BIOGRAPHY - Page 9
This page deals with the divergent version of KANG-PRIME who departed Limbo for Chronopolis and eventually became RAMA-TUT again.
As Kang abandoned Limbo using his time- and body-jumping technology, he "returned" to Chronopolis to further his rule. Although Kang-Prime was not physically the same Kang who initially created Chronopolis, Immortus' psycho-globe insured he had all the same memories of the man who did, and so he adopted it as his own. [Avengers Forever #9]
After recuperating from his ordeal in Limbo, Kang returned to his scheming. If Kang truly was responsible for creating the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, he likely did so at this point in his timeline, for he was aware of them when he concocted his own scheme to acquire the Ultimate Weapon of the Time Bubble. Instead of trying to penetrate the Bubble, Kang reasoned he could defeat the Dreaming Celestial in the present and force it to provide him the weapon now, rather than waiting for the Bubble era. Kang entered the Heroic Age during the temporal chaos of Inferno, believing the demon event would act as a smokescreen to prevent the Cross-Time Kangs from noticing his actions.
Kang planned to use his old enemy Mantis as the instrument of his success. He believed the power of the Celestial Madonna would be sufficient to humble the Dreaming Celestial, and assembled an energi-tube to siphon Mantis's cosmic powers from her once she was captured. Kang succeeded in kidnapping Mantis out from under the protection of the Fantastic Four, but failed to realize that Mantis no longer possessed her Celestial Madonna powers. Despite losing the key to his plans, Kang stubbornly flew to the Diablo Mountain range to confront the Dreaming Celestial anyway. And when Mantis was kidnapped from Kang's time-ship by the sorcerer Necrodamus, Kang fought to retrieve Mantis despite the fact that she no longer held any value to his plans. He then switched gears again and fought against Mantis on the side of her former patrons, the Cotati, in order to get his revenge on Mantis for their past encounters. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #323-325]
Kang soon abandoned all these schemes, however, and privately admitted to himself that his heart wasn't truly in them. Ever since his encounter with Immortus in Limbo, Kang had felt the crushing hand of destiny. The inevitability of one day becoming Immortus weighed upon him, making Kang feel he was rushing towards a fate he did not want. He attempted to lose himself in the day-to-day affairs of his vast empire, but soon found himself acting more like an administrator than a conqueror, and wasn't that more like Immortus, too? [Avengers Forever #9]
When Doctor Doom detected the Magus' machinations at the start of the Infinity War, he reached out to Kang to forge an alliance for their mutual gain. Despite constantly plotting to betray each other, Kang and Doom were highly effective partners in tracking down the source of the Magus' newfound power: five extra-dimensional Cosmic Cubes. Their effectiveness was, in part, due to the fact that Magus' universe-spanning schemes were so intricately planned out, charting the actions of pawns as venerable as Eternity and the Living Tribunal, that the Magus didn't even conceive of their involvement in the first place. Still, they overreached themselves trying to take the Magus' control chamber, and were forgotten in the clash of titans over the Cubes and the Infinity Gauntlet that followed. [Infinity War #1-6] In his private musings, Kang later admitted that he joined forces with Doom not out of any real desire for the Cosmic Cubes' power, but merely because he was in search of something to do beyond administration in Chronopolis. Like Alexander of old, he began to feel there were no more worlds to conquer. [Avengers Forever #9]
Despite Kang's ennui, his four dimensional "Kangdom" was in fact bordered on all sides by rivals and threats. Kang mastered a slice of space-time eight millennia "long" (from 3000 B.C. to 5000 A.D.) and a few thousand divergents "wide." Cross-time, his territory was bordered by the bureaucracy of the Time Variance Authority and the democracy of the Congress of Realities. Up-time, a divergent of Ravonna known as Revelation ruled the far future from 9999 A.D. Down-time, Alioth the Usurper ruled the fabric of time prior to the dawn of man, a demonic entity appearing as a living storm and claiming to be the first being to break the shackles of time itself. Kang ruled Chronopolis from many time periods, but mostly from the era of 4949 A.D. He gathered a private guard of warriors from throughout the timestream, besting them each in combat in order to earn their respect and their oaths of allegiance. These "Anachronauts" included a wielder of the Ebony Blade, the first Red Wolf, the last Serpent Man, a caveman empowered by the Bloodstone, an invincible Trojan soldier, a cyborg from Deathlok's timeline and the last Eternal. (In what may have been another attempt at recruiting an Anachronaut, Kang also battled Prester John at Avalon in the 12th century, but ended up dispatching him through time instead.) [Thor Annual #17]
Kang continued to feel the loss of Ravonna. His accumulated divergent memories now included one Kang's selfish refusal to revive Ravonna with the Grandmaster's power, Ravonna's betrayal of Kang-Prime in favor of Immortus in the Council affair, and other Kangs' attempts to find more pliable divergents of Ravonna to service him. None could keep his attention for long, however. When he learned of his last surviving divergent's encounter with Kang Nebula from the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, Kang-Prime was intrigued by the idea of such a woman. He began to lay out plans to catch Nebula's attention and encounter her personally.
