A Brief History of Kang, Part 2: Introducing Immortus...Or Did They?
By Robert Clough
"Featuring: The Truly Different Villainy of the Evil Immortus!"
--from the cover of Avengers V1 #10
This was a truly strange issue of the Avengers. The Masters of Evil (Baron Zemo
I, the Enchantress, and the Executioner) were sitting around, thinking of ways
to wipe out the Avengers. As Zemo suggested that they needed another powerful
ally, they are conveniently contacted by a mental probe coming from "a different
time...another age!" A bearded man in a green outfit and a strange, crown-like
helmet emerged from the mists and announced himself as Immortus. One of the MOE
knows him as "The master of time! The one who rules the mystic realm of limbo,
where things never change!" Immortus announced that he wants to have the MOE as
his servants, since he'll be taking over the 20th century at some point. The
Executioner naturally gets annoyed and tries to strike him, but Immy zips off to
Limbo, and summons Paul Bunyan to fight him, since he has "all the warriors of
the ages to choose from!" After a brief fight, Zemo accepted Immortus' power,
but demanded that in order to prove his loyalty, he must
kill one of the Avengers. Immortus accepts, "with glee!"
Immortus had mentioned that he had observed the MOE's battles with the Avengers
"with amusement" and was joining "for my own purposes." This sort of mysterious
talk, in addition to the weird fight that comes later, was explained rather
nicely by Englehart in his run.
Immortus put an ad in a magazine advertising a method of obtaining super-powers.
(No, really!) Rick Jones naturally sees this, and wanting to join the Avengers,
follows up. Unfortunately for him, Immortus is waiting with Atilla the Hun; Rick
is captured and sent to the Tower of London in 1760.
Cap sees the ad also and figures Rick will answer it, so he hops on over to
Immortus' place, where Immy is confidently sitting on a throne. He claims that
the Avengers put him up to capturing Rick in order to control Cap. Cap runs back
to the Avengers full of anger, and after a pointless fight, they run back to
Immortus then pulls out a series of historical challenges for the Avengers.
Giant-Man fights the biblical Goliath (and beats him by shrinking himself down
and sling-shotting him!), Iron Man defeats Merlin, and Thor fights Hercules. Cap
is captured by Immortus and whisked off to the Tower of London. Immortus
promises Cap that he can have Rick Jones if he fights his way through the
Without Cap around, the MOE attack and do quite well. At the last second, Cap
pops up and turns the tide. The MOE are about to be beaten when the Enchantress
uses a spell to take them a few days in the past...right before they met
Immortus. This time, when they feel the mental probe, they break it off.
So did the Avengers really fight Immortus? The story suggests that because of
the time spell that the Enchantress used, they never encountered him. This of
course goes against other interpretations of time we've seen in the MU. The
other odd thing about this story is how quickly Immortus bowed out of the
battle. What exactly was he after?
You sure can't tell from this story. This is perhaps why this issue was
forgotten until Englehart cleverly recast Immortus as a manipulator whose ends
are unclear, rather than an out-and-out villain.
--Clough the Conqueror