KANG: Page 10 of 11

Publication Date: 30th Apr 2018
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


This page deals with the divergent version of Kang-Prime who chose to fulfill his destiny to become IMMORTUS.

Upon entering Limbo, Rama-Tut prepared to begin his retirement as Immortus, the Lord of Time. He used robot servitors from his past lives to construct a vast citadel from the substance of Limbo, which changed frequently with the state of the realm itself. Frustrated by his own failures to change his timeline, Rama intended to perform a fuller examination of time and how it worked or could be manipulated. He dedicated himself to the eternal pursuit of study, observing the timestream in all its myriad variations from outside of time itself. A future version of Immortus created the temporal goliath known as Tempus and cast him back in time for Immortus' earliest incarnation to make use of him. Immortus began using the seemingly indigenous Space Phantoms of Limbo as laborers and agents as well. [Thor (1st series) #282, Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #3]

To measure time in Limbo is pointless, so perhaps it was days or centuries after he first entered Limbo that Immortus was approached by the Time Keepers. The saga of the Time Keepers reaches to the end of eternity and back to the beginning, at the final divergence point of this universe before the formation of the next. At the Heat Death of the universe, the end of all things, He Who Remains was the last living being in existence. As the last executive of the Time Variance Authority, a cross-dimensional bureaucracy dedicated to preserving the sanctity of the timestream, He Who Remains intended to insure his legacy by creating the Time Keepers, gestating entities spawned from pure temporal energy who would pass on into the next universe, carrying with them all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the current universe.

The formation of the Time Keepers was flawed, however, and instead the corrupted Time Twisters were birthed. The Time Twisters began traveling backwards through time, from the end to the beginning, destroying entire eras of history as they passed. Thor, Jane Foster and Zarrko the Tomorrow Man tried and failed to stop the Time Twisters' advance. Instead, they traveled to the end of time, shortly before the birth of the Time Twisters, and convinced He Who Remains that the Twisters were too dangerous to unleash. He Who Remains aborted the birth of the Time Twisters, and went on to refine his methods to create the Time Keepers.

This became the last divergent timeline in history. In one timeline, He Who Remains created the Time Twisters without interference. In the other, He Who Remains prevented the creation of the Time Twisters and substituted the Time Keepers in their place. His final choice will determine whether the next universe is overseen by benevolent custodians or nihilistic destroyers. As all the infinite possible universes collapse on this final point, the sum total of events in those universes influences what He Who Remains' choice will be. In practice, this means the Time Keepers and Time Twisters are at war throughout all of time and space, hoping to influence the majority of possible universes to follow the path that inevitably leads to the choice that benefits them. Their machinations, from subtly influencing the flow of events to eliminating entire unfavorable realities, constantly tip the scales of causality back and forth between the two final fates. [Thor (1st series) #242-245, What If..? (2nd series) #39]

The Time Keepers approached Immortus in Limbo and requested his services to ensure their future remained dominant. Immortus agreed and was appointed custodian of 7000 years of history for the Time Keepers, molding that era to fit their specifications. In exchange, he was provided exponentially greater knowledge of the working of time and Limbo. The Time Keepers revealed the secret of Immortus' servants, the Space Phantoms: the entropic forces of Limbo inevitably wear down the identity of any being that spends too much time in the timeless realms, creating "phantoms." Indeed, without the Time Keepers interference, Immortus too would have succumbed to the phantom effect eventually. [Thor (1st series) #282, Avengers Forever #8, 10]

Immortus was given several tasks by the Time Keepers related to his own species of humanity, and his former adversaries the Avengers in particular. In a strong minority of recorded timelines, humanity succumbed to a galactic "manifest destiny," imposing their will on the cosmos through vast empires or totalitarian regimes. Humanity held within their genes the potential for nigh-unlimited power, known as the "Destiny Force," which allowed them to act almost unchallenged in cosmic affairs. One of the earliest known manifestations of the Destiny Force was by frequent Avengers associate Rick Jones, often putting Earth's Mightiest Heroes at the forefront of these dark futures. These futures were at odds with the order the Time Keepers sought in the cosmos, and they charged Immortus with preventing them from coming to pass, delaying or outright prohibiting humanity from reaching the stars. [Avengers Forever #10]

Another Avengers-related concern was the Scarlet Witch who, to an improbable degree, frequently served as the nexus being for her particular reality. A nexus being acted as a living anchor for the space-time structure of the entire timeline, unconsciously functioning as a touchstone for vast amounts of temporal energy. Humanity's potential combined with a nexus being meant that the Scarlet Witch's children would be god-like in power, strong enough to oppose Eternity himself or replace principalities like the Demiurge. The Time Keepers wished to avoid the existence of wild cards like this. [Avengers Forever #8, Young Avengers (2nd series) #8]

