kveto from prague:
I will give him points for really following up on the Tiger Shark situation, though. Instead of just locking him up in a dungeon and forgetting about him, he's got his scientists working on a way to turn him human again, and he's also interested in finding Tiger Shark's sister to let her know what's going on. Lady Dorma forces herself along on the trip to visit Diane, out of jealousy.
The Atlanteans now have a pill that lets them breathe air and turns their skin pink. This revelation is asterisked but the asterisk doesn't go anywhere, at least in the reprint. (Update: In the original, there is a proper footnote. See below.)
While in New York, getting attacked by cops as usual, Namor sees that Paul Destine is in fact running for president, just like in Namor's dream. Destine dresses in the garb of a third world military dictator, and uses his helmet to influence the minds of others even without actually wearing it.
Namor finds that Diane has been hypnotized already - she acts perfectly normal except when talking about Destine.
Namor heads off to fight Destine just before Destine gives a televised speech that would put most of the country under his control. After a long fight in which it seems that Destine is winning, we find that Destine killed himself by jumping off a building. Namor's explanation: "You saw... what the power-crazed eyes of Destiny himself beheld! He could not accept my survival in the face of his onslaught. [When Namor refused to be defeated by him], his own twisted mind gave way... to madness! And, bereft of the helmet... he fell!" What a weird, anti-climatic ending to the Paul Destine. No wonder Namor was in no hurry to find him; he figured he could wait it out and maybe Destine would just go crazy and kill himself.
However, the end of Paul Destine doesn't mean the end of the Serpent Crown (still just the "power helmet"). While Namor rushes Lady Dorma back to Diane's place because she needs more oxygen pills, the police acquire the helmet and contact the Thing to ask him to transport it to Washington for them.
Namor then hunts down the helmet and he and the Thing get into a big fight.
Namor wins and is ready to finish the Thing for good when Police woman Betty Dean, the Sub-Mariner's only friend, shows up. She basically shames him into acting like a civilized person, like she used to do all the time back in the Golden Age. Namor leaves with the helmet.
Issue #8 is framed with Betty Dean, now an old woman, writing in her diary, which is a nice if slightly maudlin touch. Her appearance doesn't come out of nowhere, either. When Diane Arliss sees that Namor loves Lady Dorma, she asks if he had ever loved anyone else, and Namor's answer is that he once loved Betty Dean but that was a long time ago (Good answer in front of Dorma (especially in not mentioning Sue Storm!) but not the answer that Diane was hoping to hear). So Diane actually seeks Betty out when Namor starts rampaging.
People on the street refer to Namor as the 'Sub-Mareener', a clever poke at people who say his name wrong that i thought was a John Byrne original joke.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A cameo by Giant Man and the Vision (annoyingly not included in the reprint) indicates that this story takes place concurrently with the aftermath of Avengers #58.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Tales To Astonish #7, Tales To Astonish #8 (1979)
Inbound References (1): show
Betty Dean, Diane Arliss, Henry Pym, Ikthon, Lady Dorma, Paul Destine, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Tiger Shark, Vision
Betty Dean should be listed as a character who appeared.
The whole Destine story is so strange, it's hard to tell what Roy Thomas was going for here. The big villain you introduce in issue #1 just kills himself 6 issues later for no real reason?
Added Betty, thanks.
And i agree on Destine. Not only does it end so anticlimactically but even prior to that, Namor can hardly be bothered to go looking for the guy. I guess it works as a demonstration of the Power Helmet/Serpent Crown's corrupting influence, though.
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