological humans with synthetics in an effort to maintain order by purging the threat of potential mutations?

Hence John sets up the whole downfall of Thomas Kirkland so he takes the place of Agent Red, gaining access to his files where he discovers what his “uncle” has been up to all along.

He therefore travels back in time to assassinate President Aldus Hilltop who he believes his uncle has fled to the past to become in his shape-shifting android body of Mark IV.

…the origin of Havok’s powers?

Havok's powers

Personally the whole conceit of Havok’s mutant ability being fuelled through his absorption of cosmic rays has never quite clicked for me. There is a major problem with this principle.

As I understand it, primary cosmic particles hit Earth’s atmosphere where they collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen, breaking up to create showers of secondary particles.

These then enter the lower atmosphere, colliding with even more atoms to create even weaker secondary particles.

By the time these cascades of particles reach the ground, they are basically powerless.

Only the most powerful cosmic primaries cause bigger problems, and of these only a very small percentage reach the surface of our planet.

Among the cosmic particles that are able to reach Earth – in fact they pass right through it – are neutrinos, neutrally charged particles with an extremely low mass. They are produced during radioactive decay by stars, including, of course, our own sun.

Since neutrinos are unaffected by the same electromagnetic processes that govern charged particles, they pass through the earth, and us, without interacting at all so Havok would it seems be unable to make use of these to fuel his power either.

The only other cosmic particles that are known to penetrate the earth to any depth are the cygnets from Cygnus X-3, a neutron star located 30,000 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus, the celestial swan. Like neutrinos, these *cygnets* are neutrally charged, yet unlike neutrinos, they do interact with matter, and that includes us humans.

So it would seem the cosmic rays that Havok absorbs to fuel his power would be neutrons with these same qualities.

The only problem is, Cygnus is the only current confirmed source in the Milky Way Galaxy that produces periodic bursts of high energy gamma rays to produce these neutrons.

Otherwise, is Havok’s power perhaps fuelled by similarly attributed neutrons from a certain *neutron galaxy* housed within a certain *crystal*?

Does this finally explain the interest D’Ken and Mr. Sinister had in the Summers line – their ability to absorb and channel the power contained within a *neutron galaxy*?

Maybe this explains why Cyclops’ power was able to shatter the matrix!

The remarkable Jason Powell has posited that it wasn’t the strength of Cyclops’s eye-beams but the fact that he also absorbs energy from the crystal, making it weaker, perhaps explaining how the X-Men passed inside the crystal despite it being super-dense.

Perhaps Cyclops was draining the crystal’s strength, making it brittle…? Has Jean all along been “Sharra” to his “K’ythri”? This might perhaps shed further light on that beautiful little back-up in Classic X-Men #43, Flights of Angels, where Death explains to Jean: “D’you think it was an accident that, as a child, your thoughts touched Scott Summers’? Or that he was orphaned by the Shi’ar Emperor?  That fleeting contact eventually drew Scott to Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where he grew into Cyclops, leader of the X-Men.  He fell in love with you, and you with him…”

Is this why Lilandra REALLY sought Charles Xavier out, to prevent the “end of all that is”?  Claremont after all did have Lilandra show her true colours during X-Men: The End, revealing that the Shi’ar technology given to the X-Men’s Mansion by her as a gift, was used, like a “trojan horse” as part of her plan to destroy the X-Men once and for all!

Postscript: What’s further interesting is that the star, Cygnus, was worshipped by the Egyptians as the falcon-headed god, Seker.  I wonder if this could be used to not only explain a certain race of avian-descended humanoids’ interest in the Crystal, but one living pharaoh’s interest in Alex Summers as well!?

…the link between Omega the Unknown and James-Michael Starling?

WAS there a link between the Children of Starhawk and James-Michael Starling?

I have for some time been contemplating whether Steve Gerber intended a number of his characters to have sprung from the same concept, despite his never getting to reveal them before he’d left Marvel acrimoniously.

The first suspect that comes to mind is Tara, the older daughter of Stakar and Aleta (Starhawk), and the woman-child of the same name, first of the Children of the Comet, creation of the Caretakers of Arcturus.  Both have direct connections to the planet of Arcturus IV, and both were psychic vampires, so it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility.

