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Avengers #268: Review

Jun 1986
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

The Kang Dynasty!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #268 Review by (September 30, 2023)
Comments: Part two of three parts. This Ravonna is identified as the one from Earth-8657, who survived. The Space Phantom had most recently appeared in ROM #19-20. The Dire Wraiths were banished to Limbo by ROM in ROM #66; despite this, they have a long history after this time. The Leader’s Time Platform was seen in THE INCREDIBLE HULK #284-285. Fourth appearance of the Growing Man after THOR #140, AVENGERS #69, and IRON MAN #108-109. The letters page includes one by Michael Rawdon, future contributor to DC Comics Encyclopedia and one by a Beau Smith who may or may not be the future DC/Image/IDW writer.

Review: So far, so good…I had always dreaded Kang tales as overly complicated to the point of incoherence but this one is pretty lucid. Cool, too. We have the heroes’ determination to find their missing pals, the sad fate of the ghastly Dire Wraiths, Hercules discovering how to defeat the Growing Man: punch him until his growth mechanism breaks; nice trick if you can hold out that long…and Herc can. The story ends with the Avengers all together—and all trapped by Kang-Prime who has wicked designs on them. Hope this cool arc ends on a high note!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #268 Synopsis by T Vernon
Captain America, Captain Marvel, and Namor the Sub-Mariner have returned to Avengers Mansion and learned from Jarvis that the others have disappeared. The energy-sensor core in the drilling machine shows signs of an overload so they take it back to the lab and hook it up to the Systems Analyzer. They discover the memory was scrambled by a chronal displacement wave which points to Kang. Namor mishears the name as Krang, his Atlantean enemy, but he is corrected, leaving the others to wonder why the villain has kidnapped half of the team and where and when has he taken them….

Wasp, Hercules, and Black Knight are trapped in Limbo and Dane confuses Herc by trying to define Limbo for him. As they watch, the unconscious “Iron Man” transforms back into the Space Phantom, confirming his identity. Wasp tries to question him but Kang appears and blasts him, denying the Avengers a guide through the land. This Kang is a projection and he advises them to follow their noses….

Kang the Conqueror a/k/a Kang-Prime (from Earth-6311) gloats over his power to confuse the Avengers and watches his last remaining double over his time viewer. He shows Ravonna his robotics plant where he is creating multiple robot doubles to rule over the timelines. Ravonna recoils when she sees the corpse of the Kang he had just killed (last issue) but Kang explains he still has plans for it against the Avengers….

Outside the Mansion, the anti-Namor demonstrators have attracted a number of counter demonstrators. Jarvis serves tea to the Avengers who are attempting to adapt the Leader’s Time Platform to search for their missing teammates. Captain Marvel startles Jarvis by suddenly appearing out of the machine’s electrical system. Namor is growing frustrated with the difficulty of locating the others but Cap is able to calm him down, surprising CM and Jarvis….

As the trio makes their way through Limbo, they are attacked by hordes of Dire Wraiths, exiled there by ROM the Spaceknight. They fight against overwhelming numbers and during a break in the violence they discover that the Wraiths want to die. They were sent by Kang to kill the Avengers and the penalty for failure is death by slow torture; a swift death at the hands of the heroes is preferable. Herc persuades a Wraith to direct them to Kang by threatening to withhold death. They come to Kang’s stronghold; a miniature Wasp sabotages the alarm system and Black Knight cuts down the door with his Ebony Blade and they enter. They come upon the dead Kang and are puzzled. Then the last remaining Kang arrives, assumes the Avengers killed the other Kang and unleashes a Stimuloid (also known as the Growing Man); Hercules takes on the creature and learns that each time he hits it, it grows larger and stronger….

Back at the Mansion, Cap, CM, and Subby mount the Time Platform, Jarvis throws the switch and they are transported to Limbo. Then the platform explodes. Captain Marvel scouts the area in light form; she feels she has been away for hours but the men see it as only a minute, one of the qualities of Limbo. At Kang’s castle, Hercules hits the Stimuloid so hard it lands senseless near Cap, CM, and Namor. They trace it back and arrive at the castle for CM to short out Kang’s power harness. As they question him, Kang realizes they have all been played for fools—and then electric power courses through them all…

…and when they awaken, the Avengers are all held immobile by paralyzing beams with the Kang on his knees. Then Kang-Prime and Ravonna arrive and he promises they will see the last Kang die before destroying them all….

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: John Buscema. Letterer: Jim Novak.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Kang the Conqueror)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Dire Wraiths, Growing Man, Ravonna.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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