Characters Appearing: Sub-Mariner, Vashti, War Machine
Issue(s): Namor #41
The story for this issue is a classic "misunderstanding with the surface world" kind of thing. An experimental submarine has crashed into an outlying region of Atlantis, and Namor assumes it's an attack. The authorities try to approach the situation cautiously, but James Rhodes hears about it on television and decides to get upset about it and go off half-cocked as War Machine.
Rhodey's got some hella buff traps.
Rhodey's very thin and seemingly off-character motivations have me wondering about the origin of this story. It's a one-off written by Len Kaminski, who was the regular writer of Iron Man. And i know that he intended to keep Rhodey as CEO of Stark Enterprises for a longer period of time, but plans changed. So i'm wondering if this was meant as an issue of Iron Man and the plot got reshuffled to here, conveniently at a time when this book didn't have a regular writer. Or at least that Kaminski intended for Rhodey to be CEO at the time that this story took place, and then had to re-work the script. Because it would make a lot more sense, and make Rhodey seem a lot less awful, if it were a Stark Enterprise submarine that crashed, and Rhodey felt responsible for them and didn't want to wait for a diplomatic solution.
Anyway, Namor and War Machine fight.
This art! This design for Namor! Imagine picking this up for the War Machine appearance, unaware of what had been going on in this title during Jae Lee's tenure, and finding this.
Some good smack talk, though.
Fighting also breaks out between the Atlanteans and humans.
Another weird bit is the end, which has a random Navy captain breaking up the fight.
I half expected her to be (the long dead) Betty Dean or something. She just comes out of nowhere. Another thing that makes me wonder if this plot was repurposed in some way. Either that or it's just a really bad issue.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I kind of like the armor design, but it seems very ill-suited for a guy who's going to be moving at high speed underwater.
Posted by: Mortificator | February 8, 2017 5:10 PM
That chest piece has to be a bitch for Namor when trying to get through a door.
I wondered if 90s Marvel, during the years I dropped the books, was really as bad as I remember it being when I would, on occasion, glance at the stuff at Waldenbooks.
Posted by: Bob | February 8, 2017 6:22 PM
Seriously, I motion to drop most of the 90's from continuity and pretend they never happened.
Fnord is made of sterner stuff than I. What a slog.
Posted by: Matt | February 8, 2017 7:21 PM
Wow, it's hard to believe the same Shawn McManus who was doing great work with The Sandman at this time was also drawing these grotesque musclemen for Marvel. It's like a whole different artist. I guess there really was some pressure for Marvel artists to imitate the Liefeld style.
Posted by: Tuomas | February 9, 2017 3:55 AM
Herb Trimpe said often that the decision to go Liefeld with his art was all his, but I have my dopubt. It was likely the only way Marvel would give him work.
Posted by: Bob | February 9, 2017 9:55 AM
Another possibility on the origin of the plot- Kaminski mentioned that his first draft for War Machine 1 was rejected and Yomtov only agreed to give him one more chance after that. Maybe this is the rejected plot and the navy captain was supposed to be a supporting character in War Machine's series?
Posted by: Michael | February 26, 2017 10:22 AM
But now that I look more carefully, the rejected War Machine plot was co-written by Scott Benson, so this probably wasn't it.
Posted by: Michael | February 26, 2017 11:58 AM
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