It is interesting that Starhawk was “The One Who Knows”, yet didn’t see their fates coming;-)

But I digress…

Gerber’s story in Adventure into Fear seemed to imply that the woman-child Tara and her Children of the Comet brethren were genetically engineered creations of the Caretakers.

However, some later writers described the Children of the Comet as androids.

This is most interesting when you consider Gerber’s other creations, the parents of James-Michael Starling, were also revealed to as such.

Nevertheless, this repeated theme might finally provide a clue on the direction he was taking Omega the Unknown.

That is, was young James meant to be a successful outcome of Project: Second Genesis?

Think about it for a moment.

Tara demonstrated the ability to physically shift her own form into that of her older selves.

Was this in essence what James Starling was doing when Omega kept showing up on the scene when the young boy was in peril?

Was Omega the older self of James-Michael akin to Tara’s adult selves?

Recall how the Girlchild Tara could create and control a duplicate form of that which she would have as a woman in ten years, as well as the forms she would have at twenty year intervals to any point in her life span.

She also demonstrated the ability to psychically shift her own form into those of her older selves much like Franklin Richards’s dreamself power as Tattletale.

But I’m not stopping there…

Then is another character demonstrating mental abilities that Gerber created… the man-child, Wundarr.

Does all of this suggest that Gerber was intending to reveal his numerous ‘child’ characters as leftovers of Project: Second Genesis?

Then there is the unsettling connection between the woman-child Tara and the older daughter of Starhawk.

Was Aleta’s father, Ogord, compelled by the woman-child, Tara, to retrieve the baby, Stakar, from the battlefield and rear him?

Or did one of Tara’s adult incarnations survive and escape back to Arcturus where she had a brief liaison with Ogord, leader of the Reavers?

Or was Aleta a surviving incarnation of Tara that the Reaver discovered when she too was an infant?

Was Ogord originally a Caretaker Tara had manipulated into becoming a Reaver, in much the same way she claimed to have influenced Daemond?

If Aleta was another possible incarnation of Tara, was her ability to merge with Stakar not in fact a result of the Hawkgod, but perhaps a more advanced form of Tara’s originally presented ability to physically shift her own form into that of her older selves?

Was Ogord in fact aware of Aleta’s ability and adopted Stakar (aware of the child’s potential to become all-knowing) so he could have Aleta steal the power and use it to aide him in his ongoing quest for power?

This might explain why Ogord went on to kidnap his own grandchildren – the offspring of Starhawk – and unleash latent psychic abilities they had perhaps inherited from their mother.

In fact, Stakar’s appearance on Arcturus could be read as a massive coincidence – or some kind of elaborate set-up.

The same could be said for Gerber’s other creation Wundaar, who exhibited characteristics quite different from those of his race, bringing a pacifist message.

Arcturus seemed extremely important to the Seventies strain of story-interconnection at Marvel and maybe this is why!

Were Wundaar, Stakar and James Starling all products of Project: Second Genesis, its objective to perhaps engineer “gifted” children that would be deposited at critical junctures in societies to help guide them through the hard times?

Does this further explain how the infant Stakar showed up on the Arcturan battlefield when he did?

It has been implied that the Hawkgod statue that transformed Stakar and Aleta into the composite being Starhawk was not built by the Arcturans but that it was placed there by someone unknown.

What if Gerber intended to reveal that the island the Enclave created their Citadel of Science on was an abandoned outpost of the Caretakers of Arcturus, and their Beehive was built from the information and/or technology from Project: Second Genesis?

Recall that similar to Tara, Stakar, Wundaar and Omega, the Enclave create their own man-child, Adam Warlock, who I suspect goes on to become the Hawkgod and is exiled to Arcturus to redeem himself and rescue Stakar from Ogord’s plans, thus preventing his becoming the dark expression of the Project like the woman-child Tara before him.

One more interesting piece of information, considering my earlier discussion of the inclusion of androids in these origins, is how Brutag, one of Ogord’s Reavers of Arcturus, was also an android.  Was this another hint left behind by Gerber?

Postscript: While I leave you with the above thoughts, what if Stakar and Aleta, combined as Starhawk, are Sharra and K’ythri, “the end of all that is”?