Finally, the Time Keepers charged Immortus with cleaning up the divergent mess of timelines caused by his own time travel over the epochs. In particular, they wished for him to prune the multitude of timelines engineered by his Kang counterparts' constant time travel. [Avengers (1st series) #269]

By their very nature, establishing a linear sequence of events for Immortus' actions is almost impossible. He was working from a timeless realm for a literally indefinable period of time to achieve complicated goals across multiple realities and various time periods, often while attempting to appear as if he hadn't done anything at all. While this article will attempt to address Immortus' activities linearly from his perspective (or as a back-up, from the perspective of Earth-616), the primary focus will be on addressing the above-listed goals he was trying to accomplish, and how they proceeded individually. In other words, this article will focus less on how his manipulation of the Scarlet Witch and Destiny Force schemes progressed in relation to each other, and more on how internal aspects of the schemes developed over time.

To begin, the Lord of Limbo made plans to ensure his own destiny as Immortus came to be. In a form of predestination paradox, Immortus was responsible for the "time storms" that in the past seemed to "randomly" direct the travels of his past selves. It was Immortus who arranged for Nathaniel Richards to first arrive in ancient Egypt as he did [Fantastic Four (1st series) #19], jump forward into the Modern Age for a time [Fantastic Four Annual (1st series) #2] and finally overshoot his own time to arrive in the 41st century. [Avengers (1st series) #8]

Immortus also directed the attention of several space-bound races to Earth in order to slow mankind's progress to the stars. It was Immortus who turned the so-called "Martian Masters" towards Earth in the late 19th and early 21st centuries in several realities, leaving Earth conquered by alien overlords for several decades or longer. [Amazing Adventures (2nd series) #18, Avengers Forever #8] In other, sometime overlapping realities, Immortus also alerted the Brotherhood of the Badoon to humanity's potential threat, ultimately leading to the conquest of Earth by the Badoon by the year 3000 in several realities, and the genocidal eradication of early terrestrial space colonies. [Silver Surfer (1st series) #2, Marvel Super-Heroes (1st series) #18] Major Vance Astro, the 1000 year old astronaut, was destined to survive into the 31st century and overthrow the Badoon alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy. Immortus manipulated events so that Major Astro met his own younger self in the 616 reality, however, triggering his psionic powers early and diverging the timeline so that Vance Astrovik no longer fought in the Badoon Wars. [Marvel Two-In-One #69] Even when the alien invaders were overthrown, Immortus often took additional steps to keep humanity out of space. When the Black Panther's Avengers chased the Martian Masters off 21st century Earth, they needed Wakanda's Vibranium to restart the space program and hunt down the Martians and eliminate them for good. To prevent this, Immortus arranged for a peaceful species of humanoid insects to colonize the Great Vibranium Mound. These creatures needed the remaining Vibranium to survive, and so T'Challa was forced to put off man's voyage into the stars. [Avengers Forever #5-6]

Immortus' respect for the Avengers was considerably greater than it was during his time as Kang. Immortus was no longer driven by the need for conquest, and so could appreciate the Avengers' valor without being colored by antagonism. Still, to acquiesce to the Time Keepers' wishes, Immortus sent his agent the Space Phantom to confront the Avengers shortly after their formation. The Phantom tried to make the Avengers turn against each other and disband, for without the team Rick Jones and Scarlet Witch would be easier to manipulate. Ultimately, however, the Space Phantom only managed to drive the Hulk away. [Avengers (1st series) #2]

Immortus was very impressed with the Avengers' determination, but was haunted by doubts. In a case of paradoxical paranoia, Immortus wasn't sure of his own feelings about the Avengers. Having by this point manipulated his own past as Kang in several ways, Immortus couldn't tell if his impression of the Avengers was genuine, or the result of influence he as Immortus would perform / had performed on Kang in the past. In order to get his own first-hand impression of the Avengers (as Immortus), Nathaniel arranged to encounter the team himself. [Avengers Forever #8-9]

Shortly after Kang's first encounter with the Avengers, Immortus presented himself to Zemo and the Masters of Evil and proposed an alliance. Using Rick Jones as bait, Immortus cast the teen sidekick through time before summoning Captain America. He attempted to turn Captain America against his fellow Avengers in order to reclaim Jones, but his efforts failed. In the end, the Enchantress of the Masters cast a spell that reversed the flow of events so that Immortus never encountered the Avengers in the first place. Satisfied with what he had learned, Immortus allowed the Avengers to forget this first antagonistic encounter. [Avengers (1st series) #10] More than ever, Immortus believed in the Avengers and wanted to encourage their development. While the Time Keepers preferred that Immortus eradicate the Avengers (and humanity) altogether in order to avoid the dire futures, Immortus instead tried to manipulate the team in other ways, preventing the forecast futures while still letting them remain in action. [Avengers Forever #8, 10]

