One of the most unusual Marvel crossovers provided a three way team-up between the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange, and the Avengers. Not so unusual in itself, but downright bizarre when you consider the story took twenty-four years to complete, and ended up involving characters and a team that didn’t even exist when the first part was published.
It started out innocently enough in Fantastic Four #19 (October 1963), by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. In “Prisoners of the Pharaoh” Mister Fantastic discovers evidence of a possible cure for blindness in ancient
The team arrives in the past, but are promptly attacked, captured, and taken before Pharaoh Rama-Tut. Quickly, it becomes clear that the quartet are not the only time travelers in the room:
Rama-Tut has used futuristic technology to enslave the FF, and having told his tale, puts the heroes to work for him, choosing the Invisible Girl as his queen:
As Ben collapses, reverting to his Thing form, he uses his last bit of strength to train Rama-Tut’s Ultra-Diode Ray on Sue, freeing her from control. Then as the Pharaoh escapes, so do the three FF members, who head out to find Reed:
The team arrives at their time platform retrieval point just in time to return to their present, where…they find out that the restorative didn’t travel with them:
Meet me at the Sphinx for Part 2, featuring Doctor Strange #53!