The Avengers finally became aware of Timely, Wisconsin's relevance when Vision tracked some micro-circuits from his design back to the small town. Kang snared Vision, and later Captain America and Thor, in the Timely portion of Chronopolis, leaving them wandering between eras. Lured in by rumors of a major assault Kang was planning, Kang Nebula presented herself to the distrusting Fantastic Four as a "guide" to help them access Chronopolis. Of course, when the full Avengers team arrived looking for their missing members, Nebula quickly manipulated the two teams against each other and made herself scarce.
Kang's Anachronauts captured the Avengers and Fantastic Four, bringing them before Kang's throne room in Chronopolis. Kang disclosed the details of his beachhead in Timely, Wisconsin, having successfully infiltrated every avenue of robotics and technology throughout the 20th century. Implying he had the means to take control of every machine housing TimelyTech, Kang indicated that his conquest of the heroes' era was nigh. At that moment, Kang Nebula emerged from the shadows and murdered Kang with her vibro-knives. Her momentary victory was undone when the real Kang stepped from the shadows. He had allowed a doppelganger to address the heroes in order to draw Nebula out and learn her true identity. Kang-Prime disabled Kang Nebula's shape-shifting technology and forced her to reveal her natural form... that of Ravonna!
Ravonna revealed that she hailed from a time after Kang's game against the Grandmaster. The Elder was furious at his defeat, and so he secretly removed Ravonna from her stasis chamber and replaced her with a pseudo-life doppelganger. Once he revived Ravonna with his powers, the Grandmaster told her how Kang gave up the opportunity to save her in order to lash out at the Avengers. Furious, Ravonna rejected her love of Kang and trained at the Grandmaster's feet to one day seek revenge on Kang. After eliminating a divergent, she infiltrated the Council of Cross-Time Kangs as Kang Nebula to locate her former love, but was never able to identify who the "real" Kang was.
Kang-Prime was more intrigued than ever by a Ravonna every bit as cunning and power-hungry as him. Kang challenged Ravonna (now calling herself Terminatrix) to a duel, with his empire as the stakes. As the two battled inside a makeshift arena protected by Kang's force field, the Avengers and Fantastic Four broke free from their hyper-cube prison and engaged the Anachronauts again. Thor attempted to breach Kang's field, but Mjolnir unexpectedly passed through the force field almost unmolested. As the hammer hurtled full force at Ravonna's back, Kang pushed her out of the way and took the impact himself. Kang suffered internal damage and a crushed spine, fatal injuries in the name of saving Ravonna, just as she had protected him a lifetime before. [Citizen Kang crossover] (Several observers commented that Kang deliberately allowed the hammer to penetrate his force field, and he could have saved Ravonna without sacrificing himself. Kang has admitted as much since then, that this was a deliberate manipulation of Ravonna and he expected her to preserve him. His ennui had grown so strong he was willing to risk death and the loss of his empire instead of continuing on as he had.) [Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #4, Avengers Forever #9]
With Kang incapacitated, Terminatrix placed him in a stasis tube just as he once preserved her until such a time as his injuries could be repaired. Ravonna assumed control of Chronopolis and Kang's empire, with only a select few aware of the change in power as Ravonna's tech allowed her to openly pose as Kang. Ravonna slowly came to appreciate the massive majesty of Kang's kingdom, from the daily tedium of overseeing the Cross-Time Kangs to frequent border skirmishes on the edges of the "Kangdom." Ravonna was forced to learn many secrets on her own, however, for Kang had programmed his records and servitors in anticipation of her takeover, obscuring important facts about his realm from its new regent.
While exploring the down-time border of Kang's realm, Ravonna discovered a time barrier preventing her from accessing earlier temporal space, and breached it to observe what was on the other side. Doing so allowed Alioth the Usurper to flow through and begin assimilating Kang's eras of control. Ravonna was alerted to her mistake by Revelation, her divergent future counterpart who ruled the eras beyond Kang's kingdom. Revelation informed Ravonna that Kang alone held the secret to containing Alioth again, and provided her with a medical device capable of fully restoring Kang.
