In Our Lives Together, I will spotlight some of the more interesting examples of shared comic book universes. You know, crossovers that aren’t exactly crossovers.
Today we look at how the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange and the West Coast Avengers all ended up at the same place in 2940 B.C.!
It all begins with “Fantastic Four” #19 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers. In that story, Reed Richards discovered that there was a cure for blindness in Ancient Egypt. So they go back in time to 2940 B.C. where they encountered Rama-Tut, the emperor at the time who was actually a time traveler himself! He used a powerful weapon to sap the Fantastic Four’s powers. He then captured them and told them how he got there. He then decided to make Sue his queen (everyone wanted to make Sue their queen).
So, many moons later, in 1982’s “Doctor Strange” #53 (by Roger Stern, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin), Doctor Strange (looking for the past selves of Morganna Blessing to find her lost soul) ends up in the same year, where he is knocked out and captured. He left his body and traveled to the astral plane, where he then encountered the Fantastic Four’s journey that we saw before, only now we see that Strange had an effect on their adventure…
Okay, so that’s two. Now we add a THIRD group to the mix in “West Coast Avengers” #23 by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott, as the Avengers had been traveling through time but only able to go back in time, so they figured they’d travel to a point where they knew a time-traveler existed – Rama-Tut in Ancient Egypt. So they ended up at the same time that both the Fantastic Four AND Doctor Strange were present…
First, they saw Doctor Strange get knocked out and they tried (and failed) to rescue him…
Then they saw the FF…
However, by the time they were ready to catch up with the FF, it was too late and they missed a chance to hitch a ride with either Strange OR the FF!
Man, Wonder Man is the WORST! Can you imagine hanging out with a dude like that?
Anyhow, that was amazing piece of continuity-weaving by Stern and Englehart. Very cool stuff.
If you have a suggestion for a particularly cool example of shared continuity, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe I’ll feature your suggestion in a future column!
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