Issue(s): Sub-Mariner #9, Sub-Mariner #10, Sub-Mariner #11
When Seth wakes up he presumes that Namor is dead and goes into exile.
Meanwhile, Lady Dorma gets possessed by the Serpent Crown...
...which breaks out of its Power Helmet shell to reveal its true snake-like form.
When Namor finally returns to Atlantis he finds the entire city under the Crown's possession and going on about Naga. Tiger Shark is also free but not under the control of the Crown. Unable to destroy it, Namor flees with the Crown. He decides to wear the crown, and sees a map and the face of Naga.
He struggles to remove the helmet and finally throws it away, but then finds himself drawn back to it.
As he reaches to pick it up, however, he finds himself in confrontation with Karthon the Quester.
Centuries ago, the Atlanteans lived in the polar regions, and due to a shift in the Earth's axis, they had to leave. Namor's people went to the Sea of Tranquility, and Karthon's went to the Sea of Turbulence (someone got a bum deal). The Turbulence folks ended up being ruled by the tyrant Naga, who had the Serpent Crown built. Karthon has been searching the seas looking for the Crown, which was stolen by an ancient hero named Pyscatos who hid the crown in Antarctica, where it was found much later by Paul Destine.
Namor initially suspects that Karthon is one of Attuma's people due to his strange accent and large size which is a neat touch. While Karthon and Namor are talking and fighting, they are captured by *sigh* Captain Barracuda.
Barracuda's got a plot going to steal a nuclear missile and blackmail the US. He figures out that the Serpent Crown might be important but he's not able to get any info out of the Sub-Mariner or Karthon about it so he basically just continues with his scheme and laughs when Karthon escapes with the Crown.
Namor is torn between going after Karthon or saving US sailors from Barracuda's attack. He decides to help the sailors and they attack him for his trouble. While Namor gets pissed off and destroys a battleship, Barracuda steals a magnetic device that can control torpedoes. Then he accidentally activates it and since he doesn't know how to turn it off, he blows up his own ship. What a loser! I guess it's kind of cool to have a bad guy who's just a complete wash-up running around but i'm not sure if Thomas expects us to take him seriously or not.
Marie Severin and Gene Colan replace John Buscema on art for these issues and while they have their own charm, my enjoyment of this series was founded quite a lot on Buscema's clean art style. The Atlantean/Serpent Crown history is pretty cool, though. But i don't appreciate Captain Barracuda horning in on the plot.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Tales To Astonish #9, Tales To Astonish #10, Tales To Astonish #11
Inbound References (3): show
Captain Barracuda, Ikthon, Karthon the Questor, Lady Dorma, Sub-Mariner, Tiger Shark, Vashti, Warlord Seth
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