Archive for July 13th, 2010

13
Jul
10

rama-tut is awesome

Rama-Tut, by pre-crazy John Byrne

I probably have several bloggable observations about the Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game, but they require me to think lucidly.  Instead I’d rather just post stuff about RAMA-TUT, one of my favorite obscure super villains, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four 19.

It’s related to gaming because in our game, Chrystos is playing HORUS, THE VENGEFUL FALCON, and Rama-Tut has stolen the mystical scepter he needs to become a normal human again.

Rama-Tut’s deal is that he became a super villain because, in the future there are no role-playing games.

For I was then, as I am now, a man of action, an adventurer! But there were no adventures in the year 3000 . . . No enemies to battle, no dragons to slay!  All was peaceful . . . Horribly, unbearably peaceful!!

Rama-Tut wants to get out there and get his freakin’ LARP on, as passive forms of entertainment totally blow.

Why was I born into an age when the only excitement a man can find is in watching 3-D stereovisions from a thousand years ago?!!

His adventuring urges frustrated by the shallowness of CRPG’s, he steals a time machine, disguises it to look like the Great Sphinx of Giza, and kicks the asses of everyone in Ancient Egypt.

Prototype of the Ultra-Diode Ray-Gun

So, Rama-Tut is like Evil Connecticut Yankee.  Rama-Tut’s super powers consist basically of being a Super-Genius (at least by 20th Century standards), and looking totally ripped while wearing a crazy green headdress.  In Ancient Egypt, that makes him a total bad-ass.

He also has what the Gamer’s Handbook to the Marvel Universe describes as an “Ultra-Diode Ray-Gun,” which can control your brain but mainly is cool because it looks like a Mauser.

This whole schtick – futuristic technology commingling with Neolithic society,  with a gloss of World War II industrial design – is one of the recurring motifs of Jack Kirby’s work, and one of the easiest to imitate in gaming.  Dude was always writing Pulp Fantasy for the Space Age.

To be honest, Rama-Tut is a pretty gimmicky villain, and would be totally forgettable, if not for a chance encounter with Doctor Doom in hyperspace.  Together, they have the GREATEST CONVERSATION OF ALL TIME:

Can you spot the elementary logical flaw which eludes the two greatest minds in super-villainy?  I revisit this conversation, found in Fantastic Four Annual 2, whenever I’m feeling low.




Past Adventures of the Mule

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