- The Twentieth Century belongs to Kang! To Kang!!
Appearing in "Descent into the Time-Storm!"
- Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards) (Apparent death)
- Kang's Time Machine (Bathosphere)
Synopsis for "Descent into the Time-Storm!"
In the distant 41st Century, Kang the Conqueror is furious that he still has not been able to defeat the Avengers and thereby take over the 20th Century. The time lord decides to take an alternative approach to defeating the Avengers: changing history in such a way that the group is never formed. To this end, Kang decides to target the World War I hero the Phantom Eagle. In destroying the famed hero, history would take another course that would see to it that the Avengers were never formed. When Kang tries to travel back in time, his time machine gets caught in a time storm that prevents him from entering the year 1917. Kang then decides to try and select another pawn that might be able to break through the time storm.
Deciding to use the Hulk as his pawn, Kang transports him from the year 1971 to his own time and asks the Hulk's aid. When the Hulk refuses at first, Kang offers the Hulk a means of destroying Bruce Banner once and for all. Kang shows the Hulk one of the Phantom Eagle's missions where he destroyed a German cannon called The Boche, that would have led to a key victory in the war and tells the Hulk to prevent this from happening. The Hulk, who believes that Banner is a separate being from himself, agrees to do it, just barely comprehending the nature of his task or that a German victory would lead to the death of his grandfather who fought in the war, thereby erasing Banner and the Hulk -- the key being that led to form the Avengers -- from existence.
The Hulk is then sent through the time stream, and his nigh indestructible body and near limitless strength are able to penetrate through the time storm. Since the Hulk truly hates Banner, it is presumed that this motivation elevated his rage and power to incalculable levels, allowing him to accomplish the feat upon striking the second blow. The Hulk ends up in the year 1917 right in the middle of a battle between opposing armies. When German soldiers attack him, the Hulk easily smashes them and begins his mission by tracking down the Phantom Eagle.
The Eagle himself is preparing his bomber run to stop the Bouche from being completed. When he takes to the air, he's spotted by the Hulk who manages to knock the explosive loaded drone plane free from the Phantom Eagle's plane, causing it to miss its mark and explode harmlessly. The German army, witnessing this spectacle, begin firing on both the Phantom Eagle and the Hulk. This in turn infuriates the Hulk, who dives down at the army and ends up destroying the Bouche himself.
With his mission a failure, the Hulk is confronted by an astonished Phantom Eagle when the energies of the Time Storm begin sending the Hulk back to his native time. Kang tries to prevent this by using the power of his mind to keep the Hulk there. However, this fails to work and as the Hulk is transported back to the year 1971, Kang finds himself sucked into limbo for his troubles. The Hulk reappears in his own time, unconscious and reverted back into Bruce Banner.
Once again, Kang strikes from the far future - and this time his weapon is the Hulk himself! With the most unexpected guest star yet!
- While this issue states that the Phantom Eagle was last seen in Marvel Super-Heroes #16 his previous chronological appearance was in Thor Corps #3.
- There are a number of facts about this story should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- References that state that this story is occurring in the year 1971 should be considered topical.
- This story states that Bruce Banner's grandfather was active in World War I. Readers should consider this topical as well. As opposed to an immediate ancestor like a grandfather, modern readers should consider this person to be one of Banner's ancestors.
- This story states that it has been seven years between this story and Kang's first appearance in Avengers #9. While this is the length of time between in publications. Per the Sliding Timescale, it is actually roughly three years. Stories published in 1964 are considered "Year One" of the Modern Age while stories published in 1971 are considered "Year Three".
- Ravonna appears to be in a coma here, she has appeared to be in a death like state since taking a shot meant from Kang, as seen in Avengers #24. In reality, this is a pseudo-organic duplicate that was put in the real Ravonna's place by the Grandmaster as seen in Avengers Annual #21.
- The events of this story are recapped in Thor Annual #17, Avengers Annual #21 and Avengers: Forever #9.
- As revealed in Avengers: Forever #9 in situations where Kang is seemingly killed his mind is transferred into a new clone body in his own era. His defeat here is one such instance.
- This issue contains a letters page, Green Skin's Grab Bag. Letters are published from James C. Fish, Juan Cole, Mike Francis, and Gary Insley.
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