Jonathan, son of Kevin:
Issue(s): Sub-Mariner #55
Bill Everett's run on Sub-Mariner so far did a decent job of keeping in continuity and moving events forward despite the retro style art work. Everett (and the people helping him) introduced Namorita, used Prince Byrrah and Llyra, and gave Namor a new home, and also reached outside Namor's traditional character pool to use Sunfire. This issue, however, definitely feels like a throwback to at least the early Silver Age.
Namor and Namorita are parting ways, in part due to Nita's interest in the still unnamed young ship's officer.
Namorita gives Namor an earring before she leaves.
After that, we're into random giant monster territory. Namor finds out about repeated attacks on cargo ships, and discovers the crazy sight of sea-lions stealing crates from the boats.
Namor initially suspects Prince Byrrah of being behind the attacks, and intriguingly suspects that the captured crews from the ships will be used to cross-breed a new race of Sub-Mariners.
That's a really interesting idea and i'm surprised no other Atlantean villain ever considered it. But in any event, that's not what's going on. The attacks are really being caused by Torg, the Abominable Snow-King.
Torg refuses to disclose his origin, stating "No one knows my beginning -- no one knows my end!". Namor says he's a mutant, but surely he won't be joining the X-Men any time soon (KFTHUD!).
The ships' crews help fight Torg in an over-scripted splash panel.
Something about this scene in particular reminded me of Gigantis from Journey Into Mystery #63, that got me wishing that it was Gigantis so that Everett (and/or Thomas?) could do some consolidation of Gigantis' claim of being from Atlantis.
But Torg is actually a new monster, and when he's defeated (with the oil pipes the Byrrah had been using in his last appearance), Namor says that "the riddle of his origin may never be solved". We actually will see Torg again in Kurt Busiek's Avengers run, but i don't think any great secrets about him are raised there. I think we can safely assume he's a Deviant experiment like so many other giant monsters.
Torg is awesome and there's something to be said for just letting Everett draw crazy monsters. But this story does feel less connected than previous issues.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Namorita gives Namor an earring this issue. That earring is seen in Defenders #4. Which is a little weird, because #4 is part of a continuing story that starts in Defenders #2, but the earring isn't seen until #4. But this issue should therefore go before Defenders #2.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Roy Thomas is merely listed as the editor in the credits but you have him as the writer. Is there something we should know about?
Posted by: Michael | December 22, 2014 11:29 PM
Torg does look pretty cool.
Posted by: david banes | December 23, 2014 12:31 AM
The UHBMCC lists Roy Thomas as the writer but doesn't cite a source. I've updated the credits to just list Everett as the writer but put in a note about that.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 23, 2014 7:54 AM
Admittedly, that splash page that fnord says is over-dialogued does read like a Roy Thomas script. It's possible Roy was doing "additional" uncredited dialogue to make it read more like a modern Marvel mag, such as Stan used to do with his own (Roy's) early efforts.
Posted by: Wis | November 24, 2016 11:45 AM
Fnord, as a placement consideration, you have this issue after Defenders 4, but in that issue Namor is clearly wearing the earring Namorita gave him in this issue.
Posted by: Andrew | April 1, 2017 8:50 PM
Thanks Andrew. I've moved Defenders #2-4 after this.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 3, 2017 9:51 AM
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