Back in Chronopolis, Alioth had already flooded the 50th century, feasting off of the temporal energy of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. Terminatrix and Revelation had pitted teams of Avengers against each other before communicating directly, and so the revived Kang and Ravonna recruited these heroes to defeat Alioth before his spread permanently consumed their eras and others. The Avengers delivered Kang's crystalline "cosmic key" to the Cross-Time Council chamber, where it transformed into the time-giant Tempus, interrupting Alioth's feast on the Council's time energy to absorb it into himself. With Tempus emerging as a power equal to Alioth, he pulled the beast back into the temporal space predating Kang's era, thus retroactively creating the time barrier Ravonna previously ripped asunder.
Kang congratulated Ravonna on her successful custodianship of his realm, and revealed his deliberate hand in manipulating her to insure his resurrection. He declared Ravonna a worthy partner and offered her the choice of ruling by his side in Chronopolis or proceeding on her destiny into the future to become Revelation and rule an empire of her own. Ravonna was no more fond of the "destiny trap" than Kang, and stabbed him in the back so she could place him in the stasis tube again. This betrayal was done oddly lovingly, though, as Ravonna told Kang it was her wild unpredictability he most appreciated, and promised to revive him again, once the choice to do so was truly hers and not the result of his maneuverings and machinations. [Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #1-4]
Ravonna was true to her word and eventually restored Kang, challenging him to a new game of conquest, in matters of the heart. Kang had found his Ravonna, an equal and not a mere prize, and ruled an empire that had conquered all of known space. For a time, he was content. Kang and Ravonna spent time together in the early 20th century as Victor and Rebecca Timely, while overseeing Chronopolis as well. [Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #4, Avengers Forever #9]
And yet, Kang was still restless.
The peaceful administration of his kingdom did little to stir Kang's interest. And, although he truly loved Ravonna, their relationship alone was not enough to satisfy his drives. Kang began to long for the early days of his conquests, the simpler times of ruling a single kingdom in Egypt rather than the complex cross-time, galaxy-spanning empire currently under his thumb. He eventually reached a decision and turned custodianship of Chronopolis over to Ravonna and traveled back to ancient Egypt. Re-emerging as god-king to his people, Kang returned to his Pharaoh Rama-Tut identity. He destroyed his time machine in order to cement his decision, and ruled as a kinder, more benevolent Pharaoh to his people, for he had come to appreciate their value in his absence. [Avengers Forever #9]
Another ten years passed in Rama-Tut's reign, and his dynasty proved strong. Still, fearing that he was fast approaching the time when he would inevitably submit to his destiny and become Immortus, Rama-Tut decided to make one last effort to change his fate. Retracing what he knew about his own past encounter with a future Rama-Tut, the pharaoh arranged for the construction of his tomb inside the pyramid containing his secret laboratory. With his time-ship destroyed, suspended animation was the only method left to Rama-Tut to reach the future. He arranged for his sarcophagus to open and the suspended animation to end once a beam of light touched it, just as he knew it would when Swordsman entered the tomb 5000 years in the future. With the preparations made, Rama-Tut bade farewell to his subjects and was entombed inside the pyramid, ready to emerge when the time was right. [Giant-Size Avengers #2] In a twist of fate, as the suspended animation took hold, Rama was confronted by the West Coast Avengers, from a time after the period he was attempting to reach. Lost in space-time in an unrelated adventure, the future Avengers needed Rama-Tut's help getting back to their own time, but he was unable to aid them before the suspended animation took hold, sending him into the future but their past. [West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #20]
Sure enough, Swordsman accidentally awakened Rama-Tut in the modern age, leading the pharaoh to join forces with the Avengers against his past self. Having already lived these events once, Rama-Tut knew what the inevitable conclusion of the conflict would be. And yet, he tried his best to alter history, to show that fate can be changed by a man with the knowledge and will to do so. Ultimately, however, he failed -- the Swordsman died, Kang escaped, and all events passed exactly as Rama-Tut remembered them. After the Legion of the Unliving were defeated, Rama-Tut was released by his older self, Immortus. By this point, Rama-Tut was resigned to his fate, and allowed Immortus to send him on his way to his final destiny of becoming the Lord of Limbo. [Celestial Madonna saga]