For example, in order to manage the threat of the Scarlet Witch's children, Immortus saw a non-violent opportunity to control Wanda's fate -- her growing attraction to the synthozoid known as the Vision. [Avengers (1st series) #91] Immortus reasoned that if it was the Scarlet Witch's children the Time Keepers feared, then having her love an artificial man ensured none would be born. Vision was too timid and full of self-doubt about his humanity to proposition Wanda, however, so Immortus took steps to change that. He ordered Space Phantom into an alliance with Vision's "brother," the Grim Reaper, where they offered Vision the body of Captain America as a human form. Although Vision rejected their plot, the experience taught him that his humanity did not rely on biology. Vision openly declared his feelings for Wanda soon after. [Avengers (1st series) #106-108]

In an effort to further several of his long-range schemes, Immortus became involved in the Avengers' conflict with Kang over the destiny of the Celestial Madonna. As his two earlier incarnations (Kang and Rama-Tut) battled each other through the eddies of time, Immortus pulled them ashore in Limbo. He imprisoned Rama-Tut and offered his services to Kang as an ally against the Avengers. Immortus allowed Kang to "overpower" him and imprison him next to Rama-Tut while Kang used Limbo's technology and recruited a Legion of the Unliving to destroy the Avengers. Immortus secretly manipulated Kang's choice of Legionnaires so that the "dead" Wonder Man and Human Torch were among his pawns. Their presence led to the revelation that Vision was actually a reincarnated version of the Human Torch. After Hawkeye rescued the "helpless" Immortus, he dispatched Kang and his Legion from Limbo. Immortus identified himself to the Avengers as a future incarnation of Kang for the first time, and offered Vision the truth about his origins as compensation for Kang's mistreatment.

[Note: As previously mentioned, the Legion of the Unliving in this story were likely Space Phantoms specially prepared by Immortus for this encounter, and not the actual Wonder Man and original Human Torch. This ensured that the Vision would learn the truth of his origins, exactly as Immortus intended.]

Through the use of synchro-staffs (secretly more disguised Space Phantoms), Immortus sent one group of Avengers through time to learn the origin of Mantis, while the Vision revisited his own history and learned his origin as a reconstructed version of the Human Torch. At the same time, Immortus freed his Rama-Tut incarnation and sent him on the final path towards his destiny of becoming Immortus himself. As Immortus intended, when Vision returned from his origin quest, his confidence in his history and humanity was at an all-time high, prompting him to propose marriage to the Scarlet Witch. Immortus presented himself to the couple in order to officiate their nuptials and, through the use of his pawn the Space Phantom, ensured that Kang did not overly interrupt the proceedings. Thus, Immortus succeeded in marrying Wanda Maximoff off to an artificial man who could not bear her children, preventing the uber-powerful offspring the Time Keepers feared from coming into existence. (Although Immortus appeared more-or-less benevolent -- albeit manipulative -- by orchestrating Scarlet Witch's marriage this way, he had another plan involving Wanda which required him to rip, as cruelly and painfully as possible, her happiness away later on. It is unclear whether Immortus already had this continuing plot in mind at the time, or conceived it after-the-fact.) [Celestial Madonna saga]

Soon after (at least from the Avengers perspective), Immortus responded to a call from Thor and Moondragon about their teammate Hawkeye, who was lost in time. Immortus confirmed that Kang was involved in the situation, and traveled with the Avengers to the Wild West of 1873. He provided some guidance to the group as they joined forces with Two-Gun Kid and the gunslingers of that time to fight Kang. When Kang apparently killed himself in battle with Thor, Immortus made a final appearance before the Avengers. With a bit of melodrama, Immortus claimed that the death of Kang ensured he would never exist, and bid the Avengers farewell as the timeline re-wrote itself and he faded away into nothing. Of course, Kang's timeline had diverged so many times by this point that multiple Kangs still existed in the multiverse who could become Immortus. Still, Immortus allowed the Avengers to think him dead for a time so that they would be confident that any threat he and Kang might pose was now over. [Avengers (1st series) #141-143]

