The Avengers #24, Jan. 1966
Stan Lee, writer
Don Heck, penciller
Dick Ayers, inker
Artie Simek, letterer
The second part of this story where the Avengers go to the future and hang out with Kang the Conqueror is… pretty strange. Especially since most of it is this weird deal with Kang wanting to marry this princess, and it’s all very classical fantasy… with one of the guys in a big dumb purple space mask.
The Avengers are teamed up with Princess Ravonna and her few loyal soldiers against Kang and his invincible conquering armies. Unfortunately, Kang has more power at his disposal, and he manages to win. He imprisons the heroes and forces Ravonna to marry him… BUT! Kang’s own rules require that all existing royalty be killed when he takes over a new kingdom, and his men don’t like that he’s not following that rule. They rebel against the supervillain and… well, fail. Pretty miserably.
Kang appears to have turned over a new leaf, and asks the Avengers to help him save the life of Ravonna, and in exchange, he’ll send them back to their time. They succeed and defeat Kang’s usurping army and the Avengers get sent back to the 60’s… just in time to miss one last assassin try to shoot Kang and accidentally kill Ravonna. Guess Kang isn’t going to be reformed anytime soon…
The Avengers themselves do almost nothing in this issue, and instead we get this weird medieval drama between the villain (who kinda becomes a hero) and this nondescript princess with no character who dies so it doesn’t really end up mattering. Ah well, they can’t all be winners. They aren’t the All-Winners Squad, after all.