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Silver Age September – The Avengers Fight Against Kang (And Then Alongside Kang?!?)

After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!

Today we look at a classic Avengers tale from Stan Lee and Don Heck as the Avengers face off against Kang (and maybe ALONGSIDE Kang?!?) in 1965’s Avengers #23-24 (inks by John Romita in the first issue and Dick Ayers in the second)…


As the story begins in Avengers #23, Kang decides to attack the Avengers at their weakest (as Captain America had quit the previous issue). So he brings Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Quicksilver to the future so he can defeat them to impress the princess of a land he is invading.

While he captures Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye, Quicksilver escapes, and then Captain America, learning of Kang kidnapping the others, comes to their rescue.

Lee and Heck do a wonderful job describing the set-up of the Avengers teaming up with the people that Kang is invading…

In #24, we see the Avengers fight back against incredible odds…

But in the end, Kang’s numbers outmatch even the Avengers’ heroics.

However, Kang refuses to kill the princess of the invaded lands, and his lieutenants see this as a perfect opportunity for a coup…

That’s a pretty awesome set-up for a storyline, right?

The story ends in dramatic fashion, but I don’t want to spoil that for you. Go find this story! It is collected in a few different formats.


Not to disparage the King, but I always thought bitterness in his dealings with Marvel as a company compelled Jack Kirby to make some very questionable remarks about never seeing Stan write anything. Yeah, it’s a bit overblown by today’s standards but Stan’s style is pretty recognizable. And I loved it as a kid. IMO this still stands as one of the all time best Kang / Avengers stories. I just wish other writers had left well enough alone and didn’t bring back Ravonna.

Another annoying thing is how some fans (and writers!) contend that Wands was wacko from the very beginning to explain her meltdown in Disassembled. There’s even strong sentiments in fandom of wanting her killed. I am glad to read that Marvel editorial is going to try and make amends with her by making her a “break out character” in 2012. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The story that hooked me on the Avengers (35 years after it was written). Kang will always be one of my favorite villains and this story is a big reason why.

I absolutely love this storyline. It is one of my favorite all-time Avengers stories, and Kang is also one of my favorite villains. Kang was near the top of my list of best Marvel characters.

There was a two-part episode of Star Trek Voyager called “Year of Hell,” with a villain who reminded me a little of Kang. Maybe that episode was even inspired by Kang.

Great story. Kind of the opposite of the “Tomorrow War” storyline, in that both tales are almost invariably referenced whenever there’s some sort of Kang history synopsis, but the “Tomorrow War” story was just awful while this is a great little story.

Well worth a feature.

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I always preferred John Buscema’s smoother, rounder style but I have to admit Don Heck is a good storyteller.

Somebody needs to do a storyline titled “Kang Against All.”

This always felt to me like the story where this quartet finally came together as the Avengers. They’d had some other adventures prior to this, of course, but things remained too tense for them to gel completely (as evidenced by Cap quitting the issue before).

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