Marvel Team-Up #14
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #14
I know that the Sub-Mariner is often considered a villain, but so is Spider-Man, so you'd think he'd show a little more restraint. These Misunderstanding Fights are a staple of Team-Up books, though, and i guess this one is more plausible than most. Anyway, the fight is necessary because it's what allows Tiger Shark, who Namor was after, to get away.
Spider-Man of course feels bad about that, so he helps Namor to track down Tiger Shark. Spider-Man uses his spider-sense to trace the radiation left behind by Tiger Shark's ship. It's an odd use of his power, but i guess radiation is dangerous.
Oh, their method of travel?
Tiger Shark has teamed up with Dr. Dorcas. Dorcas has created a whole swarm of wild new super-villains, and he flat out tells Tiger Shark that he's created them because they'll be easier to control than Tiger Shark was. I guess Shark just considers it a compliment.
Do you think Dorcas wears a costume like that just to fit in? He doesn't actually have any super-powers.
By the way, if you're laughing about "Men-Fish", consider that the plural of fish is fish. So we couldn't call them the Man-Fish, and Man-Fishes would be grammatically incorrect. I guess they could be The Deadly School of Man-Fish. Or maybe you're laughing about something unrelated to the pluralization, but i can't imagine what that would be.
Anyway, Spidey's powers lead Namor to an abandoned boat, which seems like a false lead until it turns out that the boat has a shaft that goes down to Dorcas' undersea base.
Spidey and Namor are tricked into touching the new Men-Fish, who are covered in poison.
Dorcas then imprisons the heroes; he intends to drain the life from Namor and give it to his Men-Fish.
But Spider-Man spies a sea cock...
...and works it until it gets Namor wet, at which point he is aroused and breaks free.
From there Spidey fights the Men-Fish...
...while Namor is tricked into a room with a heat-lamp. When he realizes that Tiger Shark is unaffected by the heat, he deduces that Tiger Shark is wearing a costume that keeps him hydrated.
It's a cool idea and it makes sense in this story (with the heat lamp) that Tiger Shark is immediately defeated after the water is released. But i can think of at least one future story (West Coast Avengers #16) where tearing Tiger Shark's costume open immediately weakens him, and that shouldn't be the case. The water just prolongs the amount of time before Tiger Shark has to rehydrate again, just like Namor. He shouldn't immediately dry out just because he's lost contact with water.
Anyway, during all the fighting Dorcas flees. Soon the Men-Fish Plant begins to self-destruct (i'm not quite clear if Dorcas set it to self-destruct or if the fury of the battle was meant to destroy it; the story seems to imply the latter but, wow, that's an unstable base). Namor and Spidey escape in time.
A later-revealed result of the explosion is that a nearby piranha (!) is transformed into a Man-Fish called the Piranha. Following the MCP, i've got him listed as a Character Appearing in this story.
Len Wein & Gil Kane have been turning in some competent team-up stories. The extreme goofiness of the Men-Fish is tempered by some decent storytelling.
Regarding the question of Namor being stabbed by a knife (see Michael's comment below), here's a letter from issue #17.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place between Amazing Spider-Man #124-126. Sub-Mariner's appearance is after Defenders #11.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Marvel Team-Up vol. 1
It's worth noting in the scan above Namor says that Peter "saved the life of Namor" when he stopped the mugger from stabbing him. So I guess this is more evidence that Namor is vulnerable to ordinary blades.
Posted by: Michael | March 29, 2013 7:47 PM
I've added a scan of a letter and response that confirms it, i guess.
I should have mentioned that the "muggers" turn out to be goons hired by Dorcas to delay Namor, and i was going to say that maybe Dorcas armed them with special weapons, but nothing like that is said and of course Namor wouldn't have known it anyway.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 30, 2013 10:59 AM
Gil Kane was one of my least favorite artists. His body on body fight scenes looked like they're tied together like a pretzel and many other proportions look whacked. But the most glaring thing I see when I first identify a Gil Kane drawing is his trademark shadings under the nose. Coming from an odd angle where the face is looking up, the shadings are always there and they look goofy.
Posted by: Mike | June 15, 2014 5:44 PM
I think there's a common consensus around here that Gil Kane is more well known for his up-nose shots than his artwork. That first Submariner panel on this page is classic Kane nosework.
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 16, 2014 9:45 AM
If you say Gil Kane, my first thought is "up-nose", whether or not that's fair. When I first saw his up-nose shots I thought they were quite dramatic, but seeing them on a site like this repeatedly, it just seems like going to the "up-nose well" far too often.
Posted by: kveto from prague | June 16, 2014 1:57 PM
I think Gil Kane did some pretty impressive artwork for DC back in the early 60's, on books like Green Lantern and the Atom. He's going to definitely show up in most "Top 20 Silver Age Artists" lists. But I do agree, his Marvel work always seemed rushed. Perhaps a combination of poorly-matched inkers and less-demanding editors and art directors at Marvel, compared to Silver Age DC?
Posted by: Zeilstern | June 16, 2014 7:46 PM
I'm a little bit with the earlier commenters and a little bit with Zellstern. As soon as I get to a page where I can identify Kane's art on this site, I have now started immediately looking for the up-nostril shot.
On the other hand, his work on Green Lantern and Atom defined the early look of the characters (which is why he was one of the classic artists used in JLA #200, one of the all-time great combinations of Silver Age artists). Check out some of his DC work in the book The Silver Age of Comic Book Art.
So, maybe he was just on the downward slide by the time he got to Marvel or maybe it is partially on the inkers.
The letter is a bit harsh, though. And clearly the letter writer had no concept of how to win a no-prize.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 1, 2015 9:13 AM
*Sees first panel nose* Oh Gil Kane? *Double checks credits* Gil Kane.
Posted by: david banes | March 26, 2015 5:38 PM
As much as I respect Gil Kane's legacy, the comments regarding his noses are spot-on. In addition, in the panel where Namor repeats the phrase "Come Back", Ol' Subby looks ready for a "Hair Club for Men" ad, even with the widow's peak.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 21, 2017 9:27 PM
Had considered commenting that this inker had actually minimized Gil Kane's signature nose outlines, but that ground seems to have already been covered lol. These nose flairs have never bothered me. I'm a long time fan.
Here is an actual photo of Gil Kane. Note the nose. Note also the distictive eyebrows. Please take this as evidence that one of the favorite modeling tools of an artist is often a mirror. http://greenlantern.wikia.com/wiki/Gil_Kane
Posted by: Holt | January 27, 2018 7:09 PM
Comments are now closed.
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