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Nathaniel Richards (Scarlet Centurion) (Earth-6311)

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Preface

Nathaniel Richards has had various incarnations over the years and each identity has its own ever expanding history. For the sake of clarity this article will only cover the history of Nathaniel Richards during his time as Scarlet Centurion. For more information on the other identities of Nathaniel Richards please refer to the entries on Iron Lad, Kid Immortus, Rama-Tut, Kang the Conqueror and Immortus

Rama-Tut adopts the guise of the Scarlet Centurion in What If Vol 2 29

Rama-Tut becomes the Scarlet Centurion[2]

Origins

Nathaniel Richards was born in the 30th century of Earth-6311 a reality where humanity never went into the dark ages. After centuries of advancement and warfare, peace was brought to the land by a time-traveller from Earth-616 named Nathaniel Richards. Because Richards brought peace to this war-torn future, he began known as the legendary benefactor. [3] The Nathaniel Richards born to this reality is said to be a descendant of the Benefactor, although other records also indicate that he may also be a descendant of the Latverian monarch known as Dr. Doom. [2] At the age of 16, intervention from his future self, Kang the Conqueror resulted in young Nathaniel to try and prevent his eventual transformation in Kang, briefly becoming the young hero known as Iron Lad. [4] The youth also briefly had a stint as a super-villain known as Kid Immortus. However Nathaniel Richards eventually returned to his native time to finally follow his proper destined path, possibly with his memories as Iron Lad erased, however at this time there is no conclusive explanation and the events leading to this are as yet unrecorded. As an adult, Nathaniel discovered a time machine and having grown bored of his peaceful time, traveled back in time to ancient Egypt on Earth-616. There he set himself up as a Pharaoh Rama-Tut until he was ousted from this position by the Fantastic Four. [5] Rama-Tut tried to flee back to his own era, but he was caught in a time storm and was forced to appear in the modern era of Earth-616. A chance encounter with his possible ancestor Dr. Doom, [6][7] inspired Nathaniel to abandon his Rama-Tut guise and assume one similar to Doom, thus the Scarlet Centurion was born. [8][2][7]

Nathaniel Richards (Scarlet Centurion) pits Avenger against Avenger in Avengers Annual Vol 1 2

The Scarlet Centurion pits Avenger against Avenger [8]

Earth-689

The Scarlet Centurion then decided to conquer the modern age of heroes by using the Avengers as his pawns. He traveled back in time to early in the Avengers career, following their battle with the Space Phantom. Originally this battle ended with the Hulk leaving the group thanks to the teams growing mistrust of him. [9] However the Scarlet Centurion appeared before the Avengers before the Hulk could leave, creating a divergent reality. Using an advanced version of his will-sapping Ultra-Diode Ray, the Scarlet Centurion convinced the Avengers that their future was doomed to Armageddon if the super-human population were to continue to increase as it would cause a devastating world war. The Avengers were influenced into believing this and went on a campaign to neutralized and imprison every super-human including their realities heroes and villains. The Avengers then set themselves up as the only super-humans on the planet policing any situations where new ones might be created or born[2][8] The Centurion also had them disassemble Dr. Doom's Time-Platform and spread its components to different locations. [8]

The Centurion then began plotting to pit his Avengers against their current Earth-616 counterparts. To this end, the Centurion used his Ultra-Diode Ray to affect the minds of the Avengers of Earth-616. [8] First he targeted Captain America, making the hero concerned over the fate of his partner Bucky during World War II. He then convinced his fellow Avengers to use the Time-Platform of their realities Dr. Doom. The team traveled back in time to the year 1944 to invisibly witness Baron Zemo's attempt to destroy both Cap and Bucky with a bomb rigged drone plane. While most of the heroes were in the past, the Avenger known as the Wasp was left to monitor the Time-Platform. The Centurion used his influence to cause the Wasp to doze off and hit the controls. This caused the Avengers in the past to briefly materialize in 1944, and battle Zemo. But they were quickly returned, or so they thought. [10]

The Avengers actually soon realized that they were in an the alternate reality of Earth-689 and soon clashed with their counterparts in that reality. The Avengers of 616 managed to escape. The Centurion was furious but still pretending to be an ally to the Avengers of 689 he vowed to find them. Meanwhile the 616 Avengers learned how this reality occurred and sought to collect the components of Doom's Time-Platform in this reality to return home. The Centurion anticipated this and sent his Avengers to try and thwart the Avengers of 616 in their quest. The Avengers of 616 were successful, however when they assembled Doom's time machine and activated it the Centurion appeared before them and attacked. The Centurion seemed unbeatable until the Avenger known as Goliath used his size changing powers to shrink in size and manipulate the controls of the time machine, shunting the Scarlet Centurion back into the time stream. The Avengers of Earth-616 then used the device to return home. [8]

Legacy

Nathaniel Richards deemed his foray as the Scarlet Centurion to be a complete failure and resumed his Rama-Tut guise. However his sudden ejection from Earth-689 also created a divergent Scarlet Centurion.[7] This alternate version ended up in the future Earth-712 where he became a successful conqueror. He attempted to conquer the modern era of that reality, regularly clashing with the Squadron Supreme. [11] A divergent version of Earth-689 also exists, designated Earth-8110 in that reality the Avengers were never opposed by their counterparts from Earth-616. The continued their conquest of the worlds super-powered individuals and eventually retired, but eventually came out of said retirement to stop the Scarlet Centurion. [2]

Many years later Nathaniel adopted the guise of Kang the Conqueror and sired a son named Marcus Kang. As an adult Marcus adopted the identity of the Scarlet Centurion[12] until the time of his death. [13]

For more on the history of Nathaniel Richards after he abandoned the identity of the Scarlet Centurion, see the entry on Rama-Tut





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Footnotes

  1. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Vol. 6 hardcover
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 What If? #29
  3. Fantastic Four #273
  4. Young Avengers #2
  5. Fantastic Four #19
  6. Fantastic Four Annual #2
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Captain America Annual #11
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Avengers Annual #2
  9. Avengers #2. Incidentally, the Space Phantom was secretly an agent of Immortus, the Scarlet Centurions future self. This was revealed in Avengers: Forever #8
  10. Avengers #56. Captain America, as revealed in Avengers #4, was placed in suspended animation after trying to stop the drone. His partner Bucky was seemingly killed in the blast. However it has since been revealed in Captain America Vol 5 #8 Bucky survived. The Scarlet Centurion's influence on the Avengers in Avengers #56 was revealed in Avengers Annual #2
  11. Squadron Supreme #2
  12. Avengers Vol 3 #38
  13. Avengers Vol 3 #54
  14. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 10



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