Issue(s): Marvel Mystery Comics #82, Venus #1 Cover Date: May 47 / Aug 48 Title: "The Coming of Namora" / "Venus" Credits:
[Unknown] - Writer
Ken Bald - Penciler
Syd Shore - Inker
"Meet the golden-haired girl of the sea who blends clever wit and strength with the mighty Sub-Mariner, as they wreak vengeance on the diabolical perpetrators of the underseas massacre!"
(The scan above is from a reprint that's been recolored. The rest of the scans in this entry are from a digital copy of an original.)
The perpetrators turn out to be mobsters. It's pretty scary that mobsters had access to submarines in 1947 and had no qualms about heading to Atlantis and killing everybody they find just to get some loot. It makes the Maggia from the modern age comics look like a bunch of pussies.
I don't have a lot of Namor issues from this period, so i should note that in this issue, Namor's mother doesn't rule Atlantis.
Instead it is Namora's father. I suppose this might have been a separate undersea kingdom and perhaps Namora's father was only a Duke or something.
Namora's real name is Aquaria Nautica Neptunia. She calls herself Namora because she is Namor's partner.
You get the feeling that the creators of this book tried really hard to make Namora a genuinely heroic character, and they should be points for that, but in every case she winds up needing Namor's help.
At the end of the story Namor defeats the mobsters and sets up Namora in Betty Dean's apartment.
Quality Rating: D
Historical Significance Rating: 3 - first appearance of Namora
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Giant Size Marvel Adventures Avengers #1
Timely/Marvel was actually pushing female lead characters hard at this time--Namora got her own book, Sun Girl replaced Toro and got her own book, Venus got her title, Golden Girl replaced Bucky(no title for her though), and the Blonde Phantom already had her own title.
Mark Drummond |
July 30, 2011 8:29 PM
Hey Fnord, on the Golden Age overview page you've got this comic listed as the first appearance of Namorita, rather than Namora :)
June 22, 2015 12:42 AM
Thanks Berend. When you pointed it out in the Thread of Shame, i thought you meant intthe description at the top of the Golden Age page, and i found and fixed it there, so i actually made the mistake twice. Hey, it's technically true since Namorita is a clone of Namora!
June 22, 2015 7:25 AM
Okay, both MCP and Marvel Wikia list Agents of Atlas #1 as the first appearance of Venus!!
First off, if she’s NOT the Venus who appeared before, why is she among a team of whom are all old Atlas era characters?
But specifically, Venus the Siren claims to have taught Namorita at UCLA in #3 of the Agents of Atlas mini and her knowing Namorita will be continued in the ongoing series as Namora deals with her grief over Nita's death.
Okay, so that means the Venus in Sub-Mariner #57 who teaches Namorita was Venus the Siren. By extension also Champions #1-3 where she's still teaching at UCLA. Avengers #281-285 has Venus mention the events in Sub-Mariner #57 too, so that must be Venus the Siren too.
Except Parker also says that because Hercules recognized Venus in Champions #1-3, that must therefore be Aphrodite the Goddess. Except, we are told in the same book that it was Venus the Siren was who taught at UCLA.
(Another thing to note is during Venus’ flashback in AoA #5, it shows her wearing the same outfit that Venus had been drawn wearing in post-Silver Age appearances (the purple one).)
Parker later introduces the “tell-tale sign” of when it’s meant to be Venus the Siren and Aphrodite the Goddess by saying Aphrodite the Goddess wears her mythical Golden Cestus and Venus the Siren doesn’t. Except in Sub-Mariner #57, Venus the Siren refers to her Golden Cestus which she’s wearing and that was definitely Venus the Siren because she taught Namorita.
When Parker introduced Aphrodite the Goddess, we are told she apparently secluded herself away from the Gods and indulged in her own hedonism for many years or decades or maybe even centuries and she hasn't particularly cared about Venus the Siren assuming her identity (until now).
So, that is the perfect write-out to say it's ALWAYS been Venus the Siren. If Aphrodite the Goddess had been involved in Sub-Mariner #57 or Champions #1-3, that isn't that long ago in Marvel timespan. Aphrodite the Goddess actually makes no references to ANY past appearances.
As for Parker citing Hercules' recognition - he voices this theory through a man who's written a book about V - but then Hercules and co. had no reason to suspect the physically similar person claiming to be Venus wasn't Aphrodite the Goddess (who was sorta hiding) and Venus the Siren fully believed she was Aphrodite the Goddess.
The Golden Cestus idea (which is introduced after we're introduced to Aphrodite the Goddess) doesn't work either (and if Venus the Siren believed she was Aphrodite the Goddess, she would also have granted herself or believed she was in possession of the Cestus).
Basically, I think in terms of continuity and trying to make sense of it all, it's clearly Aphrodite the Goddess who doesn't appear before Agents of Atlas. Venus claiming to be from Venus in her Atlas stories also sort of works with Venus the Siren not being sure of her origin before she becomes convinced she is Aphrodite the Goddess.