Eventually, Immortus saw fit to reveal his continued survival to the Avengers, but not without gaining an advantage in the process. Immortus considered Thor one of the biggest threats to his manipulations, due to Mjolnir's natural ability to transport Thor and others through time. In order to remove this advantage from Thor and the Avengers, Immortus set up an elaborate ruse with the help of the Space Phantom. Immortus arranged for Thor and Mjolnir to be pulled into Limbo and separated. Through mental conditioning, the Phantom was made to believe he was from a planet called Phantus, where time travel had been harnessed as a weapon in endless wars between the planet's factions, and overuse of time travel was causing Phantus to phase uncontrollably into Limbo. Thor was led to believe he could restore Phantus to its natural state by funneling Mjolnir's time travel enchantment through Immortus's equipment. Through this deception, the planet Phantus was "saved" at the cost of Thor's ability to travel through time, leaving Immortus free to manipulate events at his leisure. [Thor (1st series) #281-282]

Around this time, the Avengers encountered Marcus Immortus, who claimed to be the Lord of Limbo's son. Marcus related a story about how his father grew lonely in timeless Limbo and plucked a woman out of the timestream to be his bride. After she gave birth, the three of them lived inside a time bubble in Limbo where time passed regularly, until Marcus's mother spontaneously reverted to her own time due to the laws of Limbo. Marcus claimed he was left alone in Limbo after his father was wiped from existence when Kang died in the Old West. Many things seem wrong about this story, from the rules of how Limbo works to the fact that Immortus's "death" was a ruse to fool the Avengers in the first place, but an explanation has not been forthcoming, particularly since Marcus himself seemingly expired shortly afterwards. [Avengers (1st series) #197-200, Avengers Annual (1st series) #10]

Sometime later, from the Avengers' perspective, Immortus orchestrated Kang-Prime's arrival in Limbo and faked his own demise in order to leave Kang in control of his Citadel's equipment. This gave Kang-Prime the opportunity to create the Council of Kangs and eliminate all the variant versions of Nathaniel Richards that had cropped up across the millennia. By manipulating Kang like this, Immortus streamlined the timestream and his own history, as requested by the Time Keepers. Immortus collected the memories of every pruned Kang inside a psycho-globe and then tricked Kang-Prime into absorbing those memories into himself, thereby preserving the life experiences of all Kangs in the multiverse within a single host. As Immortus, Nathaniel Richards even finally won the love and loyalty of Princess Ravonna, for the princess who Kang-Prime saved from death during his escapades ultimately sided with Immortus in Limbo. Although he imperiously dismissed the Avengers that Kang had roped into this encounter, Immortus admitted to Ravonna afterwards that he was deliberately antagonistic with them, for the Avengers would be better heroes if they remained cautious and skeptical around men who wielded as much power as he. [Avengers (1st series) #267-269]

For a time, it appeared as if the Scarlet Witch had unwittingly cheated Immortus' plans for her when she employed her hex power and the magic of an entire town to become pregnant, and ultimately birthed twin sons named Thomas and William. [Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #3-12] Tragically, the children were just another domino in a long line set up by Immortus to fall and crush Wanda's spirits. Her husband, the Vision, was taken from her and dismantled, his mind erased by a human government organization called Vigilance. Although Vision's body was restored, his emotions and personality matrix were gone, making him little more than an interactive program, a ghost of his former self. Doubt was also cast on Vision's origins as the original Human Torch, and it was proven that Vision and the Torch were separate beings. The effect on Wanda was staggering, as she not only lost her husband, but uprooted her entire understanding of his past. Wanda's children, Thomas and William, were also taken from her, and indeed revealed to have never truly existed at all. Further manipulations by Magneto, the Deviant called Ghaur and That Which Endures all contributed to unsettling Wanda's mind, and all occurred by Immortus' subtle influence or in the furtherance of his plans. [West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #42-46, Avengers West Coast #47-57]

Immortus had combined several of his ultimate goals into one brilliant and Machiavellian scheme. His machinations with Vision and the Scarlet Witch not only denied her actual children as the Time Keepers decreed, but also weakened her psychologically so that Wanda could serve Immortus in becoming Master of Time. As the unique combination of a nexus being with power over probabilities, Wanda was a potential tool of great power. Immortus began subtly feeding nexus energy into Wanda from Limbo, slowly altering and augmenting her powers so that she would retroactively alter timelines in order to achieve the effects of her "hex power." With Wanda cultivating accumulated nexus energy for him, Immortus was able to wipe out entire divergent timelines, leaving only those that suited his and the Keepers' long-term plans.

