Characters Appearing: Andromeda, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Carrie Alexander, Diane Arliss, Human Torch, Human Torch (Golden Age), Invisible Woman, Jack Langstrom, John Gamelin, Llyra, Lyja the Lazerfist, Namorita, Phoebe Marrs, Roberta, Stingray, Sub-Mariner, Tamara Rahn, Thing
Issue(s): Namor #49, Namor #50
He wakes up in a hyperbaric chamber. It turns out that he has the bends after going so deep down the Marianas Trench during Starblast.
Invisible Woman spends the next four days keeping Namor company. When Namor comes out, he finds that Carrie Alexander has taken a romantic interest in Lt. Langstrom, ending whatever possibilities there might have been between Namor and Carrie. It's amicable and they remain friends. Less amicable is the situation between Namor and Stingray's wife Diane Newell. It seems when Namor pushed Stingray out of the way so that he could give Sue mouth-to-mouth last issue, it broke a couple of Stingray's ribs and he's in the hospital.
The new Hydrobase is then seemingly attacked by Sharkan barbarians.
But it turns out that they are being led by Andromeda.
She has come to ask to be made Namor's Warlord. He makes her his Peacelord instead.
After that false alarm, Tamara Rahn mocks Namor, since a similar situation resulted in the massacring of her people.
I'll tell ya, i expected nothing from Glenn Herdling's Namor run, but he definitely has a good handle on the characters and their history.
From here we get on to a longstanding open thread from the series. Phoebe Marrs is again seemingly visited by her brother.
We're also reminded that the Golden Age Human Torch now works security at Oracle.
And a blue Namorita helps Namor get ready to go back to Oracle.
Namor faces down Phoebe at a board meeting.
Despite his outrage, Namor acknowledges that he's often not around. So he takes the night to consider her "offer". That night, he's approached by someone who wants to sleep with him. Issue #49's cliffhanger is the woman's identity.
In the next issue, it seems to be the Invisible Woman.
In the morning, it's said that Phoebe and Namor have agreed that Phoebe can be CEO, as long as she doesn't use Oracle to exploit the environment (Namor still owns the company). Phoebe tries to give Namor an assignment, going after a boat that was lost in the Antarctic 80 years ago. The boat is said to be carrying (unspecified) valuable cargo. The head of Oracle's west coast division is said to be embezzling funds from Oracle to fund a mission to get the cargo for himself. Phoebe wants Namor to get there first. Namor accepts the mission, but first he has a couple of things he wants to do. First he goes back to Hydrobase, where he finds Stingray about to make a deal with a John Gamelin, from Roxxon.
Namor tells Stingray that he's going to be able to get money from Oracle to fund Hydrobase, so he should hold off on making any deals with Gamelin.
He then stops by Four Freedoms Plaza with some roses for Sue. And that doesn't go well.
The fighting brings him into conflict with Lyja the Lazerfist...
...and when he realizes/remembers that she's a Skrull, he assumes that she was impersonating Sue last night. But he backs off when he almost breaks her egg ("not again"?).
So Namor returns to Oracle, and confronts Phoebe and makes her bring him to her "brother".
Who turns out to be Llyra.
Llyra dodges when Namor lunges at her. But when she tries to flee, it turns out the FF have tagged along.
Namor tries to kill Llyra, but the Invisible Woman stops him. Then Llyra reveals that she's pregnant.
Namor then lets her go, and breaks out in a maniac laugh that freaks the FF out.
A day later, Sue locates Namor on a tropical island. They talk a bit, and it ends with a kiss that looks pretty serious, although the narration assures us that it's not something that will go further (yet).
I said when Bob Harras took over as writer of this series that it felt like whiplash going from John Byrne's corporate/environmental themes back to the Atlantean stuff, with the resurfacing of so many old characters. What Glenn Herdling is doing here feels like a more natural use of the characters, and it also does a good job balancing the old characters with the stuff from Byrne's run. It probably also helps that Geof Isherwood, not Jae Lee, is on art (i like Lee, but his style works better with artsier stuff).
Often when you get an assistant editor taking on a writing assignment and bringing in a ton of old continuity, it winds up being less of a good story and more of just a "hey, i know that character!" nostalgia fest. But in this case i think Herdling is combining the elements in an interesting way. Of course, these issues are mostly set-up. The Llyra plot takes up about half of issue #50; all of #49 and the rest of #50 are about setting up the statuses of the various characters. But i'm definitely seeing potential, and i never expected to say even that about this series after Byrne.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Namor is said to have passed out soon after the end of Fantastic Four #386 so this should begin not too long after that. Issue #50 takes place the morning after the end of Namor #49, so it more or less continues directly. A footnote confirms that these issues take place before Fantastic Four #387. At least six days pass during the course of these issues (four while Namor is decompressing, one between issues #49-50, and another one before Invisible Woman tracks down Namor at the end), and i'm going to allow for more as needed to fit in other stories, like the story circa New Warriors #44 where Namorita turns blue. And as always, i am placing these issues based on where they end (i.e. not directly after FF #386). Next issue is an out of sequence fill-in, and Namor also has some appearances in other books (including FF #387) before issue #52.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Hurdling is surprisingly competent, in a Ralph Macchio kind of way. His Blackulf series coming up is moderately interesting, and these are some of the better stories of the entire Namor series.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | March 27, 2017 10:27 PM
The "Rape Is OK When It's Female on Male" trope is on full display here- Namor is tricked into sleeping with his family's killer and has to APOLOGIZE for it.
Posted by: Michael | March 28, 2017 12:28 AM
Fnord, another reference is to "Phoebe" seducing Jim Hammond back in issue #31. Once "Phoebe" is exposed as Llyra here, Jim realizes it wasn't the real Phoebe that he'd slept with.
Posted by: Dermie | March 28, 2017 12:47 AM
Thanks Dermie. Added that Reference.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 28, 2017 8:15 AM
"Jack" Gamelin is presumably related to John T. Gamelin from Marvel Team-Up #87 and Amazing Spider-Man #233-6.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 30, 2017 5:47 AM
Why did Llyra as Phoebe in #31 have blue thought bubbles abput it being Desmond being in charge? And why does Jim always think Llyra as Phoebe looks like Desmond? It feels like the original intent was much more likely to be some odd transgender or twins shapeshifting into each other thing, maybe? Not just Phoebe was crazy, because how is that interesting? Of course who knows with Byrne's occasional brainfarts.
Namor is a character that should have much more prominence and awesome stories being told about him in the MU. Even all this seems too pedestrian, I feel.
Posted by: PeterA | April 1, 2017 2:33 AM
Shouldn't this be moved after New Warriors 44?
Posted by: Michael | October 4, 2017 11:04 PM
Yes, thanks. I had to move NW #44 due to a temporal reference in Child's Play.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 5, 2017 10:48 AM
Not a lot of respect shown to Jim Hammond, arguably the first Marvel super-hero.
Posted by: Wis | October 7, 2017 4:45 AM
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