A Brief History of Kang, Part 3: The Rama-Tut Years

By Owen Erasmus

The first appearance of the Avengerís greatest foe doesnít actually feature the Avengers at all. In fact, when it appeared on the stands the team had only just been formed and hadnít even faced the Space Phantom yet (more on him later.)

Much of the information in this and later issues was retroactively changed, I am presenting it as it appeared then.

Fantastic Four 19
"The Prisoners of the Pharaoh"
Written by Stan Lee
Penciled by Jack Kirby
Inked by Dick Ayers

Reed Richards, taking a break from science to do some research on ancient Egypt, notices some hieroglyphs which appear to show some ancient Egyptians curing blindness with a radioactive potion. Curious about the existence of radioactivity in ancient times and wanting to restore the sight of the Thing's girlfriend Alicia, the Fantastic Four borrow Dr. Doom's time machine and head back to the time of the Pharaohs.

On arrival they are captured by soldiers and dragged before the Pharaoh Rama- Tut who shocks them by speaking English and recognising them.

He informs them that he is from the year 3000, and that seeking adventure in a rather boring time he spent his time watching tapes of more exciting eras. Eventually, that is no longer enough for him and he sets out to recreate a time machine that one of his ancestors had invented centuries before. Taking with him a mind control gun, he builds the time machine in the shape of a sphinx and sets out to make himself ruler of ancient Egypt. The ray gives him control of the country and he turns it on the Fantastic Four, making them his slaves.

Reed proves useful as a spy for Rama-Tut's armies, the Human Torch becomes a court jester and Sue is set to become his Queen. The Thing's strength is put to work as a galley slave, but the hot sun somehow changes the Thing back to Ben Grimm. Now able to slip through Thing-sized chains, Ben escapes and makes it back to the court. Stealing Rama Tut's gun, he sets the rest of the Fantastic Four free. They make short work of Rama-Tut's army and he flees back to his sphinx.

The Fantastic Four follow and find that the inside of the sphinx is packed with futuristic machines, including an escape pod that stands ready to take Rama to another dimension or time. The FF are unable to stop his escape and only just get out of the sphinx before an explosion gets rid of all trace of Rama-Tut.

They salvage Rama Tut's conveniently labeled blindness cure and return to the future. Unfortunately, Dr. Doom had blocked his time machine from carrying radioactive material and the cure stays in the past. This left Alicia still blind and Rama Tut travelling to another dimension and another identity.

--Ominous Owen Erasmus