Brilliant! I was very inspired by this. Why, I asked myself, don't I put the three comics I've just read into chronological order? Now, I don't have any special video editing equipment, but I do have three comic books, a pair of safety scissors, and a big ol' pot of glue, so sit back and enjoy "The Amazing Rama-Tut Adventure 3D" in glorious Mash-Up Vision! (No special glasses required, but feel free to put 'em on anyway...they look cool!)
The scene: 2940 BC. (Just after teatime). Journeying along the past lives of Morgana Blessing in search for her soul, Doctor Stephen Strange arrives in Ancient Egypt, where he is startled to find himself in a futuristic Sphinx.
Unknown to the Master of the Mystic Arts, this time period is also host to four members of The West Coast Avengers, trapped in the past during a long time-journey:
Strange is knocked out by protective laser weapons inside the Sphinx:
Strange's unconscious form is dragged through the Sphinx by robots, until they're spotted by the West Coast Avengers:
The WCAs attempt to rescue Dr. Strange, but in the confusion his body is taken away by other robots:
...and carted through the corridors of the Sphinx.
He's placed in a stasis coffin...
Just before the robots seal him within its force field, Strange regains consciousness and sends his astral form out to freedom...
Seconds after that, Doctor Strange's astral projection escapes into the Sphinx just as the West Coast Avengers arrive to try to save him...
...but they're unsuccessful and move off again. They spend more of the rest of these events running around the Sphinx in seeming circles, trying to find some way to time travel back to their era while battling robots and warriors of Rama-Tut. More or less meanwhile, while traveling back in time to 2940 BC in search of a radioactive herb to cure blindness, the Fantastic Four are captured by the despotic pharoah Rama-Tut. As Rama-Tut gloats over his captives, they are observed by the non-corporeal Doctor Strange, and via close-circuited television elsewhere in the Sphinx, the West Coast Avengers.
As the Fantastic Four is dragged off, Doctor Strange catches sight of a young slave girl, whom he detects is the possessor of Morgana's soul fragment:
He follows her to another chamber, where he spies on the preparations being made to Susan Storm for her unwilling wedding to Rama-Tut, while the slave girl waits in the background:
Seeking to free the Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange observes a slave ship on which the Thing now serves as a slave rower. Unseen by anyone, he transmutes the cosmic rays of the sun upon the captive Thing, forcing him to transform into human Ben Grimm:
Spearheaded by Ben, the FF break free, causing Rama-Tut to flee into the depths of his Sphinx...
...where he comes face to face with Doctor Strange and the slave girl:
To elude Strange, Rama-Tut activates the Sphinx's self-defense lasers, forcing Doctor Strange and the girl to flee, at the same moment the floor of the room begins to melt...
...revealing only seconds later that the Fantastic Four have burned through the floor in their own escape attempt.
The FF pursue Rama-Tut to his control room, where the pharoah has sealed himself inside a pod...
...an escape pod, to be precise. Rama-Tut blasts off, observed by Strange and the slave girl (from outside the Sphinx) and by the West Coast Avengers, watching the scene on another close-circuit television:
Before they escape, the FF discover the optic nerve restorative they came for:
Only a few moments behind them, the West Coast Avengers arrive in the control room, now escape-pod-less:
The FF flee the Sphinx, only just missing a controlled explosion that destroys all of Rama-Tut's futuristic technology. Dr. Strange and the slave girl observe the explosion from outside, but the West Coast Avengers are caught inside in the blast. Luckily, it only destroys the machinery and leaves them unharmed:
The slave girl professes her love for Dr. Strange, while in the background the Fantastic Four make their departure back to their present using Dr. Doom's time machine. Strange then magics himself back to his time:
Now, here's where there's a continuity mistake. Although we saw in Doctor Strange #53 that the FF depart 2940 before Dr. Strange, in West Coast Avengers #22 it's the other way around: Strange leaves and then the FF depart, the West Coast Avengers arriving just a few seconds too late to hitch a ride:
That single sequential error aside, though, it's like an intricate jigsaw puzzle that's fun to read and even more fun to put together. As Paul Harvey would say, "And now you know...the rest of the story." That's not the end of it, of course: the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange, and the West Coast Avengers' stories continue in each of their respective magazines, but what about Rama-Tut's story? What happens next to him? Well, his time-twisted saga is spread out all across the history of the Marvel Universe. You can never be certain when you see him...or his later incarnations, Kang and Immortus...that you're reading the story in chronological order. That is, until Kurt Busiek, Continuity Cop, ties it all up in the sprawling and intricate Avengers Forever miniseries of 2000issue #9, especially, which works to put many of the pieces of the Rama-Tut/Kang/Immortus puzzle in chronological order. And that includes this panel:
'Zat panel look familiar, time travelers?
Physicist Dr. Michio Kaku once wrote:
It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy-and that's a big "if"-then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein's equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.True. But what Dr. Kaku fails to mention, is how utterly kickass bitchin' it would be if the time machine looked like a giant Egyptian Sphinx:
Ride on, Rama-Tut. Ride on.