Although Immortus maintained his games from afar as long as he could, eventually it became necessary for him to overtly remove Wanda from the board. In her weakened mental state, Immortus was easily able to snare Wanda in a hypnotic trance. He arrived at Avengers Compound to claim his prize, but was inevitably confronted by Avengers West. Recognizing the heroes would never stop coming for Wanda, Immortus transported them all to Limbo for a final encounter. The Avengers won against the latest iteration of the Legion of the Unliving and next faced off against Immortus' minion, the time-giant Tempus.

Meanwhile, Agatha Harkness had traveled to Limbo in her astral form and started psychically whispering to Wanda that she must cast out the nexus energy Immortus had cultivated inside her. Agatha eventually succeeded in reaching Wanda's buried consciousness, and she expelled the excess temporal power Immortus granted her. As Immortus' plans crumbled around him, the Time Keepers appeared to rebuke Immortus for his failure. Immortus pleaded with his masters that he could recover from this setback, but the nexus energy was already influencing the timelines, creating a series of new (even contradictory) necessary outcomes to sustain Immortus' cultivated timeline. To prevent these paradoxes, the Time Keepers rerouted the nexus energy streaming out of Wanda into Immortus himself. Not being a nexus being, Immortus was overcome by the energies and frozen statue-like in place. Thus, the Time Keepers seemingly condemned Immortus to the same fate he had planned for Wanda. [Avengers West Coast #60-62]

Immortus was not as helpless as he seemed, however. Even in stasis, Immortus was still the Lord of Limbo, and the Time Keepers should have thought better of imprisoning him in his own realm. His physical form was immobilized still, but Immortus' astral form was free to travel the timelines, engaging in the manipulation that was his stock and trade. In his absence, the Time Keepers discovered Immortus had failed to eliminate four nexus beings whose existence continued to threaten their future timeline. They engaged the use of other pawns ("custodians") to influence these four timelines and cause the death of the remaining nexus beings.

Immortus cast his astral form into these timelines as well, under the cloaked identity of "the Whisperer." While the Laws of Time forced the Keepers to work indirectly through their custodians, the Whisperer worked even more indirectly still. He would only interact with one player in each universe, engaging in an astral conversation with them in a time between the passing of moments, providing a small bit of context or guidance that tipped the scales against the Time Keepers' machinations. In this manner, Immortus successfully prevented the Time Keepers from recognizing his involvement at all, even when he removed pawns of his own from each reality after the "campaign" was over: Thor, Doctor Doom, Irondroid of the 22nd century, and Lord Wolverine of the X-Vampires.

Eventually, the Time Keepers succeeded in eliminating only one of the four nexus beings and seemingly faded from existence entirely. With his jailers no more, Immortus was free to act and cast off the Whisperer identity. Now in full command of the accumulated nexus energy, Immortus set out to make himself Master of Time. He dissolved into the "Immortus Wave," a living force of temporal energy imposing itself over reality, making all of existence nothing more than an extension of his own being. It was at this juncture that Uatu the Watcher and the Time Variance Authority enacted their plan to use the Saturnyne Symbiont and render Immortus incapable of housing nexus energy in the first place. Their divergent Fantastic Four agents successfully convinced young Nathaniel Richards to inject the Symbiont shortly after he discovered his ancestor's time machine, and therefore retroactively preventing the Immortus Wave from ever occurring. Immortus continued to disperse throughout space-time, but the process was now out of his control, and he was seemingly destroyed forever. [What If..? (2nd series) #35-39]

A side effect of the Immortus Wave dispersal was the return of the Time Keepers. The true Time Keepers. It was revealed that the Time Twisters had become ascendant over the Time Keepers at some point in the past, and posed as their doppelgangers to further their own schemes of unmaking the timelines. The Time Keepers who attempted to eliminate the nexus beings and had guided Immortus in his actions against the Scarlet Witch (at least his most recent ones) had in fact been the Twisters. With their plots ruined, the Twisters reduced to pre-embryonic stages again, and the Time Keepers resumed their dominance over the timelines. [What If..? (2nd series) #39] The Time Keepers chose to restore Immortus from his dispersed state. Immortus pled his case and convinced the Time Keepers that he was still loyal to them and their goals. When he rebelled against the disguised Time Twisters, he claimed, it was because they were deviating from the plans the Time Keepers had championed in the past. Although not entirely convinced, the Time Keepers agreed to restore Immortus as Lord of Limbo and their agent. [Avengers Forever #10]

When the Avengers once again placed themselves in the middle of matters of galactic consequence during the Kree-Shi'ar War, Immortus saw the need to act. The devastation set to be caused by the Shi'ar Nega Bomb would have kept the Avengers in space dealing with the consequences of the war's end, hastening the future of the Galactic Avengers Battalion. To prevent this, Immortus manipulated the mind of Tony Stark, Iron Man, using the neuro-web the Armored Avenger was reliant upon at the time. Immortus hoped to subtly induce xenophobia in Iron Man, compelling him to lead the Avengers back to Earth and Earth-based problems. Immortus overreached, however, and his influence caused Iron Man to assemble an Avengers execution squad to go after the Kree Supreme Intelligence, the true arbiter of the Nega Bomb devastation. An Avenger, the Black Knight, was responsible for murdering in cold blood the ruler of countless Kree worlds.

