The next great evil of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had their own personal army of all time, and they are far more deadly than Thanos’ Black Order.
With all reality hopping and time traveling Loki Setting the tone for what’s to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the stage is set for Kang the Conqueror’s full debut is just a matter of time. And when he does appear in the MCU, he may not be alone, thanks to his team, the Anacronauts.
Throughout his adventures throughout the ages, Kang was tasked with choosing a team of the best warriors from the various eras that he visited. In his own time, Kang was the only man to defeat them in combat, and this eclectic commando crew became absolutely devoted to their new lord as the Anacronauts. When the Anacronauts were first introduced during “Citizen Kang” by Mark Gruenwald and Herb Trimpe in 1992 Annual Fantastic Four # 25, the titular heroes and the Avengers had been manipulated by a disguised Ravonna Renslayer and soon found themselves in Kang’s Chronopolis. There they were greeted by the Anacronauts in force, led by the cybernetically enhanced Deathunt 9000. Even with their incredible powers, the heroes could not avoid the Anacronauts’ assault for long, leading to an all-out fight between the mightiest on Earth. Heroes and the best warriors of time.
Even though the Anacronauts were victorious by taking the heroes captive, they would face off once again when Renslayer revealed himself in a failed assassination attempt on Kang. As Ravonna battled Kang in his new form as a Terminatrix, the heroes managed to escape their bonds for a rematch with Kang’s forces. This time around, the Anacronauts were no match for the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, but Kang’s abrupt disappearance in the heat of battle ended the chaos entirely.
From that point on, Terminatrix ruled Chronopolis in Kang’s place, keeping him in stasis until he could be saved and assuming his face in public. The Anacronauts, who were the only ones who knew the truth, left Ravonna’s side as they had only sworn allegiance to Kang himself. They vowed to return once Kang was healed, which for many of them came before the others.
When Immortus began to impersonate Kang, he brought several of the Anacronauts under his protection, including Deathunt 9000 and the final Eternal, Apocryphus. On behalf of Immortus, Apocryphus was sent to Vietnam to test a weapon that removed the entire region from the time stream, leading to a confrontation with Force Works. This coincided with Deathunt’s own mission, prompting a group of cyborg soldiers to hunt down the then-fugitive Hawkeye. From 1995 War machine # 21 by Dan Abnett, Fred Haynes, and Sandu Florea saw Deathunt’s quest culminate in his defeat with almost no help from Hawkeye and Agent USA before the titular hero appeared to save the day. Deathunt was able to sneak into the time stream before suffering the same brutal fate as his murdered cybernetic compatriots, but nothing could save him from the day Immortus finally turned against them. As seen in 1998 Avengers: forever # 3 by Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern, and Carlos Pacheco, almost all of the Anacronauts became the unfortunate victims of Immortus’ all-out assault on Kang’s Chronopolis, leaving only a seriously injured Wildrun behind to tell their story.
It’s hard to imagine that a team with such a complex and twisted history could be translated into the MCU without some serious changes being made, but as Loki has already shown, that it might not be as difficult as it sounds. Even if the Anacronauts don’t get a chance to appear on the small screen, their time in the comics is worth revisiting.
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