How Ultimate Marvel Turned a Fantastic Four Hero Into Kang the Conqueror

Though the mainstream Kang has a connection to Reed Richards, the Ultimate incarnation of the villain makes their relationship far more tragic.

By any measure, Kang the Conqueror has been a one of the most pressing threats in the Marvel Universe for decades, with his chief opponents being both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. A time-traveling villain with delusions of grandeur, he is central to the stories of other characters including Immortus, Iron Lad and even the X-Men villain Apocalypse.

The Ultimate Universe, however, changed a lot for Kang, as it updated several elements of the Marvel Universe in general. Though the mainstream Kang has a connection to Reed Richards, the Ultimate incarnation of the villain makes their relationship far more tragic. Here’s how Kang, in one way, ended up joining the Fantastic Four.

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Ultimate Kang

The Ultimate Universe version of Kang debuted in Ultimate Comics Wolverine #14, and was created by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Kang came to the present of the Ultimate Universe a week after the events of the controversial Ultimatum event. Kang claimed to come from a future besieged by an even greater disaster and begged Reed Richards to help her prevent the same from happening to his world.

This plan involved the acquisition of the Infinity Gems, with Kang assembling the Dark Ultimates in order to achieve this goal. Bruce Banner atole five of the Gems, while Quicksilver take one of them away. Captain America tried to stop them, but Reed eventually defeated him. These events, as well as the dissolution of the Fantastic Four, had Reed become the villain known as the Maker. With his new mindset and ambitions, Reed forced a global economic and scientific upheaval, with many of the world’s advanced technologies becoming public domain.

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Ultimate Kang’s Identity

Kang’s plan starting coming together, with the final Infinity Gems almost being secured. One, however, was still in the custody of Quicksilver, who had discovered Kang’s plans to recreate the Ultimate Universe. This involved removing the mutant gene from existence, which stemmed from the manmade nature of the X-gene in the Ultimate Universe. She and Maker were eventually surrounded by the Ultimates, forcing Kang to revealed her identity. She was in fact a version of Sue Storm from the future, with her costume actually being a containment suit that allowed her to travel back in time. When her version of the universe was coming to an end, Reed sent her back in time hoping that she’d go back to before “everything went wrong.” Before anything else could happen, however, a flux in time and space alerted Kang to the fact that she had failed, forcing her to disappear and supposedly go further back in time.

Kang/Sue had more advanced control over his invisibility powers than her Ultimate Universe counterpart, as well as several other abilities. These included molecular manipulation and shapeshifting, though it wasn’t explained how she gained these abilities. Though she was inarguably villainous, Sue’s role as Ultimate Kang was much different in persona than the mainstream version of the villain. For one, Kang is typically shown to be a megalomaniac who simply wishes to conquer the world. Ultimate Kang, on the other hand, was looking for a way to prevent a global catastrophe, even if her way of doing so was misguided. Mainstream Kang is actually Nathaniel Richards, a possible relative or descendant of Reed himself. The mainstream Kang also has a suit somewhat based on Doctor Doom’s, while the Ultimate incarnation lacks this inspiration. Sadly, this version has yet to resurface in any continuity, leaving her story unfinished business.

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