Kang the Conqueror may be one of the most complex characters in Marvel Comics. And I don’t say that lightly, because I know that he’s in the same universe as Stryfe — The clone of Cable, who is the time-displaced son of The X-Men’s Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, who herself is a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister, to create the most powerful mutant so he can destroy the villain Apocalypse. That’s a lot, but I was able to get it into one sentence. Here’s what I know about Kang:
Kang is from the 31st century, where he has conquered the world. He was bored with ruling the world, so he decided to go back in time to the 20th century (first appearing in Avengers #8, in 1964), so he could conquer the world EARLIER.
Kang is also known as Rama-Tut, the Egyptian Pharaoh who gave a young En Sabah Nur the technology of the cosmic beings known as the Celestials, which En Sabah Nur used to his benefit, eventually becoming the aforementioned Apocalypse.
Kang also grows old and changes his name to Immortus, a villain who is tired of all the combat and loss he’s survived, so he conquered the otherworldly realm of Limbo, and then traveled back in time to destroy the Avengers. Kang hates Immortus, because he does not like what he turns into. Immortus briefly appears near the end of the X-Men Animated Series season 4 finale, “Beyond Good and Evil part 4,” despite neither Kang NOR Immortus ever appearing in the show.
Kang is ALSO Iron Lad from the Young Avengers, a 21st-century group of teenage heroes who dedicated themselves to protecting the Earth when the Avengers seemingly disappeared for a while. Iron Lad eventually fuses his armor with the personality of The Vision, who had been recently destroyed. This newer Vision is eventually fused with his older self, and now has the brain patterns of Iron Lad, Vision, and Wonder Man all swimming around in his head.
Iron Lad eventually returns and becomes Kid Immortus.
Kang is ALSO the short-lived characters The Scarlet Centurion, as well as Victor Timely.
Kang has teamed up with various versions of himself from different points in history. The groups is known as The Council of Cross-Time Kangs. In one story, one of the Kangs defeated and usurped the power of all the other Kangs. In the very next story, the Council were all still there, as though nothing had happened.
Kang has 23 children, all of whom are named Marcus. One of these Marcuses brainwashed Avengers member Carol Danvers (now Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel at the time) and… well, the less that *I* have to say about the atrocity that is Avengers #200, the better.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, the guide to all characters and concepts Marvel, has a 1 or 2 page entry for nearly every character. Kang’s entry includes a SEVEN-PAGE FOLD OUT TIMELINE to make sense of his personal history.
Oh, Kang’s secret identity is Nathaniel Richards, because he is a descendant of Reed and Sue Richards, Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four, and named after Reed’s dad.
Anyways, I have a toy of this headache of a character now. And it’s cool.