Today, we’ll see how Doctor Doom helped inspire the creation of Kang the Conqueror.

On “Our Lives Together,” I highlight some of the most interesting examples of shared comic book universes. You know, crossovers that aren’t exactly crosses.

One of the cool things about the so-called “Marvel Method” of writing comic book stories is that the idea of ​​one creator drawing a comic book story and then another creator adding dialogue to finished pages existed long before Marvel Age of Comics. That approach was pretty much how all the Jack Kirby and Joe Simon comics were produced during the days when Kirby and Simon produced several comics a month together (Kirby would draw his comics and sometimes help Simon draw his comics. , and then Kirby would draw his problems, with Simon later writing the script for the Kirby books and inking the Kirby books (Simon could have occasionally co-conspired with Kirby on the Kirby books). Kirby kept this approach when he joined Marvel in the late 1950s (then called Atlas). Another Atlas artist, Steve Ditko, also made it clear that he could come up with his own plots, so Kirby and Ditko would go make their own plots (however, Ditko definitely would discuss the plots with Atlas editor-in-chief Stan Lee at the time.)

However, when the Marvel Age of Comics began in the early 1960s, that meant you would have some books plotted by Kirby and Ditko, two of the greatest conspirators in comic book history, along with dialogue from the very popular word styles. . from Stan Lee, and then you’d have … other comics. So Stan Lee came up with the idea that would allow him to at least dialogue with almost every comic. I would also have all the OTHER Marvel artists draw their own comics, and then Lee would do the dialogue, rather than paying other writers to do stories that didn’t have the same “sound” as the books written by Lee.

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I bring this to explain why most of the time there was a total lack of cohesion when it came to the representation of time travel in the Marvel Universe, because you would have Kirby plotting his things, which would all be united, but then you Don Heck would have an idea for the story a few numbers later and would have a completely different idea about time travel. This ultimately left Marvel with a completely confused view of time travel in general, that later writers would have to move mountains to try and make sense of it all together.

However, within the context of, say, the Kirby / Lee books, there was a much more consistent direct line, as they literally used the Fantastic Four to groom the time-traveling Avengers villain Kang the Conqueror.

You see, in 1963 Fantastic four # 19 (by Kirby, Lee, and Dick Ayers), the Fantastic Four traveled back in time on a futile search for a cure for blindness and then met Rama-Tut, a pharaoh who was actually from the far future!

That problem ended when Rama-Tut returned to his own time and we left it at that. Rama-Tut was seen for the second time in 1964. Annual Fantastic Four # 2. In those days, Kirby and Lee were still doing explicit summaries on how Doctor Doom survived his previous appearance (since most of the first appearances of Doom seemed to end with Doom’s death. It was similar to how the first Joker’s appearances always ended with Joker’s death. “and then the next issue would have to explain how he survived, until they just stopped bothering, like I guess they thought,” You get it, the Joker will probably survive somehow, right? “), and so on Annual Fantastic Four # 2 (by Kirby, Lee, and Chic Stone), we see that Doom survived his apparent death in Fantastic four # 23 Upon Being Rescued By Rama-Tut …

They have a mind blowing talk about how they relate to each other, or are they THE SAME PERSON!?!?

I love how Rama-Tut tries to say with his hand that it makes no sense for him not to know if he is literally Doctor Doom or not, throwing up references to Albert Einstein.

And in the end, Rama-Tut sends Doom back to Earth and inspires himself to go to the future and get into trouble Doom-style …

Well, almost DIRECTLY after the release of Annual Fantastic Four # 2 was the launch of Avengers # 8 (“official” release dates are four days apart, but I guess it was more like a week apart) by Kirby, Lee, and Dick Ayers.

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The Avengers have to show up to take on the villain Kang the Conqueror, and he reveals that he is Rama-Tut, picked up from the aforementioned Fantastic Four Annual …

He just passed his journey into the future and ended in the distant future …

It’s not a coincidence, I imagine, that Kang’s outfit is similar to Doctor Doom’s, in terms of a full face mask and a kind of robe-like outfit style, as it seems that Rama-Tut drew a lot of inspiration from their brief interaction. with his character. ancestor (descendant? Same person?) …

What’s really fascinating to me is that Lee didn’t actually use Annual Fantastic Four # 2 to announce Avengers # 8. Sounds like it would have been a perfect opportunity to sell another Marvel comic, right? “Check Avengers # 8 to see where Rama-Tut ended up. “In any case, though, this is a perfect example of how Kirby and Lee would use the expansive nature of the Marvel Universe to tie things together and make readers feel like they are enjoying one. . great superhero comic tapestry, even if most of it was just a mosaic.

Okay folks, if you have a suggestion for another cool piece of shared continuity, drop me off at [email protected]!

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