A Brief History of Kang, Part 4: Who Was On The Sandy Knoll?

By Owen Erasmus

Very little of Kang's history has stayed intact. A lot of it has been changed in small or not so small ways by later writers. The following two examples add some shadowy figures to the proceedings of Fantastic Four 19 without ever having them really make a visible impact on that story. Normally, that would earn them a 'stop meddling with the classics' complaint from me for putting continuity copping before storytelling but both stories are reasonably logical parts of time travel arcs in their respective books and are fun in a way. I'm only going to detail the changes that affect Rama-Tut; for the actual plot, refer back to my post on FF 19.

Dr Strange v2 #53

This issue tells us very little new about Rama-Tut, it is a basically a rerun of Fantastic Four 19. Even the dialogue remains the same.

It does add a brief encounter between the fleeing Rama-Tut and Dr Strange, but Strange is held off with some laser beams and he gets away as per the original story.

It also shows that it was Dr Strange, rather than the Egyptian sun, who freed the Thing from Rama's barge and therefore led to the end of his rule in Egypt. This clears up a little plot hole from the original but doesn't really alter the intent of the original story.

The West Coast Avengers 17-24 'Lost in Space-Time'

This story really only adds some background to the situation shown in FF 19. I'm going to concentrate on any changes and direct you towards my review of the original for the basic plot.

Trapped in the old west and only able to go backwards in time, Wonder Man suggests that the WCA make their way back to ancient Egypt and make use of Rama-Tut's time machine.

They make it back to the time of the reformed Rama-Tut who had helped them during the Celestial Madonna crisis and find him about to enter the suspended animation from which he was awakened by the Swordsman. He is a mumbling mess and unable to help them so they head back to try and use the time machine of the earlier evil Rama-Tut. They are immediately blasted by Rama-Tut's Ultra-diode ray and knocked out.

They are taken to be buried by the priests of Konshu. Konshu wants to get rid of Rama-Tut and heals them and sends a message through time to his modern champion Moon Knight. Konshu's priests take the Avengers to attack Rama's time machine where they fight off his troops and watch him flee.

While this is possibly as good as the WCA ever got, the Egyptian sequences are just part of a very complicated time travel story and don't really add much to our knowledge of Kang. Some of the tie-ins with other books are cute but this is not in the same class as Englehart's earlier work with the character. If it is of any interest at all it is because it includes a rare appearance of the good Rama-Tut.

Owen Erasmus