Issue(s): Namor #14
This issue opens with the Marrs corporation dealing with an attack from Stark Enterprises.
After that, Phoebe meets with Namor.
Even though she's trying to reconcile her relationship with Namor, she makes no effort to hide her true nature.
She compares running her company to ruling Atlantis, and when Namor still objects to the lack of compassion that she shows, she notes that Namor has lost control of his kingdom.
Namor nearly leaves after that, but Phoebe convinces him to stay, and she takes him to a remote mansion so that she can show him her mysterious secret. And it's something out of a Gothic romance novel or a soap opera. She has a mentally disabled kid...
...supposedly from a marriage during a period where she ran away from home to live the life of a normal middle class woman. But eventually her brother found her, pulled strings to make sure his husband was financially ruined, and then offered him a million dollars to divorce Phoebe, which he accepted.
I remember waiting to learn that this whole story was a load of nonsense, and the poor child was really the result of an incestuous relationship between Phoebe and her brother, especially after Desmond calls her story a "fairy tale" next issue, but it seems that Phoebe's story is really true.
Then the Griffin shows up and seemingly attacks Namor.
But it turns out that the Griffin's human side is just completely gone at this point, and the Griffin was just loyally returning to his master.
Phoebe then gets back to her explanation, telling Namor that she's told Namor her story because she loves him. Namor doesn't exactly reciprocate her kiss, and we'll jump forward in time a bit before next issue.
Also in this issue, Vashti decides that Namor must be told about Lady Dorma (especially now that her skin tone is turning pink).
We also see Joy Meachum confronting her uncle Ward (who has been recently released from prison and restored to his former role in the company), saying that she feels like blinders are coming off and she wants to know what's going on. But Danny Rand shows up and suddenly Joy is in a daze.
After Danny threatens Ward for questioning him about the length of his "hypnotic zap", we see that Danny also has Ka-Zar and Zabu under his thrall.
Phoebe's story is ridiculous, and the Griffin sequence is overlong considering the end result (which basically just restores things to how they were the last time we saw the Griffin, and does anyone want to take the poor guy-animal over to Reed Richards to make sure that there's no remnants of the guy's brain in there?). But the book continues to be professionally done and the sub-plot set-ups remain interesting.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place before Namorita is badly injured in New Warriors #14. I'll note that Stark's counter-attacks on the Marrs corporation are also mentioned in Iron Man #269, but that doesn't mean that the stories have to be occurring at exactly the same time.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showGriffin, Joy Meachum, Ka-Zar, Phoebe Marrs, Sub-Mariner, Super-Skrull, Vashti, Ward Meachum, Zabu
Re: Desmond's "fairy tale" remark- I think the point of that was that Desmond doesn't know about Phoebe's kid or exactly what she discussed with Namor in Connecticut, so he assumes she made up some lie to make herself sympathetic.
Posted by: Michael | October 19, 2015 8:32 PM
I was really liking the title Namor at this point. Byrne did well with these unsympathetic characters (or at least less sympathetic characters than we usually get). Even Namor retains his regal jerk qualities. I thought Namor not even trying to restore the Griffin was perfectly in character, and certainly not something other heroes would do. Phoebe had her faults, but she did seem regal in a way that Namor's other loves did not.
The subplots were proceeding well. I already knew who "Iron Fist" was, but not how the real one might come back. I didn't understand the Dorma plot at all, but was pleased that Atlantis was being re-introduced.
Posted by: Chris | October 19, 2015 9:42 PM
Chris,I agree that not restoring the Griffin makes sense for Namor and Phoebe but next issue CAPTAIN AMERICA makes no attempt to restore the Griffin!
Posted by: Michael | October 19, 2015 10:22 PM
Pretty strong clue with that "hypnotic zap" line. I'm ashamed I never noticed it before.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 19, 2015 11:09 PM
One nice thing about a Namor book - everyone knows who he is, so you never have to worry about the whole "must change into my costume to save the day without anyone knowing who I am trope".
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 26, 2015 8:55 AM
Regarding Phoebe's story, Byrne says "Phoebe's story was entirely a lie. The kid was not her son. It was all part of a scheme to ensnare Namor."
Can't recall if that was ever clarified in the stories though, so Fnord's incestuous relationship theory still has legs :)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | February 5, 2017 2:43 PM
Byrne had a tendency to not reveal crucial background or plot points in his stories. Sometimes that is OK. They could be open secrets the readers are supposed to figure out on their own, or are intended to be revealed later on. However, sometimes they are clearly things that need to be revealed at some point to figure out things, and Byrne never does (sometimes because he leaves the book before he gets there).
For me, it wasn't that Phoebe had a mentally disabled kid. It was the ridiculous story of her marrying a middle class nobody and Desmond ruining it for her.
Posted by: Chris | February 5, 2017 3:18 PM
@Chris: Good point. I had no damn clue that the entire story Phoebe Marrs told Namor was supposed to be a big fat lie. I don't know why Byrne thought it was supposed to be obvious to readers. He seems to be confusing "subtle" with "not giving the readers anywhere enough information to arrive at a reasonable conclusion."
This is very much along the lines of what happened with Kearson DeWitt in "Armor Wars II." Byrne seemed to regard that bit where Jim Rhodes casually suggesting to Tony Stark "Hey, maybe he was some guy that you inadvertently screwed over in some business deal years ago" as a concrete declaration of who DeWitt was supposed to be. Or later on, when Phoebe starts seeing her dead brother, Byrne expected it to be obvious that she was going crazy, but for a lot of readers, myself included, it certainly wasn't.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 5, 2017 6:54 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|