WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Avengers: Mech Strike #5 from Marvel Comics, on sale now. The Avengers
have been facing what could very well be the worst version of Kang the Conqueror yet in Avengers: Mech Strike
. So far, they have seen the time-traveling despot decimate their world with techno-organic monstrosities, obliterate Black Panther, and even leave the mighty Thanos
as little more than a pile of dusty old bones. It seems like there is little the Avengers can do to stop their foe, even when a supercharged T'Challa returns for a rematch as the newly named Herald of Eternity.
Thankfully, Black Panther has one more trick up his sleeve to take Kang out of the fight, and it is one that the so-called master of time really should have seen coming.
When the Avengers had their final stand against Kang, things didn't look good
. The maniac directly connected himself to the dormant Celestial that has become Avengers Mountain, and in doing so, reached heights of power that he has never felt before. Even T'Challa, who has recently been imbued with the power of the universe as the Herald of Eternity
, can hardly hold his own against Kang in this state. Before Kang can strike the killing blow, Black Panther remembers that he doesn't actually have to fight Kang as he stands here. In a flash, T'Challa slips free from Kang's clutches and leads the villain on a desperate chase throughout the timestream, culminating in the Avenger coming to a halt somewhere his assailant recognizes all too well.
All of Kang's meticulous planning comes undone in an instant in the pages of Avengers: Mech Strike #5 by Jed MacKay, Carlos Magno, Guru-eFX, Carlos Lao, and VC's Cory Petit, when T'Challa borrows a play that Kang recognizes just a little bit too late to stop. As he watches, Black Panther strikes down Kang's former self before he could put his grand scheme into motion, calling back to one of their most famous recent storylines.
In 2013's Age of Ultron by Brian Michael Bendis, Brandon Peterson, and Carlos Pacheco, traveling back through time was the only option left after Ultron took control of the entire planet. With billions of lives lost in the wake of Ultron's attack, the few heroes who remained turned to time-travel in their bid to save the world. After numerous attempts by various Avengers, Wolverine and the Invisible Woman urged Hank Pym to leave himself a back door to destroy Ultron.
Avengers: Mech Strike is still a prime example of just how deadly Kang the Conqueror can be. Considering the similarly impressive feats he has accomplished within the primary timeline over his long, villainous career, the most shocking part of this all is that Kang never took the time to ensure the safety of his past self.
Then again, an inflated ego and distorted sense of his own infallibility have been the downfall of the self-proclaimed conqueror more often than anything else.