Immortus immediately realized his mistake, and the Time Keepers' sudden arrival in Limbo only confirmed it. The Avengers were now morally responsible for the fate of the Kree race. As the new timeline developed, the Avengers did return home, but would inevitably learn about the Shi'ar's poor treatment of the conquered Kree people in the aftermath of the war. Feeling responsible, the Avengers would journey back out into space to help the Kree support themselves against the Shi'ar, leading to a galaxy wide series of defense stations manned by teams of Avengers... and ultimately the very future Immortus sought to prevent. [Operation: Galactic Storm crossover, Avengers Forever #10]

The Time Keepers were rapidly losing patience with Immortus and humanity, but he begged for one last opportunity to preserve the human race from deletion by the Keepers. Immortus needed a way to keep the Avengers out of space for the time being, and foresaw the coming of the entity known as Onslaught. That conflict would sweep the Avengers off the board long enough for the Kree-Shi'ar skirmishes to largely resolve themselves, but the Avengers were destined to leave for space before Onslaught hit. In order to buy more time, Immortus needed to orchestrate events that would keep the Avengers busy on Earth long enough for the Onslaught to come.

In order to do so, Immortus staged an elaborate deception to occupy the Avengers. Using mentally conditioned Space Phantoms as disguised actors, Immortus engineered a multi-factional conflict designed to pull the Avengers in and keep them guessing for months. Immortus disguised himself as Kang, on the run from a temporal war alongside his bride Mantis and their children Tobias and Malachi, heavily implied to be adult and resurrected versions of the lost children of the Scarlet Witch, Thomas and William. In opposition to his "Kang" identity, Immortus had Space Phantoms playing the part of the Cotati Swordsman, lost husband of the true Mantis, and Moonraker, a new member of Force Works retroactively planted in the timeline and secretly Mantis' father Gustav Brandt, aka Libra. Meanwhile, adult versions of Luna and Tuc, the alleged children of Quicksilver and Crystal, played both sides in the skirmishes that followed. Immortus used his existing influence over Iron Man to make Tony Stark a traitor and killer, causing the deaths of Avengers and Avengers associates such as Yellowjacket, Gilgamesh, Marilla, Amanda Cheney and finally Iron Man himself. [The Crossing crossover, Avengers Forever #10]

Immortus was successful, and the Avengers were disoriented and occupied until Onslaught, preserving the cosmos from human intervention. By the time the Avengers reorganized after returning from the Heroes Reborn universe, events were already in motion that would resolve the Kree-Shi'ar disputes without their involvement. Furthermore, the Kree Supreme Intelligence resurfaced in their absence, relieving the Avengers of the guilt and responsibility for how Operation: Galactic Storm originally ended. Unfortunately, humanity was not safe for long. Shortly after the Avengers were reintroduced to the Kree and Supreme Intelligence, Rick Jones fell ill as the Destiny Force within him was secretly rising up once again. The Time Keepers would not allow the Destiny Force to emerge in humanity that early, and Immortus was forced to choose between the death of Rick Jones and the death of his entire species. Reluctantly, Immortus took a direct role in events.

The Avengers had brought Jones to the Blue Area of the Moon (where the Supreme Intelligence was jailed after their last encounter) since the Kree ruler had the most experience with the Destiny Force's effects. After the Avengers departed, Immortus cast a time spell over the moon, freezing all present in between the moments. With no one free to react, he sent Tempus to kill Jones and prevent his ascension via the Destiny Force. However, Kang interceded on Immortus' assassination, making one last ditch attempt to prevent his own future self from coming about. Immortus summoned the legions of history to carry out his appointed task, but the Conqueror held his ground as one man against all of recorded time. Kang was able to maintain a stalemate with Immortus's forces until the Supreme Intelligence and their ally Libra awakened the Destiny Force within Jones again. As he did during the Kree-Skrull War, Rick instinctively used the Destiny Force, calling upon it to summon a team of heroes from throughout time and space. These Avengers joined the fight on the side of Kang. Having failed to prevent the rise of Jones' power, Immortus retreated to plan anew. [Avengers Forever #1-2]

