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‘Kang the Conqueror: Only Myself Left to Conquer’ TPB (review)

Written by Jackson Lanzing and Colling Kelly
Art by Carlos Magno
Published by Marvel Comics


Kang the Conqueror has arrived, and the fabric of time will never be the same.

In the limited series, Only Myself Left to Conquer, Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly spin a sweeping tale that traverses through the ages. Accompanied with Carlos Magno’s eye popping artwork, this collection which was originally presented over 5 issues is not short on sensational moments. Plenty of time is also given to the larger questions of free will versus inevitability.

As a concept, stories that leverage the multiverse, alternative timeliness, and variant version of core characters can get very convoluted quickly. What makes this book different is that Lanzing and Kelly include heavy hitter villains like Apocalypse and Doctor Doom at key moments, preventing the action from getting too dull.

The story begins with the Conqueror version of Kang traveling back in time to come face to face with himself, a teenaged boy, moments before the youth invents a time machine that will take him here, there, and everywhen. Without spoiling the plot too much, let’s just say that the Conqueror and youthful protégé have a disagreement that ultimately designs young Kang’s pathos, pushing him to become the Conqueror version of himself which simultaneously horrifies him.

It is a rather interesting paradox. The harder you try to separate yourself, the closer you get to becoming that version. It’s like sitting in quicksand. The movements you make to escape result in tightening your trap. The writers construct some crafty misdirects, but you know where this story is headed. Seeing it play out was enjoyable.

In addition to the plot, the illustrated set pieces were fantastic. They ranged from the Prehistoric Era, Ancient Egypt, and many thousands of years into the future. Magno’s artwork runs wild. There are plenty of splash pages to soak in. Chronopolis, Kang’s home, outside all of time is a golden vision.

If you like time travel tales, Only Myself Left to Conquer is certainly worth your time. Plus, for those unfamiliar to Kang as a character, this book can also serve as a great introduction to a very complex person who is not quite a villain but far from being a hero.

Grade: B+


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