First, some background — Kang has been EVERYWHERE in the comics. EVERYWHERE. He is a villain that exists throughout time in many different ages and forms. One of my earliest introductions to him was in the original Young Avengers comic, where up-and-coming MCU characters Patriot, Wiccan, Hulking, Kate Bishop, Stature, and Iron Lad were all introduced! In this line, we learned that Iron Lad was actually a version of Kang himself and that in the future he becomes Kang the Conqueror. Insane, right?
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artists: Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley, Kev Walker, Andrew Hennessey
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Who is Kang The Conqueror?
Well, if the above fascinates you and you’re a huge fan of time-travel like I am, you’ll LOVE Timeless! I highly recommend reading the limited series that just finished, called Kang The Conqueror, first! It’s only 5 issues and it gives you some much-needed context. It’s not necessary, but it will help you as the reader understand why this series is told from the point of view of someone else other than Kang himself….
A Timeless Story
This story reminds me, narratively, of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, written by Tom King. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow tells the story of Supergirl helping an alien girl named Ruthie. However, it’s all told from Ruthie’s POV. At first, this was unsettling, but as I read that series, I realized why King chose that approach. I see something very similar in Jed MacKay’s approach to this series. In the limited series before this, we see what Kang’s origins were like from his POV. Now, in this *almost* follow-up series, we see Kang in full conqueror mode. We see what it’s like for someone else to see him from the outside. The narrator of the story studies Kang, analyzing why he’s the way he is and what makes him “good” or “evil”. It’s a beautiful framework that beautifully progresses Kang as a villain, while also preparing fans for more new stories from him, both in comics and the MCU.
Jed MacKay, writer of Moon Knight, is a PHENOMENAL character writer and that shows in Timeless. Even though this story is not told from Kang’s POV, I am completely enraptured by who is he and why he does what he does. It’s almost like I am like the narrator himself is! A whole new level of immersing yourself in the story! I’m more determined than ever to find out what makes Kang tick beyond his origin story! If you’re a fan of the current Moon Knight run, this is a must-read!
Look, if Greg Land can make Kang The Conqueror look sexy as all get out, I’m sold. I know, I know- really, Lauren? That’s the bare minimum! But y’all, is it? If Kang The Conqueror can look so good, then everything and everyone else is gonna look great too! Beyond Kang looking rad, my favorite part of Land’s art in this issue is each character’s facial expressions. Land draws faces with very rigid, intense lines, and more-square-than-circular faces. This style is absolutely perfect for a series surrounding one man’s great journey for scientific understanding and another man’s great conquest to challenge all, including himself.
The coloring is magnificent as well. It’s very hard to decide whether to color a series super bright, super dark, super washed-out, pastels or not, etc. Timeless has a beautiful balance between the dark intensities of black and forest greens and the brightness of Kang’s purple and blue. It seems to demonstrate just how both the light and dark are imperative to Kang’s existence. Or I could be reading into it too much… either way, brilliant job on Marte Garcia’s part!
Timeless is a story that should not be flying under your radars; it’s a series you MUST make time for! With Superstar Jed MacKay’s fantastic writing and a premise that won’t quit, I’m falling in love with Kang all over again. Pick this one up- I have a feeling you’ll regret it later on if you don’t! And don’t forget to get the limited 5-issue series of Kang the Conqueror as well!