To continue on with the Venus debate - in Agents of Atlas/X-Men #2 (the issue which has the first meeting between Venus the Siren and Aphrodite the Goddess); Venus the Siren claims that Aphrodite the Goddess doesn't "even use the name Venus". Now, this would be a fantastic evidence to the version that works (i.e. Aphrodite the Goddess has never appeared before and it's always been Venus the Siren) but then Venus also contradicts that working by also claiming in the sentence just before that "I don't try and convince anyone I'm you" (although, this might be semantics - she might just be talking about recently since she accepted her true origin in the 2006 mini). And even if you read the line about not convincing people she's the Goddess, she again contradicts that on the next page by saying:
"People assumed I was Venus returned. It was a much better history, so I accepted it too."
Which I think is a fantastic line to resolve everything. People want her to be the Goddess of Love returned (as Aphrodite the Goddess has secluded and indulging herself), which allows a lot of leeway with those past appearances of a Venus. Hercules, Zeus, Ares - they are just as likely to assume and the physical resemblance goes beyond similarity as it's said the Sirens were created by Phorcys in the image of Aphrodite the Goddess.
Parker will introduce the Cestus excuse next few issues but as I said that flat-out doesn't work.
I just find the "Venus never appeared before Agents of Atlas #1" approach that Marvel Appendix and Wikia use to be incredibly wrong.
But to reiterate, most the confusion comes from a character who wrote a book about Venus and he makes claims and theories about whether or not it was her or the Goddess. This character is possibly obsessed with Venus and only met her once, most of his "authority" on the subject comes from interviewing other people who have had encounters with her. While this was obviously Parker trying to establish his retcon, these ideas don't work. As mentioned, the UCLA has to be Venus the Siren - Parker even says so - and that original Sub-Mariner issue is footnoted or referenced in so many subsequent Venus appearances (Champions, Avengers), by extension they have to be Venus the Siren too.
The alternative is both Venus and Aphrodite taught Namorita at UCLA which is just stupid. And causes problems with why Aphrodite didn't confront Venus then when they were in close proximity and Aphrodite is meant to be off being hedonistic anyway.
Then in Incredible Hercules #141 (the issue where she officially becomes the Goddess of Love), Aphrodite the Goddess claims "I haven't been the Goddess of Love in a very long time. I've been the Goddess of everything petty and vain since the Trojan War". This supports that those other Venus appearances are Venus the Siren as Venus has generally been portrayed as not those things.
But then the next panel, Aphrodite bequeaths the Golden Cestus to Venus and says with it "The Olympiad will acknowledge your status as the Goddess of Love"... but I don't think that necessarily means that they didn't mistakenly acknowledge that status beforehand when Aphrodite the Goddess was absent and Venus the Siren believed herself to be her.
And the intention that the Cestus denotes when it was Aphrodite and when it was Venus may have been Parker's intention but it's not quite stated in the comic. And it doesn't work as I said, appearances which have to be credited to Venus the Siren have her using and mentioning her Cestus and even in the first Agents of Atlas mini and even the ongoing, Venus is regularly drawn wearing a Golden Cestus.
And that's the last time Parker does anything with the Venus/Aphrodite thing.
When talking about Aphrodite/Venusand Ares/Mars, I think it helps to remember that a lot of what we think of as Greek myth is actually Athenian myth. Athenians, who liked to think of themselves and their patron goddess as the pinnacle of wisdom, had a political and sociological reason to portray rival gods, particularly Ares and his lover, as dull-witted, petty, and even cowardly. So in part Parker and Pak may have been just trying to remediate an ancient calumny.
June 22, 2017 7:04 PM
But, that's...really not the issue...or even a consideration...with the problems with Venus.
Parker retconned that Agents of Atlas' member Venus wasn't the Goddess of Love but was actually a Siren of myth who was deluding herself into believing she was the Olympian Goddess of Love - the problem being all the past appearances of a Venus character, many of which had her portrayed as a Goddess or a contemporary to Hercules and co., and all the subsequent mess-ups Parker does to try and remedy/fix it.
(I also see Wikipedia's Venus page subscribes to the working version of events - that Aphrodite the Goddess never appeared before Agents of Atlas #10 - BUT that may have been me who edited that ages ago and I forgot i did that or someone might've just copied it from another site that I stressed that as the only real working version on)
Yeah, sorry, that's just what that quote made me think of. The siren retcon is cool, but causes way too many headaches for me to take seriously.
June 23, 2017 3:00 PM
So, uh, why did Parker create Venus-the-Siren in the first place, instead of just writing the character as the goddess?
I can understand why at least some retconning of Marvel Boy/Uranian and Human Robot/M-11 were necessary for the metaplot of the series, but it's not as if Marvel doesn't have plenty of gods with fluctuating power levels running around anyway.
Omar Karindu |
June 23, 2017 4:45 PM
The handbooks officially treat all Venus appearances prior to Agents of Atlas #1 as Aphrodite the Goddess and Agents of Atlas #1 as the first appearance of Venus the Siren.
But as I've made clear here, even if that IS Marvel's ruling, it is unworkable and also the dumbest of the options.