Changing tactics, Immortus assembled an army of the ages and lay siege to Kang's base of operations, Chronopolis. The attack was devastating, leading not only to the deaths of Kang's elite guard, the Anachronauts, but also his bride, Ravonna. Kang and the Avengers could not stop the endless legions of Immortus and fled Chronopolis. In the aftermath, Immortus seized the Heart of Forever, the immensely powerful mechanism which allowed Chronopolis to exist partly in Limbo and partly in the timestream, and therefore in all times at once. He forced all of Chronopolis and all the time-travelers within it to collapse into the Heart, reshaping it into the Forever Crystal. With that, Immortus now had absolute mastery over time. [Avengers Forever #3]

(Incidentally, because of the non-linear nature of his lifetime in Limbo, Immortus now used the Forever Crystal to go back and perform actions he had chronologically accomplished already prior to the Destiny War, such as eliminating certain divergent timelines and splitting the Human Torch into two distinct counterparts. It may also have been through the power of the Forever Crystal that he first created Tempus and sent him back in time to serve his younger self.) [Avengers West Coast #61, Avengers Forever #8, Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2]

The Avengers made another attempt to strike at Immortus in Limbo itself, a foolish notion born of desperation. Immortus was the uncontested master of that realm, and drove Jones' chosen Avengers from his castle. They were forced to leave behind one of their number -- Hank Pym from a time when he was suffering a mental breakdown and believed himself to be a separate crime-fighter called Yellowjacket. This Pym agreed to aid Immortus against his fellow Avengers if the time lord could assure a timeline where he was allowed to remain Yellowjacket, and didn't revert back into Hank Pym. Immortus agreed and Yellowjacket led him to the Avengers' hideout outside of time, resulting in the team's capture. [Avengers Forever #7-8]

Immortus and Yellowjacket brought the Avengers to the Galactic Avengers Battalion timeline to see what they were fighting against, as the Time Keepers prepared to deliver their ultimate verdict on the future of humankind. Immortus acted as defense attorney for the human race, arguing with the Time Keepers to preserve humanity under controlled conditions. His pleas and those of the Avengers fell on deaf ears, however, and the Time Keepers decided the threat of humanity had become unmanageable. The Keepers intended to retroactively wipe humanity from existence using the Forever Crystal and their own technology. The Avengers freed themselves by tapping into the Destiny Force, and joined forces with the arriving Kang and Supreme Intelligence to force the Time Keepers into retreat. The Keepers and Immortus arrived at the Citadel at the End of Time where they prepared to carry out their verdict. The Time Keepers demanded Immortus turn over the Forever Crystal, but he chose to defy his masters, desperately pleading that there must be another way to save the Avengers and mankind. Unwilling to be delayed any longer as their opponents closed in, the Time Keepers executed Immortus, reducing him to ash before the eyes of his arriving younger self. [Avengers Forever #10-11]

As the battle progressed, the Time Keepers attempted to remove Kang as a threat by forcing his personal evolution towards becoming Immortus, recreating their servant in the process. Kang fought against the inevitable, however, and proved to have a strong enough will to literally cast off his own destiny. Immortus was reborn as an infant, a separate being from Kang who quickly aged into adulthood, somehow retaining the knowledge of his previous incarnation while also diverging from Kang so that it was no longer the Conqueror's destiny to become Immortus. With the Time Keepers dead at his hands and his future his own to chart, a satisfied Kang left the battlefield. Immortus, too, left to chart his own course in life, returning to his temporal studies to evaluate the consequences of his own reincarnation and the influence on the timestream now that the Time Keepers were gone. [Avengers Forever #12]

[Note: Another death of Immortus was reported in Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #3. Here, an ancient Immortus finally died of old age in the 100th century, as the cumulative effects of leaving Limbo for brief periods finally caught up to him. He seemingly passed on alongside an equally aged version of Ravonna, apparently the same who joined him in Limbo after the Council of Kangs fell. Several possible explanations present themselves. One, this was the final death of the reincarnated Immortus after he split from Kang. Second, this was Immortus' original death, which was undone by the Time Keepers when they killed him, meaning the current Immortus' final fate is unknown. Third, the aged Immortus' demise was yet another falsified death of the Lord of Time, just like the one which initiated the Council of Kangs scenario.]

