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This week’s episode of The Avengers not only capped off the recent Kang The Conqueror storyline, but did so with a heaping dose of fan service. As established in previous episodes, Kang The Conqeror has come back in time from the 41st century to take over Earth, but he needs to get the Avengers out of the way first. Last week’s episode featured non-stop action as Kang launched his invasion, and ended with Iron Man discovering Kang’s orbiting base: Damoclese. This episode starts shortly thereafter as Iron Man and the rest of the team suit up for a space assault on Kang’s headquarters.
As our team of heroes boards their spaceship, there’s an homage to The Right Stuff, with the Hulk conspicuously not wearing a spacesuit. It’s things like that which make The Avengers show stand out, it’s unabashedly made for comic book fans who know that the Hulk is so tough that all he needs to survive the vacuum of space is an oxygen mask and some purple pants!
Black Panther went back to Wakanda in last week’s show, so he isn’t around to help out, although events in Wakanda are mentioned and will perhaps be addressed in a coming episode. It would be a spoiler to go into what happens to Thor, but there’s a reason why he isn’t mentioned much in this review either.
After a short space battle, the remainder of the team gets split up once they reach Kang’s base. Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye and Ant Man have to defeat Kang’s trio of super-powered henchmen, and there is a great fight scene as we see the bad guys using time-stopping powers, and superspeed to give the heroes a real run for their money. This sequence has terrific direction, there’s a genuine sense of danger as the Avengers battle this new group of villains who seem unstoppable.
Meanwhile Wasp and Iron Man end up dealing with other issues on Kang’s ship. Wasp ends up discovering a secret about Kang’s invasion which adds some depth to his story. The show does a great job of fleshing out the villains and giving them plausible reasons for being bad guys. Some are simple-minded bank robbers, others have misquided utopian fantasies. A few, like Kang, have more on their mind than just taking over the Earth- although yeah, Kang wants to do that too. Eventually, the Avengers are assembled against Kang The Conqueror himself, and the quality of the writing shows through again as Captain America poignantly says “You’re not the first would-be conqueror I’ve fought”.
The conclusion of this episode brings the Kang plot to an end, and it has time for an epilog that reminds the audience of a few plot threads which have been deliberately left dangling. This includes a scene of Hank Pym collaborating with Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, and H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot. The Avengers is going into re-runs in the weeks ahead, but the show has been approved for 33 more episodes, and the writers have set up many story arcs that should provide plenty more adventures for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
UPDATE: Read about their further Adventures in our review of The Casket Of Ancient Winters!