Graphic Novel Review: Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Avengers Rebooted

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Avengers Rebooted (Panini Books)

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Avengers Rebooted (Panini Books) - Credit: Archant

(Panini Books)

With time travel playing such a crucial role in the latest Avengers movie, it's fitting that this current collection of greatest hits focuses on the team's chronal conflicts with none other than Kang the Conqueror, self-professed lord of time (nobody tell the Doctor).

With the rumour-mill even setting him up as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's next major villain, this is the perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor and find out all there is to know about one of the most fascinating and convoluted characters in comics.

Apparently a descendant of either Reed Richards or Victor Von Doom (or both!), depending on accounts, Kang used his base in the 41st century to reach out across the epochs and take control over other periods of history. Adopting other guises during his long life, including the Egyptian pharaoh Rama-Tut, the armoured Scarlet Centurion, and his alternate future counterpart Immortus, Kang has proved to be one of the Avengers' most persistent and deadly nemeses.

This volume follows the usual Marvel Platinum format of compiling a selection of issues featuring Kang, starting off with his 1964 debut in Avengers #8 (although Rama-Tut had actually appeared the year before in Fantastic Four #19, the links between the two were not established until a decade later…).

Unquestionably one of the ultimate Kang storylines is the Celestial Madonna Saga, a magnum opus by Steve Englehart which is sampled here. Traversing time, space and life itself, it proved to be one of the defining narratives in the Avengers' long history, and has arguably never truly been surpassed.

Other stand-outs include Time and Time Again (Avengers #267-9) which set up the idea of multiple Kangs from different timelines, and the epic Kang Dynasty, which again only sees a couple of issues included here.

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As an introduction to the time-travelling tyrant, there is nothing else out there on the market, and this volume provides an excellent selection of issues exploring the character's many battles with the Avengers. But ultimately it really should serve as a sampler to bigger and better things, with most of these stories deserving to be read in their entirety, rather than piecemeal offerings.

Let's hope the rumours are true and we do see a celluloid debut for Kang, as it could lead to more comprehensive collections focusing on his endless war to conquer all of time itself, and that's well worth waiting for.