With the Time Keepers dead at Kang's hands, Immortus found a new mandate and new patrons in the Time Variance Authority. His custodianship of time also extended over 600,000 years into the future, instead of the mere 7000 years he held under the Time Keepers' jurisdiction. A time anomaly occurred when the original Nathaniel Richards (father of Reed Richards) made contact with a quantum engine. The result was bringing every version of Nathaniel across the timelines together into one point of time, each possessing an inherent power for time travel. Immortus decreed this could not stand, and Nathaniel Richards had to be culled from the timestream before his presence destabilized it further. Ever the manipulator, though, Immortus declared to the assembled Nathaniels that he could allow one Nathaniel to survive, but they would have to pick for him. Thus began the Great Hunt, as all versions of Nathaniel Richards either began hunting each down throughout the myriad timelines, or fled from those who were hunting. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #581-582]

Immortus' control over Limbo also appeared to become less-than-absolute after the fall of the Time Keepers. He dealt with disorder and revolution among the Dire Wraiths, who had previously been banished to Limbo by Rom and the Galadorian Spaceknights. At one point, he recruited the Russian super-team the Protectorate to act as his agents for one year of Limbo-time against the Dire Wraiths. [Darkstar and the Winter Guard #2] On another occasion, Immortus allowed the Annihilators to remove Wraithworld from Limbo entirely, removing its lost race and Black Sun from Limbo so he no longer had to deal with revolts among the Dire Wraiths in his domain. [Annihilators #3-4]

During his custodianship of the timestream, Immortus became aware of a breakdown of temporal physics centered around a key moment in the 21st century. Traditionally, a mysterious event at that moment was responsible for splitting the timeline into seven distinct, but equally "prime" timelines going forward. The mystery of the event was swept away when Kang's wards, the Apocalypse Twins, intervened on established events to create a new future, engineering the destruction of Earth by the Celestials. They also installed a tachyon dam in the timestream, which prevented Immortus or any other time traveler from entering that era or undoing their actions.

Hoping to prevent Earth's demise, Immortus introduced a "time capsule" in the timeline earlier than the activation of the tachyon dam, leaving it where he knew Captain America would find it. Immortus explained the threat as best he could to Cap through a prerecorded message, alerting him to the dam's power. If the Avengers could bring down the dam, Immortus said, he would arrive from the future with powerful supporters to help them stop the Twins. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #4, 9]

Indeed, Immortus had assembled an Infinity Watch of extremely powerful entities from an unknown timeline or timelines in 3193. Among his operatives were Captain Mar-Vell, Adam Warlock, a Nova Corps version of Annihilus, a golden Silver Surfer, Vision with the power of the Phoenix Force, and Starhawk, Yondu and Martinex of the Guardians of the Galaxy. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #16] The tachyon dam was eventually brought down, but only after the Earth was destroyed and the Avengers Unity Division traveled back in time themselves to prevent the catastrophe. Immortus and the Infinity Watch arrived from the far future to help the Avengers drive off Kang and his Chronos Corps, who had betrayed the Avengers shortly after the dam went down. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #22]

As part of the complicated overlapping timelines involved, Havok and Wasp of the Avengers had spent six years in a now-nullified timeline where they raised a daughter named Katie, only to lose her when the timeline diverted and Earth was restored. Immortus took pity on the grieving parents and appeared to them afterwards. He gave the heroes hope, along with the exact day and time they would need to conceive in order to have their daughter born again in this timeline. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #23]

At the end of time itself, a beachhead existed as the multiverse collapsed around it in the wake of the Incursions. The last temporal paradox in existence came in the form of Immortus meeting with Kang and Iron Lad at the end of times, trying to formulate a plan to stop the end of all things. Their attention fell on Captain America, who had been linked to the Time Gem of the Infinity Gauntlet ever since an attempt to stop an early Incursion destroyed the rest of the Gems. They brought Cap to their beachhead as the Time Gem was carrying him through time in select intervals before he “crashed” into the end of time and was destroyed.

The nature of the end of time paradox was that Immortus and his kin had already tried to stop the Incursions once through Captain America. They sent him back in time to work with Tony Stark instead of opposing him, hoping that would free the Illuminati to solve the Incursions. That failed, and so this time around they intended to hold Cap hostage at the end of time, removing him as a variable altogether. Naturally, Cap had his own plans. He shattered the temporal field Immortus created around the Time Gem, and rode its temporal effect back to the present. [Avengers (5th series) #34]

The final fate of Immortus is unrevealed. Although he and Kang allegedly forged independent timelines in the Destiny War, certain stories have still presented Immortus as a future version of Kang. Recently, a version of Immortus was wiped from existence when a temporal device stole Kang's future from him, removing his potential and leaving him without a destiny. To assume this exchange truly eliminated Immortus from the timeline (from ALL timelines) is unlikely, but his fate has yet to be decided. [Avengers (4th series) #6, Avengers (6th series) #6]

Click here to return to the Rama-Tut who refused to become Immortus and continued as Kang.