Marvel Fanfare #16 (Sub-Mariner)
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #16 (Sub-Mariner story only)
The story is awesomely ridiculous. Namor comes upon some sailors in a storm, and refuses to help them because he doesn't like surface people. But he does see a horse that he likes...
...and he decides to save it. The sailors, however, attack Namor with an alarming array of weapons.
So he's too weak to just fly the horse to safety. So he has to swim along beside it, encouraging it to keep going.
However, both he and the horse eventually run out of energy, and Namor makes a plea to Neptune, asking for his own life to be taken instead of the horse's. Neptune is pleased by Namor's willingness to sacrifice himself...
...and he transforms the horse into a seahorse!
The title of the story, and the end panel, imply that what we saw here was really just a fable or a delusion. I can see why. Namor on a seahorse makes me think of the worst depictions of Aquaman, and there's also no way Namor should be so terribly injured by a bunch of sailors, no matter how many grenades they have. And i'll note that the MCP does not actually list Namor as appearing in this story, only Neptune.
But screw that! As far as i'm concerned, whenever Namor isn't on panel somewhere, he's gleefully riding around under the sea on his white seahorse.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue came out the same month as the start of the Prince Namor mini series that ends with Namor losing control of Atlantis. There's no indication of whether or not Namor is still Prince of Atlantis in this story (well, he is called the "Sovereign of the Seas"), but considering that this was an inventory story, it was probably written with the idea that he was still Prince. So i've placed this at publication month, but earlier than the Prince Namor mini. The main story in this issue was part of the Sky-Wolves two-parter, covered in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This is a bit tangential, but Mythology trivia time! Poseidon/Neptune is not only the god of the sea, but also of horses. Both are means of travel that humans can tame to the best of their abilities but remain, to some degree, unpredictable. No matter how good of a sailor you are, a freak storm can capsize your ship. A horse can suddenly throw an experienced rider. That's why horses figured so heavily in Poseidon/Neptune's iconography. They're forces of nature that can never be fully controlled, just like the sea. It's also the reason he has the power over earthquakes. No matter how much humans try to subjugate the earth, Poseidon can suddenly destroy fields, forests, and cities. He's the quintessential god for reminding humans of their fallibility.
Posted by: Faborst | March 2, 2015 7:25 PM
Aren't you going to put a note in the Marvel Fanfare stories- "this is only the Namor story, the Sky Wolves story is here"?
Posted by: Michael | March 2, 2015 9:51 PM
Thanks Michael. When i was wrapping up yesterday i didn't think anyone would miss those so i deferred doing them. But they've been added now.
Faborst - it was a worthy tangent. The whole situation with the horse makes a little more sense now. Thanks!
Posted by: fnord12 | March 3, 2015 7:46 AM
If I recall my Greek/Roman mythology correctly, Poseiden/Neptune had a great fondness for horses, and took the form of one in romantic pursuit of the harvest goddess Demeter (Ceres in Roman mythos).
Posted by: Brian Coffey | April 20, 2018 8:35 PM
Comments are now closed.
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