- Kate, if you found out you were going to become... Adolf Hitler, wouldn't you do everything in your power to make sure it never happens?
Nathaniel Richards was a scholar born in the 30th century. Bullied as a youth, his throat was slit by a bully, Morgan, and he was hospitalized for a year. Recovering, he studied science and his ancestor's history tapes of the heroic age. Bored with the perfection of his society, Richards became fascinated with history and discovered the time travel technology created by one of his ancestors, Doctor Doom. The man who would become Kang embarked upon a life of conquest and adventure, exploring and ransacking time era after time era, under such guises as Pharaoh Rama-Tut, Kang the Conqueror, and others. He established strongholds and kingdoms across time. As Rama-Tut, he meant to claim the mutant destined to become Apocalypse, En Sabah Nur, as his heir. He was thwarted in this scheme after encountering two of his ancestors in the Fantastic Four, as well as the West Coast Avengers. By his constant time travel, he diverged countless temporal counterparts to himself, each capable of independent existence and further travel. In his various guises, Kang often came into conflict with the heroes of Earth-616, especially The Avengers.
Nathaniel was rescued by his adult self moments before his long-term hospitalization by bullies. Kang, hoping to change a very painful moment in his life, outfitted his younger self with a suit of psychokinetic armor that responded to his thoughts and gave him a glimpse of his future as a conqueror. Horrified at the life of evil his future self described, he took the time travel technology that he was given and transported himself to the past, hoping to avoid his sinister destiny.
Upon finding the Avengers disbanded, he downloaded the remnants of the then-destroyed Vision's operating system into his armor. This revealed a fail-safe plan created by the android to reform the Avengers should they disband or fall in action. Through this plan, the young Kang assembled his new team, the Young Avengers, with the sole purpose of defeating his future self and reshaping his own future. He modeled his armor after the Avenger Iron Man, calling himself Iron Lad.
Kang came looking for Iron Lad, wanting to return his younger self to his proper place in the time-stream. He battled the teen heroes and was seemingly gaining the upper hand when Iron Lad, with tears in his eyes, ran Hawkeye's sword through Kang's chest. This killed Kang, but the ramifications caused several changes to the timeline, including all the Avengers being dead. Iron Lad realized that the only way to restore everything was to go back in time and become Kang. The Young Avengers had to wipe his mind before he went back, but before they did he asked them to forgive him for the actions he would commit in the future.
Most recently Kang ensured that Iron Lad would become a version of himself. Although believed to have been seriously wounded by a sword battling the Young Avengers, he has continued to observe their activity.
After Wiccan's powers overloaded and the Avengers decided to keep him under observation, Hawkeye and the other Young Avnegers broken Wiccan out of holding and began the search for the Scarlet Witch. Accompanied by Magneto and Quicksilver, the team travelled to Transia and then to Latveria before discovering a depowered and amnesiac Wanda engaged to Doctor Doom. The rediscovery of Wanda did not go unnoticed though, as the Avengers soon arrived on the scene. A battle with Doom's Doombot army soon broken out and was only stopped by the arrival of Iron Lad.
Iron Lad teleported the Young Avengers and Wanda into the timestream. They all went into the past, and met reanimated Jack of Hearts, who is explode. After that Wanda remembered who she is, regained her powers and returned herself, the Young Avengers and Scott Lang into the present. She then finally confirmed that Billy and Tommy are indeed her reincarnated sons.
Wanda's increased powers are revealed to be the result of her gaining a connection to the life force itself. A ritual intended to undo the Decimation was interrupted by Patriot, leading to the powers being transferred to Doctor Doom. He intended to usher the world into utopia, a utopia in which he would rule. The Avengers and X-Men teamed up to defeat him, in the process, Stature is killed by Doom, and the villain escapes after losing his powers when they overloaded.
Iron Lad proposes to save Stature through the Timestream but Vision refuses, ending with both of them battling each other, Iron Lad destroying Vision and then taking off through the timestream, even after Wiccan warned that this is the moment in time where he becomes Kang the Conqueror, but he implies he will be better than Kang himself.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
|Power Grid |
Battle Armor: Iron Lad's battle armor is produced from a rare synthetic alloy from the 40th century. It is neuro-kinetic, meaning it responds to his subconscious thoughts. Though Kang has no powers, his armor endows him with rough equivalents of super-human abilities.
- Enhanced Strength: Gives Iron Lad the ability to lift 5 tons.
- Durability: The armor has a built in force-field that extends from 2 feet away from his body, outward to 20 feet in all directions. It can withstand even a nuclear strike at point blank range.
- Video Communicator: Built into the right wrist is a video communicator, which he can use to stay in contact with his bases from any point in the time-stream.
- Time Travel: Iron Lad's armor can create temporal divergences, giving him the ability to travel through and manipulate time.
- Concussive Bolts: Iron Lad can fire concussive blasts from the finger tips of his gauntlets; these blasts have the force of several tons of dynamite.
Neurokinetic Armour: As Iron Lad, he uses a neurokinetic armour apparently designed by his future self. This armor responds to its wearers thoughts and emotions almost instantaneously. It is capable of forming various weapons somewhat similar to that of Iron Man as well as being able to alter its appearance and shape. For example, it might manifest spikes if someone tried to grab it.
Iron Lad has also uploaded the AI of The Vision into the armor. It has currently reconfigured itself into a form similar to Vision's. As Iron Lad's neuro-kinetic armour responds to his thoughts, this enables him to:
- Time travel
- Override security systems
- Expel destructive energy blasts, magnetic rays, fire-extinguishing foam and is capable of suspending matter in mid-air
- Project holographic images masking Iron Lad's true appearance
- Download/upload massive amounts of data with its complex hard drive
He typically carries various weapons, such as an anti-matter defense screen generator, a "vibration-ray" projector, an electromagnetic field amplifier, neutrino-ray warheaded missile launcher (hand-gun size), electrical paralysis generator, nerve gas sprayer and a molecular expander. He commands a vast array of warriors from across all periods of time, including his own future era, armed with advanced weaponry. He used numerous robots, most notably his Growing Man stimuloids, packed with the "Growth Pollen" of the world Kosmos, which causes them to grow in size and strength by absorbing kinetic energy; this Growth Pollen uses the same energy accessed via the size-changing "Pym Particles" discovered by Dr Hank Pym.
- 19 Appearances of Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) (Earth-6311)
- 32 Images featuring Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) (Earth-6311)
- 2 Quotations by or about Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) (Earth-6311)
- Character Gallery: Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) (Earth-6311)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) (Earth-6311)
- Marvel Directory
- A Brief History of Kang (Does not cover Avengers Forever or later)
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